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Foster Care Reentry after Reunification – Reentry in One or Two years – what’s the difference? Terry V. Shaw, MSW Daniel Webster, PhD University of California,

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Presentation on theme: "Foster Care Reentry after Reunification – Reentry in One or Two years – what’s the difference? Terry V. Shaw, MSW Daniel Webster, PhD University of California,"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Foster Care Reentry after Reunification – Reentry in One or Two years – what’s the difference? Terry V. Shaw, MSW Daniel Webster, PhD University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare This research is funded by the California Department of Social Services and the Stuart Foundation Presented Tuesday, August 30, 2005 at the 45 th Annual National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics Workshop.

3 Outline 1.Brief overview of federal outcome measures related to reentries. 2.Overview of prior research on foster care reentries. 3.Discussion of the population and methods used for this project. 4.Examination of the results. 5.Conclusions

4 Outcomes, outcomes, everywhere (or why bother looking at reentry?) There have been multiple instances of federal legislation calling for the development of Child Welfare outcome measures. Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA)

5 ASFA (the Adoption and Safe Families Act) mandated that outcome reports be given to Congress. Reduce recurrence of child abuse and/or neglect, Reduce the incidence of child abuse and/or neglect in foster care, Increase permanency for children in foster care, Reduce time in foster care to reunification without increasing re-entry, Reduce time in foster care to adoption, Increase placement stability, and Reduce placements of young children in group homes or institutions. Outcomes, outcomes … continued

6 Statewide Data Indicators in Child and Family Services Reviews (a subset of the Annual Outcomes) We want to ensure that children are in safe and stable homes. Reentering care is a sign that the reunification was not optimal. Outcomes, outcomes … continued

7 Foster Care Reentries Does not follow children through care from their initial entry to the reunification and then to reentry. The federal measure does not look at reentries after 12 months even though Reentry continues to occur well after 12 months. Longitudinal alternative: For all children who enter care and are reunified, what percent reenter within 3 months, 12 months, 24 months after reunification?

8 Festinger, T. (1994). Returning to Care: Discharge and Reentry into Foster Care. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America. Previous Research on Reentry to Care Authors and Articles Courtney, Mark E. (1994). "Factors Associated with the Reunification of Foster Children with Their Families." Social Service Review 68 (1): Wulczyn, Fred (1991). "Caseload Dynamics and Foster Care Reentry." Social Service Review 65: Frame, L., Berrick, J.D., Brodowski, M.L. (2000) “Understanding reentry to foster care for reunified infants.” Child Welfare, 79 (4), pp Frame, L., (2002) “Maltreatment reports and placement outcomes for infants and toddlers in out-of-home care.” Infant Mental Health Journal, 23 (5), pp Wells, Kathleen and Shenyang Guo (1999) “Reunification and Reentry of Foster Children.” Children and Youth Services Review, 21 (4):

9 Research on Reentry to Care Length of Time in Care prior to Reunification. Type of placement a child experiences in foster care. Number of placements while in foster care. Race/Ethnicity of the Child. Age of child at entry into foster care.

10 Research on Reentry (continued…) Reason for removal from home or entry into the foster care system. Caregiver Drug/Alcohol use. Poverty status (children receiving AFDC). Marital status (single or multi-parent homes). Geographic location (urban/rural). Child health factors.

11 Study Population First Entries to Child Welfare Supervised Foster Care in California ( ). Initial stays greater than 5 days. Children reunifying within 12 months of initial entry into foster care. Missing placement types excluded. Question: Are there differences between the children reentering care within 12 months and those reentering care from 12 to 24 months?

12 Limitations The data for this study is based on an administrative data system. Measures of drug/alcohol services only examine recommended services, not whether the services were used.

13 Results Sibling correction was used allowing for the inclusion of all siblings in a sibling group. Adjustments in standard errors made by using GEE (Generalized Estimating Equations) as part of a logistic regression analysis. Adjusts the standard errors to account for potential correlation due to clustered data – in this case due to sibling groups.

14 Cumulative Probability of Reentry Curve - Children Reunifying within 12 months Probability of reentry within 24 months post-reunification

15 Cumulative Probability of Reentry Curve by LOS - Children Reunifying within 12 months Probability of reentry within 24 months post-reunification

16 Cumulative Probability of Reentry Curve by Age Group - Children Reunifying within 12 months Probability of reentry within 24 months post-reunification

17 ns ns 0.52 White Black Hispanic Asian Native American Other Reentry within 12 mos. Reentry 12 to 24 mos. Odds of Reentry - Ethnicity

18 Odds of Reentry – Length of time in Care 0 to 3 Months 3 to 6 Months 6 to 9 Months 9 to 12 Months Reentry within 12 mos. Reentry 12 to 24 mos ns 0.65

19 Odds of Reentry – Age at Entry Reentry within 12 mos. Reentry 12 to 24 mos. Less than 1 Year 1 to 2 Years 3 to 5 Years 6 to 10 Years 11 to 13 Years 14 to 15 Years 1.00 ns ns ns 0.72

20 Odds of Reentry – Other Factors No Drug/Alc Serv. Drug/Alc. Serv. Entry Rate (CT) Below Pov. (CT) Reentry within 12 mos. Reentry 12 to 24 mos ns

21 Conclusions Differences exist in the children that reenter care between 0-12 months and months. African American children are 1.14 times more likely to reenter care within 12 months and 1.2 times more likely to reenter care between 12 and 24 months compared to white children. A longer stay in care initially is protective for reentries within 12 months (The shorter the initial stay in care the higher the likelihood of reentry). Only children in care for 9 or more months have a significantly lower odds of reentry for reentries between 12 and 24 months.

22 Conclusions (continued) Children between the ages of 3 and 10 have lower odds of reentry within 12 months compared to infants. This is somewhat different when looking at reentries between 12 and 24 months, ages 3-5 and ages 14 and 15 have lower odds of reentry compared to infants. If drug/alcohol services are indicated then there is over 2X the odds of reentry within 12 months. These odds are even higher 2.38 between 12 and 24 months. A 10% increase in the entry rate for the census tract that the child was removed from is related to an increase in the odds of reentry at both time periods.

23 The End! Terry V. Shaw – (510) Center for Social Services Research Web Page


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