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NCJ Number: 127798 Find in a Library
Title: Factors Associated with Foster Care Length of Stay
Journal: Child Welfare League of America  Volume:70  Issue:1  Dated:(January/February 1991)  Pages:45-58
Author(s): M I Benedict; R B White
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 14
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Selected literature related to length of stay (LOS) in foster care is reviewed, and data are presented to document characteristics associated with longer or shorter foster care stays for a cohort of Maryland children.
Abstract: Length of stay has been documented in various foster care populations, but less information is available about factors important in explaining timely foster care discharge or extended foster care stay. A longitudinal assessment was made of 689 children who entered foster care for the first time in three predominantly urban/suburban jurisdictions in Maryland between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1983. Of the 689 children, 50.77 percent remained in care 6 months or less; 205 (29.8 percent) left care within one month. Only 25.5 percent of the children remained in care longer than 2 years. Median LOS was approximately six months with no significant differences in length of stay by children's age at placement, sex, or race. Abuse or neglect was the reason for placement for 65 percent of the sample. Children placed with a relative, who either had poor school grades or developmental delay or whose families were regarded as uncooperative and in need of regular visiting or parenting education, experienced a significantly longer length of stay. Length of stay was significantly shorter for children whose families expressed a desire to regain custody. 24 references and 4 tables
Main Term(s): Juvenile foster homes; Longitudinal studies
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child placement services; Maryland
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