Panel Paper: Age-Specific Risk Factors Associated with Placement Instability Among Foster Children

Saturday, November 4, 2017
Stetson BC (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Kierra M P Sattler1, Sarah A Font2 and Elizabeth T Gershoff1, (1)University of Texas, Austin, (2)Pennsylvania State University

Placement instability places foster children at an increased risk of negative developmental outcomes. Previous research has yielded inconsistent results on risk factors for placement instability. We examined how child and case characteristics among children in foster care were related to placement instability based on placement end reason. In addition, we investigated how these associations varied across three developmental stages--early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. Using a complete entry cohort of foster children in Texas, our results demonstrated that effects of different risk factors varied by placement end reason. There was also some evidence of age-specific effects of child and case characteristics on different placement end reasons. These findings provide researchers, caseworkers, and policymakers important information on the risk factors for placement instability among children in foster care.