Visualizing and describing foster care placement pathways

Bowen McBeath, Bethany J. Godlewski, Jeffrey Waid, Brianne H. Kothari, Jennifer Blakeslee, Sara J. Webb, Felicity E. Colangelo, Lewis Bank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper introduces a flowchart-based methodology for describing the movement of foster youth in and out of placements of differing types and durations. This longitudinal methodology is designed to be sufficiently simple to appeal to policymakers and administrators seeking to chart the movement of groups of youth over time and the sequencing of their placements, and sufficiently descriptive to be of use to researchers seeking to predict the placement trajectories of subgroups of foster youth. The paper provides an example of the use of the method drawing upon state administrative data from a large study of preadolescent and adolescent youth in foster care situated in Oregon. Implications for the application of the methodology to different issues of interest to researchers, policymakers, and administrators are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-539
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Public Child Welfare
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 20 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health [Grant No. R01 MH085438].


  • Foster care
  • child welfare
  • flowchart
  • methodology
  • placement


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