Child custody placement outcomes for mothers
Internationally there is a broad literature on risks for child custody placements. In contrast, very little is known about their outcomes on parents. The topic is relevant not only for parents themselves but also for children placed outside their homes, as many children keep contact with their birth parents or return to live with them. In a retrospective cohort study setting we analyze child custody placement outcomes (social assistance receipt, unemployment and work disability) for mothers whose children had been taken into custody between 1997 and 2004 in Finland. Data from a child placement register were merged with several administrative social insurance registers. Comparison groups of population mothers are included in the study. The procedure yielded an internationally unique database. According to the results of our study, mothers whose children are taken into custody are more often unemployed and in need of social assistance than mothers in the comparison group. Furthermore, they are also more often on a disability pension, due to mental health problems in particular, than mothers in general. While considering the results, we examine family policy and general welfare policy implications of support to families whose children have been taken into custody.
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