The Placement History Chart: A tool for understanding the longitudinal pattern of foster children's placements

Hyoun K. Kim, Katherine C. Pears, Philip A. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Despite growing concerns about foster placement instability, little information is available regarding the longitudinal patterns of placement histories among foster children. The purpose of the present study was to develop a charting system using child welfare records to facilitate a better understanding of longitudinal patterns of placement history for 117 foster children. The resulting . Placement History Chart included all placements that occurred during the observed time period and accounted for various dimensions: number, length, type, and sequence of placements; timing of transitions; and total time in out-of-home care. The Placement History Chart is an effective tool for placing foster care experiences within a broader developmental context. As such, the Placement History Chart can be a valuable research tool for understanding various dimensions and variations of placement transitions among foster children by capturing sequences and cumulative risks over time. Furthermore, this chart can facilitate the development of intervention programs that are developmentally sensitive and effectively address particularly vulnerable subpopulations of foster children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1464
Number of pages6
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this article was provided by the following grants: HD045894, NICHD, NIH, U.S. PHS ; MH059780 and MH076158 , NIMH, NIH, U.S. PHS; and DA021424 , NIDA, NIH, U.S. PHS . The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding organizations. The authors thank Matthew Rabel for editorial assistance and Kristen Greenley and the staff and families of the Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care for Preschoolers project for their ongoing dedication and participation.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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