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.