Initial Placements in Out-of-Home Care
Information and resources about factors in the decision to place a child in out-of-home care to ensure his or her safety, when an investigation finds the child has been seriously harmed or is at risk of harm. Resources include State and local examples.
National Resource Center for In-Home Services
Provides training and technical assistance to States and Tribes to ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth in their homes, prevent their initial placement or re-entry into foster care, and preserve, support, and stabilize their families.
National Resource Center for Child Protective Services
Assists States and Tribes with system and practice issues in all areas of child protective services that help improve the prevention, reporting, assessment, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
The Child Placement Handbook: Research, Policy, and Practice
Schofield & Simmonds (2009)
Explores key issues relating to several placement options, including relative care, foster care for special populations, residential care, reunification, and adoption.
Child Placement Is a Safety Response
Action for Child Protection (2004)
Discusses the need for caseworkers to view child placement as a safety response option and to implement safety plans for children in foster care.
Placement Decisions and Disparities Among Aboriginal Groups: An Application of the Decision Making Ecology Through Multi-Level Analysis (PDF - 280 KB)
Fluke, Chabot, Fallon, MacLaurin, & Blackstock
Child Abuse and Neglect: The International Journal, 34(1), 2010
Examines the relative influence of clinical and organizational characteristics on the decision to place a child in out-of-home care at the conclusion of a child maltreatment investigation. The study is based on the results of nearly 5,000 child maltreatment investigations using data from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect.
Prediction of Placement Into Out-of-Home Care for American Indian/Alaskan Natives Compared to Non-Indians
Children and Youth Services Review, 31(8), 2009
Concludes that when compared to non-Indian children, American Indian/Alaskan Native children placed in out-of-home care came from poorer homes and had caregivers with greater mental health and alcohol abuse service needs compared to non-Indian caregivers. The study also found possible bias by child protective services workers that may have affected decision-making.
Professionals' Decision-Making About Out-of-Home Placements Following Instances of Child Abuse
Britner & Mossler
Child Abuse and Neglect, 26(4), 2002
Examines how different groups of child welfare professionals prioritize and use information to make placement decisions following instances of child abuse.
Remaining vs. Removal: Preventing Premature Removal When Poverty Is Confused With Neglect (PDF - 1358 KB)
Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal, 12(4), 2009
Discusses the definition of neglect and compares harm caused to children by neglect with harm caused to children by removal from the home. The paper also explores the relationship between poverty and neglect, and discusses current State statutes that provide good models for addressing these problems.
Separation and Reunification: Using Attachment Theory and Research to Inform Decisions Affecting the Placements of Children in Foster Care
Goldsmith, Oppenheim, & Wanlass
Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 55(2), 2004
Describes recent developments in attachment theory and research and its usefulness for placement decisions.
Why We Remove Kids (PDF - 65 KB)
Action for Child Protection (2009)
Reviews key considerations on the standard for removal, changing decision-making criteria, reasonable efforts, foster care, disproportionality, and erring on the side of safety. The brief also recommends minor statutory changes that would reduce the risk of children being removed unnecessarily.
State and local examples
Child Removal Process (PDF - 125 KB)
Arizona Office of the Auditor General (2008)
Addresses conditions that allow child protective services (CPS) to remove children from their homes, situations indicating imminent harm, alternative actions that CPS must consider before removing a child from the home, legal requirements for notifying caregivers when CPS takes custody of children, and the various entities involved in reviewing the decision to remove a child.
Family Preservation in Georgia: A Legal and Judicial Guide to Preventing Unnecessary Removal to State Custody (PDF - 2345 KB)
Bradley, Franzen, Walker, & Reimels (2009)
Addresses the laws and policies that determine Georgia's involvement in families where abuse or neglect has been reported and when child protective services is proposing to remove the child from the home.
The Long Road Home: Stranded in New York City Foster Care
Children's Rights (2009)
Discusses the outcomes of a study that sought to identify the barriers that may keep children in foster care in New York City, and recommends strategies for overcoming those barriers. (PDF - 185 KB)