Affective quality of the kinship parent-child relationship and child behavioural and emotional adjustment

Almost half of Australian children in out-of-home-care live with a relative, family friend or member of their family’s community (ie, in kinship care). Kinship care is on the rise in our communities; however, we have little knowledge about kinship carers’ perceptions of their relationships with their children in care, in light of the unique experiences and stressors of kinship families. This is a significant gap in the literature because the quality of the kinship parent-child relationship can affect how children navigate complex challenges in their lives.

This study aims to examine kinship carers’ affective attitudes regarding their children in care, including the context of these attitudes (eg, child’s past trauma), and their associations with child behavioural and emotional adjustment. The results will provide a deeper understanding into the strengths and difficulties of kinship care and help inform more tailored approaches to supporting these underserved families.