Returning Home in Systems of Care: Rates, Predictors, and Stability

Farmer, Elizabeth M. Z.; Southerland, Dannia; Mustillo, Sarah A.; Burns, Barbara J.
September 2009
Journal of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders;Sep2009, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p133
Academic Journal
Recent work suggests that out-of-home placements continue to be relatively common for youth with mental health problems, even within systems of care. The current work examines rates and predictors of movement back home and stability of reunifications. During the focal period, 1,778 youths experienced out-of-home placements; 61% moved back home, and 22% of those reunited were placed out of home again. Race was related to likelihood of reunification and instability: American Indian youth were least likely to return home, whereas Hispanic youth were at increased risk of unstable reunifications. Older youth and boys were more likely to return home, whereas youth from families with higher incomes were slightly more likely to be placed out of home but also most likely to be stably reunited. Higher (i.e., worse) total Child Behavior Checklist score was related to moving back home, whereas decreased strengths and more child-level risk factors predicted instability of reunification.


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