Children Cared for by Relatives

Research Report

Children Cared for by Relatives

What Do We Know about Their Well-Being?


Children living with relatives fare worse than children living with their parents on most measures of behavioral, emotional, and physical well-being. However, many children living with relatives live in poverty, which also may contribute to their poor well-being. Children in low-income relative care fare worse than low-income children living with their parents in terms of engagement in school; they are more likely to be suspended or expelled from school, and more likely to have a limiting condition, which includes any physical, learning, or mental health condition. However, children in low-income relative care and those in low-income parent care have comparable levels of behavioral and emotional problems, activity involvement, and are equally likely to skip school.

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