IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Developmental outcomes after five years for foster children returned home, remaining in care, or adopted


  • Lloyd, E. Christopher
  • Barth, Richard P.


A substantial proportion of children who enter foster care in the US are infants or toddlers and will exit from foster care before they have been in care for long, either returning home or to adoption. These first years of involvement may predict a significant amount about children's longer term development so understanding developmental outcomes after five years is valuable to understanding if child welfare services (CWS) are serving the intention of promoting the well-being of children. A subsample of 353 infants (less than 13Â months of age when investigated by CWS) and subsequently placed into foster care were selected from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being. After 66Â months, these infants had been reunified, adopted, or were still in foster care. Bivariate comparisons were completed. Statistical controls for maltreatment type and severity, demographic traits, and current caregiver education were implemented to help clarify the role of terminal child welfare placement, current caregiver behaviors, and household income, on eight linear regression models of developmental outcomes. Results support the longstanding tenet of child welfare services policy that remaining in foster care is less developmentally advantageous than having a more permanent arrangement of return home or adoption.

Suggested Citation

  • Lloyd, E. Christopher & Barth, Richard P., 2011. "Developmental outcomes after five years for foster children returned home, remaining in care, or adopted," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1383-1391, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:33:y:2011:i:8:p:1383-1391

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph J. Doyle Jr., 2007. "Child Protection and Child Outcomes: Measuring the Effects of Foster Care," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1583-1610, December.
    2. Korenman, Sanders & Miller, Jane E. & Sjaastad, John E., 1995. "Long-term poverty and child development in the United States: Results from the NLSY," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 127-155.
    3. Simmel, Cassandra & Price, Amy, 2002. "The Shared Family Care Demonstration Project: Challenges of Implementing and Evaluating a Community-Based Project," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(6-7), pages 455-470.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:cysrev:v:81:y:2017:i:c:p:261-267 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Goemans, Anouk & Vanderfaeillie, Johan & Damen, Harm & Pijnenburg, Huub & Van Holen, Frank, 2016. "Reunification of foster children: Factors associated with reunification outcomes in Flanders and the Netherlands," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 284-292.
    3. Anthony, Rebecca & Meakings, Sarah & Doughty, Julie & Ottaway, Heather & Holland, Sally & Shelton, Katherine H., 2016. "Factors affecting adoption in Wales: Predictors of variation in time between entry to care and adoptive placement," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 184-190.
    4. repec:eee:cysrev:v:86:y:2018:i:c:p:200-208 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Pinto, Ricardo J. & Maia, Ângela C., 2013. "Psychopathology, physical complaints and health risk behaviors among youths who were victims of childhood maltreatment: A comparison between home and institutional interventions," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 603-610.
    6. repec:eee:cysrev:v:76:y:2017:i:c:p:170-180 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ismayilova, Leyla & Ssewamala, Fred & Huseynli, Aytakin, 2014. "Reforming child institutional care in the Post-Soviet bloc: The potential role of family-based empowerment strategies," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(P2), pages 136-148.
    8. Murphy, Kelly & Moore, Kristin Anderson & Redd, Zakia & Malm, Karin, 2017. "Trauma-informed child welfare systems and children's well-being: A longitudinal evaluation of KVC's bridging the way home initiative," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 23-34.
    9. repec:eee:cysrev:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:205-210 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:cysrev:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:179-189 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:33:y:2011:i:8:p:1383-1391. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.