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Highlighting adolescents' involvement with the child welfare system: A review of recent trends, policy developments, and related research

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  • Simmel, Cassandra
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    Nationwide, adolescents account for approximately 35% of the total child welfare out-of-home care population. Yet research on numerous aspects of adolescents' involvement with the child welfare system is lacking relative to research that focuses on infants and toddlers. This article provides a critical review of contemporary research – including current gaps in the research literature – and of federal policies that are pertinent to this adolescent population. In addition, this article contains a broad overview of the current demographics of the child welfare dynamics of this age group, based on information from federal and multi-state statistics, as well as from empirical qualitative and quantitative research investigations. Using the structure of the mandates of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 – or the promotion of safety, permanency, and well-being – this article presents the review of the current research within this format. For the domain of well-being, the focus is largely on the need for enhanced research investigations of adolescents' mental health challenges, as well as the lack of effective policy interventions for many child welfare involved adolescents afflicted with mental health difficulties. The article concludes with recommendations for future areas of research and policy focus for the population of child welfare involved adolescents.

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

    Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 7 ()
    Pages: 1197-1207

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:7:p:1197-1207
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.02.004
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    1. Cashmore, Judy, 2011. "Children's participation in family law decision-making: Theoretical approaches to understanding children's views," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 515-520, April.
    2. Dworsky, Amy & Pérez, Alfred, 2010. "Helping former foster youth graduate from college through campus support programs," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 255-263, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Daining, Clara & DePanfilis, Diane, 2007. "Resilience of youth in transition from out-of-home care to adulthood," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1158-1178, September.
    5. Klein, Sacha & Harden, Brenda Jones, 2011. "Building the evidence-base regarding infants/toddlers in the child welfare system," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1333-1336, August.
    6. Farmer, Elizabeth M.Z. & Mustillo, Sarah A. & Wagner, H. Ryan & Burns, Barbara J. & Kolko, David J. & Barth, Richard P. & Leslie, Laurel K., 2010. "Service use and multi-sector use for mental health problems by youth in contact with child welfare," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 815-821, June.
    7. Stone, Susan, 2007. "Child maltreatment, out-of-home placement and academic vulnerability: A fifteen-year review of evidence and future directions," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 139-161, February.
    8. Stein, Theodore J., 2003. "The Adoption and Safe Families Act: How Congress overlooks available data and ignores systemic obstacles in its pursuit of political goals," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 669-682, September.
    9. 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.
    10. Simmel, Cassandra, 2010. "Why do adolescents become involved with the child welfare system? Exploring risk factors that affect young adolescents," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 1831-1836, December.
    11. Smith, Brenda D., 2003. "After Parental Rights are Terminated: Factors Associated with Exiting Foster Care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 965-985, December.
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