Parental Incarceration and Children in Nonparental Care


This ASPE Research Brief describes the number and characteristics of children who in 2011 or 2012 lived with someone other than their parents and who had experienced the incarceration of a parent or guardian. The brief compares children in nonparental care as a result of parental incarceration with those who experienced parental incarceration but not as a reason for nonparental care, and those with no experience of parental incarceration. Analyses examine parental incarceration in relation to other adverse family experiences, children’s living situations, developmental and learning difficulties, caregivers’ expectations that the children will remain with them until grown, and ongoing parental involvement in the children’s lives. Data are drawn from the 2013 National Survey of Children in Nonparental Care, a population-based, nationally representative survey of nearly 1,300 children living with nonparental caregivers. These data were supplemented by data on the same children from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health.


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