Explaining the disparity in placement instability among African-American and white children in child welfare

A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition

E. Michael Foster, Marianne Messersmith Hillemeier, Yu Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

African-American children in the child welfare system are at disproportionate risk of adverse experiences including placement instability. This article compares placement instability among African-American and white children in the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being and identifies mechanisms underlying racial disparities using a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. The type of initial out-of-home placements contributes significantly to the racial gap in placement instability. However a large amount of racial disparity remains unexplained. Additional factors, not captured by these analyses, apparently explain African-American's increased risk of placement instability. Predictors of placement instability differ between racial groups. Among African-Americans, older age, initial placement in a setting other than kinship care, and having a higher externalizing CBCL score at baseline are associated with greater instability. Among white children, however, only initial placement in a foster care setting predicted placement instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-125
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

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Child Welfare
child welfare
African Americans
Foster Home Care
only child
American
kinship
well-being
adolescent
experience
Group

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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