Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
This report describes the findings from a series of analyses that Chapin Hall has conducted using data from the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive, in which the State of Maine is a participant. The objective of these analyses is to compare the characteristics and outcomes of children served by the Maine Division of Child Welfare before and after the initiation of their 2004 reform effort (May, 2004) (henceforth referred to as 'the reform'). Of particular interest are outcomes that relate to several important goals articulated in federal child welfare policy, including the achievement of timely and lasting permanence, stability of children's living arrangements, and placement in the less-restrictive, family-like settings. As described below, the initiation of the reform was associated with a significant increase in the rate of permanence, without a resultant increase in the rate of reentry to care. Also, contemporaneous with the reform, the percentage of children placed with kinship foster families increased, while the percentages placed with non-relative foster families, or in residential care facilities, both decreased. Finally, there appears to have been a significant reduction in placement instability associated with the timing of the reform.
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