KEEP® Connecting Kin (2023)
Principal Investigator: Stacey S. Tiberio, Ph.D.
This study aims to evaluate whether scaling-out and adapting the KEEP intervention for families experiencing informal kinship care can (a) prevent problems before they raise to the level where child welfare system involvement in necessary, and (b) improve youth well-being and placement stability, parenting outcomes, and service utilization in the short and long term.
For every child placed in kinship foster care in Oregon, it is estimated that there are 14 children being raised by kin outside of the child welfare system, with ~37,000 children being raised by kin and ~17,000 of those by grandparents. The current study provides a unique opportunity to conduct a summative evaluation of the KEEP Connecting Kin program by leveraging extant relationships with the Oregon child welfare system, Self-Sufficiency Program, and our community partners to address the needs of informal, low-income kin families and the youth in their care.
Specifically, this study would evaluate whether the KEEP Connecting Kin program, which is a scale-out of the KEEP program for kinship care families caring for youth who are not in the legal custody of the child welfare system, (1) improves child and adult outcomes (including child permanency, child well-being, parenting practices, and reduced parent/caregiver stress); (2) increases kinship caregivers’ access to, referral for, and use of services for multiple relevant systems; and (3) prevents children from entering into the child welfare system. Further, focus groups and interviews will be conducted to qualitatively evaluate caregiver and youth satisfaction with, and perspectives of, the impact of the KEEP Connecting Kin program on child and parent outcomes.
This study would add to an emerging body of evidence on the benefits of providing enhanced parenting and peer support to families by scaling-out the KEEP program to serve kin families outside of the child welfare system, with ultimate goal of preventing problems before they rise to the level where child welfare system involvement is necessary.
Year Project Began: 2023
Funder: Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation