Assessing the Context of Permanency and Reunification in the Foster Care System. Appendix: Coding of Study Variables


Independent Variables

Child Characteristics

Race: black=1; white=0. 
Gender: male=1; female=0 
Age of Entry: Continuous variable (average age was seven years old) 
Child Disability Status: with disability=1; no disability=0

Family Characteristics

Parent Job Skills: lack job skills=1; has job skills=0 
Parent Substance Abuse Problem: has problem=1; has no problem=0 
Parent Single Mother: is a single mom=1; not a single mom=0 
Parent Social Class: finished HS and employed=0; all other combinations=1

The social class index comprises only parental education and employment status. 
The variable "AFDC recipient" was excluded from the index, because it was not correlated with the other two measures of socioeconomic status.

Case History Characteristics

Reasons for Placement: only abuse allegation=1; no abuse allegation=0. 
                                     only neglect allegation =1; no neglect allegation=0.

The variable "only abuse allegations" applies only to allegations that include: sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse; it excludes any neglect allegations. The variable "only neglect allegations " applies only to allegations that include: physical neglect, emotional neglect; and medical neglect, it excludes any abuse allegations.

Type of Placement: with kin=1; not with kin=0

Parental Caretaker Services: no services received=1; some services received=0.

The 23 services included: parent training at home, parent training in classes, household management, homemaker services, day care, respite care, emergency financial aid, family planning, legal services, schooling, employment training, health care, psychological assessments, outpatient mental treatment: inpatient mental health treatment, case management or counseling, outpatient substance abuse treatment, in-patient substance abuse treatment, self-help groups, housing, housing payment, temporary shelter and transportation. The number of services provided to caretakers could range from 0-23.

Dependent Variables

Parental Reunification: reunified=1; other discharges and still in care=0