Foster family characteristics, kinship, and permanence

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Abstract

Using administrative data describing 22,311 foster family placements in Illinois, this study examines the relations between foster family demographic characteristics and children’s permanency outcomes. The extent to which these relations differ for placements with kinship and nonkinship families is also examined. Results suggest that the age and race or ethnicity of foster parents, as well as foster family wage income and fostering history, predict the disposition and timing of children’s exit from care. Results also suggest that the relation between foster family kinship status and permanence is moderated by several foster family characteristics. Moreover, the relations between some of these characteristics and children’s permanency outcomes are found to differ by the type of placement (with kinship or nonkinship families). Finally, results suggest that the relation between child race and adoption is moderated by foster parent race. Implications for child welfare policy and scholarship are discussed.

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Authors

  • Andrew Zinn

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