Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Kinship and Non-Kinship Foster Care Placements: Placement Stability, Academic Attainment, and Delinquency
Donna F. Ossorio, PhD; Jackson de Carvalho, PhD

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has reported that over 500,000 children entered the foster care system for the fiscal year of 2015. The overall annual cost of foster care placement in U.S. exceeds 9 billion dollars, a value shared by both the state and federal entities. Monetary costs associated with foster care placement consist of welfare subsidy payments, medical expenses, childcare assistance, and monthly payments to foster parents for daily essentials. Apart from monetary costs for the government, placing children in foster care has a significant impact on the overall wellbeing of children. The intangible costs may consist of emotional, physical, and psychological impairment, coupled with the separation of biological families, in many cases surpasses the monetary costs of foster care placement. Placement in foster care affects children's emotional development, which can lead to adverse outcomes on behavior and mental health due to inconsistent nurturing and lack of parental contact. The premise of non-kinship care was often based on the distrust of family members. Social workers conceptualized the removal of a child from a family, based on the analogy if there is one bad apple in the family, the full barrel (family) should be discarded. A random sampling was used to select 402 participants from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) dataset to construct a subset data file. According to Rubin and Babbie (2016), a sample size of 200 and above provides enough statistical power and effect size to avoid Type I and Type II errors, which are false positive and false negative. Secondary data analysis was conducted using descriptive analysis to test the relationship between placement type, placement stability, academic attainment, and delinquency.

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