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Adult well-being of foster care alumni: Comparisons to other child welfare recipients and a non-child welfare sample in a high-risk, urban setting

Mersky, J. P.,
Janczewski, C.
Year Published: 2013
Journal Article
Elsevier Ltd.
Children and Youth Services Review, 35(3):367–376, March 2013.
Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

These authors used data gathered prospectively from an economically disadvantaged, urban cohort to examine whether foster care is associated with decreased educational and economic attainment as well as increased criminality in adulthood. Individuals who were placed in foster care after an indicated allegation of maltreatment were compared to (a) maltreatment victims who did not reside in foster care, (b) individuals without an indicated maltreatment allegation who were raised in a household with a Child Protective Services (CPS) record, and (c) individuals without an individual or household record of CPS involvement. Results showed that participants with a CPS record fared worse on all three adult outcome measures than those without a CPS record. Despite their poor outcomes, foster children functioned as well as other CPS recipients who did not reside in foster care. The authors discuss the implications for maltreatment prevention within the context of child welfare. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Joshua P. Mersky, University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work, 1040 West Harrison Street, EPASW 4246, Chicago, IL, 60607; Telephone: (312) 996-8561; E-mail:, Website:
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