The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5052.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - Board 7

Abstract #45801

Predictors of successful reunification after child maltreatment and placement in the Florida Foster Care System

Marion Becker, RN, PhD, Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MHC 1423, Tampa, FL 33612-3899, (813)974-7188,, Kevin E Kip, PhD, Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 130 De Soto Street, 127 Parran Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, and Neil Jordan, PhD, Dept of Mental Health Law & Policy, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612.

Objective: This study identifies predictors of successful parent-child reunification after an occurrence of documented child maltreatment and foster care placement. The predictors identified can be used in intervention studies targeted toward safely reuniting foster care children with their parents, reducing foster care length of stay and costs, and improving parent and child relations and family functioning. Methods: The sample includes Florida Medicaid-enrolled children and parents who had a documented occurrence of child maltreatment where the child was placed into foster care in FY1999. The documented occurrence of child maltreatment and foster care placements are identified from the Office of Family Safety Florida Abuse Hotline Information System (FAHIS) and Client Information System (CIS) files. Medicaid enrollment is identified from monthly claims files provided by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. To identify predictors of successful child reunification, the CIS file was prospectively explored to identify instances in which foster care children were reunited with their parent(s). Child characteristics and circumstances of their foster care placement were identified from FAHIS and CIS files. Parents' sociodemographic characteristics and mental health services utilization were identified from Medicaid claims files. Results: In FY1999-2000, more than 70,000 cases of documented child maltreatment were identified, and over 22,000 children utilized foster care. The median length of stay in foster care was 15 months. The strongest predictors of successful reunification in this data set were geographic area (county and health district) and legal status. Public policy implications of these findings are discussed.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Child care

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA