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A scoping review of system-level mechanisms to prevent children being in out-of-home care

Stabler, Lorna, Evans, Rhiannon ORCID:, Scourfield, Jonathan ORCID:, Morgan, Fiona, Weightman, Alison ORCID:, Willis, Simone ORCID:, Searchfield, Lydia, Meindl, Mel ORCID:, Wood, Sophie ORCID:, Nurmatov, Ulugbek ORCID:, Kemp, Alison ORCID:, Forrester, Donald ORCID: and Brand, Sarah L. 2021. A scoping review of system-level mechanisms to prevent children being in out-of-home care. British Journal of Social Work 52 (5) , pp. 2515-2536. 10.1093/bjsw/bcab213

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Identifying which approaches can effectively reduce the need for out-of-home care for children is critically important. Despite the proliferation of different interventions and approaches globally, evidence summaries on this topic are limited. This study is a scoping review using a realist framework to explore what research evidence exists about reducing the number of children and young people in care. Searches of databases and websites were used to identify studies evaluating intervention effect on at least one of the following outcomes: reduction in initial entry to care; increase in family reunification post care. Data extracted from papers included type of study, outcome, type and level of intervention, effect, mechanism and moderator, implementation issues and economic (EMMIE) considerations. Data were coded by: primary outcome; level of intervention (community, policy, organisation, family or child); and type of evidence, using the realist EMMIE framework. This is the first example of a scoping review on any topic using this framework. Evaluated interventions were grouped and analysed according to system-level mechanism. We present the spread of evidence across system-level mechanisms and an overview of how each system-level mechanism might reduce the number of children in care. Implications and gaps are identified.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer)
Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0045-3102
Funders: ESRC, Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 November 2021
Date of Acceptance: 29 September 2021
Last Modified: 04 May 2024 01:06

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