Placement Stability Among Children in Kinship and Non-Kinship Foster Placements

Jennifer Osborne, Lauren Hindt, Nathan Lutz, Nicole Hodgkinson, Scott C. Leon - Children and Youth Services Review


The child welfare system has focused on kinship placements, which have been found to protect against disruption. The current study used survival analysis to investigate whether the type of placement (kin versus non-kin) related to the number of placement disruptions over time. Participants included 447 youth aged 5-15 years (M = 9.94, SD = 2.40; 50.8% female) from a larger project examining the outcomes of a family finding intervention. Using survival analysis, we examined the role of a kinship placement on placement disruptions across up to four placements while controlling for demographics, externalizing behaviors upon entry into care, treatment group (family finding versus control), and kin involvement outside of the placement. Results revealed that kin placements contributed to fewer disruptions across the first three placements. Findings align with policies prioritizing kin placements and suggest that the benefits of kinship care hold even for later disruptions. Thus, caseworkers should continue to consider kinship care, even if prior kin placements have disrupted.