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Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 345–363 | Cite as

Challenges in Identifying Factors Which Determine the Placement of Children in Care? An International Review

  • Kish Bhatti-Sinclair
  • Charles Sutcliffe
Article

Abstract

Placing a child in out-of-home care is one of the most important decisions made by professionals in the child care system, with substantial social, psychological, educational, medical and economic consequences. This paper considers the challenges and difficulties of building statistical models of this decision by reviewing the available international evidence. Despite the large number of empirical investigations over a 50 year period, a consensus on the variables associated with this decision is hard to identify. In addition, the individual models have low explanatory and predictive power and should not be relied on to make placement decisions. A number of reasons for this poor performance are offered, and some ways forwards suggested. This paper also aims to facilitate the emergence of a coherent and integrated international literature from the disconnected and fragmented empirical studies. Rather than one placement problem, there are many slightly different problems, and therefore it is expected that a number of related sub-literatures will emerge, each concentrating on a particular definition of the placement problem.

Keywords

Placement decision Foster care Out-of-home care Modelling 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Childhood, Social Work and Social CareUniversity of ChichesterChichesterUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.The ICMA CentreUniversity of ReadingEnglandUnited Kingdom

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