Literature review

This literature review examined the effectiveness of policies, programs, practices and interventions aimed at strengthening educational and wellbeing outcomes for children and youth of all ages in out-of-home care (OOHC).

Key findings:

There is little rigorous and relevant evidence about educational interventions and outcomes for children in OOHC:

  • Of 58 primary studies, only 14 were randomised controlled trials
  • The majority of the studies had small sample sizes.
  • At least one-third of the studies were reports or dissertations rather than articles in peer-reviewed journals.
  • No studies were conducted in Australia. All were conducted in the USA, Canada, the UK or Sweden

In general, the interventions with the most positive results involved:

  • Multi-dimensional treatment
  • Additional instruction (more so for literacy than numeracy outcomes)
  • Natural mentoring


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