By Jeremy Loudenback, The Chronicle of Social Change, February 20, 2020
California foster youth placed with relatives are less likely to spend time in group homes or institutional placements, and black children are more likely than their white counterparts to do so, according to new research.
According to the study, which looked at six years’ worth of data on 12- to 14-year-olds in California foster care, about one in five children in foster care (17 percent) moved from a family-based foster placement into congregate care.
But an initial foster care placement with a non-related caregiver “was a significant predictor of movement into congregate care,” according to the study, which was led by Lindsey Palmer of University of Southern California’s Children’s Data Network. Children placed in these foster homes at the start of a foster care episode were 1.7 times more likely to end up in congregate care than those who began their time in care with a relative or extended family member.