Children in out-of-home care as young adults: A systematic review of outcomes in the Nordic countries

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background
Internationally, the Nordic countries occupy top positions in child well-being. We investigated literature on the overall outcomes of young adults from the most vulnerable backgrounds in the Nordic countries, namely young adults who were placed in statutory out-of-home care (OoHC, i.e. foster care) during childhood in the Nordic countries for the protection of their safety and welfare.

Methods
We followed PRISMA guidelines and conducted literature searches manually, as well as electronically, via EBSCO's Psychology/Sociology databases and ProQuest's Social and Behavioral Sciences databases in February 2016 for quantitative studies that compared outcomes at age 18 or later between young adults placed in OoHC as children and those never placed in OoHC. Because of the heterogeneity and small number of eligible studies on each outcome, we conducted no meta-analysis but did formulate a narrative synthesis.

Results
Of 333 studies identified, 20 met the inclusion criteria. All of these studies were cohort studies that employed social and health register data. OoHC placement was studied with nine outcome categories: self-supporting problems, educational challenges, mental health problems, criminality, teenage parenthood, mortality, suicidal behavior, alcohol and drug use, and disability pension. In each of these categories, young adults with a history in OoHC faced higher risks compared with the general population, even after adjusting for various birth parents' socio-economic, demographic, and mental health–related factors.

Conclusion
Although the Nordic countries are among the world's leading nations in promoting child well-being, the Nordic welfare model has partly failed in preventing the inequality of families with children. As young adults, children placed in OoHC in the Nordic countries face an elevated risk of experiencing adversity.
Translated title of the contributionKodin ulkopuolelle sijoitetut lapset nuorina aikuisina: systemaattinen kirjallisuuskatsaus Pohjoismaista
Original languageEnglish
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume79
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
ISSN0190-7409
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2017
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Fields of Science

  • 5145 Social work

Cite this

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title = "Children in out-of-home care as young adults: A systematic review of outcomes in the Nordic countries",
abstract = "BackgroundInternationally, the Nordic countries occupy top positions in child well-being. We investigated literature on the overall outcomes of young adults from the most vulnerable backgrounds in the Nordic countries, namely young adults who were placed in statutory out-of-home care (OoHC, i.e. foster care) during childhood in the Nordic countries for the protection of their safety and welfare.MethodsWe followed PRISMA guidelines and conducted literature searches manually, as well as electronically, via EBSCO's Psychology/Sociology databases and ProQuest's Social and Behavioral Sciences databases in February 2016 for quantitative studies that compared outcomes at age 18 or later between young adults placed in OoHC as children and those never placed in OoHC. Because of the heterogeneity and small number of eligible studies on each outcome, we conducted no meta-analysis but did formulate a narrative synthesis.ResultsOf 333 studies identified, 20 met the inclusion criteria. All of these studies were cohort studies that employed social and health register data. OoHC placement was studied with nine outcome categories: self-supporting problems, educational challenges, mental health problems, criminality, teenage parenthood, mortality, suicidal behavior, alcohol and drug use, and disability pension. In each of these categories, young adults with a history in OoHC faced higher risks compared with the general population, even after adjusting for various birth parents' socio-economic, demographic, and mental health–related factors.ConclusionAlthough the Nordic countries are among the world's leading nations in promoting child well-being, the Nordic welfare model has partly failed in preventing the inequality of families with children. As young adults, children placed in OoHC in the Nordic countries face an elevated risk of experiencing adversity.",
keywords = "5145 Social work",
author = "K{\"a}{\"a}ri{\"a}l{\"a}, {Antti Juhani} and Hiilamo, {Heikki Tuomas}",
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day = "31",
doi = "10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.05.030",
language = "English",
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Children in out-of-home care as young adults : A systematic review of outcomes in the Nordic countries. / Kääriälä, Antti Juhani; Hiilamo, Heikki Tuomas.

In: Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 79, 31.05.2017, p. 107-114.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Children in out-of-home care as young adults

T2 - A systematic review of outcomes in the Nordic countries

AU - Kääriälä, Antti Juhani

AU - Hiilamo, Heikki Tuomas

PY - 2017/5/31

Y1 - 2017/5/31

N2 - BackgroundInternationally, the Nordic countries occupy top positions in child well-being. We investigated literature on the overall outcomes of young adults from the most vulnerable backgrounds in the Nordic countries, namely young adults who were placed in statutory out-of-home care (OoHC, i.e. foster care) during childhood in the Nordic countries for the protection of their safety and welfare.MethodsWe followed PRISMA guidelines and conducted literature searches manually, as well as electronically, via EBSCO's Psychology/Sociology databases and ProQuest's Social and Behavioral Sciences databases in February 2016 for quantitative studies that compared outcomes at age 18 or later between young adults placed in OoHC as children and those never placed in OoHC. Because of the heterogeneity and small number of eligible studies on each outcome, we conducted no meta-analysis but did formulate a narrative synthesis.ResultsOf 333 studies identified, 20 met the inclusion criteria. All of these studies were cohort studies that employed social and health register data. OoHC placement was studied with nine outcome categories: self-supporting problems, educational challenges, mental health problems, criminality, teenage parenthood, mortality, suicidal behavior, alcohol and drug use, and disability pension. In each of these categories, young adults with a history in OoHC faced higher risks compared with the general population, even after adjusting for various birth parents' socio-economic, demographic, and mental health–related factors.ConclusionAlthough the Nordic countries are among the world's leading nations in promoting child well-being, the Nordic welfare model has partly failed in preventing the inequality of families with children. As young adults, children placed in OoHC in the Nordic countries face an elevated risk of experiencing adversity.

AB - BackgroundInternationally, the Nordic countries occupy top positions in child well-being. We investigated literature on the overall outcomes of young adults from the most vulnerable backgrounds in the Nordic countries, namely young adults who were placed in statutory out-of-home care (OoHC, i.e. foster care) during childhood in the Nordic countries for the protection of their safety and welfare.MethodsWe followed PRISMA guidelines and conducted literature searches manually, as well as electronically, via EBSCO's Psychology/Sociology databases and ProQuest's Social and Behavioral Sciences databases in February 2016 for quantitative studies that compared outcomes at age 18 or later between young adults placed in OoHC as children and those never placed in OoHC. Because of the heterogeneity and small number of eligible studies on each outcome, we conducted no meta-analysis but did formulate a narrative synthesis.ResultsOf 333 studies identified, 20 met the inclusion criteria. All of these studies were cohort studies that employed social and health register data. OoHC placement was studied with nine outcome categories: self-supporting problems, educational challenges, mental health problems, criminality, teenage parenthood, mortality, suicidal behavior, alcohol and drug use, and disability pension. In each of these categories, young adults with a history in OoHC faced higher risks compared with the general population, even after adjusting for various birth parents' socio-economic, demographic, and mental health–related factors.ConclusionAlthough the Nordic countries are among the world's leading nations in promoting child well-being, the Nordic welfare model has partly failed in preventing the inequality of families with children. As young adults, children placed in OoHC in the Nordic countries face an elevated risk of experiencing adversity.

KW - 5145 Social work

U2 - 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.05.030

DO - 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.05.030

M3 - Review Article

VL - 79

SP - 107

EP - 114

JO - Children and Youth Services Review

JF - Children and Youth Services Review

SN - 0190-7409

ER -