Year: 2021 Source: Child & Family Social Work. (2021). DOI: 10.1111/cfs.12832 SIEC No: 20210265

Existing research has established child welfare (CW) clients as a vulnerable group for
developing negative life trajectories, including mental health problems, work- and
education-related challenges and premature mortality. Knowledge of later life conditions including suicidality of clients within child welfare services (CWS) in the Nordic
countries is scarce. The overall aim is therefore to gain updated knowledge on how
children and youth who have received or are receiving CWS interventions from the
Nordic CWS fare in relation to suicidality. The population, intervention, comparator,
outcome (PICO) framework guided the search through five multidisciplinary bibliographical databases. The population were former and current CWS clients; comparators were from the general population. Six cohort studies were identified (i.e., one
Finnish study and five studies from Sweden), all showing evidence of a significantly
elevated risk for suicide and suicide attempt in former CWS clients. CWS clients systematically fare worse concerning suicide and suicide attempt compared to their
peers from the general population. In particular, former CWS clients should be recognized as being at high risk for suicide and suicidal behaviour later in life. These findings have substantial implications for CWS practice and service delivery regarding
long-term follow-up.