Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel: Foster Care Placement and Foster Care Adoption in the United States
(Family and Child Policy)

Friday, November 13, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Merrick II (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Margaret O'Rourke, Michigan State University
Panel Chairs:  Debra Strong, Mathematica Policy Research
Discussants:  Jennifer Romich, University of Washington

The Value Added Effects of Adoption Policy on Adoption Outcomes
Fred Wulczyn, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Foster Parent Recruitment and Training
Mary E. Hansen, Brian Yates and Britni Wilcher, American University

This panel will address state and federal programs and policies that affect the placement of children while in the U.S. foster care system and adoption outcomes for children who are unable to go home. Specifically, panelists will provide analyses of policies that influence the supply of foster and relative parents, the federal funding structure of foster care as it relates to placement and adoption outcomes, and state proceedings that determine adoption timelines. The four papers in this panel address child welfare outcomes at different stages of a child’s interaction with the foster care system. The first and second papers address the placement of children while in foster care. The first paper analyzes foster care parent recruitment and other programs that divert children from group and institutional foster care to foster family homes. The analysis estimates the effect of particular programs on the number of group and institutional placements in care. The second paper considers the effect of state licensure standards for foster parent licensure on placement outcomes of children in foster care. In particular, the analysis estimates how state licensure regimes affect the likelihood of kinship placements, placement disruption, and placement support payments. The third and fourth papers address the effect of state and federal policies on adoption outcomes of children in foster care. The third paper analyzes the effect of the federal Title IV-E matching grant for state adoption-related expenditures on adoption outcomes of children in care. The analysis considers the role of this source of federal funding on the probability and timing of adoption, as well as the generosity of adoption assistance to adoptive families. The fourth paper analyzes the role of state adoption laws and regulations on adoption outcomes of children in care. The analysis identifies how federal laws influence state adoption policy and identifies strong and weak features of adoption policy that affect the timing and likelihood of adoption. The four papers in this panel provide analyses of federal and state level policies that influence placement and adoption outcomes of children in foster care. We hope to show how policy affects child welfare and safety through the type and stability of placements while in care and after leaving care, as well as time to leaving care.
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