Assessing the Context of Permanency and Reunification in the Foster Care System. 3.1.1 Family Exit Analysis


The second model in Table IIC.I shows a parallel analysis with the dependent variable changed from reunification exits to all family exits. Family exits are reunification exits plus exits to relatives. It is significant that each odds ratio is virtually identical to the comparable statistic in the reunification-only analysis, except for major difference in the odds ratios describing differences by state.

The state odds ratios for family exits are much less dispersed than they were for reunifications, and the ordering among states is shifted. Notably, family exits are least likely in Illinois. Alabama, which had the lowest odds of reunification, shows an odds ratio for family exits that is still low, but far more central in the distribution. California had the third highest odds of reunification among the nine states, but has the second lowest odds of any family exit. The largest discrepancy in state odds ratios is between New Mexico and Illinois, with entrants in New Mexico being 2.8 times more likely than entrants in Illinois to experience a family exit. While narrower than the odds of 4:1 observed in the reunification analysis, this represents major difference in the exit activities between these two states.