It takes a team: Improving placement stability among children and youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in care in Canada
Concerted efforts have been devoted to improving placement stability for children in care. These efforts have been driven by evidence of negative outcomes for foster children who experience frequent placement changes. Of particular concern are significantly higher rates of placement disruptions among children in care who experience Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). This mixed methods study examines the impact of enhanced child welfare practice interventions on placement stability for 182 children in care who experience FASD. A quasi-experimental matched comparison group design was employed, where rates of placement change were compared between children in the Project Regions who received enhanced practice standards to those in the Comparison Regions who did not. The sample included 182 participants including 98 children and youth in care from the Project Region and 84 cases from the Comparison Region. The Project Regions reported considerably lower placement changes (M=.33) than the Comparison Region (M=.98). Logistic regression analysis revealed that worker contact was found to be predictive of placement stability. Specifically, as worker contact increased, the likelihood of placement change decreased [B=−.28, W (5.35, p=.02)]. In keeping with the adage that it takes a village to raise a child, one could add for children affected by FASD, that it takes a dedicated team to promote placement stability and better life trajectories.
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