Strength and Resilience for Kinship Caregivers Raising Children: A Scoping Review

Qi Wu, Yanfeng Xu, Fei Pei, Naeun Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Kinship care is a preferred living arrangement for children when they have to separate from their birth parents due to various reasons. Although kinship care emphasized family and cultural value of connection, kinship families haven been considered as a vulnerable population since they often face myriad and longstanding challenges on both caregivers and child levels. Previous studies have described the challenges and needs that kinship families had, but there has been a continued call for shifting the paradigm from a problem-focused approach to a strengths-focused perspective. After searching in seven research databases, this scoping review identified 25 studies that examined resilience factors that were related to kinship caregivers raising their relative’s child/ren. Both qualitative and quantitative studies were included in this review. The findings showed that the resilience factors are involved with the following five aspects: caregiver characteristics, motivation, stress coping, caregiver’s family, and support. Through summarizing and discussing the resilience factors, this review calls for attention to be paid to the strengths of kinship families. This finding encourages future social work practitioners and researchers to build resilience in kinship families so that positive outcomes for kinship families can be promoted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number249
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • kinship caregivers
  • resilience factor
  • strengths-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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