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Poverty, social disadvantage, and the black/white placement gap

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  • Wulczyn, Fred
  • Gibbons, Robert
  • Snowden, Lonnie
  • Lery, Bridgette
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    Abstract

    In this paper, we examine whether county-level measures of poverty and social disadvantage are correlated with county-level variation in the black/white foster care placement gap. The black/white placement gap refers to the fact that when the rate of placement into foster care for black children is compared to the rate for white children living in the same area, the black placement rate is almost always higher than the rate for whites. Although differential exposure to poverty is often used to explain why the placement gap is so large, the problem has rarely been studied. Using Poisson event count models, we find that poverty, measured at the county ecological level, is associated with a narrower gap rather than a wider gap. The counterintuitive finding is due to the fact that the relationship between poverty and placement rates depends on race.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 65-74

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:35:y:2013:i:1:p:65-74

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

    Related research

    Keywords: Foster care; Placement disparity; Poverty; Social disadvantage; Social ecological models;

    References

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    1. Courtney, Mark E. & Yin-Ling Irene Wong, 1996. "Comparing the timing of exits from substitute care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4-5), pages 307-334.
    2. Lery, Bridgette, 2009. "Neighborhood structure and foster care entry risk: The role of spatial scale in defining neighborhoods," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 331-337, March.
    3. Drake, Brett & Lee, Sang Moo & Jonson-Reid, Melissa, 2009. "Race and child maltreatment reporting: Are Blacks overrepresented?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 309-316, March.
    4. Needell, Barbara & Brookhart, M. Alan & Lee, Seon, 2003. "Black children and foster care placement in California," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(5-6), pages 393-408.
    5. Connell, Christian M. & Katz, Karol H. & Saunders, Leon & Tebes, Jacob Kraemer, 2006. "Leaving foster care--the influence of child and case characteristics on foster care exit rates," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 780-798, July.
    6. Becker, Marion A. & Jordan, Neil & Larsen, Rebecca, 2007. "Predictors of successful permanency planning and length of stay in foster care: The role of race, diagnosis and place of residence," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1102-1113, August.
    7. Harris, Marian S. & Courtney, Mark E., 2003. "The interaction of race, ethnicity, and family structure with respect to the timing of family reunification," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(5-6), pages 409-429.
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    Cited by:
    1. Boyd, Reiko, 2014. "African American disproportionality and disparity in child welfare: Toward a comprehensive conceptual framework," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 15-27.
    2. Klein, Sacha & Merritt, Darcey H., 2014. "Neighborhood racial & ethnic diversity as a predictor of child welfare system involvement," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 95-105.

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