What is the relationship between being in care and the educational outcomes of children?

This systematic review of international research was undertaken to consider the following questions:

  • Is there an association between being in care and educational outcomes?
  • What is the nature of the association between being in care and educational outcomes?
  • Is there any evidence to suggest that this association is causal?

This review only concerns children in family foster or formal kinship care.

Full review (pdf)

Key Messages – what we found out – recommendations (pdf)

Electronic databases and websites were used to identify 28 studies including two reviews/meta-analyses from the UK, US, Canada and Australia. Comparisons across countries are subject to limitations of different cultures and services. Studies identified for the review were published after 1990 and were all in English. All but two studies employed comparison groups or compared the children in care to the general population administrative data. Study samples ranged from 107 to over 222,000 young people.

 

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What is the relationship between being in care and the educational outcomes of children? An international systematic review.
Authors: Aoife O'Higgins, Judy Sebba and Nikki Luke

September 2015