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Outcomes of Child Welfare Services under Permanency Planning

Richard P. Barth and Marianne Berry
Social Service Review
Vol. 61, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 71-90
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30011864
Page Count: 20
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Outcomes of Child Welfare Services under Permanency Planning
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Abstract

According to the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-272), preferred permanency planning outcomes are reunification with the child's family, adoption, guardianship, and long-term foster care, in that order. This paper assesses available research on the results of each kind of placement. Indicators of placement outcome that are compared include abuse, placement stability, developmental outcomes, and children's satisfaction with the placement. Children who are reunified are most poorly served under permanency planning. They deserve increased and longer-lasting services. Adoption of older children appears to be meeting its promise for children and deserves continued emphasis. Guardianship is little understood despite significant use. Since recent legislative changes, long-term foster care appears to have fewer drawbacks but does not adequately address the needs of children who age out of foster care. Reforms designed to improve services to dependent children are forwarded.

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