Statistical overview of youth with disabilities in the U.S. child welfare system

Excited that my new work on youth with disabilities in the child welfare system is coming out  in the Children and Youth Services Review – available for free until 5/5/2016 at this link.  Here’s the abstract:

Existing literature suggests that youth with disabilities are known to be at increased risk of maltreatment in the form of abuse and/or neglect. Little is known, however, about the experiences of youth with disabilities who are living in foster care or who are supervised by child protection authorities. This study establishes a baseline estimate of the prevalence of youth with disabilities living in foster care, documents reasons for child protection
system involvement, identifies placement types while youth are in care and explores case outcomes. This cross-sectional, exploratory study draws on data from the 2012 Adoption and Foster Care Reporting System (AFCARS) for foster youth in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. A sample of youth with disabilities (N = 36.492) and a comparison group without disabilities (N = 601.539) were identified. Findings about
demographics, reasons for child removal, foster care placements, permanency planning goals and case outcomes are presented. Findings have implications for the prevention the removal of youth from caregivers, the need for family supports to prevent foster care involvement, the promotion of community inclusion of foster youth while in foster care and the need for inter-system collaboration at the transitional age stage.

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