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Re-entering foster care: Trends, evidence, and implications

Author

Listed:
  • Kimberlin, Sara E.
  • Anthony, Elizabeth K.
  • Austin, Michael J.

Abstract

The child welfare system strives to balance protecting the safety and well-being of abused and neglected children with preserving families whenever possible. When children must be removed from their homes and placed in foster care, family reunification is the preferred child welfare strategy. Unfortunately, not all reunifications are successful, and a significant number of children re-enter foster care each year. Foster care re-entry represents a failure of permanency that has potentially serious negative effects on children. Thus the child welfare system must work to reduce and prevent re-entry to foster care. This literature review examines the research on foster care re-entry, including risk and correlates of foster care re-entry and resilience and correlates of successful reunification to understand factors related to re-entry that can be used to design assessment tools and interventions. The article then describes the effects of child welfare services and program models on reducing foster care re-entry, and concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings for child welfare practice and future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Kimberlin, Sara E. & Anthony, Elizabeth K. & Austin, Michael J., 2009. "Re-entering foster care: Trends, evidence, and implications," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 471-481, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:31:y:2009:i:4:p:471-481
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Davis, Inger P. & Landsverk, John & Newton, Rae & Ganger, William, 1996. "Parental visiting and foster care reunification," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4-5), pages 363-382.
    2. Shaw, Terry V., 2006. "Reentry into the foster care system after reunification," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 1375-1390, November.
    3. Farmer, Elaine, 1996. "Family reunification with high risk children: Lessons from research," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4-5), pages 403-424.
    4. Festinger, Trudy, 1996. "Going home and returning to foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4-5), pages 383-402.
    5. Fraser, Mark W. & Walton, Elaine & Lewis, Robert E. & Pecora, Peter J. & Walton, Wendel K., 1996. "An experiment in family reunification: Correlates of outcomes at one-year follow-up," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4-5), pages 335-361.
    6. Jonson-Reid, Melissa, 2003. "Foster Care and Future Risk of Maltreatment," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 271-294, April.
    7. Wells, Kathleen & Guo, Shenyang, 1999. "Reunification and reentry of foster children," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 273-294, April.
    8. McDonald, Tom & Bryson, Stephanie & Poertner, John, 2006. "Balancing reunification and reentry goals," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 47-58, January.
    9. Berzin, Stephanie Cosner, 2006. "Using sibling data to understand the impact of family group decision-making on child welfare outcomes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 1449-1458, December.
    10. Jones, Loring, 1998. "The social and family correlates of successful reunification of children in foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 305-323, May.
    11. Barth, Richard P. & Weigensberg, Elizabeth C. & Fisher, Philip A. & Fetrow, Becky & Green, Rebecca L., 2008. "Reentry of elementary aged children following reunification from foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 353-364, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thoburn, June & Cooper, Neil & Brandon, Marian & Connolly, Sara, 2013. "The place of “think family” approaches in child and family social work: Messages from a process evaluation of an English pathfinder service," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 228-236.
    2. Victor, Bryan G. & Ryan, Joseph P. & Moore, Andrew & Mowbray, Orion & Evangelist, Michael & Perron, Brian E., 2016. "Foster home licensing and risk of reentry to out-of-home care following family reunification," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 112-119.
    3. repec:eee:cysrev:v:86:y:2018:i:c:p:56-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ubbesen, Mads Bonde & Petersen, Liselotte & Mortensen, Preben Bo & Kristensen, Ole Steen, 2012. "Out of care and into care again: A Danish register‐based study of children placed in out-of‐home care before their third birthday," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2147-2155.
    5. Oxford, Monica L. & Marcenko, Maureen & Fleming, Charles B. & Lohr, Mary Jane & Spieker, Susan J., 2016. "Promoting birth parents' relationships with their toddlers upon reunification: Results from Promoting First Relationships® home visiting program," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 109-116.
    6. Crampton, David & Yoon, Susan, 2016. "Crisis nursery services and foster care prevention: An exploratory study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 311-316.
    7. repec:eee:cysrev:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:256-262 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Balsells, Maria Àngels & Pastor, Crescencia & Mateos, Ainoa & Vaquero, Eduard & Urrea, Aida, 2015. "Exploring the needs of parents for achieving reunification: The views of foster children, birth family and social workers in Spain," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 159-166.
    9. Hélie, Sonia & Poirier, Marie-Andrée & Turcotte, Daniel, 2014. "Risk of maltreatment recurrence after exiting substitute care: Impact of placement characteristics," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 257-264.

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