Institutional predictors of developmental outcomes among racially diverse foster care alumni

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2012 Oct;82(4):573-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.2012.01181.x.

Abstract

Child welfare practitioners are confronted with the responsibility of relying on best practice to ensure children in foster care transition successfully into adulthood after leaving the foster care system. Yet, despite recent reforms and efforts to address their needs, research clearly shows that foster care alumni are still more likely to experience negative developmental outcomes compared to adults in the general population. The purpose of this study was to better understand how child-serving systems of care adequately prepare racially diverse foster care alumni to thrive. Controlling for gender, age, placement instability, and circumstances of exit from foster care, study findings highlighted salient racial and ethnic differences relative to which factors predicted the odds of mental health, education, and employment outcomes. Implications for developing and implementing culturally sensitive, evidence-based prevention and intervention programs to promote positive developmental outcomes among racially diverse foster care alumni are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Educational Status
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Ethnicity / psychology
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Foster Home Care / psychology
  • Foster Home Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Whites / psychology
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data