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Category: FCDA Web Tool Recipe

This is the last in a 4-part series that shows how to use the web tool to hone in on the needs of infants in foster care. In the last three posts, we used different parts of the web tool to learn how many infants are in our system in the first place, how long they spend in foster care, and what is unique about their placement and exit experience. When we left off, we had just learned that, among other things, infants in our sample county are more likely than older children to be placed in non-relative foster care, to exit to adoption, and when they reunify, to reunify within 90 days. What can we learn about what goes on behind the scenes in these cases that can give us more information about what might expedite permanency for infants in foster care? In this Recipe, I’ll show you how… Read more

In Part 1 of this series of Recipes, we learned about a county where infants represent the largest proportion of children entering foster care. In Part 2, we found out that those infants stayed in care longer than children who entered care at older ages. In this Recipe, we’ll use another function of the web tool to learn more about who these infants are and what they experience while in care, and use what we learn to inform our decision making about the type of intervention they might need. This Recipe will take about 10 minutes to complete. Question: What are the demographic and case-related characteristics of the infants in my system? In what ways are the children in my system who enter as infants different from the children who enter care at older ages? Follow the steps in the previous Recipe. On the results page, scroll to the top and… Read more

In the previous Recipe, we discovered that in my sample county, the largest group of children entering foster care for the first time are infants. Because they are such a large subgroup of entrants, the next thing I really want to know is how long they spend in foster care compared to children who enter at older ages. This will tell us a lot about the extent to which my system’s resources are being devoted to infants. This Recipe will take you about 5 minutes to complete. Question: Does infants’ length of stay in foster care differ from older children’s length of stay? On the All Spells page, select the same geographic area that you analyzed in the previous Recipe. In the Spell overview section, under Admission type, select First Admission. This tells the system to only return spells of children entering foster care for the first time. Moving over to… 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

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