Pathways of Out-of-Home Care in the Netherlands

Mioara Zoutewelle-Terovan , Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

When the safety of a child is threatened (by abuse, neglect, loss of parents, or severe anti-social behavior), he/she may experience out-of-home forms of care in foster families, residential facilities or family-style group homes. In 2017, over 46,000 children in the Netherlands lived apart from their biological parents in a variety of formal care arrangements. These children vary enormously in the out-of-home care settings they experience and, to date, an understanding of this diversity is sorely lacking. Using sequence analysis, I will provide a meaningful classification of youth care experiences by integrating elements such as types of placements (parental, residential, grand-parental and ‘other’ foster care), timing of entering out-of-home care, duration of stay, number of placements, and the order in which placements occur. Moreover, these groups will be described in-detail based on various family-of-origin, individual and demographic characteristics (e.g. parental separation, unemployment, crime, or socio-economic status; family composition at first placement; ethnic background). This study is based on the use of register data from Statistics Netherlands and includes an entire population-based birth cohort of children in out-of-home care (children born between 1990-1992). My study is innovative as I move beyond simple classifications of children in out-of-home care using isolated features (e.g. number of placements, duration of stay), and provide an integrated multi-faceted typology accounting for entire histories of youth care. This classification will be used in future research to study long-term consequences of various out-of-home care pathways for adult functioning.

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 Presented in Session 114. Life Course influences on Children's Outcomes