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Methodology
Foster Care Entry Cohorts
To Report

Notes on Data Source

These reports are derived from a longitudinal database and provide information on the status of children entering foster care during specific 12-month periods (“entry cohorts”) at various times, from 3 months to 13 years, after entry into care. The report is limited to single placement episodes, thus children whose placement episode ended, e.g., by reunification, who later reentered care are reported as having exited care.

Cohort: A cohort is composed of children who enter foster care in a 12-month period. The user may limit the cohort in a number of ways including demographic characteristics, time in care, and previous placement experience. Youth who enter foster care at age 18 or more are excluded. For children with multiple episodes during the same 12-month period, this measure evaluates the first episode within the period.

In the drill-down reports, an entry cohort may be restricted to children entering foster care for the first time ever (‘first entry’) or to ‘other entry’. Days in care selection may be limited to the default of 8 days or more, 7 days or less, or all entries. Exit status can be tracked from 3 months up to a maximum of 156 months (13 years), depending on the available follow-up data for the selected entry cohort. That is, earlier cohorts may be tracked for longer time periods.

Status: The status of children at set time periods after entry into care is reported. If the child has left care, this status shows the Exit Type at the end of the placement (Reunification, Adoption, Guardianship, Emancipation, or Other). If the child is still in care in the cohort episode, the child is reported as still in care. The measure is limited to single placement episodes. Thus children who reentered care in a new episode are reported by the way in which the cohort placement episode ended, e.g., reunification.

Notes:
  • County is assigned based on the county of removal.
  • Agency Type is based on the responsible agency at the placement episode start date.
  • Age is the child’s age at the placement episode start date
  • First Placement Type refers to the facility where a child was initially placed at the placement episode start date.
  • First Caregiver Relationship refers to the value of the substitute care provider relationship to child variable at the placement episode start date during the specified time period.
  • In the 'Exit Status at Most Recent Available Follow Up Period' analysis, rows and columns with no data are not displayed in report output. Please note that this may result in an unusual table structure for queries involving small counties or other small frequency counts.
  • The Trial Home Visit (THV) adjustment is applied. This means that if a child discharges from foster care to reunification with parents or other caretakers after a placement setting of a trial home visit, any time in that trial home visit that exceeds 30 days is discounted from the length of stay in foster care.

Note: In the ‘Exit Status at Most Recent Available Follow Up Period’ analysis, rows and columns with no data are not displayed in report output. Please note that this may result in unusual table structure for queries involving small counties or other small frequency counts.

Note [Q2 17]: The Last Placement Type and Last Caregiver Relationship variables are being revised. The previous versions were potentially misleading when applied to children and youth still in care.

Note: Cells containing a period (".") represent a value of zero. In cells representing quotients, a period may also indicate the indeterminate form 0/0.

Stratification and Filters: This measure may be run with filters to restrict the data to various subgroups of other variables (e.g., Black subgroup of the Ethnicity variable, <1 year old subgroup of the Age variable, etc.). Please see the links below for details:


Agency Type

Age Group

Ethnic Group

Gender

Placement Type

Caregiver Relationship

Exit Status