Factors associated with children's length of stay in foster family care in Puerto Rico

Luz A Vega, Fordham University

Abstract

This was a descriptive study aimed at identifying those factors associated with the children's length of stay in foster family care in Puerto Rico. The objectives were: (1) to identify those variables that might or might not contribute to the child's discharge from the service; (2) to portray a profile of those children more likely to be discharged and of those remaining in foster family homes; (3) to find out if a permanency plan was stated and achieved for each child in agreement with the agency's norms; and (4) to know the children's status as of two years of placement. A systematic random sample (N = 168) was derived from those children placed in foster family homes, for their first time, from July 1, 1986 to June 30, 1987. A case review schedule was the device used for data collection and a cross-sectional approach was the strategy applied in this study. Information was gathered at the Department of Social Services' regional offices from June 26, 1989 through August 23, 1989. Observations were made on one dependent variable (length of stay), and twenty-six independent variables regarding characteristics of the child (4), characteristics of the child's family (7), and service delivery factors (15). Correlational techniques and tests of significance were used in hypotheses testing, and a discriminant analysis was performed. Those factors associated with the children's length of stay in foster family care were: former caregivers' unwillingness to assume child's care as an additional reason for placement, number of administrative and judicial case reviews, number of changes in caseworker, the time a permanency plan is first reported, changes in initial permanency plan, and placement far from the family of origin as an agency limitation. Profiles of children who are discharged and those who were not have been developed. The significant discriminating variables were: administrative case reviews, number of changes in caseworker, judicial case reviews, when the permanency plan was first reported, number of placements, and placement far from family origin as an agency limitation. Permanency plans were reported for 17.3 percent and achieved for 44 percent of the children in agreement with the agency's norms. As of two years of placement, 48 percent of the sample remained in foster family homes. In the light of these findings, recommendations were made to the agency. ^

Subject Area

Social work|Individual & family studies

Recommended Citation

Vega, Luz A, "Factors associated with children's length of stay in foster family care in Puerto Rico" (1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9132210.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9132210

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