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Children and Youth Services Review   Volume: 24 (5) 2002  forthcoming

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Mary Ellen Cox                 293     Willingness to Foster Special Needs

John G. Orme                             Children and Foster Family Utilization

Kathryn W. Rhodes


The chronic shortage of foster families is exacerbated by the underutilization of foster families. Better utilization may be linked to the willingness of families to foster children with special needs and teenagers. This study used data from the National Survey of Current and Former Foster Parents to examine the extent of foster family underutilization and the relationship between willingness to foster particular types of children and utilization. Findings showed that over one-third of licensed families did not have foster children in their homes. Families willing to foster special-needs children and teenagers had fostered more children and more types of special-needs children, had more foster children in their homes, were licensed to care for more children, had fostered longer, and were less likely to report an intention to discontinue fostering. In particular, utilization was predicted by willingness to foster children who were physically handicapped or seriously ill, children who had serious behavioral or emotional problems, or children who were sexually abused. Implications for recruitment, training, placement, and support are discussed.


Benjamin Kerman             319     Outcomes for Young Adults Who

Judith Wildfire                            Experienced Foster Care

Richard P. Barth


Long term foster care often provides a ‘third-best’ option for youth when reunification and adoption are not available, not only because of the emotional complexity of belonging to an impermanent family, but because foster care often ends at the beginning of adulthood. This paper highlights the role of extending support during the critical transition through young adulthood.  . After a brief review of adult outcome literature, results from a follow-up study of foster children for whom reunification was not planned are described. Adoptees and children who remained in foster care into young adulthood were functioning better than those who exited at age 18 or before. Moreover, youth who remained for extended support in foster care were doing as well as those who were adopted. These findings must be carefully interpreted in view of the many study constraints. Further work is needed to address limitations in study design, to identify the children most likely to succeed along the different permanency service paths, and to clarify critical services needed by youth remaining in care.


Howard A. Palley             345     A Comparison of National Family

Elizabeth K. Bowman                 Policies: France and Sweden

 
Public policies in all societies are influenced by a multiplicity of political, economic and social factors. This is certainly true of national family policies that encompass a wide variety of programs. The question this essay asks with respect to France and Sweden is: Whether these two nations with differing traditions, ideologies and salient political clusters produce very different social policies regarding family policy or will such policies converge—in part, because of similar demographic, economic and social trends. This study will show that in spite of differing social ideologies, different governmental structures and some different demographic factors ( France has a much larger and diverse population), the outputs of these two national family policies tend to converge—although they differ in some details. Also this essay will specifically note and discuss the recent development of child day care policies in France and Sweden as a major emphasis of family policy. 


                                                  Book Reviews

Tom Croxton                    375     Beating the Odds : Crime, Poverty, and

                                                  Life in the Inner City by Robert P.

                                                  McNamara


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