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Children who run away from foster care: Who are the children and what are the risk factors?


  • Lin, Ching-Hsuan


The purpose of this study is to explore the characteristics and risk factors of children who run away from foster care. By examining variables from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) dataset, this study compared two groups of foster children: those who run away and those who do not run away. The findings indicated that children who are older, female, African American, with behavior problems, or diagnosed disability are more likely to run away from foster care placements. In addition, foster children who experienced running away tended to be older at first removal, had been removed from single-parent families, and/or experienced more placement settings and shorter duration while in foster care. Implications for preventions are discussed based on the findings from this study.

Suggested Citation

  • Lin, Ching-Hsuan, 2012. "Children who run away from foster care: Who are the children and what are the risk factors?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 807-813.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:4:p:807-813
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Berrick, Jill Duerr & Barth, Richard P. & Needell, Barbara, 1994. "A comparison of kinship foster homes and foster family homes: Implications for kinship foster care as family preservation," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-2), pages 33-63.
    2. 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.
    3. Fasulo, Samuel J. & Cross, Theodore P. & Mosley, Peggy & Leavey, Joseph, 2002. "Adolescent Runaway Behavior in Specialized Foster Care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(8), pages 623-640, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sarri, Rosemary C. & Stoffregen, Elizabeth & Ryan, Joseph P., 2016. "Running away from child welfare placements: Justice system entry risk," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 191-197.
    2. Welch, Vicki & Jones, Christine & Stalker, Kirsten & Stewart, Alasdair, 2015. "Permanence for disabled children and young people through foster care and adoption: A selective review of international literature," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 137-146.
    3. Kraus, David R. & Baxter, Elizabeth E. & Alexander, Pamela C. & Bentley, Jordan H., 2015. "The Treatment Outcome Package (TOP): A multi-dimensional level of care matrix for child welfare," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 171-178.

    More about this item


    Foster care; Foster children; Running away;


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