Closing the Gap: Are Changing Exit Patterns Reducing the Time African American Children Spend in Foster Care Relative to Caucasian Children?
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.
Published: May/June 2003
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 25 , 431-462
Publication Information: New York: Pergamon
Available from: Elsevier
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Despite the persistent finding that African American children typically remain in foster care longer than similar Caucasian children, there has been little effort to understand whether the magnitude of the race effect varies for children admitted to care in different years. This paper presents three sets of findings: data describing exit probabilities and placement duration for children admitted to care in 1990; annual estimates of the conditional probability of exit for successive entry cohorts; and results from stratified proportional hazard models. The data show that the magnitude of the race effect is age-, exit-, and cohort-specific, and that the so-called race effect grew smaller during the 1990s. With respect to adoption, in particular, the length of stay differential has diminished. The data also point to the need to better understand the role of relatives within the foster care system. Finally, the study suggests the kind of time horizon that is necessary to understand the performance of the foster care system. (Author abstract) 24 references, 9 figures, 1 table.
foster care; african americans; child placement; comparative analysis; racial factors; adoption research; racial disproportionality