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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Group Care and Young Children

  • Author(s): Berrick, JD
  • Barth, RP
  • Needell, B
  • Jonson-Reid, M
  • et al.

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The average age of children residing in foster care has declined considerably in recent years because of the large influx of infants and very young children into care. The large majority of these young children are placed in foster family homes or with kin, but a not insubstantial number are placed in group care settings. We review group care for young children in California against the standards of child welfare philosophy: to protect children and promote permanence. Compared with a primary placement in foster homes, group care for young children results in less stability, lower rates of adoption, and a greater likelihood of remaining in care.

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