Understanding Foster Parenting: Using Administrative Data to Explore Retention. Project Objectives


This study was designed to extend current understanding of foster parent retention by producing unbiased estimates of length of service and examining factors associated with licensure, provision of care, and length of service. Principal research questions include

  • How have the characteristics of foster parents changed over time?
  • How can variations in activity levels be described, and what foster parent characteristics are associated with varying activity levels?
  • What is the typical length of service for foster parents?
  • What characteristics are associated with variations in length of foster parent careers?

An intermediate objective is to test the feasibility of using administrative data to describe foster parents, applying data management and analytic methods that have been used to describe the experience of children in foster care, including their length of stay (Wulczyn, 1996; Usher, Wildfire, and Gibbs, 1999).

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