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Category: Data Center Research

Infants are placed in foster care at a higher rate than children of all other ages. Nationally, infants make up approximately 22% of children entering foster care and, once in care, stay in care longer than older children. Given infants’ sizeable representation in the system, they warrant particular attention as child welfare agencies develop and implement policies and practices. This post summarizes a presentation recently delivered by Fred Wulczyn and Zach Martinez at Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child. The presentation describes from a risk perspective how infants represent a unique sub-population of children involved in the child welfare system. By bringing infants’ particular characteristics and experiences to the fore—e.g., the circumstances under which they come into contact with the child welfare system, their specific risk factors, and their trajectories toward permanency—the findings provide valuable information that can guide state efforts to improve infant well-being. To view the presentation… Read more >

In May 2011, Chapin Hall researchers released a study that used FCDA data to produce an epidemiological and developmental snapshot of infants in foster care. The research showed that infants are a growing proportion of first-time admissions to foster care. It also showed that infants experience foster care differently from children who enter care at older ages. For example, children who enter care as infants spend a longer amount of time in foster care; are more likely to exit to adoption; and are particularly vulnerable to developmental risk factors such as physical neglect, poor health, caregiver substance abuse, and others. Meeting the needs of infants in foster care requires developmentally appropriate interventions delivered in the right dose. This Recipe is the first in a 4-part series that uses the web tool to explore infants’ experience in care and how to target opportunities for improving their outcomes. Here, in Part 1,… Read more >