Chateauneuf, D., Poitras, K., Simard, M. C., & Buisson, C. (2021). Placement stability: What role do the different types of family foster care play? Child Abuse & Neglect, 105359.
Background: Placement stability is a major concern after a child enters foster care. Several studies have focused on the different factors associated with the risk of moving the child. However, the role and effect of the type of family foster care is less clear. Objective: The purpose of this study is to identify the characteristics of children and their biological mothers, which are associated with initial type of care (non-relative foster care (NRFC), kinship foster care (KFC) and foster-to-adopt family (FAF)), and to examine the association between the type of care and placement stability. Methods: Case files of 361 Canadian children aged <12 years (X = 4.64; SD = 3.75) were reviewed during the window period of five years after their first out-of-home placement (NRFC n = 156; KC n = 155; FAF n = 50). Results: Our results show that children in FAF and KFC are initially placed at a younger age than children in the NRFC group. They also indicate that children placed in NRFC have a more significant accumulation of problems than the other two groups (FAF and KFC). Also, boys are placed in NRFC more often than girls, who are more frequently placed in FAF. Multivariate analysis revealed that children placed in FAF are less likely to face a high number of movements, even after controlling for the child's age, gender, and cumulative problems. Conclusions: This study highlights the role of foster care type at entry into foster care. It supports clinical discussion for an optimal response for neglected and maltreated children, as well as better services for foster parents, according to their specific needs.