Social Work

Date of this version


Document Type



disability, child welfare, foster care, placement stability, permanency, adolescents


Despite their overrepresentation in the child welfare system (Crosse, Kaye, & Ratnofsky, 1992; Sullivan & Knutson, 2000), little is known about the permanency and placement experiences of young people with disabilities in out-of-home placement. Using state administrative data, this study examined the experience of older youth with disabilities in foster care, focusing on placement stability, permanency planning, and placement outcomes. Findings include that older youth with disabilities were more likely to experience longer time in out-of-home placement, and higher rates of placement instability than their peers without disabilities. Additionally, analysis found that only 60% of the youth in the sample had a concurrent plan on file, and that youth with disabilities have different placement plans than their peers without disabilities. Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License