Predictors of successful permanency planning and length of stay in foster care: The role of race, diagnosis and place of residence

Marion A. Becker, Neil Jordan*, Rebecca Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Permanency planning has been the accepted practice of the American child welfare system for the past quarter-century. Permanency planning for foster care is the process of taking prompt, decisive action to maintain children in their own homes, or to permanently place them with other families. This study examined the significant predictors of successful permanency planning and length of stay in foster care for children served by the child welfare system in Florida. A retrospective study was made of children who had been placed into and exited foster care in Florida between July 1, 1998, and December 1, 1999. Each child (n = 7807) was studied for 12 months from the day of entry into foster care. The relative importance of factors contributing to the outcome of permanency planning was determined using logistic regression. Results showed that across the state, the child's geographic district of residence was the single most important predictor of outcome. Geography accounted for a 7-fold difference among districts in the rate of successful permanency planning. Other factors that helped determine the outcome of permanency planning were race, presence of a mental disorder, developmental disabilities and placement in therapeutic foster care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1102-1113
Number of pages12
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume29
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

Keywords

  • Child welfare
  • Foster care
  • Permanency planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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