Group Care

Jill Duerr Berrick, Barbara Needell, Richard P. Barth and Melissa Jonson-Reid

in The Tender Years

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780195114539
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865819 | DOI:

Series: Child Welfare: A Series in Child Welfare Practice, Policy, and Research

 Group Care

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This chapter analyzes the placement experiences of young children in group care versus foster family care in California. In theory, group care offers continuous safe care from the time of placement to young adulthood — a phenomenon that is not seen in its entirety in foster care. Placement in group care would also avoid the pitfalls of children living in overburdened foster care, the potential harms of unsafe reunifications, and the frequent shifting of children from foster home to foster home as they age. However, evidence from California's administrative data do not match the theoretical assumptions that drive the placement of young children in group care. These data, coupled with philosophical support for family-like settings, suggests that all group care for young children should be critically examined and that stringent restrictions should be placed on its use nationwide. A summary of key findings and recommendations regarding group care for young children is presented at the end of the chapter.

Keywords: child welfare; child services; child placement; foster care; California

Chapter.  6146 words.  Illustrated.

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