9780195175912

What Works in Foster Care? Key Components of Success From the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study

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  • ISBN13:

    9780195175912

  • ISBN10:

    0195175913

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-09-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

Summary

This book is based on findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study (Northwest Alumni Study), which examined outcomes for adults who were placed in family foster care as children, looking at how a group of young adults functioned years after leaving foster care. Researchers studied the young adults' experiences in foster care, what they did in their lives afterward, and what made a difference in their lives as foster children to affect their experiences subsequently. The research team investigated the role that good-quality services can play in helping children who spent time in foster care as adolescents become successful adults. The findings have much practical value for policymakers, administrators, line workers, and communities concerned about supporting children in foster care and young adults who have left foster care. The primary research questions were: 1) How are maltreated youth who were placed in foster care faring as adults? To what extent are they different in their functioning from other adults? 2) Are there key factors or program components that are linked with better functioning in adulthood? To answer these and other questions, case records were reviewed for 659 foster care alumni. An attempt was made to track these alumni, and interviews were conducted with 479 alumni. While the in-person interviews retrospectively explored some experiences while the alumnus or alumna was in care (e.g., educational services, therapeutic services, and therapeutic supports), interviews focused primarily on current adult outcomes including mental health, education, and employment and finances. Chapters, in addition to describing demographics, risk factors, agency membership, foster care experiences, and outcomes, present data explicating the relationship between foster care experiences and outcomes. These analyses will prove extremely useful for practitioners and policymakers as they work to improve services that will enhance the lives of youth in care.

Author Biography


Peter J. Pecora is Professor of Social Work, University of Washington, and Senior Director of Research Services at Casey Family Programs.Ronald C. Kessler is Professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard University Medical School. Jason Williams is Research Analyst and Statistician, University of Alaska. Diana J. English is Senior Director, Strategic Consulting, Casey Family Programs. James White is Research Associate, Child Welfare Partnership, Portland State University. Kirk O'Brien is Senior Research Analyst, Casey Family Programs.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Study Background, Rationale, and Participating Agencies
Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks
Study Methods
Study Sample and Alumni Demographics
Methods
Risk Factors
Risk Factors
Outcome Findings
Mental and Physical Health
Education
Employment and Finances
Relationships and Social Supports
Relation between Agency Membership and Outcomes
Relation between Foster Care Experience and Outcomes
Effects of Optimizing the Foster Care Experience on Outcomes
Summary and Recommendations
Appendices and References
Staff Members and Advisors
How Child Maltreatment was Measured and Aggregated
Placement History and Foster Care Experience Descriptive Statistics
References
Introduction
Study Background, Rationale, and Participating Agencies
Theoretical and Conceptual Frameworks
Study Methods
Study Sample and Alumni Demographics
Methods
Risk Factors
Risk Factors
Outcome Findings
Mental and Physical Health
Education
Employment and Finances
Relationships and Social Supports
Relation between Agency Membership and Outcomes
Relation between Foster Care Experience and Outcomes
Effects of Optimizing the Foster Care Experience on Outcomes
Summary and Recommendations
Appendices and References
Staff Members and Advisors
How Child Maltreatment was Measured and Aggregated
Placement History and Foster Care Experience Descriptive Statistics
References
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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