There’s no place like home

Children placed in foster care do considerably worse in life than children who stayed in families suspected of abuse or neglect, a major study concludes.

Kids who stayed with their families were less likely to become juvenile delinquents or teen mothers and more likely to hold jobs as young adults, says the study by Joseph Doyle, an economics professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management who studies social policy.

“The size of the effects surprised me, because all the children come from tough families,” Doyle says.

Doyle tracked 15,000 Illinois children from 1990 to 2002. He “screened out extreme cases of abuse or neglect and studied kids whose cases could have gone either way,” reports USA Today.

However, another study shows that children returned to their families after a stint in foster care do worse than children who stay in foster care.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    God, I hate data smoothing.

  2. He “screened out extreme cases of abuse or neglect and studied kids whose cases could have gone either way,” reports USA Today.

    He cooked the books, in other words. But then again, what does an economics professor know about abused children and how well they are doing?

    Shame on USA Today for printing this drivel!

  3. Nels Nelson says:

    Huh? He had to ignore the extreme cases and focus on the borderline ones in order for his results to have any meaning. My very first thought when reading Joanne’s excerpt was that he’d neglected to do this, which is what would’ve cooked the books.

  4. This is ridiculous. Obviously, the children left with the family were the ones whose homes were considered safe to stay in. Otherwise, the social worker, concerned about CYA, would have yanked the kid out.

    The poorer result for the returned kids just points at the failure of many family reunification plans. They send kids home, not because there’s improvement, but because it’s easier and cheaper. And it gets another kid off the caseload.