From Foster Care to Juvenile Justice: Exploring Characteristics of Youth in Three Cities

 / Impact
 / Child Welfare / Legal System & Law Enforcement

Author(s): J. J. Cutuli, Robert M. Goerge, Claudia Coulton, Maryanne Schretzman, David Crampton, Benjamin J. Charvat, Nina Lalich, Jessica A. Raithel, Cristobal Gacitua, Eun Lye Lee

Date: 8/1/2016

From the author(s): Children placed in foster care are at risk for becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. This study documents the rates at which children involved with foster care enter the juvenile justice system (crossover or dually involved), and the factors associated with this risk. We utilize multiple birth cohorts and prospective, longitudinal data from birth to maturity separately in three major American cities. Analyses consider integrated administrative records from multiple birth cohorts representing populations in Cook County (Chicago; N=26,003), Cuyahoga County (Cleveland; N=10,284), and New York City (N=13,065). Crossover rates ranged from 7 to 24%. African American males, and children who experienced congregate care were at highest risk for juvenile justice involvement. Older age at first foster care placement signaled progressively greater risk, as did more foster care spells for those first placed as infants. We discuss findings in terms of developmental theory, and as actionable intelligence to inform prevention, practice, and policy.

Suggested Citation

Cutuli, J.J., Goerge, R.M., Coulton, C., Schretzman, M., Crampton, D., Charvat, B.J., Lalich, N., Raithel, J.A., Gacitua, C., & Lee, E.L. (2016). From foster care to juvenile justice: Exploring characteristics of youth in three cities. Children and Youth Services Review, 67, 84-94.

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