Experience of child welfare services and long-term adult mental health outcomes: a scoping review

MCKENNA, Sarah, DONNELLY, Michael, ONYEKA, Ifeoma N., O'REILLY, Dermot and MAGUIRE, Aideen (2021). Experience of child welfare services and long-term adult mental health outcomes: a scoping review. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 56, 1115-1145.

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00127-0...
Open Access URL: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s001... (Published)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-021-02069-x
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    Abstract

    PURPOSE: This is the first comprehensive review of empirical research that investigated the association between receipt of child welfare services and adult mental health outcomes. The review summarised the results of studies about mental health outcomes of adults with a history of child welfare involvement. METHODS: A scoping review methodology was used to search five electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, IBSS, Social Policy and Practice). Studies were included if they examined any child welfare exposure (including receipt of services while remaining at home/being placed in care) and adult mental health status. RESULTS: In total 4591 records were retrieved, of which 55 met the eligibility criteria. Overall, receipt of child welfare services was associated with an increased risk of adult mental ill-health, suicide attempt and completed suicide. Results regarding potential moderating factors, such as gender and care-related experiences, were mixed. Relatively few studies investigated the reasons for requiring child welfare services, the experience of abuse or neglect or the adult outcomes of child welfare service users who remained in their own homes. Mental ill-health was defined and measured heterogeneously and details about the nature and type of welfare service utilisation were lacking. CONCLUSION: There is a need for detailed, longitudinal studies to better understand the relative contribution of pre-existing adversity versus experiences during and after exposure to child welfare services on adult mental health outcomes. More standardised measures of mental ill-health and greater detail from authors on specific care exposure are also needed.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Adult mental health status; Child welfare services; Scoping review; Adult; Child; Child Abuse; Child Welfare; Gender Identity; Humans; Mental Health; Public Policy; Social Welfare; Humans; Gender Identity; Mental Health; Child Abuse; Public Policy; Social Welfare; Child Welfare; Adult; Child; Psychiatry; 1103 Clinical Sciences; 1701 Psychology; 1702 Cognitive Sciences
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-021-02069-x
    Page Range: 1115-1145
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2022 14:49
    Last Modified: 12 Apr 2022 15:00
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30068

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