Resources from the T/TA Network & Children’s Bureau
- Placement Stability
This NRCPFC information packet explores placement stability among children in foster care, provides facts and statistics relating to placement stability of children and youth, discusses relevant legislation and policies, and presents an overview of best practices and model programs. The publication concludes with a list of online resources. Written by Teija Sudol. (December 2009)
Teleconferences, Webinars, and Webcasts
- Using Coordinated Technical Assistance to Improve Placement Stability
Coordinated technical assistance from the Children's Bureau's Training and Technical Assistance Network can help agencies develop comprehensive, effective action plans to make program improvements. This teleconference from the National Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) highlights an example of this coordinated technical assistance focused on improving placement stability, and recruitment and retention of foster families in one district in Florida. It features the collaboration among several national resource centers, AdoptUsKids, the State of Florida Department of Children and Families, district staff and community-based care providers. The partnership, roles, and responsibilities of all the parties is discussed, as well as the model developed and the successful results of the collaboration. (November 9, 2006)
- Achieving Permanence for Children: Pioneering Possibilities for Placement Stability
In this NRCPFC webcast, Lorrie L. Lutz, a consultant with NRCPFC, discussed CFSR results and findings from a survey of the states designed to learn about barriers to placement stability and promising practices to promote permanency. Shaun Donahue, Director of Field Services in Vermont, described step-by-step how this state achieved significant improvement in foster care placement stability through careful analysis, connecting staff to problem-solving activities and system change. (November 17, 2003)
- NRCPFC Placement Stability: A Web-based Practice Toolkit
This online toolkit from NRCPFC provides information on the three core components that support placement stability practice: Individualized assessment and placement services for children and youth; Recruitment, assessment, selection, and support of caregivers; and, Placement stability policies and practices for child welfare organizations. The toolkit includes a broad array of resources from research, state policies, procedures and practices, and curricula, as well as an organizational self study guide.
- Promoting Permanency through Worker/Parent Visits
This one day competency-based curriculum from NRCPFC helps workers structure their visits with families to promote safety, well being and permanency. It provides a review of what has been learned from the CFSR about the relationship between worker/parent visits and placement stability and permanency and gives workers seven developmental checklists and questions to assess safety and well being. Workers learn how to use a four step process to organize their visits with families.
- Promoting Placement Stability and Permanency through Caseworker/Child Visits
Through the Child and Family Service Review process, it was found that there is a significant positive relationship between caseworker visits with children and a number of other indicators for safety, permanency and well-being. This curriculum was developed by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) in response to that clear indication that the importance of caseworker visits to children in foster care is positively correlated to outcomes for children and families. This one day curriculum is intended to be part of either pre-service or ongoing training within a child welfare organization. It builds on the concepts of attachment, strengths-based assessment and planning, child and youth development, effective interviewing and organizing contacts, allowing caseworkers to practice some of the skills through role plays and preparatory activities. The seven developmental checklists are tools for caseworker's to use as they begin to more intentionally structure their visits to focus on safety, permanence, and well being.
- Securing Child Safety, Well-Being, and Permanency through Placement Stability in Foster Care
PolicyLab Center to Bridge Research, Practice, and Policy at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute published this Evidence to Action brief. The brief presents Year 1 findings from the Children's Stability and Well-Being Study (CSAW), a longitudinal evaluation of 450 children in the Philadelphia child welfare system, and examines the issue of placement stability. It identifies areas for federal and state policy interventions to improve outcomes for children in child welfare and their families. (Fall 2009)
- Preventing Placement Disruptions in Foster Care
The PATH Bremer Project, from the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, consists of a comprehensive review of the literature on preventing placement disruptions in foster care conducted between August 27, 2007 and January 10, 2008. The literature review is organized into two broad topic areas: 1) risk and protective factors for placement stability and 2) preventing disruptions in foster care. (January 2008)
- Why Should the Child Welfare Field Focus on Minimizing Placement Change as Part of Permanency Planning for Children?
In this publication, Casey Family Programs reviews current studies to summarize the importance of children placed in foster care experiencing as few placement changes as possible. It demonstrates that minimizing placement change will: minimize child pain and trauma; lessen child attachment, behavior and mental health disorders; decrease school changes and increase academic achievement; maximize continuity in services, decrease foster parent stress, and lower program costs; and increase the likelihood that a child will establish an enduring positive relationship with a caring adult. (March 2007)
- Placement Stability and Mental Health Costs for Children in Foster Care
This study, which appears in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal, Pediatrics, found that foster care placement instability was associated with increased mental health costs during the first year in foster care, particularly among children with increasing general health care costs. These findings highlight the importance of interventions that address the global health of children in foster care and may permit better targeting of health care resources to subgroups of children most likely to use services. (May 2004)
- Achieving Stability in Placement
This section of the Evidence-Based Practice Tool, from Results Oriented Management (ROM) in Child Welfare at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, discusses client, organizational, and service factors associated with placement stability. It provides supporting evidence of how these factors are associated with achieving placement stability, as well as possible steps to take.
Resources from the States
- California: Stability Reports
The Center for Social Services Research, University of California at Berkeley, in collaboration with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), receives quarterly extracts from the California Child Welfare Services Case Management System. Placement stability is one of the factors tracked by entry cohorts. Reports are accessible through this site.
- District of Columbia: Stability in Foster Care: Measuring and Promoting Placements that Lead to Permanent Homes
This report was written for the District of Columbia's Child and Family Services Agency by Surjeet Ahluwalia and Marie Zemler, students at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The report recommends shifting child welfare reform efforts to more directly promote stability and permanency, and describes a conceptual model for measuring child welfare placement stability that focuses on the following six child-centered objectives: placements are stable, moves promote permanency, children rarely move, group care is brief, children live in families, and stable families become permanent. For each of these objectives, performance measures are proposed for evaluating progress. (April 2003)
- Illinois: Placement Stability and Number of Children in a Home
This report from the Children and Family Research Center (CFRC)
School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign updates a 2004 analysis of the relationship between placement stability and the number of foster children in the home. The re-analysis extends the observation period an additional three years: FY2004-2006. (July 2007)
- Minnesota: Hennepin County Placement Stability/Instability Study, Title IV-E Curriculum Module
A study investigated potential factors that were associated with the stability and instability of placement experiences of children entrusted to Hennepin County’s child protection system. Data was analyzed from 30 children who had more than four living situations in their placement history and 30 children who had two or fewer living situations. The study found factors that emerged as predictive of two or fewer living situations during continuous placement included: foster home as the first placement setting, chemical abuse and at least one other removal condition was the source of the removal, and younger age of the child. Factors predicting four or more living situations during continuous placement included: American Indian racial identity; removal condition was due to physical abuse and neglect; there were special cultural or religious needs; the child had a sibling group; and the child was older. Recommendations for improved services are made.
- North Carolina: Foster Care Placement Disruption in North Carolina
Fostering Perspectives is sponsored by the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the Family and Children’s Resource Program. This article in Fostering Perspectives discusses the causes of placement disruption and gives foster parents tips on how they can help promote placement stability. (November 2005)
- Ohio: Placement Stability of Public Children Services Agencies
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Office for Children and Families, released this report which explored the characteristics of children who had multiple placements and agency practices and activities that impacted placement stability. (February 2005)
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
This section of the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is dedicated to placement stability and includes sections on:
The Gateway also has a page on maintaining/maximizing placement stability.