Understanding the Differences in How Adolescents Leave Foster Care.
Wulczyn, Fred. Huhr, Scott. Schmits, Florie. Wilkins, Alexandria.
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Center for State Child Welfare Data.
Published: November 2017
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
1313 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
This policy brief explores exits from care of adolescents admitted to care between the age of 13 and 17 years old, including: permanency exits, including adoption, reunification, or guardianship, aging out, and running away. It examines the reasons for leaving care and the impact of placement history. Data for the study was derived from the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive. The brief begins with a descriptive study that looks at the counts of children in relation to how young people leave care. A multilevel model is then used to examine how child characteristics, placement history, and county characteristics influence the likelihood a teenage will leave care by achieving permanency, by reaching the age of majority, or by running away. Findings indicate most teenagers who enter care will leave their first spell to permanency; males are more likely reach the age of majority while in care and females are more likely to run away from care; Black youth are less likely to reach permanency; teenagers who are older when they first enter care are less likely to reach permanency; teenagers who first enter care when they are 15 have the highest chance of running away; youth who experience a change in their care level have a higher risk of reaching the age of majority or running away and are less likely to exit to permanency; youth who experience a change in their care level have a higher risk of reaching the age of majority or running away and they are less likely to exit to permanency; youth who spent most of their time in kinship care or whose placement ended in kinship care were most likely to reach permanency and least likely to run away. 9 tables and 12 references.
foster adolescents; permanency; risk factors; aging out; kinship care; runaway children; adoption; family reunification; age factors; racial factors