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CFSR3: Permanency Performance Area 4
Re-entry to foster care
To Report

Federal/CWS Outcomes Measure: Of all children who enter foster care in a 12-month period who discharged within 12 months to reunification, living with a relative(s), or guardianship, what percent re-enter foster care within 12 months of their discharge?

Denominator: The denominator is the number of children who entered foster care in a 12-month period who discharged within 12 months to reunification, or guardianship. Please note that this denominator does not include children discharged to adoption, who re-enter within 12 months. Children in foster care for less than 8 days or who enter or exit foster care at age 18 or more are excluded from the denominator. For details, please see Permanency Type.

Numerator: The numerator is the number of children in the denominator who re-entered foster care within 12 months of their discharge from foster care. If a child re-enters foster care multiple times within 12 months of when they left, only the first re-entry into foster care is selected.

Performance: Performance for this measure is the numerator divided by the denominator, expressed as a percentage. A decrease in the percentage indicates an improvement in performance.

These rates may differ slightly from federal numbers reported by the Children's Bureau because the federal AFCARS data file inadvertently prevents identification of reentries following exit to permanency when the exit and reentry occur within the same 6-month AFCARS reporting period. Therefore, the Federal reentry rates will be lower than the rates displayed here.

National Standard: Note: [10/17/2016] The Children's Bureau has determined they will use the Child and Family Services Reviews, Round 3 (CFSR3) statewide data indicators and national standards to provide context for the CFSR3 reviews, rather than in conformity determinations. They are revising the indicators, which is likely to affect performance results for states and the national standards. For details, please see CFSR Technical Bulletin 9. For your reference, the CWS Outcomes workbooks will include the original national standards and related calculations until the Children's Bureau publishes corrected national standards.

Extension of Federal Measure: In the drill-down reports for this measure, the entry cohort may be restricted to children entering foster care for the first time ever ('first entry') or for a subsequent entry 'other entry'. 'Days in care' selections are also available: in addition to the default of 8 days or more, users may select children in care 7 days or less, or include children regardless of the number of days in care (‘All’).

  • County is assigned in this analysis using the county specific code from the case assignment table (or, if this information is not available, using the county specific code from the referral table, or if this information is not available, using the government entity type from the state id table) active at the placement episode start date during the specified time period (i.e., the time period that defines the denominator).
  • Agency Type is assigned based on the responsible agency at the placement episode start date during the specified time period.
  • Age is assigned based on how old a child is at the placement episode start date during the specified time period.
  • Placement Type refers to the most recent facility in which a child resided before she or he achieved permanency.
  • The Trial Home Visit adjustment is not applied, consistent with the federal definition of this measure.
  • The denominator for this measure is similar to the numerator for measure 3-P1, Permanency in 12 months (entry cohort), but differs in three ways: (1) exits to adoption are excluded from the 3-P4 denominator, but included in the 3-P1 numerator, (2) the Trial Home Visit adjustment is not applied to the 3-P4 denominator, but is applied to the 3-P1 numerator, and (3) stratification by county for measure 3-P4 is based on the last county responsible in the placement episode, rather than the first county responsible as in 3-P1.
  • Please note that the exclusion of children in care less than 8 days applies only to the denominator. Children who re-enter for 1 day or more are counted in the numerator.

Note: As of Quarter 4, 2017, 3-P4 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).

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:

Permanency Type

Agency Type

Age Group

Ethnic Group


Placement Type