Researchers examined the risk of remaining in long-term foster care. They focused on the following questions: 1) How does time in spent in foster care affect a child's chances of continuing to live in foster care; and 2) Is child age at the time of a maltreatment investigation associated with the likelihood of remaining in foster care.
After children spend 12 to 18 continuous months in foster care, their chances of leaving foster care decrease rapidly, and after children spend 36 to 42 continuous months in foster care, their chances of leaving foster care are extremely low. Furthermore, children age 12 or older who still lived in foster care after 3 years were almost certain to age out of foster care, rather than find a permanent placement alternative.
Report Title: Risk of Long-Term Foster Care Placement Among Children Involved With the Child Welfare System (Research Brief #19)
Agency Sponsor: ACF-OPRE, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Mary Bruce Webb, 202-205-8628
Record ID: 10136 (September 17, 2013)