The outcomes of foster care in South Korea ten years after its foundation: A comparison with institutional care

Hyunah Kang, Ick Joong Chung, Jong Serl Chun, Choong Rai Nho, Seokjin Woo

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21 Scopus citations


This study is one of the first longitudinal investigations of outcomes from different types of out-of-home foster care services in Korea. The main purpose of the study is to compare foster care with institutional care by focusing on two concerns: (1) children's perception of the caregiving services and (2) developmental outcomes of such services. Study participants included 342 children in institutional and foster care in Korea, all of whom participated in both the first and the second wave surveys for the Panel Study on Korean Children in Out-of Home-Care. The first-wave survey was conducted in 2010; the second wave survey was conducted in 2011. The data were analyzed using the Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE), the Chi-square test, ANOVA, and descriptive data analysis.The results from GEE showed significant relationships between placement types and placement outcomes. In particular, children in foster care groups perceived caregiving services more positively than those in institutional care overall. In addition, each of the foster care groups revealed more positive developmental outcomes compared to the institution group. We did not find major differences among different types of foster care placements. In summary, our findings suggest that the effects of foster care are more positive than those of institutional care. Based on the results, we discuss practice implications, including the concern of using institutional care as a major out-of-home care service in Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government ( NRF-2013S1A3A2055259 ).


  • Comparison between foster care and institutional care
  • Developmental outcomes of children in out-of-home care
  • Institutional care
  • Korean foster care


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