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Relationship between placement change during foster care and utilization of emergency mental health services


  • Fawley-King, Kya
  • Snowden, Lonnie R.


The present study aimed to confirm a relationship between placement change during a foster care episode and use of emergency mental health care, specifically crisis services and psychiatric hospitalization. Additionally, the study sought to differentiate between placement change's impact on emergency mental health care and emergency mental health care's impact on placement change. We examined placement change during the first 90days in foster care among 19,351 Californian children and youth who started a new foster care episode between October 1998 and March 2001. Sample selection procedures differentiated between use of crisis and inpatient services prior to and following a placement change. Multivariate analysis revealed that while placement change is a significant predictor of subsequent psychiatric hospitalization, use of crisis services and psychiatric hospitalization are predictors of subsequent placement change. This bidirectional relationship suggests that children in foster care could benefit from both interventions that promote placement stability and improved mental health treatment following psychiatric crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Fawley-King, Kya & Snowden, Lonnie R., 2012. "Relationship between placement change during foster care and utilization of emergency mental health services," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 348-353.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:2:p:348-353
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.11.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sullivan, Melissa J. & Jones, Loring & Mathiesen, Sally, 2010. "School change, academic progress, and behavior problems in a sample of foster youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 164-170, February.
    2. Park, Jung Min & Mandell, David S. & Lyons, John S., 2009. "Rates and correlates of recurrent psychiatric crisis episodes among children and adolescents in state custody," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1025-1029, September.
    3. Fisher, Philip A. & Kim, Hyoun K. & Pears, Katherine C., 2009. "Effects of Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care for Preschoolers (MTFC-P) on reducing permanent placement failures among children with placement instability," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 541-546, May.
    4. Freedman, David A., 2006. "On The So-Called "Huber-Sandwich Estimator" and "Robust Standard Errors"," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 60, pages 299-302, November.
    5. James, Sigrid & Landsverk, John & Slymen, Donald J., 2004. "Placement movement in out-of-home care: patterns and predictors," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 185-206, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Waid, Jeffrey & Kothari, Brianne H. & Bank, Lew & McBeath, Bowen, 2016. "Foster care placement change: The role of family dynamics and household composition," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 44-50.


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