Research literature on children who live apart from their parents, and gaps in knowledge regarding this vulnerable population was summarized. Typical families consist of one or two parents, and a child, and any siblings. Parents' interactions with the child are a primary driver of the child's development. Yet nearly 3 million (4 percent) of American children live in homes with no parent present.
Children in non-parental care seem to be at risk of lower levels of well-being than other children. Many live with non-parental caregivers because their parents are potential dangers to them, are unavailable, or lack the necessary resources to care for them. Many children in non-parental care experience instability in their living arrangements, and many live with non-parental caregivers who have low incomes. Children in such households are a potentially vulnerable population. Relative caregivers tend to be older than other caregivers, and they frequently experience socio-economic disadvantages. Despite their potential challenges in providing care for children, these caregivers are frequently not eligible for the supports received by non-relative foster caregivers.
Report Title: Children in Nonparental Care: A Review of the Literature and Analysis of Data Gaps
Agency Sponsor: OASPE, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Laura Radel, 202-690-5938
Performer: Child Trends
Record ID: 9538.1 (September 3, 2013)