Analysis of Juvenile Delinquency and Academic Attainment among Foster Care Youth in Kinship versus Non-Kinship Care
Donna F. Ossorio, PhD; Jackson de Carvalho, PhD

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has reported that over 500,000 foster care children were admitted to the foster care system for the fiscal year of 2015. The overall annual cost of foster care placement in the U.S. exceeds 9 billion dollars, a value shared by both the state and federal entities. The lack of effective placement and services often lead to low academic attainment and higher probability for the child to become adjudicated delinquent. The costs for negative foster care child outcomes include, emotional, physical, and psychological impairment, coupled with the separation of biological families, in many cases surpasses the monetary costs of foster care placement. Placement in foster care affects children's emotional development, which can lead to adverse outcomes on behavior and mental health due to inconsistent nurturing and lack of parental contact. Although placement in kinship care is the first option when parents are unavailable or cannot raise the child, non-kinship care is the most popular form of placement. Little is known to date as to whether the type of placement affects outcome measures of foster children such as delinquent behaviors and academic attainment. The current research study will compare the kinship and non-kinship foster care regarding placement stability and second, test the impact of removal reasons from their home as it pertains to delinquent behavior and educational attainment of children placed in foster care.

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