After children spend 12 to 18 continuous months in foster care, their chances of leaving foster care decrease rapidly, and once children spend 36 to 42 continuous months in foster care, their chances of leaving foster care are extremely low. These were findings from the analysis of several years of data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) to examine the risk of remaining in long-term foster care. The research brief focuses on the following questions: 1) How does time in spent in foster care affect a child’s chances of continuing to live in foster care; and 2) Is child age at the time of a maltreatment investigation associated with the likelihood of remaining in foster care? NSCAW is a national longitudinal study of 5,501 children, aged 14 years or younger, who had contact with the child welfare system within a 15-month period starting in October 1999.
- PDF NSCAW, No. 19: Risk of Long-term Foster Care Report (416.76 KB)