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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111405

Placement Stability, Cumulative Time in Care, and Permanency: Using Administrative Data from CPS to Track Placement Trajectories

1
Research Institute for Youth in Difficulty, University Health and Social Services Center-South Central Montreal, 1001, boulevard de Maisonneuve Est, Montreal, QC H2L 4R5, Canada
2
School of Social Work, University of Montreal, 3150, Jean-Brillant, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
3
Canada Research Chair in Social Services for Vulnerable Children, School of Social Work, University of Montreal, 3150, Jean-Brillant, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
4
School of Social Work, Laval University, 1030, avenue des Sciences Humaines, Quebec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Big Data to Advance Knowledge in Child Maltreatment)
Full-Text   |   PDF [346 KB, uploaded 17 November 2017]

Abstract

Objectives: The Quebec Youth Protection Act was amended in 2007. The main goal of this reform was to improve placement stability for children who are removed from their home for their protection. Among several legal provisions introduced was the establishment of maximum age-specific durations of out-of-home care, after which a plan must be established to provide stability for children placed in substitute care by finding permanent homes for them. The purpose of this study is (1) to examine trends in placement use and placement stability since the reform and (2) to document the current frequency of each type of placement setting, the cumulative time in care before the exit to permanency, and the sustainability of the permanency outcome. Methods: The study relies on 3 entry cohorts of all children investigated who received protection measures in the province of Quebec during 3 specific time frames before and after the reform (n = 9620, 8676, 8425). Cohorts were observed for a period varying from 3 to 4 years. Administrative data from all 16 child protection agencies were used to track placement trajectory indicators and to compare cohorts. Results: There has been a decrease in the proportion of children receiving protection measures who were placed in care since the reform, and placement in kinship care has become more frequent among children placed. Placement stability improved slightly after the reform. Overall, for infants, the most frequent type of permanency attained is adoption, while reunification is the option most often indicated for older children. Some children are at a greater risk of experiencing unstable placement trajectories: young children have a high rate of reunification breakdown, some wait a long time to be adopted, and adolescents are frequently removed from the substitute care setting where they were supposed to stay until the age of 18. Conclusions: The results suggest interesting avenues for policy makers and service providers to improve the stability of placement trajectories. Advantages and disadvantages of administrative data are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: foster care; placement; out-of-home care; stability; permanency; child welfare; protection services; administrative data foster care; placement; out-of-home care; stability; permanency; child welfare; protection services; administrative data
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Hélie, S.; Poirier, M.-A.; Esposito, T.; Turcotte, D. Placement Stability, Cumulative Time in Care, and Permanency: Using Administrative Data from CPS to Track Placement Trajectories. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1405.

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