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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 first county with an open case during the placement episode. However, if the child was only in referral status or was in referral status for more than six months during the placement episode, the first responsible county is defined as the first county responsible for the referral.
  • 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
  • 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 adjustment is applied consistent with the federal methodology for 3-P1. For children whose trial home visits ended in permanency (usually reunification) more than 30 days after the beginning of the trial home visit, the Trial Home Visit Adjustment calculates the date of discharge to permanency as 30 days after the beginning of the trial home visit, thus shortening the time in care. Note that this adjustment is applied to 3-P1, but not to the other Federal measures.
As of Quarter 4, 2017,
  • We added a new report dimension and filter, Placement Type at 12 Months, and a new filter, Caregiver Relationship at 12 Months. Placement Type at 12 Months is determined as follows: for children who exited care within 12 months of entry, the Placement Type at 12 Months is the child's last placement type prior to leaving care. For children who were in a foster care placement 12 months after entry it is the placement type of that placement. For children in an open placement episode but not in a foster care placement 12 months after entry, the Placement Type at 12 Months is that of the child's last placement in the episode prior to the 12 months date. Placement Type at 12 Months is reported as missing when the child's first foster care placement in the placement episode started more than 12 months after the start of the episode. This may be because the child was in a non-foster care placement (e.g., a medical setting), because the episode start date and/or the placement start data was entered incorrectly, or for some other reason. The Caregiver Relationship at 12 Months filter is determined in a parallel manner. For example, for children who exited care within 12 months of entry, the Caregiver Relationship at 12 Months is the relationship to the caregiver reported for the last placement prior to leaving care. For a full description, which includes the placement type categories, please see:
    http://cssr.berkeley.edu/cwscmsreports/methodologies/default.aspx?definition=PlacementType&backReport=EntryCohorts&report=
  • We corrected the Trial Home Visit (THV) adjustment, consistent with the federal methodology. Previously, it had not been functioning. The result is to slightly increase the proportion of children reported on 3-P1 as leaving care for permanency. Statewide, the change is slight, however, counties that make more use of THVs may notice improved performance versus previously posted values.
  • This report now includes placement episodes where the first placement in the episode is identified as a guardianship placement, but with an authority for placement of WIC 300 or WIC 600. Because the prior coding excluded these placements this change slightly increases the number of placement episodes (by less than one percent).
  • Stratification by county is now based on the first county responsible in the placement episode, rather than the last county responsible. First county is defined as the first county with an open case during the placement episode. However, if the child was only in referral status or was in referral status for more than six months during the placement episode, the first responsible county is defined as the first county responsible for the referral.

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