oversight

Foster Care: Kinship Care Quality and Permanency Issues

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-05-06.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                 United States General Accounting Office

GAO              Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee
                 on Human Resources, Committee on
                 Ways and Means, House of
                 Representatives

May 1999
                 FOSTER CARE
                 Kinship Care Quality
                 and Permanency Issues




GAO/HEHS-99-32
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Health, Education, and
      Human Services Division

      B-279199

      May 6, 1999

      The Honorable Nancy L. Johnson
      Chairman, Subcommittee on Human Resources
      Committee on Ways and Means
      House of Representatives

      Dear Ms. Johnson:

      The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of
      1996 (P.L. 104-193) required the states to consider giving priority to
      relatives when deciding where to place the quarter of a million children
      who enter foster care each year while they are in the child welfare system.
      In 1995, an estimated 25 percent of all foster children were living with their
      relatives. Many child welfare experts believe that placing foster children
      with relatives, a practice commonly known as kinship care, can be
      beneficial to many of the children. Research has shown, however, that
      foster children in kinship care may not always receive good quality care,
      remain in the system longer than other foster children, and are less likely
      to find a permanent home outside the foster care system when they cannot
      return to their parents. These findings are especially significant in light of
      the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-89), which includes
      provisions to ensure foster children’s safety and to speed up the process
      for finding permanent homes for them when they cannot return to their
      parents.

      In response to the request of the previous chairman of the subcommittee
      for information on how well kinship care is serving foster children, this
      report describes (1) the quality of care that children in kinship care
      receive compared with that received by other foster children, as measured
      by a caseworker’s assessment of a caregiver’s parenting skills, the extent
      to which a foster child is able to maintain contact with familiar people and
      surroundings, and a caregiver’s willingness to enforce court-ordered
      restrictions on parental visits; (2) the frequency with which state child
      welfare agencies pursue various permanent living arrangements (that is,
      permanency planning goals) and the time children in kinship care have
      spent in the system compared with other foster children; and (3) recent
      state initiatives intended to help ensure that children in kinship care
      receive good quality foster care and are placed in permanent homes in a
      timely manner.




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                   In conducting this work, we reviewed recent research, federal statutes and
                   regulations, and California and Illinois legislation and initiatives regarding
                   kinship care. In addition, we surveyed samples of foster care cases in
                   California and Illinois that were in their foster care systems on September
                   15, 1997, and had been there since at least March 1, 1997. We selected
                   these two states because they have large kinship care populations, have
                   different child welfare administration structures, and are located in
                   different geographic areas. We asked the caseworker responsible for each
                   case to respond to a questionnaire regarding several dimensions of the
                   quality of foster care in that case and the permanency goals pursued as of
                   September 15, 1997. Because this survey is limited to the foster care
                   population in two states, the results cannot be generalized to the foster
                   care population either nationwide or in any other individual state.
                   However, results can be generalized to these two states, which account for
                   about one-quarter of the nation’s foster care population and almost half of
                   the kinship care population nationwide. We conducted our fieldwork
                   between April 1997 and December 1998 in accordance with generally
                   accepted government auditing standards. A more detailed description of
                   our scope and methodology appears in appendix I.


                   Our survey of open foster care cases in California and Illinois showed that
Results in Brief   in most respects the quality of both kinship and other foster care was good
                   and that the experiences of children in kinship care and children in other
                   foster care settings were comparable. We found that caregivers both in
                   kinship care and in other foster care settings demonstrated good parenting
                   skills overall. We also confirmed the generally held belief that there is
                   more continuity in the lives of children in kinship care before and after
                   they enter foster care than there is in other foster children’s lives.
                   However, in cases in which the courts have restricted parental visits with
                   foster children to help ensure the children’s safety, the proportion of cases
                   in which the caseworker believed that the caregiver was likely to enforce
                   the restrictions was somewhat smaller among kinship care cases than
                   among other foster care cases. Moreover, some of the standards that
                   California and Illinois use to ensure good quality foster care and the level
                   of support each state provides to foster caregivers are lower for kinship
                   care than other types of foster care.

                   Previous research on children who have left foster care has shown that
                   children who had been in kinship care were less likely to be adopted and
                   stayed longer in foster care than other foster children. Between California
                   and Illinois, our survey showed no consistent findings regarding the



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             relationship between kinship care and permanency goals or the time foster
             children had spent in the system. In Illinois, kinship care cases were more
             likely to have a permanency goal of adoption or guardianship than other
             foster care cases. Illinois has found that, contrary to popular belief,
             kinship caregivers are willing to adopt, and Illinois is actively pursuing
             adoption in kinship care cases. In California, in contrast, kinship care
             cases were less likely than other foster care cases to have adoption or
             guardianship as a goal. According to California officials, this may be
             because, at the time of our survey, the state had only recently begun to
             offer adoption and guardianship options specifically designed for a foster
             child’s relatives. We calculated the length of time foster children in our
             survey had been in the system as of September 15, 1997. In California there
             was no significant difference between the average length of time that
             children in kinship care and children in other settings had spent in the
             system. In Illinois, children in kinship care had spent significantly less time
             in the system than other foster children. Nevertheless, more than
             80 percent of the children in kinship care in each state had been in care
             longer than the maximum period of time generally allowed by the
             Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (which was enacted after the
             period covered by our survey) before a state would be required to initiate
             procedures to terminate parental rights.

             Both California and Illinois are now taking steps to better ensure the good
             quality of kinship care and to encourage kinship caregivers to provide
             permanent homes for foster children who cannot return to their parents.
             Both states are attempting to enlarge the pool of potential kinship
             caregivers, applying more stringent standards and approval criteria for
             kinship caregivers, and providing them with support services such as
             counseling and respite care. In addition, these states are using kinship
             adoption and guardianship with continued maintenance payments to
             secure permanent homes for foster children outside the foster care
             system.


             The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for the
Background   administration and oversight of federal funding to states for services to
             foster children under title IV-E of the Social Security Act. The states are
             responsible for administering foster care programs, which are supported
             in part with federal funds. These funds reimburse the states for a portion
             of the cost of maintaining foster children whose parents meet federal
             eligibility criteria for the funds. The criteria are based in part on the
             income level of the parents. Federal expenditures for the administration



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and maintenance of foster care cases eligible for title IV-E were $3.2 billion
in 1997. When foster children are not eligible for title IV-E funding, they
may be eligible for child-only benefits under the Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families (TANF) program, which are partially funded by the federal
government. Otherwise, states and counties must bear the full cost of
caring for foster children.1

Within the foster care system, children can be placed in any of a number of
temporary settings, including kinship care, family foster care, private
for-profit or nonprofit child care facilities, or public child care institutional
care. In the kinship care setting, foster children are placed with their
relatives. While the definition of “relatives” varies somewhat by state,
relatives are typically adults who are related to a foster child by blood or
marriage. They may also be family friends, neighbors, or other adults with
whom the child is familiar. In this report, kinship care refers to the formal
placement of children in the foster care system with their relatives. It does
not include informal arrangements for relatives to care for children who
are outside the child welfare system and the purview of the courts.

Since at least the 1980s, some portion of foster children in this country
have been placed with relatives. Some studies contend that the increase in
the number of foster children being placed with relatives may have been,
at least initially, the result of a shortage of traditional foster homes.2
Others suggest that kinship care increased as a result of the Adoption
Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980. This act required states to place
children in the “least restrictive (most family like) setting available,” a
requirement that has been interpreted by many states as implying a
preference for placing foster children with their relatives. The increase in
kinship care may also stem in part from litigation (Matter of Eugene F. v.
Gross, Sup. Ct., NY County, Index No. 1125/86) that resulted in New York
City’s bringing certain children being cared for by relatives into the formal
foster care system and making them eligible for publicly funded services.
Regardless of the historical impetus behind the growth in kinship care,
section 505 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act of 1996 amended federal law to require that the states
consider giving priority to relatives when deciding with whom to place
children while they are in the foster care system.




1
 The proportion of all foster children nationwide who were eligible for federal title IV-E funds
increased from about 40 percent in 1985 to about 50 percent in 1997.
2
 The foster care population nationwide increased from 280,000 to 400,000 between 1986 and 1990.



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Kinship care cases are eligible for federal title IV-E funding if, in addition
to other criteria, the caregivers meet state licensing requirements for
foster homes and the child’s parents meet the income eligibility criteria.3
In 1996, in about 60 percent of the kinship care cases in California and
about 50 percent of such cases in Illinois, the caregiver received title IV-E
funding. In the remaining kinship care cases in these states, the caregiver
may have received an Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
grant, which may have been a child-only grant.4

Thirty-nine states reported in a 1996 survey conducted by the Child
Welfare League of America (CWLA) that in 1995 they had a total of about
107,000 foster children in kinship care, or about one-quarter of all foster
children in the United States.5 In 1995, the proportion of all foster children
in each state who were in kinship care ranged from 0.4 to 52 percent. As
time passes, states appear to be relying more on kinship care. CWLA has
reported that between 1990 and 1995, the number of children in foster care
increased by 21 percent (from 400,398 in 1990 to 483,629 in 1995), while
the number of kinship care children increased by 29 percent.

In 1995, the foster care population in California was 87,010, or about
27 percent larger than it had been in 1990, while the kinship care
population was about 36 percent larger. According to our survey, as of
September 15, 1997, 51 percent of the 74,133 foster children in California
who had been in the system since at least March 1, 1997, were in kinship
care.6

In 1997, the foster care population in Illinois was 50,721, or about
159 percent larger than it had been in 1990, while the kinship care
population was about 250 percent larger. Up until July 1995, children
whose parents were absent and who were living safely with a relative were
considered “neglected” under Illinois state law, and the state generally

3
 Miller v. Youakim, 440 U.S. 125 (1979).
4
 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 replaced AFDC with
the TANF block grant program.
5
 The survey is reported in Michale R. Petit and Patrick A. Curtis, Child Abuse and Neglect: A Look at
the States, 1997 CWLA Stat Book (Washington, D.C.: CWLA Press, 1997). CWLA comprises 900 public
and private agencies across the country that provide a wide array of services, including child
protective services, family preservation, adoption, and family foster care. Some states do not have
formal foster care because they promote the obligation of relatives to care for children within the
private sphere of the family, thereby diverting children from the foster care system. See J.D. Berrick,
“When Children Cannot Remain Home: Foster Family Care and Kinship Care,” The Future of
Children, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Spring 1998), pp. 72-87.
6
 See appendix V, table V.2, for characteristics of the child and the foster care setting in foster care
cases in California as of September 15, 1997.



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assumed custody of such children. In these cases, the relative’s home at
the time was frequently converted into kinship care within the foster care
system. This may have accounted for the growth of the kinship care
population in Illinois up until that time. Illinois amended the definition of
“neglected child,” effective July 1, 1995, and as a result, such children are
no longer considered neglected and the state no longer assumes custody.7
According to our survey, as of September 15, 1997, 55 percent of the 48,745
foster children in Illinois who had been in the system since at least
March 1, 1997, were in kinship care.8

Federal foster care statutes and regulations, which emphasize the
importance of both reunifying families and achieving permanency for
children in a timely manner, apply to all foster care cases, whether a child
is in kinship care or another foster care setting. Outcomes in foster care
cases include (1) family reunification, (2) adoption, (3) legal guardianship,
and (4) independent living or aging out of the foster care system, usually at
age 18. In emphasizing the goal of family reunification, for example,
federal law requires that the states make “reasonable efforts” to reunify
foster children with their parents. The law requires that the states develop
case plans that among other things describe the services that are to be
provided to help parents, children, and foster parents facilitate the
children’s return to their own safe home or their permanent placement
elsewhere. The states are required to review foster care cases at least
every 6 months and must hold permanency planning hearings at least
every 12 months, during which a judge or a hearing officer determines
whether a state should continue to pursue the current goal or begin to
pursue some other permanency goal. When foster children cannot be
safely returned to their parents in a timely manner, the Adoption and Safe
Families Act of 1997 (enacted after the period covered by our survey)
includes a provision requiring the states to begin the process to file a
petition to terminate parental rights if a child has been in foster care for 15
of the most recent 22 months, unless (1) required reasonable efforts and
services to reunify the family have not been made in accordance with the
case plan, (2) a “compelling reason” is documented in the case plan
indicating why it would not be in the best interest of the child to terminate
parental rights at that time, or (3) at the option of the state, the child is
being cared for by a relative. At the same time that the states are required
to initiate termination procedures, they must also identify and recruit


7
 Although this change has sharply curtailed growth in the foster care population in Illinois, this reform
was not retroactive. Therefore, many children remain in foster care in Illinois even though there is no
evidence that they have been neglected or abused as defined currently.
8
 See appendix V, table V.2, for the characteristics of children and the foster care setting in foster care
cases in Illinois as of September 15, 1997.


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                             qualified families for adoption. Thus, if none of the exceptions apply, the
                             law attempts to achieve permanency through adoption.

                             Most research on the quality of kinship care has used the demographic
                             characteristics of the caregivers as indirect indicators of the quality of
                             foster care they provide. Although the studies’ results have varied
                             somewhat, many studies have found that kinship caregivers tend to be
                             older, have less formal education and lower incomes, are less often
                             married, and are less healthy than other foster caregivers.9 On the basis of
                             these characteristics, child welfare researchers and practitioners have
                             inferred that the quality of kinship care may be lower than the quality of
                             care in other foster care settings.


                             Our analysis of the caseworkers’ responses to our survey of open foster
For Most                     care cases in California and Illinois showed that, overall, the quality of
Measurements of              both kinship care and other foster care was good and that in most respects
Quality, Kinship Care        the experiences of children in kinship care and in other foster care
                             settings were comparable. In both states, most caregivers in kinship as
and Other Foster Care        well as foster care settings received high scores from their caseworkers
Were Comparable but          when it came to performing parenting tasks. We also found that, in
                             general, children in kinship care in these states experienced significantly
Some Safety and              more continuity in their lives—that is, continued contact with family,
Quality Assurance            friends, and the neighborhood they lived in before entering foster
Concerns Remain              care—than other foster children. However, we also found that while the
                             caseworker in most kinship as well as other foster care cases believed that
                             the caregivers were likely to enforce court-ordered restrictions on parental
                             visits, the proportion of cases in which this view was held was smaller for
                             kinship care cases than other foster care cases. Moreover, requirements
                             such as standards or approval criteria for becoming a caregiver and
                             training for caregivers were less stringent for kinship care in California
                             and Illinois than for other foster care.


Caregivers in Kinship Care   In both California and Illinois, most kinship and other foster caregivers
and Other Settings           received comparably high scores from their caseworker in performing
Performed Parenting Tasks    nearly all the parenting tasks we asked about in our survey. These tasks
                             covered three areas: (1) providing day-to-day care, such as providing
Adequately or Very           supervision and emotional support to a child, setting and enforcing limits
Adequately                   on the child’s behavior, and making sure the child attends school;

                             9
                              See app. II and app. III, tables III.8 through III.13, for research results regarding the demographics of
                             caregivers.



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                             (2) ensuring that the child is up-to-date on routine medical examinations;
                             and (3) interacting with medical, mental health, and educational
                             professionals.10 We found no research that directly measured foster
                             parents’ ability to perform such tasks.

                             For nearly all the parenting tasks we asked about, the caseworkers in
                             more than 90 percent of kinship care and other foster care cases in the two
                             states responded that the caregivers performed those tasks either
                             adequately or very adequately. A smaller percentage—about
                             80 percent—of the children in kinship care in Illinois, however, were
                             up-to-date on their routine vision and dental examinations, compared with
                             90 percent of other foster children.11 State officials in Illinois speculated
                             that this was because kinship caregivers are more likely than other foster
                             caregivers to seek vision and dental care for their foster children only as
                             often as they do for themselves, which is less frequently than state
                             standards and guidelines call for. Those officials believed that other foster
                             caregivers are more likely to follow state standards and guidelines when it
                             comes to their foster children.


Foster Children in Kinship   In both California and Illinois, responses to our survey questions indicated
Care Had More Continuity     that there was significantly more continuity in the lives of children in
in Their Lives               kinship care than in other foster care settings. While many mental health
                             professionals agree that continuity in relationships is good for children in
                             general, there is less agreement about the merits of continuity in the lives
                             of abused or neglected children. Experts do agree that contact with
                             siblings, and especially living with siblings, is beneficial for a child and
                             that parental visits with foster children are needed to achieve reunification
                             when this is an appropriate goal. Experts also report that a child’s
                             familiarity with the caregiver lessens the trauma of separation from the
                             family, at least in the short run. Advocates of kinship care further assert
                             that placing a foster child with relatives or friends may help maintain
                             continuity in the child’s life by maintaining ties with the child’s
                             community, school, and church. Many believe, however, that parents who
                             neglect or abuse their children learn this behavior from members of a
                             dysfunctional immediate or extended family.12 So, living with relatives and
                             continued contact with the community may not be in the best interest of

                             10
                               For a complete list of the parenting tasks we asked about in our survey, see questions 17, 18, and 19
                             in the questionnaire in app. IV.
                             11
                               See app. V, table V.5, for survey results regarding caregivers’ performance of different parenting
                             tasks.
                             12
                               Summarized by Berrick in “When Children Cannot Remain Home.”



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the child because the child continues to live in the environment that may
have led to the abuse or neglect.

Our survey asked for information about three types of continuity in foster
children’s lives: (1) their previous familiarity with the person who became
their foster parent; (2) their contact while in foster care with their parents,
other relatives, and friends; and (3) their involvement, while in foster care,
with the community they lived in before they entered the system. Our
analysis showed that there was significantly more continuity in the lives of
children in kinship care than in other foster care settings with respect to
nearly all the indicators we used to measure these three categories of
continuity.13 In general, our findings were consistent with the results of
other research about the relationship of kinship care and continuity in
foster children’s lives.14

In measuring children’s familiarity with the persons who became their
foster parents, the results of our survey in both California and Illinois
indicated that a significantly larger proportion of children in kinship care
than other foster care knew their caregivers before entering the system. In
addition, a significantly larger proportion of kinship care children had
resided with their caregivers previously. (See fig. 1.)




13
  See app. V, table V.6, for additional survey results regarding continuity.
14
  See app. II and app. III, tables III.1 through III.6, for research results regarding continuity.



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Figure 1: Children’s Familiarity With
Their Caregivers in California and
Illinois




                                        In measuring the extent to which foster children were in contact with their
                                        parents, other relatives, and friends in California and Illinois, in
                                        significantly more kinship care than other foster cases the caseworkers
                                        reported that the children were in contact with family and friends. For
                                        example, the caseworkers’ responses to our survey showed that mothers
                                        with children in kinship care (24 percent in California, 39 percent in
                                        Illinois) visited their children more often than specified in their case plans
                                        than did mothers with children in other foster care settings (6 percent in




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California, 11 percent in Illinois).15 To put this into perspective, however,
in both kinship care and other foster care settings, less than 50 percent of
mothers visited their children as often as specified in their case plans.
Other research has also shown that parents of children in kinship care are
more likely to visit their children at least once a year, and visit them more
often per year, than parents of other foster children.16 In both California
and Illinois, in a significantly larger proportion of kinship than other foster
care cases the caseworkers noted that one or more of a child’s siblings
were living in the same foster home. According to our survey, children in
kinship care also had more contact with their friends and relatives other
than parents, foster parents, or siblings. (See fig. 2.) Other studies reported
similar findings. For example, surveys of foster children in Baltimore
County, Maryland, in 1993 and in California from 1988 through 1991 have
shown that children in kinship care were more likely to live with siblings
than were other foster children.17




15
  Caseworkers develop a case plan for each case that indicates the actions each parent is to take in
order to be reunified with a child, including the level of visitation required or allowed. The visitation
provision is updated periodically as permanency goals and other circumstances in the case change.
When family reunification is the permanency goal, the plan usually calls for parents to visit children
frequently to build or maintain a relationship that will allow them to be reunified. However, when
family reunification is no longer deemed possible, parental visits may still be allowed and specified in
the case plan as long as the child benefits from such contact.
16
  Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency Satisfaction,”
Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993. (See app. II and app. III, table
III.3, for research results regarding parental visits.)
17
 Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents,” and J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of
Kinship Foster Homes and Foster Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family
Preservation,” Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63. (See app. II and
app. III, tables III.4 and III.5, for research results regarding contact with siblings.)
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Figure 2: Children’s Contact With Family Members and Friends in California and Illinois




                                           a
                                            The difference between kinship care and other foster care placements is not statistically
                                           significant.


                                           Finally, in measuring children’s contact with the communities they lived in
                                           before they entered the system, in significantly more kinship care than
                                           other foster care cases in California and Illinois caseworkers indicated
                                           that children had contact with their established community. More
                                           specifically, in both California and Illinois a larger proportion of children



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in kinship care than in other foster care settings lived in the same
neighborhood they had lived in before entering foster care.18 (See fig. 3.)
This is consistent with other studies of foster children in Illinois.19
Furthermore, according to our survey, a larger proportion of children in
kinship care in each state were attending the school they would have
attended had they not entered the system.




18
  One recent study showed that the neighborhoods in which children in kinship care lived were more
often considered to be dangerous than the neighborhoods in which other foster children lived. This
study did not indicate whether the neighborhoods were the same ones the children lived in before
entering foster care. Specifically, the study noted that while kinship caregivers and other caregivers
perceived their neighborhoods to be good in terms of quality and safety, a larger proportion of kinship
care homes (22 percent) than other foster care homes (6 percent) were judged by the person
interviewing the caregivers to be located in “dangerous areas.” J.D. Berrick and others, Assessment,
Support, and Training for Kinship Care and Foster Care: An Empirically-Based Curriculum (Berkeley,
Calif.: University of California, Berkeley, Child Welfare Research Center, 1998).
19
 See app. II and app. III, table III.1, for research results regarding foster children living in the same
neighborhoods they lived in before entering foster care.


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Figure 3: Children’s Contact With the
Communities They Lived in Before
Entering Foster Care in California and
Illinois




                                         The number of times caregivers changed during a foster care episode has
                                         also been used as an indication of continuity in a child’s life. Previous
                                         research in California has shown that foster caregivers changed fewer
                                         times per foster care episode in kinship care than other foster care cases;
                                         the lives of children in kinship care tended to be more stable while they
                                         were in foster care.20



                                         20
                                           Berrick, Barth, and Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes.” (See app. II and app. III, table
                                         III.6, for research results regarding number of placements in foster care.)



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Kinship Caregivers Were      Our survey suggests that the safety of a somewhat larger proportion of
Somewhat Less Likely to      children in kinship care than other foster care in California and Illinois
Enforce Restrictions on      may be at risk because their caregivers may be unwilling to enforce
                             court-ordered restrictions on parental visits. Specifically, in 72 percent of
Parental Visits Than Other   the California kinship care cases and 68 percent of the Illinois kinship care
Foster Caregivers            cases in which the parents’ visits with their children were restricted, the
                             caseworkers believed that the caregivers were likely to take the necessary
                             action to enforce the restrictions. In contrast, 92 percent of the
                             caseworkers in other foster care cases in California and 80 percent in
                             other foster care cases in Illinois believed that the caregivers were likely to
                             enforce parental visitation restrictions.21 (See fig. 4.) As noted earlier,
                             parental visits provide stability for children while they are in foster care. In
                             some cases, however, the court may restrict visits by the parents because
                             it believes the child might be harmed by these visits.22 In more than
                             85 percent of our survey cases, the court had restricted visits by the
                             parents.23




                             21
                               State child welfare officials in California and Illinois believed that this information alone is not
                             adequate to draw conclusions about the safety of children placed in kinship care. To do so,
                             information about the extent to which caregivers allowed parents to violate the restrictions in these
                             cases, and instances in which the children had actually been harmed as a result, would be needed.
                             22
                              There are a number of reasons why parental visits are restricted in foster care cases. Visits may be
                             prohibited when a parent appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or may be prohibited
                             unless they are supervised by a caseworker or another professional. In extreme cases, they may be
                             prohibited under any circumstances.
                             23
                               See app.V, table V.7, for more information regarding the caregivers’ willingness to enforce parents’
                             visitation restrictions.



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Figure 4: Caregivers’ Willingness to
Enforce Parental Visitation
Restrictions in California and Illinois




Some Quality Assurance                    Certain elements of California’s and Illinois’s quality assurance systems
Standards Are Lower for                   are less rigorous for kinship care than for other foster care settings. Both
Kinship Care Than Other                   California and Illinois have less stringent requirements for becoming a
                                          caregiver and provide less training and support to kinship caregivers.
Foster Care                               States sometimes treat kinship caregivers differently because of the family
                                          bond that is assumed to be present between children and their relatives.
                                          They believe this bond mitigates the need for more intrusive state
                                          oversight in these cases. While some experts in child welfare believe that
                                          this exception for kinship caregivers is reasonable, others believe that
                                          while a state has custody of a child, all caregivers should be held to the
                                          same standards.

States Apply Less Stringent               To become foster caregivers in California or Illinois, a child’s relatives
Requirements for Kinship                  must meet certain criteria specifically designed for kinship care that are
Caregivers


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                                less stringent than the licensing requirements that apply to other foster
                                caregivers. For example, since Illinois does not require kinship caregivers
                                to be licensed, they do not have to meet licensing requirements regarding
                                the number of bedrooms or the square footage in the home. Furthermore,
                                they are exempt from some specific requirements designed to ensure a
                                foster child’s safety in the home.

                                Even though kinship caregivers are not required to meet the same
                                requirements as other caregivers, in California if a foster child is eligible
                                for title IV-E funds, the kinship caregivers receive the same maintenance
                                payment as licensed caregivers would. Unlike in California, kinship
                                caregivers in Illinois can receive the same maintenance payment as other
                                caregivers only if they choose to meet the licensing requirements of other
                                foster caregivers and thereby become licensed. Otherwise, relatives must
                                meet less stringent requirements to provide foster care, which results in a
                                lower maintenance payment. State child welfare officials in Illinois
                                indicated that about 50 percent of the kinship caregivers in the state are
                                licensed to provide foster care.24

States Require the Same         Both California and Illinois require caseworkers to periodically visit all
Minimum Number of               foster children. Caseworkers are required to visit foster children in order
Caseworker Visits for Kinship   to, among other things, monitor the quality of the care they are receiving
Care and Other Foster Care      and determine whether the children or caregivers have any unmet service
Cases                           needs. Generally, in California, caseworkers are required to visit foster
                                children at least once a month. When the goal is something other than
                                family reunification, caseworkers are required to visit at least once every 6
                                months, because in these cases the children are considered to be in a more
                                stable setting. Illinois requires caseworkers to visit foster children at least
                                once a month, regardless of the permanency goal.

                                According to our survey, caseworkers in California and Illinois visited
                                both foster children in kinship care and those in other settings more often
                                on average than formally required, but they visited children in kinship care
                                less often on average than children in other foster care settings. Eighty-five
                                percent of our cases in California were past family reunification so were
                                required to be visited once every 6 months. In California, caseworkers
                                visited kinship care children an average of 3.8 times in 6 months compared
                                with an average of 5.3 visits to other foster children. Similarly, in Illinois
                                caseworkers visited kinship care children an average of 8 times in 6



                                24
                                 See app. III, tables III.14-III.16, for research results regarding training, support services, and
                                caseworker visits.



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                                months compared with an average of 11.3 visits to other foster children.25
                                Our survey results were consistent with other research that has also found
                                that caseworkers tend to visit children in kinship care less frequently than
                                other foster children.26

States Provide Training and     California and Illinois provide fewer kinship caregivers with training than
Support Services to Fewer       other foster caregivers. To help ensure good quality foster care, both
Kinship Caregivers Than Other   states require licensed foster caregivers to receive training in topics such
Foster Caregivers               as the child welfare system and procedures and caring for children who
                                have been abused or neglected. Since kinship caregivers are not required
                                to be licensed in either California or Illinois, a smaller proportion of
                                kinship caregivers than other foster caregivers in these states receive such
                                training. Because of funding constraints, California has historically
                                precluded kinship caregivers from receiving such training unless they pay
                                for it themselves. Nonetheless, California state officials believe that
                                kinship caregivers should receive training that is specifically designed for
                                them. The Child Welfare Research Center (CWRC) has found that both
                                kinship caregivers and other foster caregivers in California would like
                                more training on subjects such as foster parent licensing, prenatal drug
                                exposure, and how to interact more effectively with social service
                                agencies.27 CWRC has also found that kinship caregivers in California want
                                more information about court proceedings related to foster care and how
                                to navigate the child welfare system in order to receive needed services.

                                Some states provide fewer kinship caregivers with support services than
                                other foster caregivers. Services such as respite care, housing support,
                                counseling, transportation, child care, legal services, and access to support
                                groups are designed to help foster caregivers successfully perform their
                                role. Research conducted in California found that a smaller proportion of
                                kinship caregivers received such services than other foster caregivers.28
                                This research also found that kinship caregivers in California, reacting to
                                the emotional demands of caring for an abused or neglected relative, also

                                25
                                  Child welfare officials in both states did not see a problem with the difference in average number of
                                visits to kinship care children and to other foster children because caseworkers were visiting both
                                types of children at least as often on average as required. They indicated that additional visits are made
                                when a caseworker believes they are needed. Illinois officials stated that the difference in the number
                                of caseworker visits by setting might reflect caseworkers’ attitudes but is not Illinois policy.
                                26
                                 See app. III, tables III.15 and III.16, and app. V, table V.4, for additional information on survey and
                                other research results regarding caseworker visits, and Alfreda P. Iglehart, “Kinship Foster Care:
                                Placement Service and Outcome Issues,” Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994),
                                pp. 107-22.
                                27
                                  CWRC is associated with the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley.
                                28
                                  Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents.” (See app. II and app. III, table III.15, for additional research
                                results regarding services received by caregivers.)


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                              wanted to know more about community resources and mental health
                              services that were available to them.29


                              Previous research on children who have left the foster care system has
Kinship Care Cases in         shown that children who had been in kinship care were less likely to be
California Differed           adopted and stayed longer in foster care than other foster children.
From Those in Illinois        However, we found no consistent pattern between California and Illinois.
                              In California, we found a pattern similar to the research regarding
With Regard to                permanency goals among foster care cases in which a child is still in the
Permanency Goals              system. Specifically, kinship care cases in California less often had the
                              goal of adoption or guardianship (and more often had the goal of
and Time in Foster            long-term foster care) than did other foster care cases.30 In California,
Care                          there was no difference between kinship care and other foster care in the
                              length of time children spent in foster care. However, in Illinois, in foster
                              care cases in which a child was still in the system, a larger proportion of
                              kinship care than other foster care cases had the goal of adoption and
                              guardianship, and kinship care cases had been in the system a shorter, not
                              longer, period of time. Because outcomes for kinship care cases differed in
                              these two states, it is likely that state foster care policies and practices
                              rather than the type of foster care setting in which children were placed
                              had the greatest influence over a foster child’s permanency goal and length
                              of time in care. It should also be noted that, in both states, we found that
                              most children, regardless of foster care setting, had been in the system
                              much longer than they should have been if the Adoption and Safe Families
                              Act had been in effect at the time of our survey.31


Research Has Shown That       Several research studies have looked at foster care outcomes and length of
Kinship Care Is Less Likely   stay. Many of these examined the experiences of a group of children who
to End in Adoption and        entered the system in the same year. Most have shown that children in
                              kinship care were less likely than other foster children to be adopted. Most
Length of Stay Is Longer
                              29
                               J.D. Berrick and others, Assessment, Support, and Training for Kinship Care and Foster Care. (See
                              app. II and app. III, table III.15, for additional research results regarding services received by
                              caregivers.)
                              30
                                Although state child welfare agencies use the category “long-term foster care” in their administrative
                              paperwork to indicate a potential permanency outcome, they do not consider long-term foster care a
                              permanency goal, per se, that they would work toward. Foster children are placed in this category
                              when efforts to find a home for them outside the foster care system fail. Recent federal legislation
                              recognizes long-term foster care as a potential permanency outcome in foster care cases but
                              authorizes it only when adoption or guardianship is not feasible.
                              31
                                This act allows a substantial implementation period and provides a number of exemptions to the
                              general rule limiting foster care to 15 months before the state is required to initiate procedures to
                              terminate parental rights.



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                            have also shown that children in kinship care spent more time than other
                            foster children in the foster care system.32


Kinship Care Cases in       In California, our analysis of the survey data indicated that kinship care
California More Often Had   cases in the foster care system as of September 15, 1997, were more likely
the Goal of Long-Term       to have the goal of long-term foster care than other foster care cases in the
                            system at that time. Where reunification was no longer considered
Foster Care but Were in     feasible, our survey showed that 67 percent of the cases in kinship care
the System No Longer        had a goal of long-term foster care compared with 53 percent of cases in
Than Other Foster Care      other foster care settings. (See fig. 5.) The large number of children in
Cases                       kinship care with the goal of long-term foster care is not surprising given
                            that according to California officials, the state had only recently begun to
                            offer adoption and guardianship options specifically designed for a foster
                            child’s relatives. Survey responses confirmed this belief. In 74 percent of
                            kinship care cases with a goal of long-term foster care, the caseworkers
                            responded that the primary reason why the children did not have adoption
                            as the goal was that they were being cared for by relatives who did not
                            want to adopt and that moving the children to another home would be
                            detrimental to them.33




                            32
                              See app. II and app. III, tables III.18 though III.20, for research results regarding permanency and
                            length of stay.
                            33
                             See app. V, tables V.8 though V.12, for survey results regarding permanency and length of stay in
                            California.



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Figure 5: Goals for California Cases in
Which Family Reunification Was Not
Considered Feasible




                                          a
                                           In kinship care, 53 percent already had a guardian appointed.
                                          b
                                           In kinship care, 93 percent were likely to be adopted and 85 percent were in a preadoptive
                                          home.
                                          c
                                           In other foster placements, 72 percent already had a guardian appointed.
                                          d
                                           In other foster placements, 81 percent were likely to be adopted and 62 percent were in a
                                          preadoptive home.


                                          State officials in California pointed out several disincentives for adoption
                                          and guardianship in kinship care cases. Certain benefits for foster children
                                          in California, such as special priority for assistance in schools and
                                          financial assistance for college, are no longer available when they have
                                          been adopted.34 Similarly, title IV-E maintenance payments are not
                                          authorized for children who leave the foster care system because of legal
                                          guardianship. Guardians who are related to a child could receive a TANF
                                          child-only grant on behalf of the child instead of title IV-E payments, but
                                          this grant is much lower than the title IV-E maintenance payments. In
                                          addition, to qualify for a TANF child-only grant, the guardian would have to
                                          provide proof that the child attends school and receives medical
                                          examinations. According to our survey, more than half of the open kinship
                                          care cases in California with the goal of guardianship had a guardian

                                          34
                                           The title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program benefits are available to adopted children who have
                                          special needs, including needs stemming from physical or emotional problems. Payments may not
                                          exceed comparable foster care maintenance payments.



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appointed but remained in the foster care system. This may be because
guardians can receive the foster care maintenance payment, which is
higher than a TANF child-only grant, if the case remains in the foster care
system.35

While our survey found that, of all foster care children in California,
11.3 percent of children in kinship care and 19.1 percent of other foster
children had adoption as the goal, in fact, only 2 percent of the children in
foster care were adopted in 1997. Therefore, the state foster care agency
has set the goal of adoption for many more foster children than are likely
to be adopted, given recent experience.

According to our survey in California, as of September 15, 1997, children in
kinship care had been in the system about as long as those in other foster
care settings.36 A multivariate analysis of cases in California confirmed
that the type of foster care setting was not associated with the time foster
children had spent in the system. Both children in kinship care and those
in other foster care settings as of September 15, 1997, had already spent
more than 60 months on average in foster care. This is 45 months longer
than the time now allowed under the Adoption and Safe Families Act
before the states are required to file a petition to terminate parental rights.
Furthermore, we estimate that of the 37,881 children in kinship care in
California as of September 15, 1997, who had been in the system since at
least March 1, 1997, nearly 82 percent, or 31,025, had been in the system
for 17 months or more.37 Under federal law, however, children in kinship
care may be excluded from the requirement to terminate parental rights
once a child has been in foster care for 15 of the past 22 months.38




35
  See app. V, tables V.8 through V.12, for further survey results regarding permanency and length of
time in foster care.
36
  Previous research in California has shown that children in kinship care stay longer than children in
other foster care (see app. III, table III.19). Differences in the types of cases studied (open versus
closed foster care cases) or the time period studied may account for the difference between the results
of our survey and the results of other research.
37
 The clock for determining the 15-month requirement for terminating parental rights begins on the
date the case was adjudicated and the child was determined to have been abused or neglected, or 60
days from the date when custody was removed from the parents, whichever came first. We based our
estimates on the more conservative 17-month criteria. See appendix I for a detailed description of how
we arrived at our estimates.
38
  Similarly, we estimate that 85 percent, or 30,705, of the cases in other foster care settings as of
September 15, 1997, that had been in the system since at least March 1, 1997, had also been in foster
care 17 months or more. These cases would not be exempt from the requirement that states petition to
terminate parental rights unless they meet one of the other exemption criteria in federal law.



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Open Kinship Care Cases                 In contrast to our findings in California, data from our survey in Illinois
in Illinois More Often Had              indicated that children in kinship care as of September 15, 1997, were
Goals of Adoption or                    more likely to have the goal of adoption or guardianship than other foster
                                        children in the system at that time.39 Specifically, 66 percent of kinship
Guardianship and Had                    care cases had the goal of adoption or guardianship compared with
Been in the System Less                 47 percent of cases in other foster care settings.40 (See fig. 6.) According to
Time Than Other Foster                  state officials, Illinois has found that kinship caregivers, contrary to
Care Cases                              popular belief, are willing to adopt, and Illinois is actively pursuing
                                        adoption in these cases.


Figure 6: Goals for Illinois Cases in
Which Family Reunification Was Not
Considered Feasible




                                        a
                                         In kinship care, 91 percent were likely to be adopted and 94 percent were in preadoptive homes.
                                        b
                                         In other foster placements, 82 percent were likely to be adopted and 64 percent were in
                                        preadoptive homes.


                                        While our survey found that in Illinois 41.3 percent of children in kinship
                                        care and 37.9 percent of other foster children had adoption as a goal, in


                                        39
                                          The most recent data provided by Illinois show that children in kinship care and other foster care
                                        were adopted at similar rates (see app. III, table III.20). Differences in the types of cases studied (open
                                        versus closed foster care cases) or the time period studied may account for the difference between the
                                        results of our survey and the results of other research.
                                        40
                                          See app. V, tables V.8 though V.12, for additional survey results regarding permanency and length of
                                        time in foster care up until September 15, 1997.



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fact, only 4 percent of all foster children were estimated to have been
adopted in 1997. Therefore, as in California, the state foster care agency
has set the goal of adoption for many more children than are likely to be
adopted, given recent experience.41

Our survey in Illinois indicated that foster children in kinship care as of
September 15, 1997, had spent 43 months, on average, in the system. Other
foster children had been in care for 53 months, on average, as of that
date.42 A multivariate analysis of cases in Illinois also indicated that the
type of foster care setting was associated with the time children had
already spent in the system. Children in kinship care had been in the
system about 10 fewer months, on average, than other foster children.

Although children in other foster care settings in Illinois had spent more
months in the system, as of September 15, 1997, than children in kinship
care, foster children in general had spent much more time, on average, in
the system as of that date than the 15 months allowed with the enactment
of the Adoption and Safe Families Act before states are required to file a
petition to terminate parental rights. Furthermore, we estimated that of
the 26,712 children in kinship care in Illinois as of September 15, 1997,
who had been in the system since at least March 1, 1997, 87 percent, or
23,213, had been in the system for 17 months or more. As we noted earlier,
however, the law allows the states to exclude children in kinship care
from the federal requirement to terminate parental rights in cases in which
they have been in care 15 of the past 22 months.43




41
  Illinois officials pointed out, however, that the number of adoptions and guardianships in that state
climbed from under 2,000 in 1996 to 3,688 in 1997 and 6,610 in 1998. Furthermore, while most kinship
caregivers “are choosing adoption, a significant proportion is choosing private guardianship because
they prefer to leave their customary family relationship unchanged.”
42
  Research in Illinois shows that children in kinship care were less likely to exit from foster care than
other foster care children. Therefore, children in kinship care stayed in the system longer than other
foster children (see app. III, table III.20). Differences in the types of cases studied (open versus closed
foster care cases) or the time period studied may account for the difference between the results of our
survey and the results of other research.
43
  Similarly, we estimated that 90 percent, or 19,874, of the cases in other foster care settings, as of
September 15, 1997, that had been in the system since at least March 1, 1997, had also been in foster
care 17 months or more. If these cases had been subject to the changes made by the Adoption and Safe
Families Act, the requirement to terminate parental rights would have had to be enforced unless one of
the other exemption criteria had been met.



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                            Since the fall of 1997, both California and Illinois have been instituting new
States Are Taking           programs and practices that are designed to (1) increase the likelihood
Steps to Help Ensure        that permanent living arrangements will be found for children in kinship
That Kinship Care           care, as well as other foster care settings, who cannot return to their
                            parents and (2) continue to ensure that kinship care is of good quality.
Meets the Needs of          They are pursuing efforts to choose the best kinship caregivers by
Foster Children             identifying and locating a larger pool of relatives to draw from when
                            deciding with whom to place foster children. To help ensure that children
                            who cannot return to their parents do not remain in the foster care system
                            indefinitely, California and Illinois recently enacted laws and are
                            developing programs that encourage kinship caregivers and other relatives
                            of foster children to provide permanent homes for them when necessary.
                            Both states also support adoption and subsidized guardianship for
                            children in kinship care as pathways out of the foster care system.


New State Initiatives Are   Both California and Illinois have stepped up their efforts to identify as
Aimed at Ensuring the       many of a foster child’s relatives as possible before deciding with whom to
Good Quality of Kinship     place that child. By expanding the pool of potential foster caregivers, the
                            states hope to help ensure a foster child is placed with the relative who is
Care                        capable of providing good quality foster care in the short term and who is
                            willing to provide a long-term home if reunification with the parents is not
                            feasible. Illinois requires that a “diligent” search for the parents when a
                            child enters foster care include a search for other relatives, as well. The
                            state is contracting with a firm that specializes in identifying and locating
                            relatives and will conduct such searches routinely in foster care cases
                            statewide.

                            Since January 1, 1998, courts in California have had the authority to order
                            the parents of foster children to disclose the names and residences of all
                            the children’s maternal and paternal relatives. According to California
                            officials, parents before then typically provided the names of only one or
                            two relatives, usually the ones with whom they preferred their child to be
                            placed. In addition, before a foster child is placed with a relative,
                            California now applies an expanded assessment requiring that (1) a
                            detailed background check be conducted; (2) the relative’s capacity to
                            help implement the case plan, including family reunification efforts, be
                            considered; and (3) the relative’s ability and willingness to provide a
                            permanent home for the child also be considered.




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                                 Recent legislation in California has also created the Kinship Support
                                 Services Program, one of whose objectives is to help ensure the good
                                 quality of kinship care. Services this program provides include

                             •   case management;
                             •   social services referral and intervention aimed at maintaining the kinship
                                 family unit—for example, housing, homemaker services, respite care, legal
                                 services, and day care;
                             •   transportation for medical care and educational and recreational activities;
                             •   individual and group counseling in parent-child relationships and group
                                 conflict;
                             •   counseling and referral services aimed at promoting permanency,
                                 including kinship adoption and guardianship; and
                             •   tutoring and mentoring for the children.


Both States Have Initiated       Both California and Illinois are attempting to help ensure that children in
Programs to Encourage            kinship care spend as little time in the foster care system as possible.
Kinship Caregivers to            Anticipating federal and state legislation requiring the states to move more
                                 quickly to secure permanent homes for foster children, including those in
Provide Permanent Homes          kinship care, in 1998 the Illinois Department of Children’s and Family
for Foster Children              Services instituted new policies and programs related to kinship care to
                                 meet this requirement. In California, the move to encourage relatives to
                                 provide permanent homes for foster children began with the Governor’s
                                 Adoption Initiative of 1996, which is a 5-year plan to “identify and
                                 implement strategies to maximize adoption opportunities for children in
                                 long-term foster care.” In 1996, the state held a policy summit on kinship
                                 care that found that current “permanency options present significant
                                 cultural and financial barriers to kin to achieve permanency.” Following is
                                 an overview of the activities these states are undertaking to take better
                                 advantage of opportunities for permanently placing foster children with
                                 their relatives.

Kinship Adoption                 On January 1, 1998, California instituted a kinship adoption program to
                                 remove barriers to adoption by current kinship caregivers and other
                                 relatives of foster children. In a kinship adoption, caregivers and relatives
                                 are permitted to enter into a kinship adoption agreement, a provision that
                                 is not typical in traditional adoptions. This agreement can address
                                 visitation rights for parents and other family members, as well as how
                                 information about a child is to be shared. The law authorizing the program
                                 sets out procedures for the agreement’s enforcement, modification, and
                                 termination. Under the terms of kinship adoption, parents may voluntarily



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                          relinquish their parental rights and designate the relative who will adopt
                          the child, a provision that is also unique to kinship adoption.

Concurrent Planning       Concurrent planning allows for planning for the ultimate return of foster
                          children to their parents, as well as another permanency outcome should
                          family reunification prove infeasible. This process is intended to shorten
                          the length of time it takes to secure another permanent home for children
                          once the court decides that they cannot return to their parents. Illinois has
                          recently begun concurrent planning; it is particularly useful when parents
                          have previously been unwilling or unable to provide a safe home for their
                          children or when repeated clinical interventions have failed.

                          The Governor’s Adoption Initiative in California also supports concurrent
                          planning because it attempts to ensure that the long-term interests of
                          foster children are not sacrificed in favor of their immediate needs or the
                          interests of the foster caregivers. According to the second progress report
                          on this initiative, some foster caregivers who do not wish to or are
                          unsuitable to adopt their foster children are willing to continue to care for
                          them. As noted earlier, our survey found this in 74 percent of the kinship
                          care cases in California that, as of September 15, 1997, had the goal of
                          long-term foster care. In such cases, the court and child welfare agency are
                          reluctant to place a foster child with another family that will and can adopt
                          because the child usually has already lived with the foster caregiver for a
                          substantial period of time. Concurrent planning is designed to help ensure
                          that these permanency issues are considered when deciding in what foster
                          care setting (including kinship care) a child should be placed.
                          Furthermore, the second progress report states that

                          “A successful concurrent planning program is one in which the number of children who
                          enter long-term foster care is significantly reduced (ideally, eliminated), the time the
                          typical child spends in the system is reduced, virtually all young children who do not
                          reunify are adopted rather than placed with legal guardians, the number of children
                          replaced is reduced significantly, the proportion of relinquishments increases, and social
                          workers’ comfort with the quality of adoptive families increases.”


Subsidized Guardianship   HHS has granted both Illinois and California a 5-year waiver of the
                          restriction the Social Security Act places on providing title IV-E
                          maintenance payments to legal guardians. This waiver enables the states
                          to subsidize guardianships using title IV-E funds, thus eliminating the
                          financial disincentive for kinship caregivers to become their foster child’s
                          legal guardian. In its first year, the waiver for California applies only to
                          children 13 years of age or older. In each subsequent year, the minimum




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                           eligibility age increases by 1 year. When the waiver period ends in 5 years,
                           all children who were covered by the waiver will have reached the age of
                           18, so they will no longer require title IV-E foster care payments. Thus,
                           California will not be responsible for any further subsidized guardianship
                           payments for these children once the waiver period has ended. California
                           recently notified HHS that it would like to delay the implementation of this
                           waiver until it has fully analyzed recently passed state legislation that also
                           provides for subsidized guardianship.

                           Illinois has received a title IV-E waiver from HHS enabling it to use title IV-E
                           funds for subsidies to kinship caregivers who agree to assume legal
                           guardianship of their foster children. Unlike California, Illinois’s subsidy is
                           available for children of any age. Thus, when this 5-year waiver expires,
                           Illinois will fund the subsidies for children in this program from state
                           revenues until they reach the age of 18. Although there are no age limits
                           under Illinois’s waiver, to be eligible a child must have been in foster care
                           for 1 year and must have lived with the potential guardian for at least 1
                           year before that guardian can apply for payments under this waiver.

Kinship Support Services   California’s Kinship Support Services Program, described earlier, also
Program                    provides an incentive for kinship caregivers to adopt or assume legal
                           guardianship of their foster children by continuing to make the program’s
                           support services available to them after their foster children leave the
                           system. Thus, these services are available to relatives, whether or not the
                           child in their care is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court or in the
                           child welfare system.

Kinship Care Program       In 1998, California enacted legislation requiring that a plan be developed
                           for a Kinship Care Program that will be separate and distinct from the
                           existing foster care program and will provide services uniquely suited to
                           the needs of children being cared for by their relatives. The Department of
                           Social Services is currently developing a plan for a separate kinship care
                           program.

Kin-GAP Program            California also enacted legislation in 1998 that set up the Kinship
                           Guardianship Assistance Payment program known as Kin-GAP. According
                           to California officials, the Kin-GAP program allows children in kinship
                           foster care to leave the foster care system by having their kinship
                           caregivers become their legal guardians. This program allows children
                           who have been assessed as being in a long-term stable home to exit the
                           foster care system. Until they reach the age of 18, children in this program
                           have medical coverage and maintenance payments are made for each



                           Page 28                                        GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                              B-279199




                              child. The law limits this payment to no more than 85 percent of the title
                              IV-E foster care maintenance payment. By July 1, 1999, the Department of
                              Social Services must determine what the dollar amount of the payment
                              will be.

Redefining Permanency Goals   In order to reaffirm the priority Illinois places on securing permanent
                              homes for foster children, it has established new permanency goals. It has
                              eliminated “long-term relative care” as a permanency goal. Illinois officials
                              noted that caseworkers will thus be forced to more actively seek
                              permanent homes for children in kinship care and thereby prevent them
                              from remaining indefinitely in the foster care system simply because they
                              are being cared for by relatives. New permanency goals include “return
                              home within 5 months,” “return home within a year,” “substitute care
                              pending termination of parental rights,” “adoption,” “guardianship,”
                              “substitute care pending independence,” and “substitute care due to the
                              child’s disabilities or mental illness.”44


                              Despite a number of concerns expressed by some child welfare experts
Conclusions                   about the quality and outcomes of kinship care (the setting in which about
                              one-quarter of the nation’s foster children are placed), the results of our
                              survey of foster care cases in California and Illinois revealed a positive
                              picture but not without some cautionary notes. Parenting-skill
                              assessments by caseworkers in kinship care cases were comparable to
                              parenting-skill assessments by caseworkers in other foster care cases. This
                              was not true for other dimensions of quality. Information from our survey
                              suggests some areas where improvements in kinship care may be needed.
                              Specifically, there may be cause for concern about health and safety,
                              especially with regard to observance of the need for routine dental and eye
                              exams, and about potentially unsafe visits by abusing parents.

                              While California and Illinois apply less stringent standards or approval
                              criteria for kinship caregivers, both states are taking steps to better ensure
                              good quality kinship care. They are raising standards for kinship
                              caregivers and widening the pool of potential kinship caregivers to
                              increase the chances of locating relatives capable of providing good
                              quality care.

                              Since the ultimate goal for foster children is a safe and permanent home,
                              the permanency plan in foster care cases is of paramount concern.
                              Previous research shows that children in kinship care cases stay longer in

                              44
                                Illinois defines “substitute care” as care in any setting within the foster care system.



                              Page 29                                                         GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                  B-279199




                  the system and are less likely to be adopted. In our survey, in California
                  children in kinship care stayed in the system as long as children in other
                  foster care settings and less often had a goal of adoption or guardianship.
                  In contrast, in Illinois children in kinship care stayed in the system a
                  shorter period of time and more often had a goal of adoption or
                  guardianship than children in other foster care settings. Differences in
                  permanency goals and time in foster care, therefore, may depend more on
                  state policies and practices than on foster care setting. Moreover, both
                  states have taken initiatives either to make homes with relatives a viable
                  permanency option or to facilitate permanency planning.


                  We provided a draft of this report to HHS and state child welfare officials in
Agency Comments   California and Illinois for their review. HHS generally agreed with the
                  report and also described a number of activities of its Administration for
                  Children and Families that it believes will help inform both policy and the
                  child welfare field. HHS also provided technical comments, which we
                  incorporated where appropriate. HHS’s response is in appendix VI.

                  California did not provide official comments. However, California child
                  welfare officials provided oral comments, limited to technical issues
                  related to information about their programs. We incorporated their
                  comments where appropriate.

                  Illinois generally agreed with our report. However, state officials believed
                  that the standards applied to other foster care cases with respect to
                  (1) frequency of caseworkers’ visits, (2) criteria for becoming a caregiver,
                  and (3) caregivers’ willingness to enforce parental visitation restrictions
                  should not be applied to kinship care cases. We believe that it is valid to
                  apply the same standards in both kinship and other foster care cases as far
                  as the number of caseworker visits and a caregiver’s willingness to enforce
                  restrictions on parental visits are concerned. Regarding the number of
                  caseworker visits, we applied the standards that California and Illinois
                  have already set, which in both states are the same for kinship and other
                  foster care cases. Protecting a child’s safety should be the overriding
                  concern of both kinship and other foster caregivers. Therefore, when a
                  restriction is placed on parental visits in the interest of a child’s safety, it
                  seems reasonable to expect kinship caregivers to be as willing as other
                  foster caregivers to enforce that restriction. Although we report that the
                  states apply less stringent requirements for becoming a kinship caregiver,
                  we have taken no position on whether the criteria for kinship and other




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B-279199




foster caregivers should be equal. We have modified the report to clarify
this.


We will send copies of this report to the Secretary of HHS and program
officials in California and Illinois. We will also send copies to child welfare
program directors in all other states and make copies available to others
upon request. Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix VII.
If you or your staff have any questions, please contact me at (202) 512-7215
or Clarita A. Mrena, Assistant Director, at (415) 904-2245 or Ann T. Walker,
Evaluator-in-Charge, at (415) 904-2169.

Sincerely yours,




Cynthia M. Fagnoni
Director, Education, Workforce, and
  Income Security Issues




Page 31                                       GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Contents



Letter                                                            1


Appendix I                                                       36
Scope and
Methodology
Appendix II                                                      46
Annotated
Bibliography of
Research on Kinship
Care and Other Foster
Care
Appendix III                                                     53
Results of Research
Comparing Kinship
Care and Other Foster
Care
Appendix IV                                                      67
Our Foster Care
Questionnaire
Appendix V                                                       84
Survey Results
Appendix VI                                                     111
Comments From the
Department of Health
and Human Services




                        Page 32   GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                        Contents




Appendix VII                                                                                      114
Major Contributors to
This Report
Related GAO Products                                                                              116


Tables                  Table I.1: Subquestions on Whether the Foster Care Setting                 37
                          Affects a Child’s Quality of Care
                        Table I.2: Subquestions on Whether the Foster Care Setting                 37
                          Affects a Child’s Time in the System and Permanency
                        Table I.3: Initial and Adjusted Population and Sample Sizes and            39
                          Response Rates for Our Survey of Open Foster Care Cases
                        Table I.4: Summary of the Results of Our Regression Analyses for           42
                          Permanency Goal in California and Illinois
                        Table I.5: Summary of the Results of Our Regression Analyses for           44
                          Length of Time in Foster Care in California and Illinois
                        Table III.1: Did the Foster Child Remain in the Same Community             53
                          or Neighborhood He or She Lived in Before Entering Foster
                          Care?
                        Table III.2: How Safe Was the Foster Caregiver’s Neighborhood?             53
                        Table III.3: Did the Foster Child Maintain Contact With Parents?           54
                        Table III.4: Did the Foster Child Live With Siblings Who Were in           55
                          Foster Care?
                        Table III.5: Did the Foster Child Maintain Contact With Siblings?          55
                        Table III.6: How Many Placements in Foster Care Did the Foster             55
                          Child Have?
                        Table III.7: Did the Foster Child Feel That He or She Was Part of          57
                          the Foster Family?
                        Table III.8: What Was the Foster Caregiver’s Age?                          57
                        Table III.9: What Was the Foster Caregiver’s Marital Status?               58
                        Table III.10: What Was the Foster Caregiver’s Education?                   59
                        Table III.11: What Was the Foster Caregiver’s Health?                      59
                        Table III.12: What Was the Foster Caregiver’s Income?                      60
                        Table III.13: How Safe Was the Foster Caregiver’s Home?                    60
                        Table III.14: What Training or Preparation Did the Foster                  61
                          Caregiver Receive?
                        Table III.15: To What Extent Did the Foster Caregiver Receive              61
                          Services?




                        Page 33                                     GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
          Contents




          Table III.16: How Often Did the Caseworker Visit the Foster                62
            Child?
          Table III.17: What Required Health Services Did the Foster Child           62
            Receive?
          Table III.18: What Permanency Goals Were Pursued in Foster                 62
            Care Cases?
          Table III.19: How Long Did the Child Stay in Foster Care?                  63
          Table III.20: How Long Was the Foster Child in Care Before                 65
            Various Outcomes?
          Table V.1: Sampling Errors for Percentage Estimates                        84
          Table V.2: Characteristics of the Child and the Setting                    85
          Table V.3: Caregiver’s Characteristics                                     87
          Table V.4: Licensing, Caseworkers’ Visits, and Caregiver’s                 88
            Training
          Table V.5: Caregiver’s Performance of Parenting Tasks                      89
          Table V.6: Continuity                                                      95
          Table V.7: Caregiver’s Willingness to Enforce Parents’ Visitation         101
            Restrictions
          Table V.8: Permanency Goals                                               102
          Table V.9: Cases With the Goal of Reunification                           103
          Table V.10: Cases With the Goal of Adoption                               105
          Table V.11: Cases With the Goal of Guardianship                           107
          Table V.12: Cases With the Goal of Long-Term Foster Care                  109


Figures   Figure 1: Children’s Familiarity With Their Caregivers in                  10
            California and Illinois
          Figure 2: Children’s Contact With Family Members and Friends in            12
            California and Illinois
          Figure 3: Children’s Contact With the Communities They Lived in            14
            Before Entering Foster Care in California and Illinois
          Figure 4: Caregivers’ Willingness to Enforce Parental Visitation           16
            Restrictions in California and Illinois
          Figure 5: Goals for California Cases in Which Family                       21
            Reunification Was Not Considered Feasible
          Figure 6: Goals for Illinois Cases in Which Family Reunification           23
            Was Not Considered Feasible




          Page 34                                     GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Contents




Abbreviations

AFDC       Aid to Families with Dependent Children
CWLA       Child Welfare League of America
CWRC       Child Welfare Research Center
HHS        Department of Health and Human Services
TANF       Temporary Assistance for Needy Families


Page 35                                  GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology


                    This appendix contains a detailed description of our review of existing
                    research, interviews with child welfare experts, and survey of open foster
                    care cases in California and Illinois. We conducted this review from
                    April 1997 to December 1998 in accordance with generally accepted
                    government auditing standards.


                    In order to determine what research had been done on kinship care, we
Literature Review   conducted a literature search to identify journal articles, reports,
                    dissertations, and theses written between the beginning of 1990 and the
                    fall of 1998 that addressed at least one of the following two research
                    questions: (1) Does the foster care setting affect the quality of care a child
                    receives? and (2) Does the foster care setting affect time in the system and
                    permanency for the child?45

                    We began our search by reviewing the bibliographies of three major
                    publications addressing the subject of kinship care: (1) Child Welfare
                    League of America, Selected References on Kinship Care 1962-1994;
                    (2) the Transamerica Systems, Inc., 1997 draft “Study of Outcomes for
                    Children Placed in Foster Care with Relatives”; and (3) Child Welfare
                    League of America, Kinship Care: A Natural Bridge, issued in 1994. We also
                    conducted a computerized search for articles written about kinship care
                    after 1994, the latest year covered in two of these bibliographies. To
                    ensure that we omitted no major articles on kinship care, we sent copies
                    of the three bibliographies and the results of the computerized search to
                    child welfare experts both inside and outside GAO for their review. These
                    experts suggested several additional articles. To identify recently
                    published articles while drafting the report, we updated our computerized
                    search and sent our bibliography to two additional experts outside GAO for
                    their review. As a result of this process, we identified more than 150
                    documents for preliminary review.

                    We reviewed these documents to determine whether they met our criteria
                    for inclusion in our study and whether they reported any findings related
                    to our research questions. We excluded a number of documents identified
                    in our preliminary review from our final compilation of the research, most
                    often because they (1) did not contain any research results, (2) did not
                    describe original research but instead summarized others’ research, (3) did
                    not differentiate between kinship and other foster care settings, (4) did not
                    differentiate between children in the child welfare system and children

                    45
                     We chose 1990 as the earliest year for our search because a substantial number of children were in
                    kinship care (31 percent) by 1990.



                    Page 36                                                     GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                     Appendix I
                                     Scope and Methodology




                                     being cared for by relatives outside the child welfare system, (5) did not
                                     include new data that had not already been summarized in another
                                     document written in whole or part by the same authors, and (6) did not
                                     address either of our two research questions.

                                     Tables I.1 and I.2 list the subquestions we used in the literature search and
                                     the tables in appendix III that show the research results for each
                                     subquestion.

Table I.1: Subquestions on Whether
the Foster Care Setting Affects a                                                                                      Table of
Child’s Quality of Care                                                                                               research
                                     Subquestion                                                                        results
                                     Does the foster child live with siblings who are in foster care?                      III.4
                                     Does the foster child maintain contact with siblings?                                 III.5
                                     Does the foster child maintain contact with parents?                                  III.3
                                     Does the foster child remain in the same community or neighborhood he or              III.1
                                     she lived in before entering foster care?
                                     Does the foster child feel that he or she is part of the foster family?               III.7
                                     What is the foster caregiver’s age?                                                   III.8
                                     What is the foster caregiver’s marital status?                                        III.9
                                     What is the foster caregiver’s education?                                            III.10
                                     What is the foster caregiver’s health?                                               III.11
                                     What is the foster caregiver’s income?                                               III.12
                                     What training or preparation did the foster caregiver receive?                       III.14
                                     What required health services does the foster child receive?                         III.17
                                     How often does the caseworker visit the foster child?                                III.16
                                     To what extent does the foster caregiver receive services?                           III.15

Table I.2: Subquestions on Whether
the Foster Care Setting Affects a                                                                                      Table of
Child’s Time in the System and                                                                                        research
Permanency                           Subquestion                                                                        results
                                     How long did the foster child stay in foster care?                                   III.19
                                     How many placements in foster care has the foster child had?                          III.6
                                     How long was the foster child in care before adoption, the goal changed to           III.20
                                     adoption, the child was placed with an adoptive family, or the child was
                                     freed for adoption?
                                     How long was the foster child in care before reunification with his or her           III.20
                                     parents?
                                     What permanency goals are pursued?                                                   III.18




                                     Page 37                                                 GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                        Appendix I
                        Scope and Methodology




                        To obtain a broader perspective on the issues surrounding kinship care,
Interviews With Child   we interviewed researchers, public policy advisers, physicians, attorneys,
Welfare Experts         family court judges, social workers, adoption caseworkers, and
                        representatives of organizations that have an interest in foster care or
                        child welfare in general. We asked for their opinions about the strengths
                        and weaknesses of kinship care, the quality of kinship care, additional
                        safeguards needed in the system, if any, and the effect of kinship care on
                        foster care outcomes. We also interviewed state program officials to
                        obtain information about kinship care in their state and their opinions
                        about kinship care in general.


                        We surveyed open foster care cases in California and Illinois to obtain
Survey Methodology      information about the quality of care that children in kinship care receive
                        relative to that of foster children in other foster care settings, as well as
                        information about the effect of kinship care on permanency goals and the
                        time children spend in foster care.


Survey Design and       Each state selected a simple random sample of open foster care cases for
Limitations             our survey, from all cases that were in its foster care system on June 1,
                        1997, and had been there continuously since at least March 1, 1997. Each
                        sample was intended to represent the entire population of open foster care
                        cases in the state during that time. The samples allowed us to make
                        statements about the experiences of the foster children who made up the
                        foster care population during that time. Because these samples were not
                        drawn from a population of all children who entered the foster care
                        system in a state, however, they do not represent the experiences of all
                        foster children who entered the system. Foster children who spend a
                        relatively short time in the system may be underrepresented in our
                        samples, while children who spend more time in foster care may be
                        overrepresented. Furthermore, while the survey results based on these
                        samples can be generalized to the population of open foster care cases
                        during the specified time in each state, they do not represent the foster
                        care population nationally or in any other state. The foster care cases in
                        California and Illinois combined account for about one-quarter of the
                        entire foster care population nationwide and about half of all kinship care
                        cases.

                        After our samples were drawn, we learned that 22 of the sampled cases
                        from California and 2 from Illinois had not been in foster care
                        continuously from March 1, 1997, through June 1, 1997, and we excluded



                        Page 38                                       GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                   Appendix I
                                   Scope and Methodology




                                   them from our study. We excluded an additional 57 cases in the California
                                   sample and 17 in the Illinois sample because information provided in the
                                   questionnaire indicated that they had not been in the foster care system
                                   continuously from June 1, 1997, through September 15, 1997—the date in
                                   the questionnaire for which caseworkers were asked to provide
                                   information about their cases. We assumed that, if all the questionnaires
                                   for the cases in each of the initial samples had been returned to us,
                                   additional cases would have fallen into these two categories. We used the
                                   proportions of each of these types of cases among respondents to estimate
                                   how many nonrespondents would have fallen into these two categories.
                                   Thus, we reduced our initial samples by 25 cases in California and 6 cases
                                   in Illinois. We also adjusted each state’s initial population size by the same
                                   proportions. The initial and adjusted population and sample sizes and
                                   survey response rates are shown by state in table I.3. The adjusted
                                   populations are our best estimates of the number of foster care cases that
                                   were in the system continuously from March 1, 1997, through
                                   September 15, 1997.

Table I.3: Initial and Adjusted
Population and Sample Sizes and                                                                                                   Survey
Response Rates for Our Survey of                     Initial        Initial      Adjusted  Adjusted     Survey                  response
Open Foster Care Cases                          populationa        sample         sample populationb responses                       rate
                                   California       100,044             401             297         74,133             227                76%
                                   Illinois          51,967             401             376         48,745             292                78%
                                   a
                                    The initial population is the state foster care population as of June 1, 1997, for children who had
                                   been in foster care since at least March 1, 1997.
                                   b
                                    The adjusted population is the number of foster care children who were in the state’s system
                                   continuously from March 1, 1997, through September 15, 1997.




Data Collection                    We designed a mail questionnaire that asked caseworkers for information,
                                   as of September 15, 1997, about the individual foster care cases they were
                                   assigned to. We chose this date because it fell just before the date the
                                   questionnaires were scheduled to be mailed out, so when caseworkers
                                   received the questionnaire they were likely to still recall the facts in a case
                                   as of September 15, 1997. Our survey objectives were to collect (1) data
                                   not in other research, (2) data more directly related to and thus a better
                                   indication of the quality of foster care than the information in other
                                   research, and (3) some of the same data as in other research because the
                                   foster care population we surveyed and the time covered by our survey
                                   were not the same as those in other research. Examples of information our
                                   questionnaire collected that we did not find in existing research include



                                   Page 39                                                      GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                Appendix I
                                Scope and Methodology




                            •   foster children’s knowledge of their foster caregivers before entering
                                foster care;
                            •   foster caregivers’ history of child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, or
                                drug abuse;
                            •   foster caregivers’ parenting skills;
                            •   health services foster children received; and
                            •   the likelihood that foster caregivers would enforce restrictions on parental
                                visits and thus protect children from abusing parents.

                                We pretested the questionnaire with a number of foster care caseworkers
                                in California and Illinois and revised it on the basis of the pretest results.46
                                We mailed a questionnaire for each case in our samples to the manager in
                                the office handling that case, who was instructed to give it to the
                                caseworker assigned to that case. The caseworker was asked to respond
                                to the questionnaire with regard to that case. We conducted multiple
                                follow-ups with office managers and caseworkers, by both mail and
                                telephone, encouraging them to respond. In addition to using a mail
                                questionnaire to collect information about foster care cases in our
                                samples, we received an automated file from each state that contained
                                administrative data on each sampled case from that state. The states rely
                                on these data in managing their foster care programs. We did not evaluate
                                the validity of these databases.


Estimates of Foster Cases       Our estimates of the number of foster care cases in each state that would
Subject to Termination of       be subject to the requirement in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of
Parental Rights                 1997 to file a petition to terminate parental rights were based on the
                                number of cases in our samples in which a child had been in foster care
Requirements                    for at least 17 months as of September 15, 1997. We used 17 months, rather
                                than 15 months as specified in the law, because the clock for determining
                                whether a case is subject to the termination of parental rights requirement
                                begins running on the date the child was adjudicated abused or neglected
                                or 60 days after the date the child was actually removed from the parents’
                                custody, whichever came first. Since we did not know the adjudication
                                date of the cases in our surveys, we used 17 months as a conservative
                                estimate of the time the case would be subject to the requirement.


Analysis of Survey Data         Most of the conclusions we drew from this survey were based on a
                                comparison within each state of survey responses for cases in kinship care
                                and cases in other foster care settings. In each state, we placed each case

                                46
                                  Appendix IV contains a copy of the final questionnaire.



                                Page 40                                                     GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                        Appendix I
                        Scope and Methodology




                        in one of these two groups, depending on the caseworker’s response to a
                        question about the type of foster care setting in that case. We placed cases
                        in the kinship care category only when the caseworkers responded that
                        the foster children were in settings that “your state classifies as kinship or
                        relative care.” We placed all other cases in the “other foster care setting”
                        category. About half the cases fell into the kinship care group in each
                        state. The “other foster care setting” category contained cases in settings
                        such as substitute care, specialized care, institutional care, group homes,
                        and traditional foster family homes. The results of these analyses are
                        contained in appendix V.

                        We examined the relationship between type of setting and other variables
                        in the questionnaire by generating crosstabular tables and statistically
                        testing to determine whether any differences between two variables in a
                        table were significant at the .05 level. We calculated most of the
                        percentage estimates we reported in the body of this report and in
                        appendix V using as the base the number of cases for which there was a
                        response to a variable other than “don’t know.” For analyses that involved
                        a child’s date of entry into foster care, we used the date that was recorded
                        in the state’s administrative data file. Thus, our calculation of the average
                        length of time our cross-section of foster children in each state spent in
                        foster care up until September 15, 1997, was based on administrative
                        rather than survey data.

Multivariate Analyses   In addition to using crosstabulations to identify the relationship, if any,
                        between two variables, we performed multivariate analyses. These
                        analyses tested for associations, at the .05 significance level, between
                        foster care setting—that is, kinship care versus other foster care
                        setting—and permanency goal, as well as the time children spent in foster
                        care, while taking into account other variables—namely, a foster child’s
                        age at entry into foster care, gender, and race and the parents’ history of
                        drug or alcohol abuse—that might also influence the permanency goal or
                        time in the system.47 For our multivariate analyses of the relationship
                        between foster care setting and permanency goal, we constructed a
                        permanency goal variable by ranking long-term foster care, guardianship,
                        and adoption according to the extent to which each goal allowed children
                        and their families to be independent of the foster care system. Long-term
                        foster care was considered least independent and assigned a value of “0,”
                        guardianship more independent and assigned a value of “1,” and adoption
                        most independent and assigned a value of “2.” We used linear

                        47
                         Parents who, according to our survey, were required to undergo treatment for either drug or alcohol
                        abuse were considered to have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.



                        Page 41                                                     GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                       Appendix I
                                       Scope and Methodology




                                       regression—specifically the ordinary least squares method—to examine
                                       the relationship between foster care setting and permanency goal in foster
                                       care cases in each state, while taking into account the influence other
                                       variables may have had on a permanency goal. We found that there was no
                                       significant relationship between a child’s race or gender and his or her
                                       permanency goal in either state. Therefore, we excluded race and gender
                                       from the additional multivariate analyses we conducted.

                                       A regression analysis for cases in California indicated that foster care
                                       setting and a child’s age at entry into foster care were both related to
                                       permanency goal. Specifically, children in kinship care in California were
                                       more likely to have long-term foster care as the goal, and children in other
                                       settings were more likely to have guardianship or adoption as the goal.
                                       Our analyses also indicated that children who entered foster care in
                                       California at an early age were more likely than those who entered at a
                                       later age to have guardianship or adoption as the goal.

                                       A regression analysis for cases in Illinois indicated that foster care setting,
                                       child’s age at entry into foster care, and having a parent with a history of
                                       drug or alcohol abuse were all related to permanency goal. Specifically, in
                                       Illinois, children in kinship care and children who had entered foster care
                                       at an early age were more likely to have guardianship or adoption as the
                                       goal than children in other foster care settings. We also found that children
                                       who had a parent with a history of drug or alcohol abuse were more likely
                                       to have the goal of guardianship or adoption than children who had
                                       parents with no history of drug or alcohol abuse. See table I.4 for a
                                       summary of the results of our regression analyses related to permanency
                                       goals.

Table I.4: Summary of the Results of
Our Regression Analyses for                                                                        Variation explained
Permanency Goal in California and      Variable                             Beta       p value         (r2 contributed)
Illinois                               California
                                          Age at entry                       –.33          .00                      .10
                                          Kinship care                       –.18          .02                      .03
                                          Parent in drug treatment           –.01          .89                      .00
                                                                      2
                                          Total variation explained (r )                                            .13
                                       Illinois
                                          Age at entry                       –.42          .00                      .16
                                          Kinship care                        .19          .00                      .04
                                          Parent in drug treatment           –.13          .03                      .02
                                          Total variation explained (r2)                                            .22




                                       Page 42                                       GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




We also performed a regression analysis to determine the relationship, if
any, between foster care setting and time in foster care, taking into
account the influence of permanency goal, a child’s age at entry into foster
care, race, gender, and parents’ history of drug or alcohol abuse. We found
that there was no significant relationship between a child’s race, gender,
or having a parent with a history of drug or alcohol abuse and time in
foster care in either state. Therefore, we excluded these variables from the
additional multivariate analyses we conducted regarding time in foster
care.

Our regression analysis for cases in California indicated that there was no
relationship between foster care setting and time in foster care. The goal
of adoption and a child’s age at entry into foster care, however, were both
related to time in the system. Specifically, adoption as the goal explained
more than 12 percent of the variation in the length of time children spent
in foster care. Children with adoption as the goal spent 47 fewer months,
on average, in foster care than children with some other goal. A child’s age
at entry explained almost 6 percent of the variation in the length of time
spent in foster care. For each additional year of age, children spent an
average of 2.4 fewer months in foster care.

Among foster care cases in Illinois, we found that both foster care setting
and the goal of adoption were related to the length of time children spent
in foster care. Specifically, kinship care and adoption explained 3 percent
and 1.4 percent of the variation in the amount of time children spent in
foster care, respectively. Children in kinship care spent about 9 fewer
months in foster care, on average, than children in other foster care
settings. Similarly, children with the goal of adoption spent about 10 fewer
months in the system, on average, than children with some other goal. See
table I.5 for a summary of the results of our regression analyses related to
the length of time in foster care.




Page 43                                      GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                        Appendix I
                                        Scope and Methodology




Table I.5: Summary of the Results of
Our Regression Analyses for Length of                                                  Slope                          Variation explained
Time in Foster Care in California and   Variable                                          (b) Beta p value                (r2 contributed)
Illinois                                California
                                            Age at entry                                 –2.4 –.26          .00                             .06
                                            Kinship care                                 –8.1 –.10          .15                             .01
                                            Adoptiona                                   –47.0 –.42          .00                             .12
                                                                         2
                                            Total variation explained (r )                                  .19
                                        Illinois
                                            Age at entry                                 –.80 –.12          .07                            .013
                                            Kinship care                                –9.00 –.15          .02                            .030
                                            Adoption                                  –10.10 –.17           .01                            .014
                                            Total variation explained (r2)                                                                 .057
                                        a
                                         In an earlier regression analysis, we found that both the goals of long-term foster care and
                                        guardianship were not significantly related to time spent in foster care. Therefore, we excluded
                                        these variables from the regression analyses summarized in this table.



Statistical Precision of                Because the estimates we reported from our survey were based on
Estimates                               samples of foster care cases, a margin of error or imprecision surrounds
                                        them. This imprecision is usually expressed as a sampling error at a given
                                        confidence level. We calculated sampling errors for estimates based on
                                        our survey at the 95-percent confidence level.

                                        The sampling errors for percentage estimates we cited in this report varied
                                        but did not exceed plus or minus 15 percentage points. This means that if
                                        we drew 100 independent samples from each of our populations—samples
                                        with the same specifications as those we used in this study—in 95 of these
                                        samples the actual value in the population would fall within no more than
                                        plus or minus 15 percentage points of our estimate.

                                        The sampling error for our estimates of the average number of visits by
                                        caseworkers in each state never exceeded plus or minus 1.3 visits.
                                        Sampling errors for our estimates of the average length of time foster
                                        children in each state spent in the system did not exceed plus or minus 8.7
                                        months. Sampling errors for our estimates of the number of foster care
                                        children in each state who spent 17 months or more in the system did not
                                        exceed plus or minus 2,650 children. Finally, in appendix V, the sampling
                                        error for estimates in each state of the (1) average number of a foster
                                        child’s siblings never exceeded plus or minus 0.5 siblings, (2) average age
                                        at which a child entered foster care never exceeded plus or minus 0.84




                                        Page 44                                                     GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




years, and (3) average age of children in foster care never exceeded plus
or minus 0.92 years.

Because of the relatively small number of responses in some of the tables
in appendix V, and the resulting imprecision of any population estimates
that would be based on those responses, tables in appendix V with fewer
than 41 cases present only the number of sample cases for which each
response was given. We made no population estimates concerning those
responses.




Page 45                                     GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix II

Annotated Bibliography of Research on
Kinship Care and Other Foster Care

              This appendix contains studies we identified that compare kinship care
              and other foster care. A brief description of study design and methodology
              follows each item. Appendix I describes how we identified research in this
              area and our criteria for including a study in this bibliography. Appendix
              III contains the results of analyses from the studies listed here.

              Benedict, Mary I., and R.B. White. “Factors Associated with Foster Care
              Length of Stay.” Child Welfare, Vol. 70, No. 1 (1991), pp. 45-58.

              This article contains the results of a longitudinal study of children in three
              urban and suburban jurisdictions in Maryland who entered foster care for
              the first time between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1983. Data were
              obtained from the case records of a random sample of 689 of these
              children and covered a period that began the month a child entered foster
              care and ended in June 1986. A number of factors, such as the parents’
              ability to care for and raise children and foster care placement with
              relatives, were examined to identify any relationship between them and
              the amount of time children spent in foster care.

              Berrick, J.D., R.P. Barth, and B. Needell. “A Comparison of Kinship Foster
              Homes and Foster Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as
              Family Preservation.” Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos.
              1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.

              The researchers described the characteristics of a two-stage, random
              sample of the 88,000 children in foster care in California between
              January 1988 and the date when the article was written in 1991. A
              screening questionnaire was mailed to the foster parents of each of the
              4,234 children in the initial sample. This sample was split evenly between
              traditional and relative foster care placements. For the screening
              questionnaire, foster parents responded in 1,178 (28 percent) of the cases
              sampled. In 600 of these cases (246 relative foster care placements and 354
              traditional foster care placements), the foster parents completed a second
              questionnaire by either telephone or mail. If they cared for more than one
              foster child, they were asked to answer the questions for one child older
              than 2 who had resided in their home for at least 6 months. They provided
              information about the child’s physical and mental health, the types of
              services the child received, and their own perceptions of the child welfare
              agency and caseworkers. Although the gender, age, and ethnicity of
              children in the ultimate sample were similar to those of children in the
              total population, the researchers acknowledged that there was no way to
              determine the representativeness of the sample of providers.



              Page 46                                       GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix II
Annotated Bibliography of Research on
Kinship Care and Other Foster Care




Berrick, J.D., and others. Assessment, Support, and Training for Kinship
Care and Foster Care: An Empirically-Based Curriculum. Berkeley, Calif.:
University of California at Berkeley, Child Welfare Research Center, 1998.

A chapter in this curriculum reported the results of a study in which a
sample of 161 kin and 96 nonkin caregivers living in the San Francisco Bay
Area were interviewed in their homes. The study compared the two groups
of caregivers on demographics, the quality of the relationship between
caregiver and child, home safety, neighborhood safety, and other factors
related to the quality of care the children received.

Courtney, M.E. “Factors Associated with the Reunification of Foster
Children with Their Families.” Social Service Review, March 1994, pp.
81-108.

This study examined the relationship between factors such as a child’s
age, type of foster care placement (kinship or nonkinship), reason for
removal, and the probability that the child would return to his or her
parents. The results were based on statewide administrative data on a
random sample of 8,748 of the approximately 88,000 children who entered
the foster care system in California for the first time between January 1988
and May 1991. The author cited as study limitations the short time period
covered by the data, the limited amount of data recorded for each case,
and the quality of items recorded in the database.

Gebel, Timothy J. “Kinship Care and Non-Relative Family Foster Care: A
Comparison of Caregiver Attributes and Attitudes.” Child Welfare, Vol. 75,
No. 1 (1996), pp. 5-18.

This study compared the demographics, attitudes, and perceptions of
relative and nonrelative foster parents in one urban county in a
southeastern state in 1993. The results were based on responses to a
questionnaire mailed to the foster parents in random samples of 140 of the
450 relative foster care cases and 140 of the approximately 300 nonrelative
foster care cases in that county at that time. Foster parents were asked
about their attitudes toward the use of corporal punishment and their
perceptions regarding children in their care, the behavior of these
children, and the support they received from child welfare agencies.
Foster parents in 111 of the traditional placements and 82 of the
placements with relatives responded to the survey.




Page 47                                      GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix II
Annotated Bibliography of Research on
Kinship Care and Other Foster Care




Iglehart, Alfreda P. “Kinship Foster Care: Placement Service and Outcome
Issues.” Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp.
107-22.

This article described the results of a study that compared selected
characteristics of adolescents in kinship care to those of adolescents not
in kinship foster care. Between February and July 1988, caseworkers in
Los Angeles County extracted this information from the case files of all
1,642 children aged 16 or older who were in foster care during that period.
Data for about 990 adolescents—352 in kinship care and 638 in traditional
foster care—were analyzed for this study. Among the characteristics
compared were gender, race and ethnicity, reason for removal, total
number of placements, length of time in current placement, and degree of
agency case monitoring.

Le Prohn, Nicole S. “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation
and Agency Satisfaction.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington,
Seattle, Washington, 1993.

This researcher examined the relationship between relative and
nonrelative placement with respect to what foster parents believed their
role to be, what motivated them to become foster parents, and how
satisfied they were with the foster care agency. Associations between
foster placement type and the children’s behavior and amount of contact
with their parents were also examined. The foster families selected for the
study were families in the Casey Family Program, a long-term foster care
program with offices in 13 states for children who are unable to be
reunited with their birth parents and are unlikely to be adopted. Results
were based on a random sample of about 175 nonrelative foster homes
selected from all nonrelative foster homes in the Casey program in 1992.
That group was compared with the entire population of about 130 relative
foster homes in the Casey program during 1992. Data were collected from
foster parents using a mail questionnaire and a telephone interview.
Eighty-two relative foster homes and 98 nonrelative homes were included
in the analysis.

Le Prohn, Nicole S., and Peter J. Pecora. Research Report Series: The
Casey Foster Parent Study Research Summary. Seattle, Wash.: Casey
Family Program, 1994.

Same description as for Le Prohn dissertation above.




Page 48                                     GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix II
Annotated Bibliography of Research on
Kinship Care and Other Foster Care




Magruder, Joseph. “Characteristics of Relative and Non-Relative
Adoptions by California Public Adoption Agencies.” Children and Youth
Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 123-31.

The author compared adoptions in California by relatives and nonrelatives
with respect to children’s gender, ethnicity, and time in placement before
adoption and the characteristics of the adoptive parents and their
households. Study results were based on the 3,214 public adoptions that
took place during that state’s fiscal year 1992, for which data were
available.

Needell, B. “Placement Stability and Permanence for Children Entering
Foster Care as Infants.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at
Berkeley, Berkeley, California, 1996.

A number of samples were drawn for this study from a longitudinal
database containing all cases in the California Foster Care Information
System from 1988 through 1994. The primary sample consisted of all
43,066 children in California who entered foster care before their first
birthday and between 1988 and 1994. Analysis examined the types of
placement, length of stay, reasons for infants’ reentry into foster care after
reunification, and factors that may have led to an infant’s adoption or
reunification.

Needell B., and others. Performance Indicators for Child Welfare Services
in California: 1994. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California at Berkeley,
School of Social Welfare, Child Welfare Research Center, 1995.

The results of this study were based on a longitudinal database of 233,000
cases in the California Foster Care Information System. These children
were in foster care during 1988 or had entered care before the beginning of
1995. The percentage of children in different types of placements who
exited the system by reunification, adoption, guardianship, and
emancipation was reported, as well as the median length of the children’s
first stay in foster care by foster care placement type. The authors also
examined the effect of ethnicity, age at time of entry, and reasons for
removal from the home on the relationships between placement type and
foster care outcome and between placement type and length of stay.

Needell B., and others. Performance Indicators for Child Welfare Services
in California: 1996. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California at Berkeley,
School of Social Welfare, Child Welfare Research Center, 1997.



Page 49                                       GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix II
Annotated Bibliography of Research on
Kinship Care and Other Foster Care




In this study, the longitudinal database used in the 1995 Needell and others
study cited above was expanded to 300,000 children who were in foster
care during 1988 or had entered care before 1997. The analyses were
similar to those in the 1995 study.

Poindexter, Garthia M. “Services Utilization by Foster Parents and
Relatives.” Master of Social Work thesis, California State University, Long
Beach, California, 1996.

The author reported on the use of social services by relative and
nonrelative foster parents in Los Angeles County based on 40 foster care
cases selected at random from the population of children who entered
foster care in that county during 1994. Of the 40 cases, 22 were relative
foster care placements and 18 were nonrelative foster care placements.

Scannapieco, Maria, Rebecca L. Hegar, and Catherine McAlpine. “Kinship
Care and Foster Care: A Comparison of Characteristics and Outcomes.”
Families in Societies, Vol. 78, No. 5 (1997), pp. 480-88.

From case file information for a cross-section of children in foster care in
Baltimore County on March 23, 1993, the researchers attempted to
determine whether there were differences between kinship and other
foster care placements in terms of permanency planning goals. Of the 106
children sampled, 47 were in kinship care and 59 were in other types of
placements.

Testa, Mark F. Home of Relative (HMR) Program in Illinois Interim Report.
Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago, School of Social Service
Administration, 1993.

The author used a database that included information about all children in
foster care in Illinois between fiscal years 1965 and 1992 to establish
trends in kinship care placements in Illinois and to describe various
characteristics of foster children and their foster care outcomes.

Testa, Mark F. “Kinship Care in Illinois.” In J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and N.
Gilbert (eds.), Child Welfare Research Review, Vol. 2. New York: Columbia
University Press, 1997. Pp. 101-29.

Focusing on reunification and discharge rates among children in foster
care in Illinois between fiscal years 1976 and 1992, the researcher




Page 50                                       GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix II
Annotated Bibliography of Research on
Kinship Care and Other Foster Care




examined the effect of selected factors such as age, race, and type of
foster care placement on the likelihood of reunification or discharge.

Testa, Mark F. “Professional Foster Care: A Future Worth Pursuing?” Child
Welfare: Special Edition on Family Foster Care in the 21st Century.
Forthcoming.

This study examined the relationship between children’s placement type
and whether or not they (1) remained close to their community of origin,
(2) were placed with other siblings in the same household, and
(3) achieved permanency or stayed in the same foster care setting. The
researcher used administrative data from Cook County, Illinois, for three
different foster care recruitment programs and two random samples, one
of 995 kinship care and one of 852 traditional foster care placements. The
samples included only placements between December 1, 1994, and
September 30, 1996. Administrative data through September 30, 1997, were
used to determine whether or not the children stayed in one foster care
setting or left the foster care system.

Thornton, Jesse L. “Permanency Planning for Children in Kinship Foster
Homes.” Child Welfare, Vol. 70, No. 5 (1991), pp. 593-601.

Three surveys were conducted in this study. Semi-structured interviews
were administered to a random sample of 20 kinship caregivers in New
York City to determine their attitudes toward adoption. Eighty-six foster
care caseworkers in New York City completed questionnaires that asked
for their perceptions about kinship caregivers’ willingness to adopt.
Finally, to compare permanency goals for children in kinship care to those
for children in traditional care, the records from 95 active kinship foster
care cases in April 1985 were examined along with statistics from an
administrative database.

U.S. General Accounting Office. Foster Care: Children’s Experiences
Linked to Various Factors; Better Data Needed, GAO/HRD-91-64. Washington,
D.C.: Sept. 11, 1991.

Data on children who entered or left foster care in 1986 in Georgia, Illinois,
New York, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas and Los Angeles County
and New York City were analyzed for the relationship of age, ethnicity,
gender, location, reason for entry, and foster care placement type to length
of stay. For Georgia, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas, computerized
data files of the case records for all children entering or leaving foster care



Page 51                                       GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix II
Annotated Bibliography of Research on
Kinship Care and Other Foster Care




during 1986 were used. For New York, Illinois, Los Angeles County, and
New York City, random samples of children who had been discharged
from foster care during 1986 were used; the New York and Illinois samples
each contained 1,488 children, the sample for Los Angeles County
contained 209 children, and the sample for New York City contained 130
children.

U.S. General Accounting Office. Foster Care: Health Needs of Many Young
Children Are Unknown and Unmet, GAO/HEHS-95-114. Washington, D.C.:
May 26, 1995.

A random sample of 137 case records of foster children who had been in
either kinship or traditional care exclusively was selected from the case
records of all foster children younger than 3 years old in Los Angeles
County and New York City during 1991 to examine the relationship
between placement type and the receipt of health services by foster
children in this age group.

U.S. General Accounting Office. Foster Care: Services to Prevent
Out-of-Home Placements Are Limited by Funding Barriers, GAO/HRD-93-76.
Washington, D.C.: June 29, 1993.

In this study of the statutory and fiscal barriers the states faced in
delivering child welfare services, the researchers used caseload data for
the last day of either calendar or fiscal year 1992 in California, Michigan,
and New York to describe trends in foster care and child welfare services.

Wulczyn, F.H., and R.M. George. “Foster Care in New York and Illinois:
The Challenge of Rapid Change.” Social Service Review, June 1992, pp.
278-94.

Aggregated administrative data on all children in New York’s child welfare
system and similar data from Illinois were used to compare child welfare
trends in these two states from 1983 through 1989. Shifts in total caseload
size, average age of children entering foster care, and the number of
relative foster care placements were examined. The researchers also
determined the proportion of children admitted to foster care during 1988
in each state who were (1) discharged within 12 months, (2) discharged
between 12 and 24 months, and (3) still in the system after 24 months.
They compared the proportions in kinship care placements with those in
nonkinship care placements.




Page 52                                      GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix III

Results of Research Comparing Kinship
Care and Other Foster Care

                                           This appendix contains the results of analyses from the studies we
                                           identified that compared kinship care and other foster care. These results
                                           are presented in tables organized by research question. Sources are noted
                                           after each table. In some instances, the results in the tables were based on
                                           data from entire populations of foster children. When they were based on
                                           data from samples of foster children, if the researcher reported that a
                                           difference between kinship and other foster care was statistically
                                           significant, the significance level is noted in parentheses in the table.
                                           Appendix II contains a description of the design and methodology of the
                                           studies in this appendix.

Table III.1: Did the Foster Child Remain
in the Same Community or                   Of nonemergency first placements in Chicago,
Neighborhood He or She Lived in            percentage located in the same community or
Before Entering Foster Care?               neighborhood in which the parents or guardians                                             Other foster
                                           resideda                                                             Kinship care         care settings
                                           1991                                                                            84.0                   50.2
                                           1989                                                                            82.0                   53.0
                                           1987                                                                            76.0                   59.0
                                           a
                                           Mark F. Testa, “Kinship Care in Illinois,” in J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and N. Gilbert (eds.), Child
                                           Welfare Research Review, Vol. 2 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), pp. 101-29.



Table III.2: How Safe Was the Foster
Caregiver’s Neighborhood?                                                                                                             Other foster
                                                                                                                Kinship care         care settings
                                           Percentage of cases in which the interviewer thought                              22                     6
                                           the foster caregiver’s neighborhood was dangerousa
                                           (.001)
                                           a
                                            J.D. Berrick and others, Assessment, Support, and Training for Kinship Care and Foster Care: An
                                           Empirically-Based Curriculum (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California at Berkeley, Child Welfare
                                           Research Center, 1998).




                                           Page 53                                                        GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                    Appendix III
                                    Results of Research Comparing Kinship
                                    Care and Other Foster Care




Table III.3: Did the Foster Child
Maintain Contact With Parents?                                                                                            Other foster
                                                                                                     Kinship care        care settings
                                    Average number of times foster child visited parents
                                    in the past yeara
                                        Mother (.001)                                                         34.89                  3.82
                                        Father                                                                16.25                  2.07
                                    Percentage of children who had contact with their
                                    mothers (.01) or fathersa
                                    Did not see parents in past 12 months
                                        Mother                                                                 19.5                  41.8
                                        Father                                                                 37.8                  39.8
                                    Saw parents at least once in the past 12 months
                                        Mother                                                                 56.1                  37.8
                                        Father                                                                 36.6                  23.5
                                    Parents’ whereabouts were unknown
                                        Mother                                                                   7.3                 11.2
                                        Father                                                                 18.3                  28.6
                                    Parents were deceased
                                        Mother                                                                 17.1                   9.2
                                        Father                                                                   7.3                  8.2
                                                                                             b
                                    Percentage of foster children who saw their parents
                                        At least once a month                                                    56                   32
                                        More than four times a month (.01)                                       19                    3
                                    a
                                     Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                    Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.
                                    b
                                     J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
                                    Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
                                    Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.




                                    Page 54                                                      GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                         Appendix III
                                         Results of Research Comparing Kinship
                                         Care and Other Foster Care




Table III.4: Did the Foster Child Live
With Siblings Who Were in Foster                                                                                   Kinship Other foster
Care?                                                                                                                 care care settings
                                         Percentage of foster children placed with siblings also in                    54.2               28.6
                                         foster carea (.01)
                                         Of the foster families with more than one foster child,
                                         percentage in which siblings were placed togetherb
                                             Four or more siblings (.05)                                                    19               7
                                             At least two siblings (.001)                                                   95              52
                                         Percentage of children placed with siblingsc                                       45              41
                                         a
                                          Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                         Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.
                                         b
                                          J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
                                         Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
                                         Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.
                                         c
                                          Maria Scannapieco, Rebecca L. Hegar, and Catherine McAlpine, “Kinship Care and Foster Care:
                                         A Comparison of Characteristics and Outcomes,” Families in Societies, Vol. 78, No. 5 (1997), pp.
                                         480-88.



Table III.5: Did the Foster Child
Maintain Contact With Siblings?                                                                                    Kinship Other foster
                                                                                                                      care care settings
                                         Average number of times foster children visited their                         90.2               13.8
                                         siblings in the past yeara (.001)
                                         Percentage of foster children who visited their siblings at                   59.7               63.4
                                         least once a yeara
                                         a
                                          Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                         Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.



Table III.6: How Many Placements in
Foster Care Did the Foster Child Have?                                                                          Kinship           Other foster
                                                                                                                   care          care settings
                                         Average number of placementsa
                                             In care less than 30 days                                              0.81                  1.76
                                             In care 30 days or more (.001)                                         2.42                  4.58
                                             Total placements (.01)                                                 3.24                  6.30
                                         Percentage of foster children withb (.01)
                                             1 placement                                                              49                    37
                                             5 or more placements                                                       9                   14
                                         Percentage of foster children who entered care between 1988 and 1990 in California and
                                         had placements within 4 years after entryc
                                         Placed in a family
                                             1 placement                                                            62.3                  56.9
                                                                                                                                   (continued)


                                         Page 55                                                    GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix III
Results of Research Comparing Kinship
Care and Other Foster Care




                                                                          Kinship        Other foster
                                                                             care       care settings
    2 placements                                                              26.2                 24.2
    3 placements                                                                7.5                10.3
    4 or more placements                                                        4.1                 8.7
Open cases
    1 placement                                                               53.5                 28.5
    2 placements                                                              24.5                 24.6
    3 placements                                                              11.6                 17.4
    4 or more placements                                                      10.4                 29.5
Percentage of foster children who had at least one                              22                  34
placement before current placementd (.001)
Percentage of infants in foster care who entered care between 1988 and 1990 in
California and had a given number of placements who were still in care 4 years latere
Throughout California excluding Los Angeles
    1 placement                                                               38.0                 22.1
    2 placements                                                              34.1                 34.8
    3 placements                                                              13.7                 19.6
    4 placements                                                                8.5                10.3
    5 placements                                                                5.6                13.1
Los Angeles
    1 placement                                                               59.9                 44.6
    2 placements                                                              26.3                 30.3
    3 placements                                                                8.4                14.5
    4 placements                                                                3.6                 6.6
    5 placements                                                                1.9                 4.0

a
 Nicole S. Le Prohn and Peter J. Pecora, Research Report Series: The Casey Foster Parent Study
Research Summary (Seattle, Wash.: Casey Family Program, 1994).
b
 Alfreda P. Iglehart, “Kinship Foster Care: Placement Service and Outcome Issues,” Children and
Youth Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 107-22.
c
 B. Needell and others, Performance Indicators for Child Welfare Services in California: 1994
(Berkeley, Calif.: University of California at Berkeley, School of Social Welfare, Child Welfare
Research Center, 1995).
d
 J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
Services Review, Vo. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.
e
 B. Needell, “Placement Stability and Permanence for Children Entering Foster Care as Infants,”
Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California, 1996.




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                                         Appendix III
                                         Results of Research Comparing Kinship
                                         Care and Other Foster Care




Table III.7: Did the Foster Child Feel
That He or She Was Part of the Foster    Percentage of foster children with different degrees of
Family?                                  integration according to foster parents (.001) and social                 Kinship Other foster
                                         workersa (.001)                                                              care care settings
                                         Children who felt that they were very much part of the foster family
                                             Foster parents                                                            79.0               50.0
                                             Social workers                                                            46.3               15.3
                                         Children who felt somewhat like a foster child
                                             Foster parents                                                            14.8               29.6
                                             Social workers                                                            37.8               25.5
                                         Children who felt very much like a foster child
                                             Foster parents                                                              6.2              20.4
                                             Social workers                                                            15.9               59.2
                                         a
                                          Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                         Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.



Table III.8: What Was the Foster
Caregiver’s Age?                                                                                                   Kinship Other foster
                                                                                                                      care care settings
                                         Average age of foster caregivers in years
                                             Foster fathersa                                                          50.28          48.05
                                                               a
                                             Foster mothers (.01)                                                     50.23          46.26
                                             Male foster caregiversb (.05)                                               50                47
                                                                       b
                                             Female foster caregivers (.05)                                              48                46
                                         Percentage of female foster caregivers 55 years of age or                       29                19
                                         olderb (.01)
                                         Percentage of primary female foster caregivers by agec (.005)
                                             Younger than 18 years                                                       1.2               0.0
                                             Between 18 and 25                                                           2.5               1.9
                                             Between 26 and 40                                                         11.1               32.4
                                             Between 41 and 60                                                         64.2               57.4
                                             Older than 60                                                             21.0                8.3
                                         a
                                          Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                         Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.
                                         b
                                          J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
                                         Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
                                         Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.
                                         c
                                          Timothy J. Gebel, “Kinship Care and Non-Relative Family Foster Care: A Comparison of
                                         Caregiver Attributes and Attitudes,” Child Welfare, Vol. 75, No. 1 (1996), pp. 5-18.




                                         Page 57                                                    GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
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                                   Results of Research Comparing Kinship
                                   Care and Other Foster Care




Table III.9: What Was the Foster
Caregiver’s Marital Status?                                                                                  Kinship Other foster
                                                                                                                care care settings
                                   Percentage of married foster caregiversa (.05)                                  64                 83
                                   Percentage of single foster caregiversb (.001)                                  52                 24
                                                                                            c
                                   Percentage of married foster caregivers by gender
                                       Foster mothers (.01)                                                     46.25          80.41
                                       Foster fathers                                                           92.50          97.50
                                   Percentage of primary female foster caregivers by marital statusd
                                       Widowed                                                                   17.3               11.1
                                       Separated                                                                 12.3                5.5
                                       Divorced                                                                  19.8               16.7
                                       Married                                                                   38.3               55.6
                                       Never married                                                             12.3               11.1
                                   a
                                    Maria Scannapieco, Rebecca L. Hegar, and Catherine McAlpine, “Kinship Care and Foster Care:
                                   A Comparison of Characteristics and Outcomes,” Families in Societies, Vol. 78, No. 5 (1997), pp.
                                   480-88.
                                   b
                                    J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
                                   Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
                                   Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.
                                   c
                                    Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                   Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.
                                   d
                                    Timothy J. Gebel, “Kinship Care and Non-Relative Family Foster Care: A Comparison of
                                   Caregiver Attributes and Attitudes,” Child Welfare, Vol. 75, No. 1 (1996), pp. 5-18.




                                   Page 58                                                      GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
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                                    Results of Research Comparing Kinship
                                    Care and Other Foster Care




Table III.10: What Was the Foster
Caregiver’s Education?                                                                                        Kinship Other foster
                                                                                                                 care care settings
                                    Percentage of foster caregivers who had completed high                          87                 78
                                    schoola
                                    Mean number of years of school completedb
                                        Foster fathers (.05)                                                     12.32          13.74
                                        Foster mothers (.001)                                                    11.65          14.02
                                    Percentage of foster caregivers who did not have a high school diplomac
                                        Female (.001)                                                               26                 10
                                        Male (.01)                                                                  20                  9
                                                                                                                          d
                                    Percentage of primary female foster caregivers with education by category (.00001)
                                        College graduate                                                            2.5              22.2
                                        Some college                                                              21.5               28.7
                                        High school graduate                                                      25.3               29.6
                                        Some high school                                                          34.2               16.7
                                        8th grade or less                                                         16.5                2.8
                                    a
                                     Maria Scannapieco, Rebecca L. Hegar, and Catherine McAlpine, “Kinship Care and Foster Care:
                                    A Comparison of Characteristics and Outcomes,” Families in Societies, Vol. 78, No. 5 (1997), pp.
                                    480-88.
                                    b
                                     Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                    Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.
                                    c
                                     J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
                                    Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
                                    Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.
                                    d
                                     Timothy J. Gebel, “Kinship Care and Non-Relative Family Foster Care: A Comparison of
                                    Caregiver Attributes and Attitudes,” Child Welfare, Vol. 75, No. 1 (1996), pp. 5-18.



Table III.11: What Was the Foster
Caregiver’s Health?                 Percentage of foster caregivers                                           Kinship Other foster
                                    in fair or poor healtha                                                      care care settings
                                    Male (.001)                                                                     25                  6
                                    Female (.001)                                                                   20                  7
                                    a
                                     J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
                                    Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
                                    Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.




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                                        Care and Other Foster Care




Table III.12: What Was the Foster
Caregiver’s Income?                                                                                               Kinship Other foster
                                                                                                                     care care settings
                                        Percentage of foster caregivers whose income was less                           88                 90
                                        than $15,000 a yeara
                                        Percentage of foster families with income by categoryb (.01)
                                            More than $30,000                                                         24.3               56.0
                                            Less than $10,000                                                         33.8                2.4
                                        Average foster family incomec
                                            Average annual gross income, including foster care                    $32,424         $51,320
                                            payments (.001)
                                            Average annual income, disregarding money received                    $21,854         $36,402
                                            from either Aid to Families with Dependent Children
                                            (AFDC)-Family Grant or AFDC–Foster Care
                                        Percentage of primary female caregivers with household income by categoryd (.000005)
                                            More than $40,000                                                           5.2              25.0
                                            $30,001-$40,000                                                             3.9              10.2
                                            $20,001-$30,000                                                             9.1              27.8
                                            $10,001-$20,000                                                           22.1               26.8
                                            $10,000 or less                                                           59.7               10.2
                                        a
                                         Maria Scannapieco, Rebecca L. Hegar, and Catherine McAlpine, “Kinship Care and Foster Care:
                                        A Comparison of Characteristics and Outcomes,” Families in Societies, Vol. 78, No. 5 (1997), pp.
                                        480-88.
                                        b
                                         Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                        Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.
                                        c
                                         J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
                                        Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
                                        Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.
                                        d
                                         Timothy J. Gebel, “Kinship Care and Non-Relative Family Foster Care: A Comparison of
                                        Caregiver Attributes and Attitudes,” Child Welfare, Vol. 75, No. 1 (1996), pp. 5-18.



Table III.13: How Safe Was the Foster
Caregiver’s Home?                                                                                                 Kinship Other foster
                                        Percentage of foster caregivers whoa                                         care care settings
                                        Had a fire extinguisher (.001)                                                  65                 94
                                        Had a complete first aid kit (.001)                                             58                 95
                                        Knew cardiopulmonary resuscitation (.001)                                       57                 93
                                        a
                                         J. D. Berrick and others, Assessment, Support, and Training for Kinship Care and Foster Care:
                                        An Empirically-Based Curriculum (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California at Berkeley, Child
                                        Welfare Research Center, 1998).




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                                       Results of Research Comparing Kinship
                                       Care and Other Foster Care




Table III.14: What Training or
Preparation Did the Foster Caregiver                                                                              Kinship Other foster
Receive?                                                                                                             care care settings
                                       Percentage who felt that training adequately prepared                          74.3                55.7
                                       them to be a foster parenta (.01)
                                       Percentage who received trainingb (.001)                                         13                 76
                                       a
                                        Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                       Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.
                                       b
                                        J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
                                       Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
                                       Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.



Table III.15: To What Extent Did the
Foster Caregiver Receive Services?                                                                                Kinship Other foster
                                                                                                                     care care settings
                                       Percentage of foster caregivers who received servicesa
                                           Specialized training (.001)                                                   5                 59
                                           Support group (.001)                                                         15                 62
                                           Respite care (.001)                                                           6                 23
                                       Mean number of services foster caregivers receiveda (.001)                     0.53                2.30
                                       Percentage whob
                                           Ordered clothing                                                           77.3                100
                                           Used child health disease prevention services                              86.4                55.7
                                       Mean number of social worker visits with a foster parent in                   25.13               19.46
                                       the past 12 monthsc
                                       Mean number of social worker telephone contacts with a                        37.38               32.78
                                       foster parent in the past 12 monthsc
                                       a
                                        J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
                                       Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
                                       Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.
                                       b
                                       Garthia M. Poindexter, “Services Utilization by Foster Parents and Relatives,” Master of Social
                                       Work thesis, California State University, Long Beach, California, 1996.
                                       c
                                        Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                       Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.




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                                         Care and Other Foster Care




Table III.16: How Often Did the
Caseworker Visit the Foster Child?                                                                                 Kinship Other foster
                                                                                                                      care care settings
                                         Percentage of foster children who were not well known to                        33                22
                                         the caseworkera (.0001)
                                         Mean number of caseworkers’ visits with foster children                         2.1               3.3
                                         during a 6-month perioda (.05)
                                         Mean number of caseworkers’ visits with foster children in                   22.56          20.42
                                         past 12 monthsb
                                         Average number of hours per month foster children spent                       0.65               0.88
                                         with a caseworkerc (.01)
                                         Percentage of foster children who had not been visited by                       46                35
                                         a caseworker in the past monthc
                                         a
                                          Alfreda P. Iglehart, “Kinship Foster Care: Placement Service and Outcome Issues,” Children and
                                         Youth Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 107-22.
                                         b
                                          Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
                                         Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.
                                         c
                                          J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
                                         Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
                                         Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.



Table III.17: What Required Health
Services Did the Foster Child Receive?   Percentage of foster children up to 3 years old who                       Kinship Other foster
                                         received health-related servicesa                                            care care settings
                                         Routine health care services                                                  81.4               93.2
                                         No services (.10)                                                             16.0                6.8
                                         a
                                          U.S. General Acounting Office, Foster Care: Health Needs of Many Young Children Are Unknown
                                         and Unmet, GAO/HEHS-95-114 (Washington, D.C.: May 26, 1995).



Table III.18: What Permanency Goals
Were Pursued in Foster Care Cases?                                                                                 Kinship Other foster
                                         Percentage of foster cases by permanency goala                               care care settings
                                         Return to parents                                                                 1               14
                                         Adoption                                                                        10                38
                                         Independent living                                                              88                42
                                         a
                                          Jesse L. Thornton, “Permanency Planning for Children in Kinship Foster Homes,” Child Welfare,
                                         Vol. 70, No. 5 (1991), pp. 593-601.




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                                       Results of Research Comparing Kinship
                                       Care and Other Foster Care




Table III.19: How Long Did the Child
Stay in Foster Care?                                                                                       Kinship Other foster
                                                                                                              care care settings
                                       Mean number of daysa (.05)                                             1,008               534
                                       Mean number of monthsb                                                 93.48            88.02
                                       Average number of years
                                         1994 study (.001)c                                                         3.3            2.3
                                                     d
                                         1993 study                                                                 3.2            2.8
                                       Percentage of first admissions in 1988 by length of staye
                                       New York City
                                         12 months or less                                                           5             42
                                         12-24 months                                                                3              5
                                         Still in care as of June 1990                                              88             50
                                       Cook County, Illinois
                                         12 months or less                                                          40             50
                                         12-24 months                                                               10              8
                                         Still in care as of June 1990                                              45             40
                                       Percentage of foster children entering care in 1986 in foster care for 1 year or longerf
                                         Georgia                                                                    75             52
                                         Oregon                                                                     31             40
                                         South Carolina                                                             39             62
                                         Texas                                                                      58             47
                                       Percentage of foster children who were in care as of June 30, 1992, by 2-year fiscal period
                                       in which they enteredf
                                         1977-78                                                                    1.4            0.3
                                         1979-80                                                                    2.6            0.4
                                         1981-82                                                                    3.1            1.1
                                         1983-84                                                                    6.7            3.4
                                         1985-86                                                                    9.7            6.3
                                       Likelihood of being in care for 1 year or longer (explained in footnote g)
                                         Georgia                                                               2.76               1.00
                                         Oregon                                                                0.67               1.00
                                         South Carolina                                                        0.38               1.00
                                         Texas                                                                 1.64               1.00
                                       Kinship care associated with longer length of stay when            Years not        Years not
                                       controlling for other factorsh (.007)                              specified        specified
                                       Percentage difference between the likelihood that foster children who entered in a 2-year
                                       fiscal period would be discharged and the likelihood that children in other foster care
                                       settings who entered the system before 1977 would be discharged
                                       (explained in footnote i)
                                         1977-78                                                                –10                 0
                                                                                                                          (continued)



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                                                                             Kinship Other foster
                                                                                care care settings
    1979-80                                                                        –25              +14
    1981-82                                                                        –20                   +6
    1983-84                                                                        –10                   +2
    1985-86                                                                         –9                   –5
    1987-88                                                                        –37                 –19
    1989-90                                                                        –50                 –24
    1991-92                                                                        –77                 –38

a
 Maria Scannapieco, Rebecca L. Hegar, and Catherine McAlpine, “Kinship Care and Foster Care:
A Comparison of Characteristics and Outcomes,” Families in Societies, Vol. 78, No. 5 (1997), pp.
480-88.
b
 Nicole S. Le Prohn, “Relative Foster Parents: Role Perceptions, Motivation and Agency
Satisfaction,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1993.
c
 J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and B. Needell, “A Comparison of Kinship Foster Homes and Foster
Family Homes: Implications for Kinship Foster Care as Family Preservation,” Children and Youth
Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 33-63.
d
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Foster Care: Services to Prevent Out-of-Home Placements Are
Limited by Funding Barriers, GAO/HRD-93-76 (Washington, D.C.: June 29, 1993).
e
 F.H. Wulczyn and R.M. Goerge, “Foster Care in New York and Illinois: The Challenge of Rapid
Change,” Social Service Review, June 1992, pp. 278-94.
f
 Mark F. Testa, Home of Relative (HMR) Program in Illinois Interim Report (Chicago, Ill.: University
of Chicago, School of Social Services Administration, 1993).
g
 For example, in Georgia a child in kinship care is almost three times as likely as a child in other
foster care settings to remain in care for 1 year or longer. U.S. General Accounting Office, Foster
Care: Children’s Experiences Linked to Various Factors; Better Data Needed, GAO/HRD-91-64
(Washington, D.C.: Sept. 11, 1991).
h
Mary I. Benedict and R.B. White, “Factors Associated with Foster Care Length of Stay,” Child
Welfare, Vol. 70, No. 1 (1991), pp. 45-58.
i
 For example, children who entered kinship care in fiscal years 1979 to 1980 were 25-percent less
likely to be discharged than children who entered other foster care settings before fiscal year
1977, and children who entered other foster care settings in fiscal years 1979 to 1980 were
14-percent more likely to be discharged than children who entered other foster care settings
before fiscal year 1977. Discharge includes return to parental custody, placement in private
guardianship, adoption, or staying in the child welfare system until age 18. Mark F. Testa,
“Kinship Care in Illinois,” in J.D. Berrick, R.P. Barth, and N. Gilbert (eds.), Child Welfare Research
Review, Vol. 2 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), pp. 101-29.




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                                        Care and Other Foster Care




Table III.20: How Long Was the Foster
Child in Care Before Various                                                                                      Other foster
Outcomes?                                                                                           Kinship care care settings
                                        Percentage who were reunified with their parents within 4 years by year entereda
                                        1990                                                                 56.5          58.3
                                        1991                                                                 55.9          58.8
                                        1992                                                                 54.3          57.4
                                                                                                     a
                                        Percentage who were adopted within 4 years by year entered
                                        1990                                                                  3.1          11.5
                                        1991                                                                  3.4          11.3
                                        1992                                                                  3.4          11.4
                                                                                             a
                                        Percentage who exited within 4 years by year entered
                                        1990                                                                  5.6              1.2
                                        1991                                                                  6.0              1.1
                                        1992                                                                  5.1              1.3
                                                                                                         a
                                        Percentage who were emancipated within 4 years by year entered
                                        1990                                                                  1.7              3.3
                                        1991                                                                  1.5              3.5
                                        1992                                                                  1.2              3.4
                                        Cumulative percentage who entered care between January and July 1988 who were
                                        reunified with their parents afterb
                                        1 month                                                                 5              15
                                        6 months                                                               10              30
                                        18 months                                                              27              46
                                        Percentage who entered care in a 2-year period who were reunified with their parents
                                        withinc
                                        1 month
                                          1977-78                                                             3.8          25.3
                                          1979-80                                                             2.6          26.0
                                          1981-82                                                             3.7          24.2
                                          1983-84                                                             5.5          29.9
                                          1985-86                                                             7.8          31.7
                                        18 months
                                          1977-78                                                            25.8          60.8
                                          1979-80                                                            25.6          61.9
                                          1981-82                                                            31.6          57.9
                                          1983-84                                                            33.5          61.2
                                          1985-86                                                            33.8          62.6
                                        Percentage attaining a permanency outcome by the end of the study periodd
                                          Returned home                                                       7.4              7.1
                                          Adopted                                                             5.4              4.7
                                                                                                                     (continued)


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                                                                                     Other foster
                                                                       Kinship care care settings
    Entered subsidized guardianship (.0001)                                        1.5             0.1
Median number of months from placement to adoption for
foster children adopted in fiscal years 1991-92e                                    34                 21

a
 B. Needell and others, Performance Indicators for Child Welfare Services in California: 1996
(Berkeley, Calif.: University of California at Berkeley, School of Social Welfare, Child Welfare
Research Center, 1997).
b
 M.E. Courtney, “Factors Associated with the Reunification of Foster Children with Their Families,”
Social Service Review, March 1994, pp. 81-108.
c
 Mark F. Testa, Home of Relative (HMR) Program in Illinois Interim Report (Chicago, Ill.: University
of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration, 1993).
d
 Mark F. Testa, “Professional Foster Care: A Future Worth Pursuing?” Child Welfare: Special
Edition on Family Foster Care in the 21st Century, forthcoming.
e
 Joseph Magruder, “Characteristics of Relative and Non-Relative Adoptions by California Public
Adoption Agencies,” Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 16, Nos. 1-2 (1994), pp. 123-31.




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Our Foster Care Questionnaire




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Page 83                         GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix V

Survey Results


                                 This appendix displays the frequency distributions of responses to
                                 questions in our survey of foster care cases in California and Illinois.
                                 Means and medians are provided for some items. In addition, selected
                                 information from the states’ administrative records is provided about
                                 these cases. Appendix I includes a detailed description of our survey
                                 methodology, and the questionnaire for this survey is in appendix IV.

                                 The percentage given for each response category constitutes our estimate
                                 of the proportion of all foster care cases in each state’s system as of
                                 September 15, 1997, that had been in the system since at least March 1,
                                 1997. Because of the relatively small number of responses in some of the
                                 tables in this appendix and the resulting imprecision of any population
                                 estimates that might be based on those responses, tables with fewer than
                                 41 cases present only the number of sample cases for which each response
                                 was given. No population estimates are given for those responses.

                                 The sampling errors for the percentage estimates vary. No sampling error
                                 for any of the percentage estimates exceeds plus or minus 15 percentage
                                 points. Table V.1 provides a more specific breakdown of sampling errors
                                 for the percentage estimates by number of cases for which there was a
                                 response.

Table V.1: Sampling Errors for
Percentage Estimates             For percentage estimates in each state                The sampling error never
                                 based on a response for                                 exceeds plus or minus
                                 88 or more cases                                           10 percentage points
                                 65-87 cases                                                12 percentage points
                                 41-64 cases                                                15 percentage points
                                 Fewer than 41 cases                                     No percentage estimate

                                 The sampling error for our estimates of the average number of caseworker
                                 visits in each state never exceeds plus or minus 1.3 visits. The sampling
                                 error for estimates in each state of the average number of a foster child’s
                                 siblings never exceeds plus or minus 0.5 siblings. The sampling error for
                                 estimates of the (1) average length of time all foster children in each state
                                 had spent in the system up until September 15, 1997, never exceeds plus or
                                 minus 8.7 months, (2) average age at which children entered foster care
                                 never exceeds plus or minus 0.84 years, and (3) average age of children in
                                 foster care never exceeds plus or minus 0.92 years. In tables V.9 through
                                 V.12, we provide the results of these three calculations for subpopulations
                                 of all foster children. Because some of these calculations are based on a
                                 relatively small sample of cases in each subpopulation, they do not




                                 Page 84                                      GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                              Appendix V
                                              Survey Results




                                              constitute very precise estimates of the actual averages in the entire
                                              subpopulation in each state. These calculations refer to only the cases in
                                              our sample.


Table V.2: Characteristics of the Child and the Setting
                                                       California                                         Illinois
                                                         Other foster    Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                 care    significant                             care       significant
                                         Kinship care       settings     difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Q5: What was the primary reason for            n=107            n=93     No, first             n=154           n=127        No, first
this child’s removal?                                                    category                                           category
                                                                         versus the                                         versus the
                                                                         rest                                               rest
                                                                         combined                                           combined
Neglect (including entries in “other”            79.4%          75.3%                            86.4%           83.5%
related to drugs, siblings hurt or
neglected, abandonment)
Physical abuse                                   12.1%            6.5%                            6.5%               6.3%
Sexual abuse                                      5.6%            6.5%                            2.6%               6.3%
Emotional abuse                                    0%             1.1%                             0%                 0%
Other                                             2.8%          10.8%                             4.5%               3.9%
Q7: On September 15, 1997, in what             n=116           n=109     NA                    n=160           n=131        NA
type of foster care placement was
this child residing?
In what your state classifies as                 100%               0%                           100%                 0%
kinship or relative care
In a foster family home not classified             0%           73.4%                              0%            87.0%
as kinship or relative care (including
“specialized” or “treatment” foster
family home)
In a group home or institution                     0%           19.3%                              0%                9.9%
Other                                              0%             7.3%                             0%                3.1%
Q8: Consider this child’s foster               n=116            n=88     NA                    n=158           n=116        NA
caregiver(s) as of September 15,
1997. Which of the following best
describes the foster caregiver(s)?
This child’s relative as defined by              98.3%            8.0%                           98.1%               6.9%
your state
A person (not a relative) this child               0%           15.9%                             1.3%           11.2%
knew before entering foster care
Someone else                                      1.7%          76.1%                             0.6%           81.9%
State administrative database:                 n=114           n=108     Each                  n=160           n=131        Each
child’s race                                                             category                                           category
                                                                         versus the                                         versus the
                                                                         rest                                               rest
                                                                         combined                                           combined
                                                                                                                                 (continued)


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                                                 California                                       Illinois
                                                 Other foster    Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                         care    significant                             care       significant
                                 Kinship care       settings     difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
White                                    27.2%           39.8% Yes                       11.3%           16.8% No
Hispanic                                 29.8%           20.4% No                         1.9%               2.3% No
Black                                    43.0%           39.8% No                        86.9%           80.9% No
State administrative database:         n=116           n=111                           n=160           n=132
child’s gender
Male                                     51.7%           50.5% No                        50.0%           60.6% Yes
Female                                   48.3%           49.5%                           50.0%           39.4%
Calculated: child’s age as of          n=116           n=111                           n=160           n=132
September 15, 1997
Mean number of years                      9.8            11.0    No                       9.3                8.7    No
Median number of years                    9.6            11.8                             8.8                8.5
Younger than 3 years old                  6.0%            9.9%                           10.0%           13.6%
3 to 4 years old                         11.2%            5.4%                           16.3%           18.9%
5 to 7 years old                         20.7%           13.5%                           20.6%           16.7%
8 to 11 years old                        28.4%           24.3%                           20.0%           22.0%
12 years old or older                    33.6%           46.8%                           33.1%           28.8%
Calculated: child’s age upon           n=115           n=111                           n=157           n=132
entering foster care
Mean number of years                      5.2             5.9    No                       5.7                4.3    Yes
Median number of years                    4.1             5.4                             4.9                3.0
Younger than 3 years old                 39.1%           33.3%                           38.2%           48.5%
3 to 4 years old                         16.5%           13.5%                           10.2%               9.8%
5 to 7 years old                         15.7%           21.6%                           17.2%           15.9%
8 to 11 years old                        21.7%           19.8%                           21.0%           14.4%
12 years old or older                     7.0%           11.7%                           13.4%           11.4%




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Table V.3: Caregiver’s Characteristics
                                                            California                                         Illinois
                                                            Other foster      Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                    care      significant                             care       significant
                                            Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Q14: What is the approximate age of               n=111            n=79       Each                  n=154           n=111        Each
the foster caregiver(s)?a                                                     category                                           category
                                                                              versus the                                         versus the
                                                                              rest                                               rest
                                                                              combined                                           combined
Younger than 40 years old                           27.0%           27.8% No                          29.2%           27.9% No
40-54 years old                                     46.8%           57.0% No                          44.8%           50.5% No
55-69 years old                                     26.1%           13.9% Yes                         25.3%           18.9% No
70 years old or older                                 0%             1.3% No                          0.06%               2.7% No
Q16: In your professional judgment,               n=114            n=88       No, first 3           n=159           n=115        No, first 3
to what extent, if at all, did the health                                     categories                                         categories
of the foster caregiver(s) interfere                                          combined                                           combined
with the ability to parent?b                                                  versus the                                         versus the
                                                                              rest                                               rest
                                                                              combined                                           combined
To a very great extent                               0.9%            1.1%                              1.3%               1.7%
To a great extent                                    1.8%            1.1%                              3.1%               1.7%
To a moderate extent                                 0.9%            2.3%                              5.0%               0.9%
To some extent                                       7.9%                0%                            6.9%               8.7%
To little or no extent                              88.6%           95.5%                             83.6%           87.0%
Calculated from Q8: child had only                n=116            n=89                             n=160           n=119
one caregiver
Yes                                                 64.7%           43.8% Yes                         64.4%           57.1% No
No                                                  35.5%           56.2%                             35.6%           42.9%
Q15: Does one or both of the foster
caregivers have a history of the
following behaviors?
Child abuse                                        n=99            n=66                             n=150           n=111
  Yes                                                 0%             1.5% No                           2.7%                0% Yes
  No                                                100%            98.5%                             97.3%               100%
Child neglect                                     n=100            n=67                             n=150           n=111
  Yes                                                1.0%            1.5% No                           2.0%                0% No
  No                                                99.0%           98.5%                             98.0%               100%
Domestic violence                                  n=93            n=65                             n=128           n=106
  Yes                                                1.1%            4.6% No                           3.1%                0% Yes
  No                                                98.9%           95.4%                             96.9%               100%
Drug abuse                                         n=95            n=64                             n=130           n=102
  Yes                                                1.1%            4.7% No                           2.3%               1.0% No
                                                                                                                                    (continued)


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                                                          California                                              Illinois
                                                          Other foster     Statistically                        Other foster        Statistically
                                                                  care     significant                                  care        significant
                                         Kinship care        settings      difference        Kinship care          settings         difference
  No                                              98.9%            95.3%                               97.7%             99.0%
Alcohol abuse                                     n=94            n=64                               n=128             n=100
  Yes                                              4.3%             4.7% No                             3.1%                 2.0% No
  No                                              95.7%            95.3%                               96.9%             98.0%

                                              a
                                               While the question allowed answers about each of a pair of caregivers, the table shows the
                                              answers for only the younger one.
                                              b
                                               While the question allowed answers about each of a pair of caregivers, the table shows the
                                              answers for the one in better health.




Table V.4: Licensing, Caseworkers’ Visits, and Caregiver’s Training
                                                     California                                                   Illinois
                                                          Other foster     Statistically                        Other foster        Statistically
                                                                  care     significant                                  care        significant
                                         Kinship care        settings      difference        Kinship care          settings         difference
Q23: On September 15, 1997, was                n=114            n=103      NA                        n=157             n=128        NA
this child residing in a licensed or
approved foster care placement?
In California, licensed or certified               2.6%            90.3%
In California, approved for kinship or            97.4%             9.7%
relative care only
In Illinois, licensed for nonrelatives                                                                  6.4%             95.3%
In Illinois, licensed for relatives                                                                    56.7%                 3.1%
In Illinois, approved for relatives                                                                    36.9%                 1.6%
Q24: About how many times have                 n=109            n=105                                n=150             n=126
you or another caseworker visited
this child between March 15 and
September 15, 1997?
Mean number of times                               3.8              5.3    Yes                          8.0              11.3       Yes
Median number of times                             3.0              5.0                                 7.0                  9.0
Q20: Had at least one of the foster            n=110              n=85                               n=159             n=115
caregivers completed orientation or
training to prepare him/her to be a
foster parent?
Yes                                               19.1%            87.1% Yes                           69.8%             98.3% Yes
No                                                80.9%            12.9%                               30.2%                 1.7%
                                                                                                                                         (continued)




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                                                          California                                         Illinois
                                                          Other foster      Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                  care      significant                             care       significant
                                          Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Q21: To what extent, if at all, did the          n=88            n=10       Number in              n=47             n=2        Number in
lack of foster care orientation or                                          category is                                        category is
training interfere with the ability of                                      too small to                                       too small to
the foster caregiver(s) to navigate                                         perform the                                        perform the
the foster care system?                                                     test                                               test
To a very great extent                             2.3%                0                            10.6%                1
To a great extent                                  3.4%                1                             2.1%                0
To a moderate extent                               9.1%                2                            25.5%                0
To some extent                                    20.5%                2                            29.8%                0
To little or no extent                            64.8%                5                            31.9%                1
Q22: To what extent, if at all, did the          n=89            n=10       Number in              n=46             n=2        Number in
lack of foster care orientation or                                          category is                                        category is
training interfere with the ability of                                      too small to                                       too small to
the foster caregiver(s) to cooperate                                        perform the                                        perform the
with caseworkers, courts, and other                                         test                                               test
players in the foster care system?
To a very great extent                             2.2%                0                             6.5%                1
To a great extent                                  2.2%                0                             6.5%                0
To a moderate extent                               5.6%                1                            13.0%                0
To some extent                                     7.9%                1                            21.7%                1
To little or no extent                            82.0%                8                            52.2%                0


Table V.5: Caregiver’s Performance of Parenting Tasks
                                                    California                                               Illinois
                                                          Other foster      Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                  care      significant                             care       significant
                                          Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Q18: In your professional judgment,
how adequately did the primary
foster caregiver perform each of the
following tasks?
Provide supervision                             n=115            n=88       No, first 2           n=160           n=114        No, first 2
                                                                            categories                                         categories
                                                                            combined                                           combined
                                                                            versus the                                         versus the
                                                                            rest                                               rest
                                                                            combined                                           combined
  Very adequately                                 56.5%           62.5%                             56.9%           65.8%
  Adequately                                      39.1%           36.4%                             35.0%           28.9%
  As adequately as not                             1.7%                0%                            6.3%               4.4%
  Inadequately                                     0.9%                0%                            1.9%               0.9%
                                                                                                                                  (continued)



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                                            California                                         Illinois
                                            Other foster      Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                    care      significant                             care       significant
                            Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
  Very inadequately                  1.7%            1.1%                               0%                 0%
Set limits                        n=116            n=88       No, first 2           n=159           n=112        Yes, first 2
                                                              categories                                         categories
                                                              combined                                           combined
                                                              versus the                                         versus the
                                                              rest                                               rest
                                                              combined                                           combined
  Very adequately                   44.8%           60.2%                             40.9%           53.6%
  Adequately                        45.7%           35.2%                             46.5%           38.4%
  As adequately as not               6.9%            2.3%                              8.2%               5.4%
  Inadequately                       0.9%            2.3%                              3.8%               2.7%
  Very inadequately                  1.7%                0%                            0.6%                0%
Enforce limits                    n=115            n=88       No, first 2           n=158           n=112        No, first 2
                                                              categories                                         categories
                                                              combined                                           combined
                                                              versus the                                         versus the
                                                              rest                                               rest
                                                              combined                                           combined
  Very adequately                   42.6%           56.8%                             37.3%           50.9%
  Adequately                        46.1%           36.4%                             47.5%           38.4%
  As adequately as not               7.8%            4.5%                              9.5%               6.3%
  Inadequately                       0.9%            2.3%                              5.1%               4.5%
  Very inadequately                  2.6%                0%                            0.6%                0%
Provide emotional support         n=116            n=88       Yes, first 2          n=160           n=114        No, first 2
                                                              categories                                         categories
                                                              combined                                           combined
                                                              versus the                                         versus the
                                                              rest                                               rest
                                                              combined                                           combined
  Very adequately                   57.8%           58.0%                             44.4%           56.1%
  Adequately                        32.8%           38.6%                             44.4%           36.0%
  As adequately as not               6.9%            2.3%                             10.0%               4.4%
  Inadequately                        0%             1.1%                              1.3%               3.5%
  Very inadequately                  2.6%                0%                             0%                 0%
Provide clothing                  n=115            n=88       No, first 2           n=160           n=115        No, first 2
                                                              categories                                         categories
                                                              combined                                           combined
                                                              versus the                                         versus the
                                                              rest                                               rest
                                                              combined                                           combined
  Very adequately                   53.9%           64.8%                             55.6%           63.5%
  Adequately                        38.3%           28.4%                             41.3%           31.3%
                                                                                                                    (continued)


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                                            California                                         Illinois
                                            Other foster      Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                    care      significant                             care       significant
                            Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
  As adequately as not               6.1%            4.5%                              2.5%               5.2%
  Inadequately                       1.7%            2.3%                              0.6%                0%
  Very inadequately                   0%                 0%                             0%                 0%
Provide nutrition                 n=115            n=88       No, first 2           n=160           n=115        No, first 2
                                                              categories                                         categories
                                                              combined                                           combined
                                                              versus the                                         versus the
                                                              rest                                               rest
                                                              combined                                           combined
  Very adequately                   56.5%           68.2%                             58.1%           68.7%
  Adequately                        39.1%           29.5%                             38.8%           28.7%
  As adequately as not               3.5%            1.1%                              2.5%               2.6%
  Inadequately                       0.9%            1.1%                              0.6%                0%
  Very inadequately                   0%                 0%                             0%                 0%
Provide a good role model         n=114            n=88       No, first 2           n=159           n=114        No, first 2
                                                              categories                                         categories
                                                              combined                                           combined
                                                              versus the                                         versus the
                                                              rest                                               rest
                                                              combined                                           combined
  Very adequately                   48.2%           64.8%                             44.0%           64.0%
  Adequately                        43.9%           28.4%                             44.7%           29.8%
  As adequately as not               4.4%            5.7%                             10.1%               6.1%
  Inadequately                       0.9%                0%                            1.3%                0%
  Very inadequately                  2.6%            1.1%                               0%                 0%
Accept child into family          n=115            n=87       No, first 2           n=159           n=115        No, first 2
                                                              categories                                         categories
                                                              combined                                           combined
                                                              versus the                                         versus the
                                                              rest                                               rest
                                                              combined                                           combined
  Very adequately                   74.8%           73.6%                             69.2%           73.9%
  Adequately                        22.6%           24.1%                             28.3%           21.7%
  As adequately as not               1.7%            1.1%                              1.9%               3.5%
  Inadequately                       0.9%            1.1%                              0.6%                0%
  Very inadequately                   0%                 0%                             0%                0.9%
Ensure school attendance          n=108            n=82       No, first 2           n=142            n=98        No, first 2
                                                              categories                                         categories
                                                              combined                                           combined
                                                              versus the                                         versus the
                                                              rest                                               rest
                                                              combined                                           combined
                                                                                                                    (continued)


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                                                     California                                         Illinois
                                                     Other foster      Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                             care      significant                             care       significant
                                     Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
  Very adequately                            66.7%           70.7%                             58.5%           75.5%
  Adequately                                 31.5%           25.6%                             33.8%           20.4%
  As adequately as not                         0%             2.4%                              4.2%               3.1%
  Inadequately                                1.9%                0%                            2.8%                0%
  Very inadequately                            0%             1.2%                              0.7%               1.0%
Navigate foster care system                n=115            n=83       No, first 2           n=154           n=112        No, first 2
                                                                       categories                                         categories
                                                                       combined                                           combined
                                                                       versus the                                         versus the
                                                                       rest                                               rest
                                                                       combined                                           combined
  Very adequately                            40.9%           60.2%                             34.4%           49.1%
  Adequately                                 45.2%           32.5%                             49.4%           41.1%
  As adequately as not                       11.3%            3.6%                             13.0%               8.0%
  Inadequately                                 0%             3.6%                              3.2%               1.8%
  Very inadequately                           2.6%                0%                             0%                 0%
Cooperate with courts and other            n=115            n=86       No, first 2           n=158           n=113        No, first 2
players in foster care system                                          categories                                         categories
                                                                       combined                                           combined
                                                                       versus the                                         versus the
                                                                       rest                                               rest
                                                                       combined                                           combined
  Very adequately                            57.4%           62.8%                             43.0%           56.6%
  Adequately                                 36.5%           33.7%                             43.7%           35.4%
  As adequately as not                        3.5%            3.5%                              8.9%               7.1%
  Inadequately                                1.7%                0%                            3.8%               0.9%
  Very inadequately                           0.9%                0%                            0.6%                0%
Q17: Is this child up-to-date with
respect to each of the following
health services?
Routine physical exam or well baby         n=113            n=85                             n=154           n=115
check-up
  Yes                                        99.1%           96.5% No                          92.9%           97.4% Yes
  No                                          0.9%            3.5%                              7.1%               2.6%
Immunizations                              n=113            n=85                             n=151           n=115
  Yes                                      100.0%          100.0% No                           96.0%           99.1% No
  No                                           0%                 0%                            4.0%               0.9%
Dental check-ups                           n=108            n=77                             n=138           n=103
  Yes                                        96.3%           97.4% No                          80.4%           92.2% Yes
  No                                          3.7%            2.6%                             19.6%               7.8%
                                                                                                                             (continued)


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                                                       California                                         Illinois
                                                       Other foster      Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                               care      significant                             care       significant
                                       Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Vision check-ups                              n=84            n=65                             n=129            n=99
  Yes                                          97.6%         100.0% No                           79.1%           88.9% Yes
  No                                            2.4%                0%                           20.9%           11.1%
Q19: In your professional judgment,
how willing was the primary foster
caregiver to perform each of the
following?
To accept opinions of professionals,         n=116            n=87       No, first 2           n=159           n=114        Yes, first 2
such as caseworkers or physicians,                                       categories                                         categories
regarding the child’s need for                                           combined                                           combined
medical services                                                         versus the                                         versus the
                                                                         rest                                               rest
                                                                         combined                                           combined
  Very willing                                 64.7%           63.2%                             53.5%           68.4%
  Willing                                      31.0%           31.0%                             37.7%           28.1%
  As willing as unwilling                       2.6%            5.7%                              6.9%               3.5%
  Unwilling                                     1.7%                0%                            1.3%                0%
  Very unwilling                                 0%                 0%                            0.6%                0%
To act on medical referrals for the          n=116            n=87       No, first 2           n=159           n=114        No, first 2
child from professionals                                                 categories                                         categories
                                                                         combined                                           combined
                                                                         versus the                                         versus the
                                                                         rest                                               rest
                                                                         combined                                           combined
  Very willing                                 62.9%           66.7%                             47.8%           68.4%
  Willing                                      32.8%           26.4%                             42.8%           26.3%
  As willing as unwilling                       3.4%            4.6%                              6.9%               4.4%
  Unwilling                                     0.9%            2.3%                              1.9%                0%
  Very unwilling                                 0%                 0%                            0.6%               0.9%
To accept opinions of professionals,         n=116            n=87       No, first 2           n=160           n=111        No, first 2
such as caseworkers or                                                   categories                                         categories
psychologists, regarding the child’s                                     combined                                           combined
need for mental health services                                          versus the                                         versus the
                                                                         rest                                               rest
                                                                         combined                                           combined
  Very willing                                 56.9%           63.2%                             42.5%           61.3%
  Willing                                      36.2%           29.9%                             40.6%           27.9%
  As willing as unwilling                       5.2%            4.6%                             11.9%           10.8%
  Unwilling                                     1.7%            2.3%                              3.8%                0%
  Very unwilling                                 0%                 0%                            1.3%                0%
                                                                                                                               (continued)




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                                                        California                                         Illinois
                                                        Other foster      Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                care      significant                             care       significant
                                        Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
To act on mental health referrals for         n=112            n=87       No, first 2           n=158           n=112        No, first 2
the child from professionals                                              categories                                         categories
                                                                          combined                                           combined
                                                                          versus the                                         versus the
                                                                          rest                                               rest
                                                                          combined                                           combined
  Very willing                                  54.5%           60.9%                             43.0%           60.7%
  Willing                                       39.3%           29.9%                             41.1%           29.5%
  As willing as unwilling                        5.4%            5.7%                             11.4%               8.9%
  Unwilling                                      0.9%            3.4%                              2.5%                0%
  Very unwilling                                  0%                 0%                            1.9%               0.9%
To accept opinions of professionals,          n=116            n=84       No, first 2           n=156           n=109        No, first 2
such as caseworkers or teachers,                                          categories                                         categories
regarding the child’s need for                                            combined                                           combined
educational services                                                      versus the                                         versus the
                                                                          rest                                               rest
                                                                          combined                                           combined
  Very willing                                  61.2%           69.0%                             52.6%           64.2%
  Willing                                       33.6%           27.4%                             39.1%           28.4%
  As willing as unwilling                        2.6%            2.4%                              6.4%               7.3%
  Unwilling                                      1.7%            1.2%                              1.3%                0%
  Very unwilling                                 0.9%                0%                            0.6%                0%
To act on educational referrals for           n=116            n=83       No, first 2           n=156           n=108        No, first 2
the child from professionals                                              categories                                         categories
                                                                          combined                                           combined
                                                                          versus the                                         versus the
                                                                          rest                                               rest
                                                                          combined                                           combined
  Very willing                                  58.6%           71.1%                             48.7%           66.7%
  Willing                                       36.2%           26.5%                             41.7%           26.9%
  As willing as unwilling                        2.6%            1.2%                              5.1%               6.5%
  Unwilling                                      1.7%            1.2%                              3.8%                0%
  Very unwilling                                 0.9%                0%                            0.6%                0%




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Table V.6: Continuity
                                                         California                                       Illinois
                                                         Other foster    Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                 care    significant                             care       significant
                                         Kinship care       settings     difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Topic: Child’s familiarity with
caregiver
Q12: In your professional judgment,            n=102            n=81     Yes, first 2          n=142           n=104        Yes, first 2
to what extent did this child know the                                   categories                                         categories
foster caregiver(s) prior to this                                        combined                                           combined
placement?a                                                              versus the                                         versus the
                                                                         rest                                               rest
                                                                         combined                                           combined
To a very great extent                           70.6%            9.9%                           73.2%               5.8%
To a great extent                                18.6%            4.9%                           14.1%               6.7%
To a moderate extent                              4.9%            6.2%                            7.0%               6.7%
To some extent                                    2.0%            6.2%                            3.5%               7.7%
To little or no extent                            3.9%           72.8%                            2.1%           73.1%
Q13: Did this child ever reside with            n=89            n=77                           n=125           n=105
one or both of the foster caregivers
prior to this foster care placement?
Yes                                              46.1%           13.0% Yes                       48.8%               5.7% Yes
No                                               53.9%           87.0%                           51.2%           94.3%
Q9: Does one or both of the foster             n=116            n=88                           n=157           n=115
caregivers communicate in the
primary language used by this
child’s parents?
Yes                                            100.0             94.3% Yes                     100.0%            98.3% Yes
No                                                 0%             5.7%                             0%                1.7%
Q10: Does one or both of the foster            n=116            n=88                           n=155           n=113
caregivers speak a language this
child can understand?
Yes                                              99.1%           95.5% Yes                       98.7%           98.2% No
No                                                0.9%            4.5%                            1.3%               1.8%
Q11: Is one or both of the foster              n=115            n=86                           n=158           n=115
caregivers the same race or ethnicity
as this child?
Yes                                            100.0%            83.7% Yes                     100.0%            88.7% Yes
No                                                 0%            16.3%                             0%            11.3%
                                                                                                                               (continued)




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                                                        California                                         Illinois
                                                        Other foster      Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                care      significant                             care       significant
                                        Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Topic: Contact with family members
and friends
Q25: During the placement that this           n=115           n=110       Yes, first            n=160           n=132        No, first
child was in on September 15, 1997,                                       category                                           category
was the mother allowed to visit or                                        versus the                                         versus the
contact this child?                                                       rest                                               rest
                                                                          combined                                           combined
Yes, during some or all of this                 71.3%           53.6%                             71.3%           62.9%
placement
No                                               4.3%           10.9%                              6.3%           14.4%
N/A, mother’s whereabouts are                   18.3%           26.4%                             17.5%           21.2%
unknown
N/A, mother was deceased                         6.1%            9.1%                              5.0%               1.5%
Calculated from Q25: the mother                n=87            n=71                             n=124           n=102
was allowed to visit (excludes N/A
answers)
Yes                                             94.3%           83.1% Yes                         91.9%           81.4% Yes
No                                               5.7%           16.9%                              8.1%           18.6%
Q26: During this placement, did the            n=64            n=50       No, first 3           n=109            n=82        No, first 3
mother visit or contact this child as                                     categories                                         categories
often as, more often, or less often                                       versus the                                         versus the
than specified in the service plan?                                       rest                                               rest
                                                                          combined                                           combined
Much more often than specified                   9.4%                0%                           20.2%               2.4%
More often than specified                       14.1%            6.0%                             18.3%               8.5%
As often as specified                           23.4%           28.0%                             11.9%           28.0%
Less often than specified                       20.3%           32.0%                             13.8%           24.4%
Much less often than specified                  32.8%           34.0%                             35.8%           36.6%
Q27: In your professional judgment,            n=63            n=50       No, first 3           n=108            n=82        No, first 3
to what extent did the number and                                         categories                                         categories
nature of visits or contacts that                                         versus the                                         versus the
actually occurred allow the mother                                        rest                                               rest
and child to have the relationship                                        combined                                           combined
intended in the service plan?
To a very great extent                          14.3%            8.0%                             17.6%           12.2%
To a great extent                               22.2%           24.0%                             19.4%           28.0%
To a moderate extent                            14.3%           22.0%                             18.5%           13.4%
To some extent                                  25.4%           20.0%                             14.8%           17.1%
To little or no extent                          23.8%           26.0%                             29.6%           29.3%
                                                                                                                                (continued)




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                                                        California                                        Illinois
                                                        Other foster     Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                care     significant                             care       significant
                                        Kinship care       settings      difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Q29: During the placement that this           n=116           n=111      Yes, first 3          n=159           n=131        No, first 3
child was in on September 15, 1997,                                      categories                                         categories
was the father allowed to visit or                                       versus the                                         versus the
contact this child?                                                      rest                                               rest
                                                                         combined                                           combined
Yes, during some or all of this                 40.5%           19.8%                            37.7%           30.5%
placement
No                                              10.3%           18.9%                            11.3%           13.7%
N/A, father’s whereabouts are                   42.2%           56.8%                            44.7%           50.4%
unknown
N/A, father was deceased                         6.9%            4.5%                             6.3%               5.3%
Calculated from Q29: the father was            n=59            n=43                             n=78            n=58
allowed to visit (excludes N/A
answers)
Yes                                             79.7%           51.2% Yes                        76.9%           69.0% No
No                                              20.3%           48.8%                            23.1%           31.0%
Q30: During this placement, did the            n=35            n=18      Number in              n=53            n=40        Number in
father visit or contact this child as                                    category is                                        category is
often as, more often, or less often                                      too small to                                       too small to
than specified in the service plan?                                      perform the                                        perform the
                                                                         test                                               test
Much more often than specified                    2                  0                             0%                 2
More often than specified                         1                  1                           15.1%                1
As often as specified                            11                  5                           18.9%                9
Less often than specified                         7                  3                           22.6%               10
Much less often than specified                   14                  9                           43.4%               18
Q31: In your professional judgment,            n=36            n=18      Number in              n=54            n=40        Number in
to what extent did the number and                                        category is                                        category is
nature of visits or contacts that                                        too small to                                       too small to
actually occurred allow the father                                       perform the                                        perform the
and child to have the relationship                                       test                                               test
intended in the service plan?
To a very great extent                            7                  1                            3.7%                3
To a great extent                                 5                  2                           18.5%                6
To a moderate extent                              4                  5                           20.4%                8
To some extent                                    8                  2                            9.3%                7
To little or no extent                           12                  8                           48.1%               16
Q33: Does this child have siblings?           n=116           n=111                            n=158           n=132
Yes                                             93.1%           82.0% Yes                        96.2%           99.2% Yes
No                                               6.9%           18.0%                             3.8%               0.8%
Mean number of siblings                          2.8             3.3     No                       3.4                3.7    No
                                                                                                                                 (continued)


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                                                           California                                       Illinois
                                                           Other foster    Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                   care    significant                             care       significant
                                           Kinship care       settings     difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Median number of siblings                           2.0             3.0                             3.0                3.0
Q34: As of September 15, 1997, did               n=103            n=81                           n=150           n=128
your state have custody of any of
these siblings?
Yes                                                89.3%           80.2% Yes                       84.7%           90.6% No
No                                                 10.7%           19.8%                           15.3%               9.4%
Mean number of siblings                             2.5             3.0    No                       3.2                3.1    No
Median number of siblings                           2.0             2.5                             3.0                3.0
Q35: How many of these siblings,                  n=89            n=65     Yes, first 2          n=125           n=114        Yes, first 2
who were also in protective custody,                                       categories                                         categories
resided in the same placement as                                           combined                                           combined
this child?                                                                versus rest                                        versus rest
                                                                           combined                                           combined
All                                                58.4%           30.8%                           47.2%           16.7%
Some                                               25.8%           16.9%                           39.2%           36.0%
None                                               15.7%           52.3%                           13.6%           47.4%
Q36: Which of the situations below                n=39            n=45     Number in              n=76            n=99        No, first 2
best describes the degree to which                                         category is                                        categories
the visits or contacts between                                             too small to                                       combined
siblings met the service plan’s                                            perform the                                        versus rest
specifications?                                                            test                                               combined
All the siblings visited or contacted               24             33.3%                           59.2%           49.5%
this child at least as often as
specified
At least one but not all of the siblings             5             28.9%                           22.4%           32.3%
visited or contacted this child as
often as specified
At least one of the siblings visited or             10             26.7%                           14.5%           13.1%
contacted this child, but not as often
as specified
None of the siblings ever visited or                 0             11.1%                            3.9%               5.1%
contacted this child
Q37: In your professional judgment,               n=39            n=44     Number in              n=76            n=98        No, first 3
to what extent did the number and                                          category is                                        categories
nature of visits that actually occurred                                    too small to                                       combined
allow the sibling(s) and child to have                                     perform the                                        versus rest
the relationship intended in the                                           test                                               combined
service plan?
To a very great extent                              12             15.9%                           30.3%           30.6%
To a great extent                                   13             15.9%                           28.9%           30.6%
To a moderate extent                                 5             25.0%                           19.7%           20.4%
To some extent                                       4             25.0%                           13.2%           12.2%
                                                                                                                                   (continued)



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                                                            California                                        Illinois
                                                            Other foster     Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                    care     significant                             care       significant
                                            Kinship care       settings      difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
To little or no extent                                5             18.2%                             7.9%               6.1%
Q38: Did this child maintain contact              n=110            n=97                            n=156           n=122
with relatives other than relative
foster caregivers, siblings, and
parents?
Yes, maintained contact with at least               89.1%           50.5% Yes                        91.7%           41.0% Yes
one other relative
No, child had little or no contact with             10.9%           49.5%                             8.3%           59.0%
other relatives
Q39: With about how many of the                    n=31            n=34      Number in              n=56            n=38        Number in
friends this child had just prior to this                                    category is                                        category is
foster care episode did this child                                           too small to                                       too small to
visit or otherwise communicate                                               perform the                                        perform the
during this placement?                                                       test                                               test
All or almost all                                    16                  5                           35.7%                2
Some                                                  5                  7                           41.1%                9
Few, if any                                          10              22                              23.2%               27
Topic: Child’s contact with the
community
Q43: Consider the neighborhood in                  n=94            n=87                            n=137           n=120
which this child resided just prior to
this foster care episode. Did this
child reside in the same
neighborhood on September 15,
1997?
Yes                                                 41.5%           14.9% Yes                        35.8%           10.0% Yes
No                                                  58.5%           85.1%                            64.2%           90.0%
Q40: Is the school in which this child             n=63            n=65                             n=80            n=80
was enrolled on September 15,
1997, the same school as the one
he/she would have attended if
he/she had not entered this episode
of foster care?
Yes                                                 47.6%           16.9% Yes                        35.0%           15.0% Yes
No                                                  52.4%           83.1%                            65.0%           85.0%
Q41: Did this child regularly attend               n=57            n=41                             n=72            n=59
one place of worship just prior to this
foster care episode?
Yes                                                 21.1%           19.5% No                         38.9%           13.6% Yes
No                                                  78.9%           80.5%                            61.1%           86.4%
                                                                                                                                   (continued)




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                                                       California                                               Illinois
                                                       Other foster      Statistically                        Other foster     Statistically
                                                               care      significant                                  care     significant
                                       Kinship care       settings       difference        Kinship care          settings      difference
Q42: Did this child regularly attend          n=11               n=8     Number in                  n=28               n=7     Number in
the same place of worship during                                         category is                                           category is
this placement?                                                          too small to                                          too small to
                                                                         perform the                                           perform the
                                                                         test                                                  test
Yes                                               9                 5                                  24                  4
No                                                2                 3                                   4                  3

                                            a
                                             While the question allowed answers about each of a pair of caregivers, the table shows the
                                            answers for only the one whom the child knew best.




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Table V.7: Caregiver’s Willingness to Enforce Parents’ Visitation Restrictions
                                                     California                                                Illinois
                                                         Other foster     Statistically                      Other foster        Statistically
                                                                 care     significant                                care        significant
                                        Kinship care        settings      difference       Kinship care         settings         difference
Q28: In your professional judgment,              n=77           n=67      Yes, first 2            n=117              n=87        Yes, first 2
how likely was it that one or both of                                     categories                                             categories
the foster caregivers would have                                          combined                                               combined
taken the necessary actions to                                            versus rest                                            versus rest
enforce visitation restrictions that                                      combined                                               combined
may have applied to this child’s
mother?
Very likely                                      49.4%           70.1%                              35.0%             56.3%
Likely                                           26.0%           23.9%                              33.3%             24.1%
As likely as unlikely                            19.5%             1.5%                             17.1%             10.3%
Unlikely                                          5.2%             4.5%                             11.1%                 4.6%
Very unlikely                                       0%               0%                               3.4%                4.6%
Q32: In your professional judgment,              n=49           n=41      Yes, first 2              n=75             n=46        Yes, first 2
how likely was it that one or both of                                     categories                                             categories
the foster caregivers would have                                          combined                                               combined
taken the necessary actions to                                            versus rest                                            versus rest
enforce visitation restrictions that                                      combined                                               combined
may have applied to this child’s
father?
Very likely                                      51.0%           63.4%                              37.3%             71.7%
Likely                                           28.6%           29.3%                              37.3%             21.7%
As likely as unlikely                            18.4%               0%                             10.7%                 6.5%
Unlikely                                          2.0%             4.9%                             12.0%                  0%
Very unlikely                                       0%             2.4%                               2.7%                 0%
Calculated from Q28 and Q32:                     n=85           n=76      Yes, first 2            n=127              n=92        Yes, first 2
Likelihood that one or both of the                                        categories                                             categories
foster caregivers would have taken                                        combined                                               combined
the necessary actions to enforce                                          versus rest                                            versus rest
visitation restrictions that may have                                     combined                                               combined
applied to this child’s parenta
Very likely                                      42.4%           64.6%                              34.6%             56.5%
Likely                                           29.4%           27.6%                              33.1%             23.9%
As likely as unlikely                            22.4%             1.3%                             14.2%             10.9%
Unlikely                                          5.9%             5.3%                             13.4%                 4.3%
Very unlikely                                       0%             1.3%                               4.7%                4.3%
                                             a
                                             While the questions allow answers about each parent, the table shows answers for the parent
                                             whose visitation restrictions are least likely to be enforced.




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Table V.8: Permanency Goals
                                                       California                                       Illinois
                                                       Other foster    Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                               care    significant                             care       significant
                                       Kinship care       settings     difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Q45: On September 15, 1997, what             n=115           n=110     Each                  n=160           n=132        Each
was the goal for this child?                                           category                                           category
                                                                       versus rest                                        versus rest
                                                                       combined                                           combined
Reunification                                  15.7%           10.9% No                        15.6%           16.7% No
Adoption                                       11.3%           19.1% No                        41.3%           37.9% No
Guardianship                                   16.5%           22.7% No                        14.4%               1.5% Yes
Long-term foster care, independent             56.5%           47.3% No                        28.8%           43.9% Yes
living or emancipation, and other
Calculated from Q45: the goal for             n=97            n=98     Each                  n=135           n=110        Each
this child on September 15, 1997,                                      category                                           category
when reunification not considered                                      versus rest                                        versus rest
feasible                                                               combined                                           combined
Adoption                                       13.4%           21.4% No                        48.9%           45.5% No
Guardianship                                   19.6%           25.5% No                        17.0%               1.8% Yes
Long-term foster care, independent             67.0%           53.1% Yes                       34.1%           52.7% Yes
living or emancipation, and other
Calculated from state administrative         n=116           n=111                           n=160           n=132
database: years in foster care to
September 15, 1997, for all
permanency goals
Mean number of years                            5.2             5.5    No                       3.6                4.4    Yes
Median number of years                          5.1             4.5                             3.1                3.6
Up to 2                                        21.6%           18.9%                           22.5%           19.7%
2 to 3                                         24.1%           27.9%                           47.5%           33.3%
4 to 5                                         17.2%           12.6%                           18.1%           23.5%
6 to 7                                         12.1%           11.7%                            8.8%           12.1%
8 to 9                                         14.7%           12.6%                            0.6%               8.3%
10 and longer                                  10.3%           16.2%                            2.5%               3.0%




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Table V.9: Cases With the Goal of Reunification
                                                       California                                       Illinois
                                                       Other foster     Statistically                  Other foster      Statistically
                                                               care     significant                            care      significant
                                       Kinship care       settings      difference      Kinship care      settings       difference
Calculated from state administrative          n=18            n=12      Number in              n=25           n=22       Number in
database: years in foster care as of                                    category is                                      category is
September 15, 1997                                                      too small to                                     too small to
                                                                        perform the                                      perform the
                                                                        test                                             test
Mean number of years                            1.4             1.2                              1.8               2.4
Median number of years                          1.0             1.2                              1.8               1.9
Less than 2                                       15            11                               18                13
2 to 3                                             2                1                             7                 7
4 to 5                                             1                0                             0                 1
6 to 7                                             0                0                             0                 1
8 to 9                                             0                0                             0                 0
10 years and longer                                0                0                             0                 0
Calculated: child’s age as of                 n=18            n=12      Number in              n=25           n=22       Number in
September 15, 1997                                                      category is                                      category is
                                                                        too small to                                     too small to
                                                                        perform the                                      perform the
                                                                        test                                             test
Mean number of years                            6.2             6.6                              7.3               7.4
Median number of years                          5.9             6.7                              6.9               6.8
Younger than 3 years                               3                3                             3                 5
3 to 4 years                                       5                1                             6                 3
5 to 7 years                                       5                5                             5                 5
8 to 11 years                                      4                2                             8                 5
12 years or older                                  1                1                             3                 4
Calculated: child’s age upon                  n=18            n=12      Number in              n=25           n=22       Number in
entering foster care                                                    category is                                      category is
                                                                        too small to                                     too small to
                                                                        perform the                                      perform the
                                                                        test                                             test
Mean number of years                            4.8             5.4                              5.6               5.1
Median number of years                          3.7             5.1                              5.1               4.7
Younger than 3 years                               7                4                             9                 8
3 to 4 years                                       3                2                             3                 4
5 to 7 years                                       3                4                             3                 4
8 to 11 years                                      4                1                             9                 4
12 years or older                                  1                1                             1                 2
                                                                                                                            (continued)



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                                                           California                                              Illinois
                                                           Other foster      Statistically                       Other foster       Statistically
                                                                   care      significant                                 care       significant
                                           Kinship care       settings       difference       Kinship care          settings        difference
Q5: What was the primary reason for               n=17              n=11     Number in                 n=25              n=21       Number in
this child’s removal                                                         category is                                            category is
                                                                             too small to                                           too small to
                                                                             perform the                                            perform the
                                                                             test                                                   test
Neglect (including entries in “other”                13                10                                 18                  18
related to drugs, siblings hurt or
neglected, abandonment)
Physical abuse                                        4                 0                                  5                  1
Sexual abuse                                          0                 0                                  2                  2
Emotional abuse                                       0                 0                                  0                  0
Other                                                 0                 1                                  0                  0
Calculated from Q51 and Q54:                      n=15              n=11     Number in                 n=25              n=22       Number in
caseworker’s earliest estimate of                                            category is                                            category is
when reunification is likely with either                                     too small to                                           too small to
parent                                                                       perform the                                            perform the
                                                                             test                                                   test
Within 6 months                                       4                 4                                  6                  3
Within 7 to 12 months                                 1                 2                                 11                  10
Within 13 to 18 months                                1                 2                                  0                  3
In more than 18 months                                3                 2                                  0                  3
Unlikely                                              6                 1                                  8                  3
Calculated from Q51 and Q54:                      n=15              n=11     Number in                 n=25              n=22       Number in
caseworker’s estimate of whether                                             category is                                            category is
reunification is likely with either                                          too small to                                           too small to
parent                                                                       perform the                                            perform the
                                                                             test                                                   test
Likely                                                9                10                                 17                  19
Unlikely                                              6                 1                                  8                  3

                                                Note: Based on cases in which the goal according to question 45 was reunification




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Table V.10: Cases With the Goal of Adoption
                                                       California                                        Illinois
                                                       Other foster     Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                               care     significant                             care       significant
                                       Kinship care       settings      difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Calculated from state administrative          n=13            n=21      Number in              n=66            n=50
database: years in foster care as of                                    category is
September 15, 1997                                                      too small to
                                                                        perform the
                                                                        test
Mean number of years                            3.1             3.3                              3.6                4.5    Yes
Median number of years                          2.5             2.5                              3.2                3.9
Less than 2                                      6                  5                            9.1%           10.0%
2 to 3                                           4              12                              60.6%           40.0%
4 to 5                                           2                  2                           22.7%           26.0%
6 to 7                                           0                  0                            6.1%           14.0%
8 to 9                                           0                  1                            1.5%           10.0%
10 years and longer                              1                  1                             0%                 0%
Calculated: child’s age as of                 n=13            n=21      Number in              n=66            n=50
September 15, 1997                                                      category is
                                                                        too small to
                                                                        perform the
                                                                        test
Mean number of years                            7.2             5.5                              7.9                6.0    Yes
Median number of years                          5.1             3.7                              7.3                5.2
Younger than 3 years                             2                  8                           12.1%           18.0%
3 to 4 years                                     4                  4                           21.2%           32.0%
5 to 7 years                                     3                  5                           21.2%           22.0%
8 to 11 years                                    1                  2                           22.7%           22.0%
12 years or older                                3                  2                           22.7%               6.0%
Calculated: child’s age upon                  n=13            n=21      Number in              n=66            n=49
entering foster care                                                    category is
                                                                        too small to
                                                                        perform the
                                                                        test
Mean number of years                            4.4             2.8                              4.3                1.6    Yes
Median number of years                          3.1             0.8                              3.4                0.4
Younger than 3 years                             6              13                              47.0%           77.6%
3 to 4 years                                     4                  4                           12.1%           12.2%
5 to 7 years                                     0                  2                           25.8%           10.2%
8 to 11 years                                    2                  1                           10.6%                0%
12 years or older                                1                  1                            4.5%                0%
                                                                                                                              (continued)



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                                                Appendix V
                                                Survey Results




                                                           California                                        Illinois
                                                           Other foster     Statistically                   Other foster       Statistically
                                                                   care     significant                             care       significant
                                           Kinship care       settings      difference      Kinship care       settings        difference
Q5: What was the primary reason for               n=12            n=20      Number in              n=62            n=48        No, first
this child’s removal?                                                       category is                                        category
                                                                            too small to                                       versus the
                                                                            perform the                                        rest
                                                                            test                                               combined
Neglect (including entries in “other”                8              17                              90.3%           87.5%
related to drugs, siblings hurt or
neglected, abandonment)
Physical abuse                                       4                  0                            4.8%               6.3%
Sexual abuse                                         0                  0                             0%                2.1%
Emotional abuse                                      0                  0                             0%                 0%
Other                                                0                  3                            4.8%               4.2%
Q58: In your professional judgment,               n=13            n=21      Number in              n=64            n=50        No, first 2
how likely is it that this child will be                                    category is                                        categories
adopted?                                                                    too small to                                       combined
                                                                            perform the                                        versus the
                                                                            test                                               rest
                                                                                                                               combined
Very likely                                         12              15                              82.8%           66.0%
Likely                                               0                  2                            7.8%           16.0%
As likely as unlikely                                0                  2                            6.3%           10.0%
Unlikely                                             0                  2                             0%                6.0%
Very unlikely                                        1                  0                            3.1%               2.0%
Q59: As of September 15, 1997, did                n=13            n=21      Number in              n=64            n=50
this child reside in a pre-adoptive                                         category is
home?                                                                       too small to
                                                                            perform the
                                                                            test
Yes                                                 11              14                              93.8%           64.0% Yes
No                                                   2                  7                            6.3%           36.0%
Calculated from Q58 and Q59:                      n=11            n=13      Number in              n=60            n=32        Number in
likelihood that children who are in                                         category is                                        category is
pre-adoptive homes will be adopted                                          too small to                                       too small to
                                                                            perform the                                        perform the
                                                                            test                                               test
Very likely                                         10              12                              85.0%               28
Likely                                               0                  1                            6.7%                3
As likely as unlikely                                0                  0                            6.7%                1
Unlikely                                             0                  0                            1.7%                0
Very unlikely                                        1                  0                             0%                 0
                                                                                                                                  (continued)




                                                Page 106                                             GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                               Appendix V
                                               Survey Results




                                                          California                                            Illinois
                                                          Other foster     Statistically                      Other foster      Statistically
                                                                  care     significant                                care      significant
                                          Kinship care       settings      difference       Kinship care         settings       difference
Calculated from Q58 and Q59:                      n=2               n=8    Number in                   n=4             n=18     Number in
likelihood that children who are not in                                    category is                                          category is
pre-adoptive homes will be adopted                                         too small to                                         too small to
                                                                           perform the                                          perform the
                                                                           test                                                 test
Very likely                                          2                 3                                 2                  5
Likely                                               0                 2                                 1                  5
As likely as unlikely                                0                 1                                 0                  4
Unlikely                                             0                 0                                 0                  3
Very unlikely                                        0                 2                                 1                  1

                                               Note: Based on cases in which the goal according to question 45 was adoption.




Table V.11: Cases With the Goal of Guardianship
                                                          California                                            Illinois
                                                          Other foster     Statistically                      Other foster      Statistically
                                                                  care     significant                                care      significant
                                          Kinship care       settings      difference       Kinship care         settings       difference
Calculated from state administrative             n=19             n=25     Number in                 n=23               n=2     Number in
database: years in foster care as of                                       category is                                          category is
September 15, 1997                                                         too small to                                         too small to
                                                                           perform the                                          perform the
                                                                           test                                                 test
Mean number of years                               5.7              8.6                                4.3              12.1
Median number of years                             5.5              8.7                                4.0                 NA
Less than 2                                          2                 0                                 3                  0
2 to 3                                               4                 3                                 9                  0
4 to 5                                               6                 3                                 6                  0
6 to 7                                               5                 4                                 4                  0
8 to 9                                               0                 6                                 0                  0
10 years and longer                                  2                 9                                 1                  2
                                                                                                                                   (continued)




                                               Page 107                                                 GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                             Appendix V
                                             Survey Results




                                                        California                                       Illinois
                                                        Other foster     Statistically                  Other foster      Statistically
                                                                care     significant                            care      significant
                                        Kinship care       settings      difference      Kinship care      settings       difference
Calculated: child’s age as of                  n=19            n=25      Number in              n=23            n=2       Number in
September 15, 1997                                                       category is                                      category is
                                                                         too small to                                     too small to
                                                                         perform the                                      perform the
                                                                         test                                             test
Mean number of years                             8.4            13.0                              9.8           13.5
Median number of years                           7.1            12.0                             10.8           13.5
Younger than 3 years                              1                  0                             1                 0
3 to 4 years                                      0                  0                             2                 0
5 to 7 years                                      9                  1                             7                 0
8 to 11 years                                     6                  9                             4                 0
12 years or older                                 3              15                                9                 2
Calculated: child’s age upon                   n=18            n=25      Number in              n=23            n=2       Number in
entering foster care                                                     category is                                      category is
                                                                         too small to                                     too small to
                                                                         perform the                                      perform the
                                                                         test                                             test
Mean number of years                             3.3             4.4                              5.5               1.3
Median number of years                           3.0             4.4                              4.6               1.3
Younger than 3 years                             10                  9                             8                 2
3 to 4 years                                      5                  6                             4                 0
5 to 7 years                                      2                  6                             4                 0
8 to 11 years                                     1                  4                             7                 0
12 years or older                                 0                  0                             0                 0
Q5: What was the primary reason for            n=19            n=21      Number in              n=23            n=2       Number in
this child’s removal?                                                    category is                                      category is
                                                                         too small to                                     too small to
                                                                         perform the                                      perform the
                                                                         test                                             test
Neglect (including entries in “other”            16              18                               22                 2
related to drugs, siblings hurt or
neglected, abandonment)
Physical abuse                                    1                  1                             1                 0
Sexual abuse                                      1                  0                             0                 0
Emotional abuse                                   0                  0                             0                 0
Other                                             1                  2                             0                 0
                                                                                                                             (continued)




                                             Page 108                                             GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                             Appendix V
                                             Survey Results




                                                        California                                            Illinois
                                                        Other foster      Statistically                     Other foster        Statistically
                                                                care      significant                               care        significant
                                        Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care         settings         difference
Q49: Has a guardian, other than the            n=18             n=25      Number in                n=23               n=2       Number in
state or foster care agency, been                                         category is                                           category is
appointed for this child by the court                                     too small to                                          too small to
and if so what is the guardian’s                                          perform the                                           perform the
relationship to the child?                                                test                                                  test
Yes, a relative as defined by your                 9                 2                                 8                  0
state
Yes, a person (not a relative) this                0                 8                                 0                  0
child knew before entering foster
care
Yes, someone else                                  1                 8                                 0                  0
No                                                 8                 7                                15                  2

                                             Note: Based on cases in which the goal according to question 45 was guardianship.




Table V.12: Cases With the Goal of Long-Term Foster Care
                                                    California                                                Illinois
                                                        Other foster      Statistically                     Other foster        Statistically
                                                                care      significant                               care        significant
                                        Kinship care       settings       difference      Kinship care         settings         difference
Calculated from state administrative           n=65             n=52                               n=46              n=58
database: years in foster care as of
September 15, 1997
Mean number of years                             6.4              6.0     No                         4.2                 4.9    No
Median number of years                           6.4              4.9                                3.4                 4.6
Less than 2                                      3.1%             9.6%                              19.6%            13.8%
2 to 3                                          27.7%            28.8%                              43.5%            29.3%
4 to 5                                          16.9%            15.4%                              17.4%            29.3%
6 to 7                                          13.8%            17.3%                              13.0%            13.8%
8 to 9                                          24.6%            13.5%                                 0%            10.3%
10 years and longer                             13.8%            15.4%                               6.5%                3.4%
Calculated: child’s age as of                  n=65             n=52                               n=46              n=58
September 15, 1997
Mean number of years                            11.6             13.4     Yes                       12.1             11.2       No
Median number of years                          11.8             13.4                               13.6             11.8
Younger than 3 years                             1.5%                0%                              8.7%                6.9%
3 to 4 years                                     6.2%             1.9%                               8.7%            10.3%
5 to 7 years                                    10.8%             7.7%                              15.2%            10.3%
8 to 11 years                                   33.8%            25.0%                              10.9%            22.4%
                                                                                                                                     (continued)


                                             Page 109                                                 GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
                                             Appendix V
                                             Survey Results




                                                        California                                              Illinois
                                                        Other foster      Statistically                      Other foster         Statistically
                                                                care      significant                                care         significant
                                        Kinship care       settings       difference       Kinship care         settings          difference
12 years or older                               47.7%            65.4%                               56.5%             50.0%
Calculated: child’s age upon                   n=65             n=52                                n=46              n=58
entering foster care
Mean number of years                             6.0               7.9    Yes                         7.9                  6.4    No
Median number of years                           5.5               8.2                                8.4                  5.6
Younger than 3 years                            33.8%            21.2%                               28.3%             29.3%
3 to 4 years                                    10.8%              5.8%                               8.7%             12.1%
5 to 7 years                                    18.5%            21.2%                               10.9%             22.4%
8 to 11 years                                   27.7%            30.8%                               19.6%             17.2%
12 years or older                                9.2%            21.2%                               32.6%             19.0%
Q5: What was the primary reason for            n=59             n=40                                n=44              n=56
this child’s removal?
Neglect (including related to drugs,            81.4%              24     Number in                  84.1%             78.6% No, first
siblings hurt or neglected,                                               category is                                        category
abandonment)                                                              too small to                                       versus the
                                                                          perform                                            rest
                                                                          the test                                           combined
Physical abuse                                   6.8%                5                                2.3%                 7.1%
Sexual abuse                                     8.5%                6                                4.5%                 8.9%
Emotional abuse                                    0%                1                                  0%                  0%
Other                                            3.4%                4                                9.1%                 5.4%
Q48: What is the primary reason                n=61             n=48      Each                      n=41              n=54        Each
adoption is not the permanency goal                                       category                                                category
for this child?                                                           versus the                                              versus the
                                                                          rest                                                    rest
                                                                          combined                                                combined
Child was old enough to be a party              13.1%            25.0% No                            34.1%             27.8% No
to the decision and did not want to
be adopted
Child had such severe special needs              4.9%            43.8% Yes                            2.4%             18.5% Yes
that adoption was unlikely
Child was in kinship or relative care           73.8%            18.4% Yes                           24.4%             13.0% No
with foster caregiver(s) who did not
want to adopt and removing this
child from the placement was
considered detrimental
Other: specified adoption or                     1.6%              6.3% No                           19.5%             24.1% No
reunification still possible
All other responses                              6.6%              6.3%                              19.5%             16.7%

                                             Note: Based on cases in which the goal according to question 45 was long-term foster care.




                                             Page 110                                                  GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix VI

Comments From the Department of Health
and Human Services




              Page 111       GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix VI
Comments From the Department of Health
and Human Services




Page 112                                 GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Page 113   GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix VII

Major Contributors to This Report


               Clarita A. Mrena, Assistant Director, (415) 904-2245
               Ann T. Walker, Evaluator-in-Charge, (415) 904-2169
               Rathi Bose
               Kerry Gail Dunn
               Joel I. Grossman
               John G. Smale, Jr.
               Shellee S. Soliday
               Karen Doris Wright




               Page 114                                     GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Appendix VII
Major Contributors to This Report




Page 115                            GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
Related GAO Products


              Juvenile Courts: Reforms Aimed to Better Serve Maltreated Children
              (GAO/HEHS-99-13, Jan. 11, 1999).

              Foster Care: Agencies Face Challenges Securing Stable Homes for
              Children of Substance Abusers (GAO/HEHS-98-182, Sept. 30, 1998).

              Child Protective Services: Complex Challenges Require New Strategies
              (GAO/HEHS-97-115, July 21, 1997).

              Foster Care: State Efforts to Improve the Permanency Planning Process
              Show Some Promise (GAO/HEHS-97-73, May 7, 1997).

              Child Welfare: Complex Needs Strain Capacity to Provide Services
              (GAO/HEHS-95-208, Sept. 26, 1995).

              Foster Care: Health Needs of Many Young Children Are Unknown and
              Unmet (GAO/HEHS-95-114, May 26, 1995).

              Foster Care: Parental Drug Abuse Has Alarming Impact on Young Children
              (GAO/HEHS-94-89, Apr. 4, 1994).




(105828)      Page 116                                  GAO/HEHS-99-32 Kinship Foster Care
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