What characterizes youth in care institutions in child welfare? A rapid review
The aim of this rapid review was to describe what characterizes young people placed in child welfare institutions in care institutions in Norway.
Youth placed outside the home must be offered appropriate assistance, to ensure a healthy development and quality of life. The largest group of youth living in child welfare institutions in Norway are placed in care institutions. This is a large and heterogeneous youth group, with different problems and needs, but there is little knowledge about what characterizes them.
A rapid review is a systematic review which utilizes a simplified methodology. In this rapid review, we conducted systematic literature searches and synthesized quantitative research. We also gathered data from three relevant bodies: the municipality of Oslo; the Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs; and Statistics Norway.
We identified and included two studies (described in 11 publications). These studies describe youth aged 13-18 years in care institutions. There is uncertainty related to the studies’ data, but some key findings are:
- The gender distribution among young people in care institutions is relatively even and the average age is around 16 years
- Most of the youth met the criteria for at least one mental disorder, in addition there being high levels of comorbidity
- On average, the youths reported lower quality of life than youth in the general population
- The youths had lower grades from primary school and more criminal punishments than youths who did not receive services from child welfare
There is limited knowledge regarding the characteristics of young people in care institutions and there is a great need for more research.