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Placement stability in the context of child development


  • O'Neill, Marissa
  • Risley-Curtiss, Christina
  • Ayón, Cecilia
  • Williams, Lela Rankin


Placement stability is important for children to find permanent families, and for social, emotional and educational development of children. This study used the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW, long term foster care general sample) data set to examine foster child and caregiver characteristics, and the caregiver–child relationship as a predictor of placement stability. Logistic regression was performed to predict the odds of achieving placement stability. Due to differences across development, the sample was divided into two groups: early childhood and middle childhood. As expected, in the early childhood group more caregiver than child characteristics affected placement stability. In the middle childhood group it was expected that more child than caregiver characteristics would predict placement stability, however, only child problem behaviors and caregiver experience and age affected placement stability. It was noteworthy that marital status, caregiver education, and income did not. Implications for social work research and practice are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • O'Neill, Marissa & Risley-Curtiss, Christina & Ayón, Cecilia & Williams, Lela Rankin, 2012. "Placement stability in the context of child development," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1251-1258.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:7:p:1251-1258
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.02.018

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pecora, Peter J. & Kessler, Ronald C. & O'Brien, Kirk & White, Catherine Roller & Williams, Jason & Hiripi, Eva & English, Diana & White, James & Herrick, Mary Anne, 2006. "Educational and employment outcomes of adults formerly placed in foster care: Results from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 1459-1481, December.
    2. Delfabbro, Paul H. & Barber, James G. & Cooper, Lesley, 2002. "Children Entering Out-of-home Care in South Australia: Baseline Analyses for a 3-year Longitudinal Study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(12), pages 917-932, December.
    3. Unrau, Yvonne A. & Seita, John R. & Putney, Kristin S., 2008. "Former foster youth remember multiple placement moves: A journey of loss and hope," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1256-1266, November.
    4. Harden, Brenda Jones & Clyman, Robert B. & Kriebel, Dawn K. & Lyons, Mary E., 2004. "Kith and kin care: parental attitudes and resources of foster and relative caregivers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 657-671, July.
    5. Orme, John G. & Buehler, Cheryl & Rhodes, Kathryn W. & Cox, Mary Ellen & McSurdy, Michael & Cuddeback, Gary, 2006. "Parental and familial characteristics used in the selection of foster families," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 396-421, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Gibbs, Deborah & Wildfire, Judith, 2007. "Length of service for foster parents: Using administrative data to understand retention," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 588-599, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Van Andel, H.W.H. & Post, W.J. & Jansen, L.M.C. & Kamphuis, J.S. & Van der Gaag, R.J. & Knorth, E.J. & Grietens, H., 2015. "The developing relationship between recently placed foster infants and toddlers and their foster carers: Do demographic factors, placement characteristics and biological stress markers matter?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 219-226.


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