Article

Child Protection and Adult Crime: Using Investigator Assignment to Estimate Causal Effects of Foster Care

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Abstract

Nearly 20% of young prison inmates spent part of their youth in foster care - the placement of abused or neglected children with substitute families. Little is known whether foster care placement reduces or increases the likelihood of criminal behavior. This paper uses the placement frequency of child protection investigators as an instrument to identify causal effects of foster care placement on adult arrest, conviction, and imprisonment rates. A unique dataset that links child abuse investigation data to criminal justice data in Illinois allows a comparison of adult crime outcomes across individuals who were investigated for abuse or neglect as children. Families are effectively randomized to child protection investigators through a rotational assignment process, and child characteristics are similar across investigators. Nevertheless, investigator placement frequencies are predictive of subsequent foster care placement, and the results suggest that school-aged children who are on the margin of placement have lower adult arrest rates when they remain at home.

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... Bäst kunskap finns om utfallet av långvarig familjehemsvård där före detta placerade barn har studerats som unga vuxna. Så gott som ingen studie har funnit bättre utfall för barn som vuxit upp i familjehem jämfört med utsatta barn som vuxit upp i föräldrahemmet, oavsett val av utfallsmått eller metodologisk ansats i nationella och internationella studier [19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26]. Det gäller också studier som använt biologiska syskon som jämförelsegrupp [19,27,28]. ...
... Det gäller också studier som använt biologiska syskon som jämförelsegrupp [19,27,28]. Några studier har till och med funnit högre risk för ogynnsamma utfall bland barn i familjehemsvård [21,24,26], även i jämförelse med syskon som har bott kvar hemma [27,28]. I svenska registerstudier har barn med långvarig familjehemsplacering ungefär samma eller sämre utfall i ung vuxen ålder, oavsett utfallsmått, som jämnåriga barn från de tre procent fattigaste barnfamiljerna i Sverige, det vill säga de som mottar försörjningsstöd under lång tid [29]. ...
... En systematisk litteraturöversikt av longitudinella studier från olika länder fann inga konsistenta bevis på att barns psykiska hälsa förbättrades över tid under pågående vård, även om det fanns variationer mellan olika länder och studier [30,31]. Nordamerikanska studier som försökt att fastställa orsakssammanhang (kausalitet) har vanligen funnit att de långsiktiga effekterna på barns utveckling av vård utom hemmet är neutrala, det vill säga vården verkar ha gjort varken skada eller påtaglig nytta på längre sikt [20,21]. ...
Technical Report
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Barn i utsatta situationer kan under kortare eller längre perioder behöva place- ras i en annan familj. Bland barn som växer upp i familjehem är det vanligare med psykisk och fysisk ohälsa. Det är därför viktigt att veta om stödinsatser till barn och familjehemsföräldrar kan hjälpa barnen. Slutsatser - Insatser till familjehemsplacerade barn och familjehemsföräldrar kan för- bättra barnens psykiska och fysiska hälsa, sociala situation, livskvalitet samt placeringars stabilitet. På grund av olikheter mellan insatserna och studier- nas vetenskapliga utformning går det inte att avgöra vilka insatser eller vilka delar av insatserna som är verksamma. - För följande tre specifika insatser finns något säkrare kunskap om effekter: • Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up är en utbildning för familjehemsföräldrar som kan minska vissa psykiska symtom hos barnen • Föräldradelen av programmet Incredible Years kan minska barns beteendeproblem och öka familjehemsföräldrars förmåga att klara föräldrarollen • Take Charge är en specialpedagogisk insats till ungdomar som kan förbättra deras självbestämmande, utbildningsgång och möjligheter till arbete. - Ingen av de insatser som används i Sverige har utvärderats i en studie. I Sverige läggs tonvikten på att utreda familjers lämplighet och att utbilda dem. Att erbjuda stödinsatser till barn eller familjehemsföräldrar under barnens placering är mindre vanligt. Personer som har växt upp i familje- hem, deras föräldrar och familjehemsföräldrar efterlyser stöd till barn och familjehem under placeringen. - Det behövs forskning som undersöker effekten av insatser inom familje- hemsvård. Samtliga insatser som identifierades i litteraturöversikten bör rimligtvis kunna användas i Sverige men deras effekter behöver följas upp och utvärderas i en svensk kontext. De insatser som redan förekommer i Sverige behöver också utvärderas och undersökas vetenskapligt. Det behövs även studier som belyser kostnadseffektivitet i insatser för svenska förhållanden. Bakgrund och syfte Mellan 3 och 4 procent av alla barn i Sverige placeras någon gång i ett familje- hem eller på en institution. Under sitt liv har dessa barn en förhöjd risk för suicid, psykisk och fysisk ohälsa, missbruk, kriminalitet och behov av långvarigt försörjningsstöd. Syftet med denna rapport är att granska och sammanställa det vetenskapliga underlaget för stödinsatser till barn i familjehem och till familje- hemsföräldrar för att minska dessa risker. Metod Den systematiska utvärderingen genomfördes i enlighet med SBU:s metodik. Studierna skulle behandla insatser som utvärderats i kontrollerade studier med hög eller medelhög studiekvalitet. Studierna skulle vara publicerade mellan åren 1990 och 2017 och inkludera minst 40 personer. Uppföljningstiden skulle vara minst tre månader för barn två år eller äldre, och minst en månad för barn yngre än två år. Studier uteslöts om jämförelsegruppen utgjordes av grupp- boende eller om den till stor del bestod av barn som var placerade i släkting- hem. Den systematiska utvärderingen inkluderar även ekonomiska aspekter, en inventering av vilka insatser som används i Sverige, erfarenheter från brukar- organisationer samt en etisk analys. Resultat Effekter av insatser Sammanlagt granskades 5 298 artikelsammanfattningar. Relevans- och kvali- tetsgranskningen identifierade 23 studier av 18 insatser som motsvarade våra kriterier. Sammantaget visar de 23 studierna att det går att påverka familje- hemsplacerade barns psykiska och fysiska hälsa, sociala situation, livskvalitet samt placeringars stabilitet. På grund av olikheter mellan insatserna och studier- nas vetenskapliga utformning ger resultaten inte entydiga svar på vilka insatser eller vilka delar av insatserna som är verksamma. För tre av insatserna finns ett begränsat vetenskapligt stöd för att de har effekt: Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up kan förbättra barns psykiska hälsa (t.ex. minskad stress); Take Charge kan förbättra barns förmåga till självbestäm- mande samt sociala situation (t.ex. fullföljd utbildning) och Incredible Years kan öka familjehemsföräldrars förmåga att klara föräldrarollen och minska barnens beteendeproblem. Effekterna av de övriga 15 insatserna går inte att bedöma eftersom de endast utvärderats i en studie vardera. Det saknas helt studier som belyser barns tandhälsa och förebyggande av ton- årsgraviditeter. Det saknas också studier av eventuella skadliga eller oönskade effekter av insatserna. Praxisundersökning En enkät skickades ut till ett slumpvis urval kommuner (svar från 80 av 106) och samtliga enskilda företag som arbetar på kommuners uppdrag (svar från 34 av 38). Enkäten identifierade 30 insatser. Ingen av insatserna återfinns i littera- turöversikten. Det framkom bland annat att insatserna fokuserar på bedömning av lämplighet av familjehemsföräldrar och på allmän utbildning av dem före barnen placeras. Det var mindre vanligt med stöd till barn eller familjehems- föräldrar under placeringen. Att döma av de insatser som används saknas kon- sensus om vilka insatser som uppfattas som effektiva. Kostnadseffektivitet Totalt granskades 2 120 artikelsammanfattningar. Två relevanta artiklar hittades men ingen uppfyllde SBU:s krav på kvalitet i den ekonomiska utvärderingen. Studiernas resultat går inte att överföra till svenska förhållanden. Brukar- och anhörigperspektiv Fyra organisationer som företräder barn med erfarenhet av familjehemsvård, deras föräldrar samt familjehemsföräldrar besvarade enkäter eller intervjuades. De efterlyser mer stöd utöver själva placeringen. Dessutom önskar familjehems- föräldrar bättre kunskap om barnets behov vid placeringen och ursprungsför- äldrarna efterlyser stöd för att få vara delaktiga i sina barns liv. Etiska aspekter När samhället övertar ansvaret för barns vårdnad så finns en särskild skyldighet att tillgodose barnens bästa. Att samhället inte alltid tagit sitt ansvar visar bland annat den så kallade Vanvårdsutredningen (SOU 2011:61). Ett problem är bristen på vetenskaplig kunskap om insatsers för- och nackdelar vilket äventyrar barns rättigheter. Ett annat problem är bristande dokumentation och uppfölj- ning av de insatser som används. Diskussion Vi bedömer att insatserna från litteraturöversikten kan användas i svensk familjehemsvård med överförbara resultat för barnen. Om beslut fattas att införa nya insatser bör man vara uppmärksam på att många kommuner är små med få placerade barn, vilket kan skapa problem med att upprätthålla tillräcklig kompetens. De som arbetar i familjehemsvården är många gånger ovana vid den systematik som insatserna kräver. Även med ökad tillgång på vetenskaplig kunskap om insatsers effekter behövs rutiner för att på ett ordnat sätt införa, vidmakthålla och utmönstra insatser inom familjehemsvården. Detta kan ske genom lokal uppföljning där både positiva och negativa effekter följs upp syste- matiskt och dokumenteras. I förlängningen ger det möjlighet till uppbyggnad av kvalitetsregister. Framtida forskning bör inriktas på att undersöka nyttan av de insatser som används idag eller som kan komma att införas.
... Further, in addition to large fiscal expenditures, foster care can be costly to those children who are placed into the foster care system. Children in foster care are more likely to have behavioral, psychological, and physical health problems, and although many of these problems are believed to result from the circumstances that led the child to be placed in foster care, research suggests that such problems may be aggravated by the foster care system (Doyle 2007(Doyle , 2008. ...
... For the most part, children entering foster care bring these maladies with them, though some recent evidence suggests that foster care itself may contribute to worse outcomes. Both Doyle (2007) and Doyle (2008) find, using an ingenious random assignment of agents to a case, that children at the margin for remaining with their families suffer worse adult outcomes when placed into foster care. Specifically, by studying the randomized treatment of foster care to children, Doyle (2007Doyle ( , 2008 finds that foster care caused an increase in adult crime, higher delinquency rates, teen birth rates and reduced adult labor market earnings 4 . ...
... Both Doyle (2007) and Doyle (2008) find, using an ingenious random assignment of agents to a case, that children at the margin for remaining with their families suffer worse adult outcomes when placed into foster care. Specifically, by studying the randomized treatment of foster care to children, Doyle (2007Doyle ( , 2008 finds that foster care caused an increase in adult crime, higher delinquency rates, teen birth rates and reduced adult labor market earnings 4 . Nevertheless, these studies aside, it is believed that a vast majority of those children in foster care enter care with serious disorders that were the direct result of physical and sexual abuse, including parental neglect, experienced before foster care placement. ...
Article
Although foster care caseloads have almost doubled over the last two decades, little is known regarding the factors that contributed to this significant growth. This article focuses on one factor, parental illicit drug use, and examines the relationship between parental drug use and foster care admissions. To mitigate the impact of omitted variable and simultaneity bias, we take advantage of two significant, exogenous supply-side interventions in the methamphetamine market, and find robust evidence that methamphetamine use has led in part to the growth in foster care caseloads. Further, in identifying the precise mechanisms that translated growth in methamphetamine use to the observed increase in foster care caseloads, we find that parental incarceration and child neglect have played significant roles in bringing children into the U.S. foster care system. These results suggest that child welfare policies should be designed specifically for the children of methamphetamine-using parents.
... Although many quality services are currently provided to children and youth at risk, much more work is needed to better understand the child welfare system and its inter-connections with other areas of service delivery, and to provide evidence for ongoing evidencebased policy and program development. Outside of Canada, in contrast to programs such as Head Start or welfare/income assistance, relatively little economic research has been conducted, especially with respect to long-term outcomes, with the exception of Doyle (2007, 2008). ...
... The policy question on which we focus is the causal impact on high school graduation, income assistance use and incarcerations of being taken into foster care for the marginal male youth who is at risk of coming into care. This paper is methodologically and substantively very similar to Doyle's (2007, 2008) work, but our data allow us to explore an aspect of heterogeneous treatment effects that was not possible given his data, but which is quite revealing. Although we focus on 16 to 18-year-old males in the empirical analysis (BC's age of majority is 19), the broad question is relevant to both sexes and all age groups, and we hope to extend the analysis in subsequent papers. ...
... To date the only research that makes a credible attempt to separate the effects of placement in care from the preceding conditions are the ground-breaking studies by Doyle (2007, 2008). He uses variation in the tendency of social workers to recommend that children be placed in care as an instrument to estimate the impact of placement in care on four important outcomes: delinquency/criminal activity, teen child bearing, employment and earnings. ...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the causal impacts of taking youth on the margins of risk into foster care is an element of the evidence-base on which policy development for this crucial function of government relies. Yet, there is little research looking at these causal impacts; neither is there much empirical work looking at long-term outcomes. This paper focuses on estimating the impact of placing 16 to 18 year old male youth into care on their rates of high school graduation, and post-majority income assistance receipt and incarceration. Two distinct sources of exogenous variation are used to generate instrumental variables, the estimates from which are interpreted in a heterogeneous treatment effects framework as local average treatment effects (LATEs). And, indeed, each source of exogenous variation is observed to estimate different parameters. While both instruments are in accord in that placement in foster care reduces (or delays) high school graduation, the impact of taking youth into care on income assistance use has dramatically different magnitudes across the two margins explored, and, perhaps surprisingly, one source of exogenous variation causes an increase, and the other a decrease, in the likelihood of the youth being incarcerated by age 20. Our results suggest that it is not enough to ask whether more or fewer children should be taken into care; rather, which children are, and how they are, taken into care matter for long-term outcomes.
... Although many quality services are currently provided to children and youth at risk, much more work is needed to better understand the child welfare system and its interconnections with other areas of service delivery, and to provide evidence for ongoing evidencebased policy and program development. Outside of Canada, in contrast to programs such as Head Start or welfare/income assistance, relatively little economic research has been conducted, especially with respect to long-term outcomes, with the exception of Doyle (2007Doyle ( , 2008. ...
... Key outcomes at age 19 are studied: high school graduation, income assistance use, and criminal convictions. This paper is methodologically and substantively similar to Doyle's (2007Doyle's ( , 2008 work, but our data allow us to explore an aspect of heterogeneous treatment effects that was not possible given his data, but which is quite revealing. We focus on 16 to 18-year-old males in this empirical analysis (BC's age of majority is 19). ...
... To date the only research that makes a credible attempt to separate the effects of placement in care from the preceding conditions are the ground-breaking studies by Doyle (2007Doyle ( , 2008. He uses variation in the tendency of social workers to recommend that children be placed in care as an instrument to estimate the impact of placement in care on four important outcomes: delinquency/criminal activity, teen child bearing, employment, and earnings. ...
Article
Understanding the causal impacts of taking at-risk youth into government care is part of the evidence base for policy. Two sources of exogenous variation affecting alternative subsets of the at-risk population provide causal impacts interpreted as local average treatment effects. Placing 16- to18-year-old males into care decreases or delays high school graduation, increases income assistance receipt, and has alternative effects on criminal convictions depending upon the instrument employed. This suggests that asking whether more or fewer children should be taken into care is insufficient; it also matters which, and how, children are taken into care. L'impact du fait de placer des jeunes hommes adolescents en foyer d”accueil sur l’éducation, l'assistance pour maintenir le revenu, et les condamnations. Comprendre les impacts causés par la prise en charge par le gouvernement d”un jeune à risques est partie intégrale d'une politique fondée sur des données probantes. Deux sources de variation exogène affectant différentes portions de la population à risque engendrent des impacts qui sont interprétés comme ayant des effets sur le traitement local moyen. Placer des jeunes hommes de 16 à 18 ans en foyer d'accueil diminue ou retarde la diplomation au secondaire, accroît la dépendance de l'aide sociale, et a des effets différents sur les condamnations au criminel selon les instruments employés. Voilà qui suggère qu'il n'est pas suffisant de se demander si plus ou moins d'enfants devraient être mis en foyer d'accueil, ce qui est important est plutôt de se demander comment on prend soin des enfants.
... Bäst kunskap finns om utfallet av långvarig familjehemsvård där före detta placerade barn har studerats som unga vuxna. Så gott som ingen studie har funnit bättre utfall för barn som vuxit upp i familjehem jämfört med utsatta barn som vuxit upp i föräldrahemmet, oavsett val av utfallsmått eller metodologisk ansats i nationella och internationella studier [19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26]. Det gäller också studier som använt biologiska syskon som jämförelsegrupp [19,27,28]. ...
... Det gäller också studier som använt biologiska syskon som jämförelsegrupp [19,27,28]. Några studier har till och med funnit högre risk för ogynnsamma utfall bland barn i familjehemsvård [21,24,26], även i jämförelse med syskon som har bott kvar hemma [27,28]. I svenska registerstudier har barn med långvarig familjehemsplacering ungefär samma eller sämre utfall i ung vuxen ålder, oavsett utfallsmått, som jämnåriga barn från de tre procent fattigaste barnfamiljerna i Sverige, det vill säga de som mottar försörjningsstöd under lång tid [29]. ...
... En systematisk litteraturöversikt av longitudinella studier från olika länder fann inga konsistenta bevis på att barns psykiska hälsa förbättrades över tid under pågående vård, även om det fanns variationer mellan olika länder och studier [30,31]. Nordamerikanska studier som försökt att fastställa orsakssammanhang (kausalitet) har vanligen funnit att de långsiktiga effekterna på barns utveckling av vård utom hemmet är neutrala, det vill säga vården verkar ha gjort varken skada eller påtaglig nytta på längre sikt [20,21]. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Familjehemsvård aktualiserar komplexa etiska frågor som bottnar i barns särskilda sårbarhet, samhällets särskilda ansvar för barn som far illa, komplicerade maktstrukturer som styr familjehemsvården, kvaliteten på kunskapsunderlag om specifika insatser, samt organisationen som ansvarar för familjehemsvården. Det är ett etiskt problem att inga av de insatser som används i Sverige är utvärderade för barn i familjehem. Därmed är det oklart om samhällets familjehemsvård gynnar barnen eller lever upp till grundläggande etiska krav på ansvarstagande från samhällets sida. Detta kan också innebära att verksamheten är lagstridig.
... fects of instrumented judge decisions on a multitude of other noncrime outcomes (Doyle 2007(Doyle , 2008Belloni et al. 2012;Maestas, Mullen, and Strand 2013;Dahl, Kostøl, and Mogstad 2014;French and Song 2014;Autor, Kostøl, and Mogstad 2015;Dobbie and Song 2015). ...
... fects of instrumented judge decisions on a multitude of other noncrime outcomes (Doyle 2007(Doyle , 2008Belloni et al. 2012;Maestas, Mullen, and Strand 2013;Dahl, Kostøl, and Mogstad 2014;French and Song 2014;Autor, Kostøl, and Mogstad 2015;Dobbie and Song 2015). ...
Article
The number of workplace sex discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approaches 25,000 annually. Do the subsequent judicial proceedings suffer from a discriminatory gender bias? Exploiting random assignment of federal district court judges to civil cases, I find that female plaintiffs filing workplace sex discrimination claims are substantially more likely to settle and win compensation whenever a female judge is assigned to the case. Additionally, female judges are 15 percentage points less likely than male judges to grant motions filed by defendants, which suggests that final negotiations are shaped by the emergence of the bias.
... We exploit variation from the child's random allocation to caseworkers with different propensities of using kinship care as a placement option. Doyle (2007) was the first to suggest and use this source of exogenous variation in a study on child welfare in Chicago, and Doyle (2008) and Warburton, Warburton, Sweetman, and Hertzman (2014) reused it, and we observe the same random allocation of children to caseworkers in Denmark. ...
... Doyle (2007) was the first to suggest the use of this instrument for exogenous variation in placement probabilities, and our identification strategy is inspired by his study. As is the case in parts of the US system (Doyle, 2007(Doyle, , 2008, also Danish caseworkers are randomly assigned to cases -or children. Although most municipalities assign caseworkers based on the child's month of birth (i.e., one caseworker handles all children born in January, another handles all children born in February, etc.), some of them assign caseworkers based on the child's place of residence. ...
Article
Compared with other types of out-of-home care, kinship care is cheap, and offers the child a more familiar environment. However, little is known about the causal effect of kinship care on important outcomes. This study is the first to estimate causal effects of kinship care on placement stability, using full-sample administrative data (N=13,157) and instrumental variables methods. Results show that, in a sample of children of age 0-17 years, kinship care is as stable as other types of care, and only when the kin caregiver is particularly empathic and dutiful does this type of care prove more stable. Thus, in terms of stability, most children do not benefit additionally from being placed with kin. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
... A 2008 survey of California prisoners found that 14% had been in foster care (McCarthy & Gladstone, 2011). Data from the 1997 Survey of Inmates in Adult State and Federal Correctional Facilities indicate that of the prison population under 30 years old, approximately 20% had been in foster care (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997;Doyle, 2008). These numbers are especially disconcerting considering that less than 1% of youth in the United States are in foster care (Howden & Meyer, 2011;U.S. ...
... The rationale for focusing on former foster youth rather than youth who experienced childhood maltreatment is that the effect of foster care can exceed the effect of being maltreated alone. Doyle (2008) matched Illinois child abuse investigation data from July 1, 1990 to June 30, 2003 with administrative data that recorded all arrests in Illinois between 2000 and 2005. The exclusionary criteria for this study were child sexual abuse cases, cases from Cook County, cases that were not included in the Public Assistance Database, and youth had to be at least 18 in 2005, a sample that included of 23,254 individuals. ...
... In the same vein, studies of out-of-home placements have almost unilaterally (and for good reason) focused on how the intervention affects children (e.g. Berger et al., 2009;Doyle, 2007Doyle, , 2008. In this article, we have instead studied how an out-of-home placement affects fathers' labor market behavior-that is, what happens to men's welfare dependency propensity when they no longer are caretakers of their children. ...
... Whereas a growing literature analyzes the effect of out-of-home care experiences on children's life outcome (e.g. Berger et al., 2009;Doyle, 2007Doyle, , 2008Fallesen, 2013;Frederiksen, 2012;Lindquist & Santavirta, 2014;Warburton, Warburton, Sweetman, & Hertzman, 2014), only a few studies examine the impact on parents (Ainsworth & Hansen, 2011;Buchbinder & Bareqet-Moshe, 2011;Schofield et al., 2011) and all of these focus solely on psychological impacts. Knowledge of whether fathers experience a drop in labor market participation when their children enter out-ofhome care can help outline the full social and economic consequences and costs of out-of-home placements. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we test how out-of-home placement affects men's labor market attachment, and in so doing we provide a novel parallel to existing research on how fatherhood affects men, which focuses almost exclusively on a child's arrival. Using population panel data from Denmark that include all first time fathers whose children were placed in out-of-home care from 1995 to 2005, we find that having a child placed in care is associated with up to a 4 percentage point increase in welfare dependency. Having a child placed in out-of-home care appear to aggravate conditions that likely necessitated the out-of-home placement to begin with, thereby likely necessitating longer duration of out-of-home placements. Thus, out-of-home placements have substantial secondary costs for parents and society.
... They found no significant differences between children living at home and those placed in care, but among placed children, those who had experienced more changes were significantly more likely to be convicted for youth crime. Similarly, Doyle (2007) examined youth criminal justice data for 15,039 children in Illinois and report that 17% had a request for youth criminal justice services, and boys and children placed at an older age were most at risk of delinquency. Doyle (2007) concluded that older children placed in foster care were two to three times more likely to enter the youth criminal justice system compared to their counterparts. ...
... Similarly, Doyle (2007) examined youth criminal justice data for 15,039 children in Illinois and report that 17% had a request for youth criminal justice services, and boys and children placed at an older age were most at risk of delinquency. Doyle (2007) concluded that older children placed in foster care were two to three times more likely to enter the youth criminal justice system compared to their counterparts. In contrast, in a retrospective study analyzing the experiences of 772 foster children, Widom (1991) reported no association between placement and the increased risk of youth criminal behavior. ...
... Another approach uses naturally-occurring randomization to mimic that of a trial. The current paper builds on earlier work (Doyle, 2007;Doyle 2008), where the source of randomization comes from the rotational assignment of cases to child-protection investigators. 3 One family may be assigned an investigator that is more likely to recommend placement, and the next family reported to that field office may be assigned a different investigator who is less likely to do so. ...
... Doyle (2007) and Doyle (2008) describe a large number of sensitivity analyses. For example, (1) the estimates are qualitatively similar when nonlinear estimation such as a probit or logit models are used; (2) alternative specifications for the instrument, including when the instrument is allowed to be a continuous, rather than a discrete, and when the instrument is calculated using all cases seen by the investigator prior to the child's case; (3) when the estimates focus on different parts of the investigator placement-rate distribution rather than above and below median; (4) across different case types, such as abuse vs. neglect, and boys vs. girls. ...
Article
This paper describes the use of instrumental-variables (IV) to estimate causal effects of foster care on long- and short-term outcomes. This estimation strategy provides a tool to evaluate what are known as “natural experiments”: settings that mimic randomization usually associated with a controlled trial. The proposed natural experiment involves the effective randomization of investigators to child-protection cases. The results suggest that foster care placement increases like likelihood of delinquency and emergency healthcare episodes. Care must be taken when interpreting IV estimates. The results apply to cases that are part of the natural experiment—“marginal cases” where the investigators may disagree about the placement recommendation.
... In order to credibly identify causal effects, we exploit plausible exogenous variation in access to pharmacological treatment generated by hospital variation in psychiatrists' propensity to prescribe: imagine two children, both diagnosed with ADHD and with the same characteristics; one will be treated but only because he meets a psychiatrist with preferences for using pharmacological treatment while the other does not. While we only have access to hospital level information about physicians' behavior, this strategy is inspired by Duggan (2005) who uses the same type of variation to investigate effects of secondgeneration antipsychotics on spending on other types of medical care, Doyle (2007Doyle ( , 2008 who uses variation in investigator assignment to estimate causal effects of foster care, and Maestas et al. (2013) who rely on random examiner variation to look at the effects of disability insurance on labor market attachment. Such variation may stem from hospital level differences in treatment culture and knowledge spillovers; see Coleman et al. (1957) and Soumerai et al. (1998). ...
Article
This paper estimates effects of early ADHD medication use on key human capital outcomes for children diagnosed with ADHD while using rarely available register based data on diagnoses and prescription drug purchases. Our main identification strategy exploits plausible exogenous assignment of children to hospitals with specialist physicians, while our analysis of health outcomes also allows for an individual level panel data strategy. We find that the behavior of specialist physicians varies considerably across hospitals and that the prescribing behavior does affect the probability that a given child is treated. Results show that children diagnosed with ADHD in pharmacological treatment have fewer hospital contacts if treated and that treatment to some extent protects against criminal behavior.
... In addition to the literature, Choi (2008), showing differing effects on sons and daughters, above, empirical literature outside of this review has often found differing outcomes by sex. Examples of son and daughter differences in skill effects are found from low birth weight (Currie and Hyson, 1999), prenatal alcohol exposure (Nilsson, 2008), parental problem drinking (Balsa, 2008), foster care (Doyle, 2008), child abuse (Currie and Widom, 2009), and father " s absence (Mott, 1994; Lang and Zagorsky, 2001; and Corak, 2001). Studies that do not report differences by sex of the child often do not report whether they examined differences by sex, making it difficult to determine whether or not there are significant differences in effects. ...
Article
This paper examines parents and children in the longitudinal Panel Study of Income Dynamics and PSID-Child Development Supplement to identify how a child's level of skills is affected by the onset of a negative parental health event. I estimate effects for two measures of health events—the diagnosis of one of eleven specific health conditions and an unspecified physical or nervous condition—each of which are reported to limit the activities of the parent. For both measures of health events, the analysis suggests that the onset of a parental health event has, on average, small negative effects on the level of children's noncognitive skills. However, small average effects mask heterogeneous effects across: the sex of the parent, sex of the child, and the type of health condition. Specifically, parental health events are estimated to significantly impair noncognitive skill development when a father is afflicted with a health event, affect sons more negatively than daughters, and are worse for certain—vascular or cancerous—conditions. Further exploration suggests that effects of parental health events on skill investments are driven by the hypothesized mechanism, changes in skill investments. Specifically, when parental health events are estimated to create the poorest behavior outcomes, large reductions in one measure of skill investment, time that parents participate in activities with children, is also commonly found.
... The evidence suggests that children on the margin of placement-when stakeholders disagree whether the child should be placed in out-of-home care-tend to have better outcomes when they remain at home, especially older children (Doyle, 2007). Moreover, research has indicated that among children on the margin of placement, children who spend time in foster care have arrest, conviction, and imprisonment rates as adults that are three times higher than those of children who remained at home (Doyle, 2008). Further, an instrumental-variables approach 2 to this analysis has suggested that foster care placement leads to an increased likelihood of later delinquency and emergency healthcare episodes (Doyle, in press). ...
Article
This paper presents an overview of the Courts Catalyzing Change: Achieving Equity and Fairness in Foster Care Preliminary Protective Hearing Benchcard Study. In the fall of 2009, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) began a study to examine the effects associated with judges' use of the Preliminary Protective Hearing Benchcard. For this study, data were gathered from case file information (both court and agency files) and from courtroom observations of more than 500 children in Los Angeles, California; Omaha, Nebraska; and Portland, Oregon. Data from a baseline sample were collected at each of the three sites, and judicial officers at each site were randomly assigned to either a Benchcard group or a control group. Benchcard implementation appears to be associated with more discussion and higher quality discussion of key dependency topics during preliminary protective hearings. Benchcard implementation also corresponds to increased judicial inquiry and parental engagement. Benchcard use also was associated with more family placements—placement with a charged parent, a non-charged parent, or a relative—at the initial hearing and even more family placement at adjudication when comparing the same judges before and after Benchcard implementation. Similarly, the percentage of children who were reunified with the charged parent at the initial hearing and the adjudication hearing increased after Benchcard implementation.
... Increased risk factors for placement in out of home care include behavioral problems and criminal behavior, which are also more likely to occur among youth (Berger, Bruch, James, Johnson, & Rubin, 2009;Doyle, 2007;James et al., 2006). One study of 5528 youth placed in a substitute care setting found that 23% of youth were placed in out-of-home care for reasons others than maltreatment; specifically child behavioral problems. ...
Article
Objectives : To examine factors associated with ongoing service and out of home placement for adolescents investigated by child welfare services in Canada. Methods : Secondary analysis was conducted using data from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect, 2008 (CIS-2008), specifically examining a weighted sample of 58,641 adolescents (age 12-15). Descriptive comparisons between adolescents, school-age children and pre-school age children were conducted. After identifying significant bivariate relationships between ongoing service and out of home placement and youth, household, case, and service characteristics, logistic regressions were used to determine the degree to which these characteristics predicted the investigation being transferred to ongoing child welfare services or out of home placement. Results : Internalizing functioning concerns of adolescents in the sample were the most important contributors to decisions to provide ongoing service. Aboriginal status of the child and parent functioning concerns were also important contributors to the decision to provide ongoing service to adolescents and their families. Youths’ externalizing behaviours were the most important contributors to placing adolescents in out-of-home care. Conclusions : The results provide important information for child welfare agencies hoping to better understand decision-making processes and service provision to adolescents. Implications : Future research should seek to better understand why youth behaviours drive ongoing service and placement decisions.
... We do this separately for each claimant, based on the observed choices of treatment for all other claimants registering in the same local treatment environment. Our methodological approach is similar in spirit to the one used by Duggan (2005) to characterize psychiatrists' propensities to prescribe particular drugs, by Doyle (2008) to characterize child protection investigators' propensities to place children in foster care, by Markussen et al. (2012) to characterize physicians' propensities to impose activity requirements on sick-listed workers, and by Dean et al. (2014) to study the impacts of vocational rehabilitation. The basic idea is to make predictions about how persons are going to be treated by some decision-maker on the basis of knowledge about the same decision-maker's treatment of others. ...
Article
Based on local variations in vocational rehabilitation (VR) priorities, we examine the impacts of alternative VR programs on short- and long-term labor market outcomes for temporary disability insurance (TDI) claimants in Norway. The analysis builds on rich and detailed administrative registers covering 345,000 claimants. We find that a strategy focusing on rapid placement in the regular labor market is superior to alternative strategies giving higher priority to vocational training or sheltered employment. Strategies prioritizing subsidized regular education also tend to be relatively successful in terms of final outcomes, but at the cost of protracted periods of benefit dependency first.
... Duggan (2005) examines the impact of new/expensive antipsychotic drugs on subsequent health care spending, and instruments each patient's drugs use by his/her psychiatrist's propensity to prescribe expensive drugs. Doyle (2008) investigates the impact of placing a child in foster care on later criminal behavior, and instruments the placement decisions by the observed placement frequencies of child protection investigators. And French and Song (2009) and Maestas et al. (2011) investigate the impact of disability insurance receipt on labor supply, and instruments the disability allowance decision by the examiners' observed allowance rates. ...
Article
Can a work-first strategy control moral hazard problems in temporary disability insurance, and accelerate recovery? Based on empirical analysis of Norwegian data, we show that it can. Activation requirements not only bring down benefit claims, they also reduce the likelihood that long-term sickness absence leads to inactivity. Our findings show that absentees who are assigned graded (partial) absence certificates by their physician have shorter absences and higher subsequent employment rates than they would have had on regular sick leave. We conclude that the activation strategies that in recent years have permeated European and US welfare policy may fruitfully be carried over to sick leave insurance for temporary disabled workers.
... Foster care providers who are unaware of these disorders or lack the resources to parent these types of children, not uncommonly return them to child services for another placement. In effect, by failing to identify the extent of maltreatment related trauma or childhood and adolescent disorders, the negative impact of the original trauma is compounded because of the continuing experience of "familial" rejection and related emotional/physical disruptions resulting from multiple placements (Doyle, 2007;Jonson-Reid & Barth, 2000;Newton et al., 2000). An accompanying treatment concern is the need to provide continuing housing, income, and employment assistance along with mental health services for the period of transition from late adolescence to early adulthood (Courtney & Heuring, 2005). ...
Article
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One of the lesser understood research issues about antisocial onset and persistence is whether there are different patterns of risk factors within the broader identified pathways that require distinctive treatment strategies. This article hypothesizes that there are at least five distinct pathways to persistent antisocial behaviour. The pathways are premised upon the developmental perspective and suggest that the experiences of individuals and their exposure to subsequent risk factors are affected by the earliest risk factors to which the individual is exposed. From a policy perspective, development of these pathways focuses on the goal of preventing antisocial onset, or to reduce the likelihood that behaviours will become progressively antisocial, while concurrently encouraging desistance. A key objective is to inform policy-makers about possible program intervention points for specific sets of risk factors, utilizing programs that have already been identified as successful, and developing new experimental programs.
... Though clearly helpful to some children, foster care placement frequently introduces additional instability to their already-chaotic lives, potentially further harming them. This combination of maltreatment and instability means that children who have experienced foster care suffer not only from elevated rates of mortality in childhood [1], but also from a host of other problems ranging from asthma to behavioral problems to suicidal ideation [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]. Children in foster care are five times more likely to be diagnosed with depression, four times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, and ten times more likely to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder than other children, for instance [9]. ...
Article
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Foster care placement is among the most tragic events a child can experience because it more often than not implies that a child has experienced or is at very high risk of experiencing abuse or neglect serious enough to warrant state intervention. Yet it is unclear how many children will experience foster care placement at some point between birth and age 18. Using synthetic cohort life tables and data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), we estimated how many U.S. children were placed in foster care between birth and age 18, finding support for three conclusions. First, up to 5.91% of all U.S. children were ever placed in foster care between their birth and age 18. Second, Native American (up to 15.44%) and Black (up to 11.53%) children were at far higher risk of placement. Foster care is thus quite common in the U.S., especially for historically disadvantaged racial/ethnic groups. Third, differences in foster care placement were minimal between the sexes, indicating that the high risks of foster care placement are shared almost equally by boys and girls.
... A long row of large-sample studies from many western countries have consistently shown that young adults with a childhood history of foster care or involvement with child welfare authorities have high risks for a multitude of problems, compared to peers. Examples are low educational attainment (Jackson & Cameron, 2011;Pecora et al., 2006;Vinnerljung, Öman, & Gunnarson, 2005), criminality (Doyle, 2008;Mersky & Janczewski, 2013;Vinnerljung, Berlin, & Hjern, 2010), substance abuse (Christoffersen & Soothill, 2003;von Borczykowski, Vinnerljung, & Hjern, 2013), premature death (Hjern, Vinnerljung, & Lindblad, 2004;Kalland, Pensola, Meriläinen, & Sinkk, 2001), and suicidal behavior (Berlin, Vinnerljung, & Hjern, 2011;Vinnerljung, Hjern, & Lindblad, 2006). The rates of health problems, especially in the area of psychiatric morbidity, are extreme when compared to majority population peers (Anctil, McCubbin, O'Brien, Pecora, & Anderson-Harumi, 2007;Vinnerljung & Hjern, 2014;Vinnerljung & Sallnäs, 2008;Vinnerljung et al., 2006Vinnerljung et al., , 2010Zlotnick, Tam, & Soman, 2012). ...
Article
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Using longitudinal register data on all persons born in Sweden 1973–1978, we report on prevalence of disability pension among young adults who were child welfare clients during their formative years, and explore risk factors for this long-term outcome. For most child welfare subgroups, prevalence approached or exceeded ten percent. Multivariate logistic regression analyses found high crude odds ratios of disability pension among child welfare alumni. These were substantially reduced – but not obliterated – after adjustments for a host of background factors. Decomposition analyses revealed that child welfare alumni’s poor school performance and low educational attainment accounted for most of the confounding effects. We also found that child welfare clients with a disability pension had far higher rates of psychosocial problems in their adult lives than other peers with a disability pension. Child welfare alumni should be regarded as a high risk group for future disability pension and for permanent exclusion from the labor market. Rates of suicidal behavior in adult age were extreme among some subgroups of child welfare alumni with a disability pension, which should be communicated to agencies who are likely to meet these groups (eg. primary health care).
... For examples, see Rubin et al. 2007;Rubin et al. 2004;Garbarino et al. 1992;Doyle 2007;Jonson-Reid and Barth 2000a;2000b;Main and Hesse (1990). ...
Article
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Child protection is one of the fastest growing service sectors in Canada, yet we know surprisingly little about the effectiveness of these services. This article presents a provincial university-agency knowledge partnership aimed to better understand the dynamics of child protection services. For exemplary purposes, the results of a service outcome indicator on out-of-home placement will be reported along with province-wide secondary analyses examining when and for whom out-of-home placement is most likely to occur.
... For examples, see Rubin et al. 2007;Rubin et al. 2004;Garbarino et al. 1992;Doyle 2007;Jonson-Reid and Barth 2000a;2000b;Main and Hesse (1990). ...
Article
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There is a surprising dearth of information about the services provided to the children and families being reported to Canadian child welfare authorities, little research on the efficacy of child welfare services in Canada, and limited evidence of new policies and programs designed to address these changes. This paper reports on a research capacity building initiative designed to address some of these issues. By fostering mutual co-operation and sharing of intellectual leadership, the Building Research Capacity initiative allows partners to innovate, build institutional capacity and mobilize research knowledge in accessible ways. The model rests on the assumption that by placing the university’s research infrastructure at the service of community agencies, robust research partnerships are developed, access to agency-based research is significantly enhanced and community agencies make better use of research findings which all equate in greater research utilization and research capacity building.
... However, a large body of research documents that individuals who spent time in OHP as children are disproportionately likely to be incarcerated as adults. In the most rigorous study to date, Doyle (2008) used an instrumental variables strategy-identified by random variation in assignment to CPS caseworkers with varying propensities for child removal-to estimate the causal effects of OHP on criminal justice system involvement and incarceration and finds them to be large. However, this evidence relates only to OHP. ...
Article
The prevalence of incarceration in the United States is increasingly well known. The prevalence of family involvement with child protective services (CPS) is less understood, though, and there is limited research examining links between incarceration and CPS involvement. Here, we describe the incidence and prevalence of incarceration and CPS involvement in the United States and outline reasons that the same individuals and families may be at risk for involvement in both systems. We then use unique longitudinal data from Wisconsin to describe intergenerational and intragenerational overlap in the two systems. Specifically, we calculate (1) the proportion of all CPS-involved children who have an incarcerated parent; (2) the proportion of incarcerated adults who have a CPS-involved child; (3) the proportion of incarcerated young men and women who were involved in the CPS system as adolescents; and (4) the proportion of CPS-involved adolescents who subsequently became incarcerated. We conclude with a discussion of directions for future research and implications for practice and policy. © 2016, © 2016 by The American Academy of Political and Social Science.
... Consider, for example, the response of the child welfare system relative to the criminal justice system to a report of parental violence. While entry into the child welfare system is no panacea for children (Bartholet 1999;Doyle 2007Doyle , 2008), children's best interests are front and center within the social welfare model (at least in theory). In contrast, the criminal justice system is not required to consider the impact of a parent's incarceration or treatment needs on children; indeed, consideration of these factors would likely violate a number of important sentencing principles, break several laws, and arguably create more problems than it would solve. ...
Article
Prior research on the consequences of imprisonment for the family suggest that incarceration of so-called petty offenders is most harmful for families, yet few studies provide a clear description of who is and is not a petty offender and how best to make such distinctions. We compare various ways of categorizing inmates (using preprison family involvement and characteristics related to criminality and child well-being) to better understand heterogeneity in the consequences of paternal incarceration for children. In our analysis, we find that differentiating between “harmful” and “helpful” fathers is rather difficult, and reform efforts that are overly reliant on criminal offense categories may not be the most gainful policy approach in terms of benefit to children. We also describe a small population of children who appear to benefit from paternal incarceration: children of fathers with severe substance abuse problems. The pattern of results suggests that providing alternative interventions to incarceration, rather than no intervention at all, is critical to improving outcomes for all children of incarcerated parents. © 2016, © 2016 by The American Academy of Political and Social Science.
... The closest genre of research is that of children in foster care. There is evidence that removing children from their family of origin to foster care is associated with negative developmental sequelae (Curtis et al., 2001), adult criminality in particular (Doyle, 2008;Lindquist and Santavirta, 2012). Boys are more vulnerable than girls, and the earlier that the re-placement takes place, the better the outcome. ...
Article
Purpose – During Second World War 48,628 Finnish children were evacuated to Sweden and temporarily placed in foster care. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between the parental socioeconomic position (SEP), evacuation, language acquisition, and education and to analyze how these are related to SEP in separated compared to non-separated in later life. Design/methodology/approach – The sample consists of 749 separated and 1,535 non-separated persons. Pre-evacuation data on the separated were collected from the archives. The non-separated were matched for age, gender, place of birth, and mother tongue Finnish/Swedish. Data from both cohorts were collected by a postal questionnaire in autumn 2005. Stratified hierarchical regression analysis was used to predict SEP. Findings – The results show that the SEP and education of those Finnish-speaking evacuees who had lost their mother tongue when returning home were lower compared to the Finnish-speaking non-evacuees. On the contrary, the SEP of the Swedish-speaking evacuees was higher than of the Swedish-speaking non-evacuees. Research limitations/implications – Selection bias and attrition bias is a concern when interpreting the results. Practical implications – The study shows the importance of supporting the mother tongue of temporary migrants while staying in the host country and of taking actions for language policy planning when they return back home. Originality/value – This study uses data on a large child evacuation operation during Second World War to study how unaccompanied evacuation and loss of mother tongue affect SEP in later life. To the knowledge no such study has been conducted.
... That is, the average number of consultation visits the counsellor provides her other clients, is used as an instrument for a given farm's number of consultation visits. A similar identifying strategy is used in for example Dahl et al. (forthcoming), who use random assignment of judges in disability insurance cases, and Doyle (2008) who use random assignment of investigators in foster care placements. ...
Article
This article analyzes the effects of extension services regarding the use of nutrients in Swedish agriculture on nutrient balances and farms’ finances. The key to our research design is that extension visits vary between agents (some agents give more consultation than others), which leads to random variation in “treatment.” We find that the service affects nutrient utilization, which possibly reduces leakages and eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. A large and positive impact on farms value added implies that the net benefit from the extension services is positive. The improvements are mainly due to better land management practices so that more efficient use of fertilizers increases crop production and thereby decreases the nitrogen balance.
... This introduces variation in the probability that an individual case at a fixed level of evidence of guilt will be prosecuted, convicted or jailed. This approach has been used in previously (see e.g., Doyle 2007;Chang, Theodore et al. 2008;Doyle 2008;Hjalmarsson 2009;Green and Winik 2010). ...
Article
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This study assesses why some individuals are rearrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Using longitudinal data from North Carolina containing information on arrests and arrest outcomes, we test hypotheses that individuals prosecuted and convicted of DWI are less likely to be rearrested for DWI. We allow for possible endogeneity of prosecution and conviction outcomes by using instrumental variables for the prosecutor’s prosecution rate and the judge’s conviction rate. With a three-year follow-up, the probability of DWI rearrest was reduced by 6.6% if the person was prosecuted for DWI and, for those prosecuted, by 24.5% if convicted on this charge. Prosecution and conviction for DWI deters rearrest for DWI.
... However, these results should not necessarily be viewed as evidence of harmful effects caused by OHC, as shown in a study by Berzin (2008). Fewif anystudies have shown positive long-term developmental effects of OHC (Doyle, 2007(Doyle, , 2008. Strong links between negative outcomes and poor school performance/low educational attainment are particularly pervasive in the literature (Berlin, Vinnerljung & Hjern, 2011;Vinnerljung, Brännström & Hjern, 2015, Okpych & Courtney, 2014). ...
Article
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Little is known about developmental outcomes in midlife of persons who were placed in out-of-home care (OHC) in childhood. Utilizing longitudinal Swedish data from a cohort of more than 14,000 individuals who we can follow from birth (1953) to the age of 55 (2008), this study examines midlife trajectories of social, economic, and health-related disadvantages with a specific focus on the complexity, timing, and duration of disadvantage in individuals with and without childhood experience of OHC. Roughly half of the OHC alumni did not have disadvantaged outcomes in midlife. However, experience of OHC was associated with a two-fold risk for various forms of permanent disadvantage, net of confounding factors. Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.
... 5 MTEs are usually only identified for a subset of individuals, such that it is not possible to estimate the ATE, ATT or ATNT nonparametrically. See, for example, Doyle (2007 and2008) and Galasso and Schankerman (2015). Other papers rely on parametric assumptions on the shape of the MTE curve or the underlying behavioral model to improve common support or obtain sufficiently precise estimates (Carneiro et al. (2011), Carneiro et al. (2016, Cornelissen et al. (2018), Basu et al. (2007), and Nybom (2017)). ...
Article
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We analyze the impact of choosing an elite school on high school graduation in an early tracking system in Flanders (Belgium). While elite schools offer only an academic track, most other schools offer multiple tracks. On average, students experience a 3.3 percentage point increase in the likelihood of obtaining a degree. We find that the effects are heterogeneous. On average, students who self-select into elite schools do not experience an effect. However, students who do not choose an elite school would experience positive effects. Our results can be explained by different tracking decisions in both types of schools.
... In addition, in some cases the examiner may communicate with the treating doctor to clarify an aspect of an applicant's file, and these communications may not be part of the applicant's more detailed record. 36 The estimation strategy we employ is similar to that used by Kling (2006) to examine the effect of incarceration on labor supply and earnings, Doyle (2007Doyle ( , 2008 to examine the effects of foster care placement on juvenile delinquency and adult crime, and Perry (2008) to examine the effect of treatment of maternal depression on management of children's asthma. 37 An alternative approach would be to regress allowance decisions on a full set of examiner fixed effects in the first stage. ...
... The studies that have been conducted into juvenile offending have seldom sought to understand why children offend while in care (Shaw, 2012) or to examine the criminogenic processes that propel them into the justice system at such disproportionate rates. While some studies have reported on OOHC representation rates as one of a range of outcome measures, few have adopted methodologies that permitted or encouraged follow-up, particularly in relation to persistent, chronic or adult onset offending (DeGue & Widom, 2009;Doyle, 2007Doyle, , 2008. Even in jurisdictions where the disproportionate representation of the OOHC cohort has been acknowledged -such as England and Wales, Scotland, Canada and the United States -these figures have tended to simply be reproduced year after year, with little academic analysis of the issue (McFarlane, 2008(McFarlane, , 2010(McFarlane, , 2016Sinclair et al., 2004;Taylor, 2006). ...
Article
This article discusses the involvement in the New South Wales criminal justice system of a cohort of children in out-of-home care. The paper reports the findings of a four-year research project that investigated the relationship between the child welfare and justice systems as experienced by a cohort of children in the New South Wales Children’s Court criminal jurisdiction. Analysis of 160 case files identified that children in out-of-home care appeared before the Children’s Court on criminal charges at disproportionate rates compared to children who were not in out-of-home care. The out-of-home care cohort had a different and negative experience of the justice system, entering it at a significantly younger age and being more likely to experience custodial remand, than children who had not been in out-of-home care. While both cohorts shared many of the risk factors common to young offenders appearing before the Children’s Court, the out-of-home care cohort experienced significant additional disadvantage within the care environment (‘care-criminalisation’), such that living arrangements designed to protect them from harm instead created the environment for offending. The paper concludes by arguing that a paucity of research exists regarding the drivers and dynamics of care-criminalisation and that more research is needed to explore the criminogenic impacts of a childhood spent in out-of-home care.
... 17 In fact, nearly 20% of prisoners under the age of 30 and 25% of repeat offenders report that part of their youth was spent in foster care. 18 The nature of this relationship, however, is complex and multifaceted. 19 The effects of child maltreatment and foster care appear to be heterogeneous for a variety of reasons. ...
Article
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Multiple foster placements warrant treatment as a mitigating circumstance in criminal proceedings. The case for considering such placements is compelling, particularly if the placements took place during a contracted period of time and during pre-adolescence or adolescence.
... This "less' needy subgroup may consist of youth from families that lean towards using the CPS as a safety net rather than as acute and life-altering aid, and their presence in the system may drive down the mean program effect, thereby masking positive effects among more needy groups. Existing studies effects of foster care such as Doyle (2007;2008) and Warburton et al. (2014) support the claim that not all groups benefit from foster care, and hereby that we need to think very carefully about who gets what program. ...
Article
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Most countries provide aftercare for foster care alumni either through specific targeted programs or by making foster care or related services available to the youth after they have aged out of foster care. Yet we have limited evidence of the effects of this type of care, especially from non-US contexts. My study tests whether an expansion of the Danish aftercare scheme in 2001 affects later outcomes of foster care alumni. This expansion raised the age limit for eligibility for aftercare from 20 years to 22 years, and created an increased focus on availability of this type of support. Using Danish administrative data and a difference-in-difference setup, I find that the expansion increased unemployment, but only in the short run, and reduced educational activities overall. It did, however improve wage outcomes, but only for those cohorts immediately impacted by the reform, and only in the medium run.
... Others have argued that it is not the complex needs of this vulnerable group that leads them to the criminal justice system, but rather the failure of community and criminal justice services to provide adequate care, support and protection ( Baldry et al., 2015;Ellem & Richards, 2018;Gerard et al., 2019McFarlane, 2015. It has been suggested by some researchers that the removal of a child from home and placement in OOHC may be responsible for both trauma and disruption to primary attachments, which can then lead to later criminal behaviour (DeGue & Spatz Widom, 2009;Doyle, 2008). New placements impact a child's ability to form attachments, and there is evidence supporting a strong association between insecure attachments and all types of criminality (Ogilvie, Newman, Todd, & Peck, 2014). ...
Article
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Children with cognitive impairment in out-of-home care (OOHC) are significantly over-represented in the criminal justice system. Little attention has been given to the connection between those with cognitive impairment who also have a care background and how these combined factors are linked to their criminal behaviour. A qualitative study utilising semi-structured interviews with 11 senior strategic officers and service providers to this cohort was conducted with the aim of investigating the views of these professionals and gaining insight into factors contributing to the criminalisation of children with cognitive impairment in OOHC. Five themes were identified using thematic analysis, suggesting that the primary areas of concern are: (a) increased vulnerability, (b) lack of belonging and security, (c) challenges with identification, (d) steering to the criminal justice system and (e) lack of support. These findings have important implications for both policy and practice, which are discussed in full.
... The evacuation was often sudden and there was no time to neither prepare nor inform the child in advance of the coming event. There is convincing evidence showing that children placed into foster care due to parental neglect or alcohol/drug abuse had worse outcomes (school dropout, misbehavior, juvenile delinquency, alcohol/drug abuse, and higher mortality) compared to other children (Doyle, 2008;Kalland, Pensola, Meril€ ainen, & Sinkkonen, 2001;Lindquist & Santavirta, 2012;Rosenfeld et al., 1997). However, the research on evacuees supports this only partly. ...
Article
Objectives: We studied the long-term effects of early separation among aging Finnish evacuees and non-evacuees. A broad set of outcome variables reflecting the psychosocial well-being of both groups in 2005 was analyzed. The role of resilience was also analyzed. Method: To identify persons with similar patterns of psychosocial well-being among both evacuated (n = 887) and non-evacuated persons (n = 1748), a cluster analysis was conducted, using the mixture model of latent class analysis/latent profile analysis method. The psychosocial well-being of the evacuees and non-evacuees in 2005 was predicted by multinomial logistic regression analysis, with the nominal cluster variable as the dependent variable. Results: Although the evacuees had experienced early separation trauma, they were not faring worse than the non-evacuees regarding psychosocial well-being in 2005. Favorable rearing home circumstances are a protective factor during the entire life span, when the psychosocial well-being of both groups was predicted in 2005. Sense of coherence was a significant predictor of psychosocial well-being. To rejoin the rearing family was stressful for many evacuees. Conclusion: The results show that even long-term separation from one's parents during childhood must be understood as representing a developmental context which makes the emergence of problems either less likely or more likely, depending on other risk and protective factors in both the rearing home and the foster family. After the war, when the evacuees returned home the families should have received help and support to amend the reunion.
Article
This study presents an empirical analysis of domestic violence case resolution in North Carolina for the years 2004 to 2010. The key hypothesis is that penalties at the level set for domestic violence crimes reduce recidivism (re-arrest on domestic violence charges or conviction in 2 years following an index arrest). We use state court data for all domestic violence-related arrests. Decisions to commit an act of domestic violence are based on a Bayesian process of updating subjective beliefs. Individuals have prior beliefs about penalties for domestic violence based on actual practice in their areas. An individual’s experience with an index arrest leads to belief updating. To address endogeneity of case outcomes, we use an instrumental variables strategy based on decisions of prosecutors and judges assigned to each index arrest in our sample. Contrary to our hypothesis, we find that penalities, at least as set at the current levels, do not deter future arrests and convictions.
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In February 2000, the Swedish state monopoly alcohol retail company launched a large scale experiment in which all stores in selected counties were allowed to keep open on Saturdays. We assess the effects on crime of this expansion in access to alcohol. To isolate the impact of the experiment from other factors, we compare conviction rates in age cohorts above and below the national drinking age restriction in counties where the experiment had been implemented, and contrast these differences to those in counties that still prohibited weekend alcohol commerce. Our analysis relies on extensive individual conviction data that have been merged to population registers. After demonstrating that Saturday opening of alcohol shops significantly raised alcohol sales, we show that it also increased crime. The increase is confined to crimes committed on Saturdays and is driven by illegal activity among individuals with low ability and among persons with fathers that have completed at least some secondary education. Although the increases in crime and alcohol sales were slightly higher during the initial phase of the experiment, our evidence suggests that both effects persist over time. Our analysis reveals that the social costs linked to the experiment exceed the monetary benefits.
Article
We estimate the effects of legalized recreational marijuana on entry into the foster‐care system. Exploiting state‐level variation in legalization and its timing, we estimate that legalization decreases foster‐care placements by at least 10%, with larger effects in years after legalization, and for admissions for reasons of parental drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and parental incarceration. Our findings imply that legalization may have important consequences for child welfare, and that substitution toward marijuana from other substances can be an important part of how legalization affects admissions.
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This study contributes to the growing child protection placement literature by providing the first Canadian provincial longitudinal study examining when and for whom initial out-of-home placement is most likely to occur. Anonymized clinical-administrative child protection data were merged with the 2006 Canadian Census data for the province of Québec, and the final dataset included 127,181 children investigated for maltreatment for the first time between April 1, 2002 and March 31, 2010. Cox proportional hazard results indicate that the vast majority of investigated children do not experience a placement, but for the others, placement tends to occur immediately following the maltreatment investigation with only a slight increase in risk over time. The increased risk of placement for younger children aged 0 to 9 years was statistically explained by a combination of male gender, behavioral problems, parents' high risk lifestyles, hospital referral, the number of investigations and neighborhood area socioeconomic disadvantages. The increased risk of placement for older children aged 10 to 17 years was statistically explained by a combination of behavioral problems, police reporting, the number of investigations and neighborhood area socioeconomic disadvantages. Neighborhood area socioeconomic disadvantages significantly contributed to the increased risk of out-of-home placement for all children, but this factor is most influential when it comes to younger children.
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Placement in child protection services, or becoming a child in care, is associated with a disproportionate involvement in youth and adult criminal justice systems. While there is not extensive research on this relationship, there is evidence that many children in care have risk profiles consistent with criminal justice involvement. This article provides an overview of the prevalence of exposure to risk factors related to mental health, education, and antisocial behaviour among children in care, in addition to risk factors that are distinctive to those placed in child protection services. A recent large cohort dataset from British Columbia, Canada, is utilized to examine these risk profiles. Recommendations to identify those involved in child protection services most at risk for criminal justice involvement, with the use of risk management instruments such as the Cracow Instrument, are discussed. In addition, several other important policy themes regarding diagnostic and case management challenges are explored.
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When children come to the attention of the child welfare system, they become involved in a decision-making process in which decisions are made that have a significant effect on their future and well-being. The decision to remove children from their families is particularly complex; yet surprisingly little is understood about this decision-making process. This paper presents the results of a study to develop an instrument to explore, at the caseworker level, the context of the removal decision, with the objective of understanding the influence of the individual and organizational factors on this decision, drawing from the Decision Making Ecology as the underlying rationale for obtaining the measures. The instrument was based on the development of decision-making scales used in prior decision-making studies and administered to child protection caseworkers in several states. Analyses included reliability analyses, principal components analyses, and inter-correlations among the resulting scales. For one scale regarding removal decisions, a principal components analysis resulted in the extraction of two components, jointly identified as caseworkers' decision-making orientation, described as (1) an internal reference to decision-making and (2) an external reference to decision-making. Reliability analyses demonstrated acceptable to high internal consistency for 9 of the 11 scales. Full details of the reliability analyses, principal components analyses, and inter-correlations among the seven scales are discussed, along with implications for practice and the utility of this instrument to support the understanding of decision-making in child welfare. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Technical Report
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In this report we study the effects of government financing policies aimed at promoting value creation and innovation. Our analysis includes the tax incentive scheme, Skattefunn (SKF), innovation-oriented policy of Innovation Norway (IN) and instruments of the Research Council of Norway (RCN), as well as export supporting programs by the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (GIEK) and Export Credit Norway. IN is a government agency that aims to promote firm growth through innovation programs, regional support and other industrial policies. In our analysis we focus only on IN’s innovation programs. RCN finances research and development (R&D) both in universities and institutes and in private firms. Our analysis comprises only the policy instruments oriented towards the private sector or joint projects between private firms and research institutions. SKF is a general tax incentive scheme provided in the tax legislation. We compare profitability and growth in sales, value added, employment and productivity in firms that received support from IN, RCN or SKF during the period 2001-2013 with a control group of firms that did not receive such support. Further, we calculate the return on R&D investments for firms, which receive government support, and compare it with the return on R&D for firms without any public R&D-support. We also investigate the impact of government support on the propensity to patent, and the effect of export guarantees and export credit on export. We find positive effects for IN, RCN and SKF on one or several indicators of growth in value creation, sales income or number of employees, and the effects become stronger as the amount of support increases. However, our findings do not necessarily reflect a causal relationship. Even if we control for some sources of bias it is not possible to control for every unobservable factor that simultaneously may affect both the probability of receiving support and the outcome variables. We find the most significant effects for the group of projects which receive government support above 1.5 million NOK. We find weak or no effects for support allocations below 500 000 NOK. Neither do we find positive effects on return to total assets or productivity for firms receiving support compared with the control group. The return on R&D investment in firms receiving government support is lower than the return on R&D that is entirely privately financed. This is consistent with the fact that government support is channelled to projects believed to have positive effects beyond the purely commercial. The results show that both tax deductions (SKF) and direct subsidies from RCN and IN lead to more patents in Norwegian firms. We find positive effects of export financing on Norwegian export. The results indicate that export financing contributes to growth in value creation in the business sectors that use government support schemes intensively.
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Objective: Foster family care is associated with adverse short- and long-term consequences for the child. A systematic review was conducted on interventions for foster children and foster careers. Method: A comprehensive search process was used to find eligible interventions evaluated in randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental studies. The quality of studies was assessed with GRADE, and effects were synthesized using meta-analytic methods. Results: In all, 28 publications of 18 interventions, including 5,357 children, were identified. Only three specific interventions had sufficient confidence of evidence. No study had examined tools for foster parent selection nor had evaluated preservice programs related to outcomes. Discussion: These analyses provide new insights and hope into the field of systematic interventions in foster care. The overall results indicate that it is possible to improve eight outcomes but cannot point out which programs are superior. Ethically, social care organizations should systematically collect knowledge about effects and side effects.
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Do deals with debt collectors alleviate consumer financial distress? Using new data linking court and credit registry records, we examine civil collection lawsuits where consumers can settle out of court. Random assignment of judges with different styles generates exogenous variation in the likelihood of settlement negotiations. We find that settlements increase financial distress relative to going to court, likely by draining consumers of liquidity. The effect is stronger among less financially literate consumers. Survey evidence suggests that consumers generally overestimate how much they would pay through the court system. Perceived nonpecuniary benefits also motivate some consumers to settle.
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The pairwise overlaps in system involvement between child protective services (CPS), mental health services and the criminal justice system are well-documented. Yet, less is known about how contact to these three systems evolves as children age, and how children’s trajectories through these institutions should be conceptualised. In this article, we use administrative data on the full population of Danish children born 1982–1995 that had contact to at least one of the three systems before turning twenty-one. Theoretically, we argue that children’s trajectories of institutional contacts can be understood as a moral career as suggested by Goffman. Empirically, we study how children move between and are retained within the three systems across childhood. We find that early contact originates with CPS but branch out through both overlap and transitions to the other systems. Further, across age, there are high levels of retention within the systems, and clear gendered dynamics play out as children age. We argue that children’s trajectories across age can be viewed as moving from a position as a subject at risk to a position as subject of risk.
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We explored trends in six developed countries in three types of indicators of child maltreatment for children younger than 11 years, since the inception of modern child protection systems in the 1970s. Despite several policy initiatives for child protection, we recorded no consistent evidence for a decrease in all types of indicators of child maltreatment. We noted falling rates of violent death in a few age and country groups, but these decreases coincided with reductions in admissions to hospital for maltreatment-related injury only in Sweden and Manitoba (Canada). One or more child protection agency indicators increased in five of six countries, particularly in infants, possibly as a result of early intervention policies. Comparisons of mean rates between countries showed five-fold to ten-fold differences in rates of agency indicators, but less than two-fold variation in violent deaths or maltreatment-related injury, apart from high rates of violent child death in the USA. These analyses draw attention to the need for robust research to establish whether the high and rising rates of agency contacts and out-of-home care in some settings are effectively reducing child maltreatment.
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This study exploits the sibling structure of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data to measure the degree to which family background explains the variance in the propensity to engage in criminal activities and in the intensity and success of crime participation as measured by the level of criminal earnings. A multiple-equation model whose reduced form disturbances are connected by a common unobservable variable having a variance-components structure is developed and estimated. Estimation results indicate a high level of association (net of observable measures of family background) between the unobserved factors affecting siblings' propensity to engage in criminal activities in a family, with estimated intra-family correlations ranging from 0.44 to 0.55. Sharing a common family background explains around 25% of the variance of the unconditional criminal income. The results suggest that ignoring family background effects leads to a significant upward bias in the effects of race and education on the propensity to engage in income-generating crime.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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Rates of placement disruption in traditional and treatment foster care are reviewed. Contextual factors, individual child and caregiver characteristics, and risk factors thought to influence rates of placement disruption are explored. A model for treatment foster care is described, and data are presented on disruption rates for this program. The results indicated that the likelihood of placement disruption is two times higher during the first 6 months (17.8%) compared to the second 6 months (9.2%) of treatment.Taken together across the first and second 6 months of treatment, 23 of 90 youth (25.5%) experienced a placement disruption. Findings indicate that age and gender play a role in disruption, with older girls at the greatest risk for placement disruption. Limitations of the study, future directions,and implications for treatment are discussed.
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This report presents the results of a study that uses state administrative data to analyze employment, earnings, and public assistance receipt among former Wisconsin foster youth who exited out-of-home care between January 1, 1992, and December 31, 1998, and who were at least 17 years old at the time of their exit. Our results suggest that former foster youth who had aged out of care or had been discharged to independent living earned significantly more during the first eight quarters after they were discharged from care than those who had been reunified, placed with relatives, or adopted; as a result, their total income was also significantly higher. These findings are consistent with what one would expect if former foster youth who had aged out of care or had been discharged to independent living were, in fact, living on their own and having to support themselves, while those who had been reunified, placed with relatives, or adopted were being supported by the families with whom they were living. We also found that former foster youth who had run away or been transferred to an institution were employed in significantly fewer quarters and earned significantly less during the first eight quarters after they were discharged from care than those who had been reunified, placed with relatives, or adopted; again, their lower earnings were reflected in significantly lower total income as well.
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This paper presents an updated cost-benefit analysis of the High/Scope Perry preschool Program, using data on individuals aged 40. Children were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. Program costs are compared against treatment impacts on educational resources, earnings, criminal activity, and welfare receipt. Net present values are calculated for participants, the general public, and society. The treatment group obtains significantly higher earnings. For the general public, higher tax revenues, lower criminal justice system expenditures, and lower welfare payments easily outweigh program costs; they repay $12.90 for every $1 invested. However, program gains come mainly from reduced crime by males.
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We compared the rates of mental health problems in children in foster care across three counties in California. A total of 267 children, ages 0 to 17, were assessed two to four months after entry into foster care using a behavioral screening checklist, a measure of self-concept and, in one county, an adaptive behavior survey. Results confirmed previous research and indicated consistently high rates of mental health problems across the three counties. Behavior problems in the clinical or borderline range of the CBCL were observed at two and a half times the rate expected in a community population. Fewer children fell within the clinical range on the self-concept measure. No significant differences in rates between the three county foster care cohorts were observed, despite the different demographic characteristics of the counties. On the adaptive behavior scale, the mean scores for children in foster care were more than one standard deviation below the norm. Our findings suggest that the most important mental health screening issue with children in foster care is to identify what specific mental health problems need to be addressed so that the most effective treatment services can be provided.
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The present study examines retrospectively the placement patterns of a cohort of 430 children between the ages of 1–16 who entered out-of-home care in San Diego County between May 1990 and October 1991, and were still in placement after 18 months. It investigates movement through out-of-home care across different placement settings for children who spent an equal amount of time in out-of-home care. Using an inductive methodology, patterns of movement are classified along two main dimensions: The timing and duration of the longest placement and movement along degree of restrictiveness. This paper describes the development of the pattern criteria. It further presents findings of subsequent polychotomous logistic regression analysis, which identifies significant non-clinical and clinical predictors of these patterns.
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This paper is an analysis of the current state of risk assessment in child welfare practice. The art (practice wisdom) and science (empirically based instruments) of risk assessment are highlighted and provide a unique focus on risk assessment than has previously been presented in the literature. Factors predicting the occurrence and the recurrence of child maltreatment are discussed, prior research is examined, and methodological problems and limitations are provided. Recommendations are offered on the integration of art and science in risk assessment to formulate the most effective and holistic assessment of the family.
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Objective: The purpose of this research was to provide a prospective look at the relationship between change in placement and problem behaviors over a 12-month period among a cohort of foster children. Method: The sample contained 415 youth, and was part of a larger cohort of children who entered foster care in San Diego, California and remained in placement for at least 5 months. The Child Behavior Check List was used to assess behavior problems. Every change of placement during the first 18 months after entry into the foster care system was abstracted from case records. Results: The results suggest that volatile placement histories contribute negatively to both internalizing and externalizing behavior of foster children, and that children who experience numerous changes in placement may be at particularly high risk for these deleterious effects. Initial externalizing behaviors proved to be the strongest predictor of placement changes for the entire sample and for a sub-sample of those who initially evidenced problem behaviors on at least one broad-band CBCL scale. Our findings also suggest that children who initially score within normal ranges on the CBCL may be particularly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of placement breakdowns. Conclusions: On the basis of these findings we argue for an analytical approach that views behavior problems as both a cause and as a consequence of placement disruption. Children who do not evidence behavior problems may in fact constitute a neglected population that responds to multiple disruptions of their primary relationships with increasingly self-defeating behaviors.
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Crime rates are much higher in big cities than in either small cities or rural areas. This paper explains this connection by using victimization data, evidence from the NLSY on criminal behavior, and the Uniform Crime Reports. Higher pecuniary benefits for crime in large cities can explain at most one-quarter of the connection between city size and crime rates. Lower probabilities of arrest and a lower probability of recognition are features of urban life, but these factors seem to explain at most one-fifth of the urban crime effect. Between one-third and one-half of the urban effect on crime can be explained by the presence of more female-headed households in cities.
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The authors modify the basic self-sele ction model for the effects ofeducation, training, unions, and other activities on wages, by including "heterogeneity of rewards" to the activity-i.e., diffe rences across individuals in the rate of return to the activity. The authors sho w that such heterogeneity creates a new form of selectionbias. They provide tes ts for its presence and draw out its implications for the wage and welfare gains to the activity. An empirical application provides strong support for such hete rogeneityin one particular training program. Copyright 1987 by MIT Press.
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This comment makes three observations about Donohue and Levitt's paper on abortion and crime (Quarterly Journal of Economics 119(1) (2001), 249–275). First, there is a coding mistake in the concluding regressions, which identify abortion's effect on crime by comparing the experiences of different age cohorts within the same state and year. Second, correcting this error and using a more appropriate per capita specification for the crime variable generates much weaker results. Third, earlier tests in the paper, which exploit cross-state rather than within-state variation, are not robust to allowing for differential state trends based on statewide crime rates that predate the period when abortion could have had a causal effect on crime.
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Many social scientists presume that the quality of the neighborhood to which children are exposed affects a variety of long-run social outcomes. I examine the effect on long-run labor market outcomes of adults who were assigned, when young, to substantially different public housing projects in Toronto. Administrative data are matched to public housing addresses to track children from the program to when they are more than 30 years old. The main finding is that, while living conditions and exposure to crime differ substantially across projects, neighborhood quality plays little role in determining a youth's eventual earnings, unemployment likelihood, and welfare participation. Living in contrasting housing projects cannot explain large variances in labor market outcomes but family differences, as measured by sibling outcome correlations, account for up to 30 percent of the total variance in the data.
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Current national trends show that although the number of available foster homes is shrinking, the number of children and adolescents being cared for in the family foster care system is growing. This study demonstrates the significant benefits to both foster parents and the children in their care of providing enhanced services and stipends to foster parents.
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This study examined whether children who received child welfare services (e.g., in-home or out-of-home placement) were more or less likely to become incarcerated as serious and violent youthful offenders than those children who were investigated as victims of abuse and neglect but received no further child welfare intervention. Administrative data on child abuse reporting, foster care, birth records, and juvenile corrections (CYA) were linked to prospectively examine the risk of incarceration as an adolescent following an investigation of abuse or neglect after age 6. The 10 county California sample included 159,549 school-aged children reported for abuse and neglect after 1990. About 8 per 1,000 children in the sample were later incarcerated in CYA. African American and Hispanic children who received in-home or foster care services after the index investigation event had a lower risk of incarceration than those whose cases were closed after the investigation. Among females, the rate of incarceration was highest for those who experienced foster or group care placements. Children initially reported for neglect were more likely to be incarcerated than those reported for physical or sexual abuse. Public child welfare services have rarely been assessed in terms of future negative child outcomes. This study finds that one serious negative outcome, CYA involvement, can only be understood when a number of factors are considered. The importance of understanding the differences between how different subpopulations respond to services is highlighted. Specifically, our findings suggest that more attention should be focused on children who are now receiving no services after an investigated child abuse and neglect report, on females, and on victims of child neglect.
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Economic theory predicts that increasing the severity of punishments will deter criminal behavior by raising the expected price of committing crime. This implicit price can be substantially raised by making prison sentences longer, but only if offenders' discount rates are relatively low. We use a large sample of felony arrests to measure the deterrence effect of criminal sanctions. We exploit the fact that young offenders are legally treated as adults--and face longer lengths of incarceration--the day they turn 18. Sufficiently patient individuals should therefore significantly lower their offending rates immediately upon turning 18. The small behavioral responses that we estimate suggest that potential offenders are extremely impatient, myopic, or both.
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When parents are suspected of child abuse or neglect, their children may be placed with foster families. We estimate the relationship between the monthly subsidies paid to foster families and the quantity of foster care services provided. The empirical model uses variation in subsidies and foster care populations within 37 states and the years 1987–1995. One innovation in our approach is that we exploit the idea that states do not appear to set market clearing rates, as evidenced by a foster home shortage during this time period. In this case of excess demand, variation in the monthly subsidy traces out the supply curve. Our results show that states with high demand may be able to use economic incentives to recruit foster families.
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An important challenge in the crime literature is to isolate causal effects of police on crime. Following a terrorist attack on the main Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in July 1994, all Jewish institutions received police protection. Thus, this hideous event induced a geographical allocation of police forces that can be presumed exogenous in a crime regression. Using data on the location of car thefts before and after the attack, we find a large deterrent effect of observable police on crime. The effect is local, with no appreciable impact outside the narrow area in which the police are deployed.
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We outline a framework for causal inference in settings where assignment to a binary treatment is ignorable, but compliance with the assignment is not perfect so that the receipt of treatment is nonignorable. To address the problems associated with comparing subjects by the ignorable assignment - an "intention-to-treat analysis" - we make use of instrumental variables, which have long been used by economists in the context of regression models with constant treatment effects. We show that the instrumental variables (IV) estimand can be embedded within the Rubin Causal Model (RCM) and that under some simple and easily interpretable assumptions, the IV estimand is the average causal effect for a subgroup of units, the compliers. Without these assumptions, the IV estimand is simply the ratio of intention-to-treat causal estimands with no interpretation as an average causal effect. The advantages of embedding the IV approach in the RCM are that it clarifies the nature of critical assumptions needed for a causal interpretation, and moreover allows us to consider sensitivity of the results to deviations from key assumptions in a straightforward manner. We apply our analysis to estimate the effect of veteran status in the Vietnam era on mortality, using the lottery number that assigned priority for the draft as an instrument, and we use our results to investigate the sensitivity of the conclusions to critical assumptions.
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The child welfare system in the United States is in crisis. Despite funding and staffing increasing, and despite legislative changes and reforms, the system still cannot meet the mandate to protect children from harm and assist caregivers and families. This paper argues that one of the key factors limiting the effectiveness of the child welfare system is that the system does not carefully and properly evaluate the interventions and programs that are used to protect children and assist families. The paper reviews the available data from evaluation research on child welfare interventions, speculates on why there is so little evaluation of child welfare interventions, and proposes a tentative solution to the paucity of research and the child welfare system crisis.
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The Integrated Database on Children and Family Services in Illinois is a state-level longitudinal and relational database constructed out of administrative data main tained by public agencies serving children and families. This database, which when complete will document all child contact with Illinois public services over 7 or more years, links individual client records both longitudinally and across agencies. The database yields a dynamic, client-level view of human services and can support a wide variety of research. This paper describes the major challenges involved in creating such a database: acquiring and working with agency data, database design, record matching, creating summary records, and normalization. We also briefly discuss some methods of analysis, such as event-history and geographical analysis, to which the data is particularly suited. Keywords: data archive, relational database, event- history analysis, human services research, children's policy.
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A meta-analysis was performed of concurrent and longitudinal studies on the relation of family factors to juvenile conduct problems and delinquency. Analyses of longitudinal data show that socialization variables, such as lack of parental supervision, parental rejection, and parent-child involvement, are among the most powerful predictors of juvenile conduct problems and delinquency. Medium-strength predictors include background variables such as parents' marital relations and parental criminality. Weaker predictors are lack of parental discipline, parental health, and parental absence. The effect of these factors seems to be about the same for boys and for girls. Analyses of concurrent studies comparing delinquents with nondelinquents, and aggressive children with nonaggressive children, largely parallel these findings. Data from concurrent normal samples, however, show less importance for parental child socialization practices and relatively more importance for the child's rejection of the parent and the parent's rejection of the child. A small proportion of families produces a disproportionate number of delinquents. The presence of one child with delinquency, aggression, or covert conduct problems increases the probability that other children in the family will exhibit those behaviors. Deficiencies in parenting skills are associated with the seriousness of the child's delinquency. Treatment studies demonstrate that systematic changes in parenting behaviors can lessen the frequency of a child's conduct problems and that of siblings and, to a lesser extent, reduce involvement in delinquent activities.
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This study addresses the shortage of foster homes to care for children needing substitute care. It focuses on the relation between economic incentives and the supply of foster-care services, analyzing data on 1,094 foster families in eight states. The results of the regression analyses indicate that the level of board rates and foster mothers' employment outside the home affect the amount of foster care provided by foster families.
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One possible way to increase the number of available foster homes is to raise the level of payments to foster parents. This article estimates the effect of the payment level on the supply of potential homes. The relationship is estimated on data from the various states. One method is a simple cross-sectional comparison of the states. Another, and more satisfactory, method is an examination of the changes over time in the various states. There is rough agreement in the results of the two methods, suggesting that a given percentage change in payment level would result in a percentage change in the supply of homes somewhere between half as large and fully as large-for example, a 5-10 percent change in available homes in response to a 10 percent change in payment level.
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The National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients (NSHAPC) was conducted to provide information about the providers of homeless assistance services and the characteristics of homeless clients who use them. This survey was conducted for use by federal agencies and other interested parties responsible for administering homeless assistance programs. The NSHAPC selected a sample of 76 geographic areas to represent the entire Untied States, including the 28 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), 24 small and medium-sized MSAs, and 24 groups of rural counties. Information was gathered on 16 types of homeless assistance programs. Fifteen percent of homeless clients are part of family households, with one or more children under age 18. Thirty-four percent of homeless service users are members of homeless families, and 23 percent are minor children. Of homeless families with children, 52 percent received benefits from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. Forty-five percent of homeless children of preschool age attend preschool, and 93 percent of homeless children attend school regularly. This report presents detailed information about homeless clients and the availability of services. One appendix lists the sampling areas, and the other describes the 16 types of programs studied. (Contains 41 figures, 24 tables, and 31 references.) (SLD)
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This book reviews the findings of 29 studies published between 1960 and 1992 on the impact of childhood out-of-home care on adults' self-sufficiency, adjustment, family and social support, and personal well-being. Section 1, "Out-of-Home Care and Out-of-Home Care Studies," introduces the study and presents the history of out-of-home care in the United States. Section 2, "Methodology," details the conceptual framework; differentiates descriptive, trend, and evaluative studies; and describes the method used to identify and judge the design adequacy of out-of-home care studies. Section 3, "Findings," presents the findings on outcomes of out-of-home care. The results indicate that, in comparison to those not receiving childhood out-of-home care, adults placed in childhood out-of-home care had poorer school performance; higher rates of school dropout, public assistance, homelessness, arrest, and chemical dependency; lower marriage rates; and poorer mental and physical health. They typically maintain contact with at least one biological family member, have reasonable social support systems, and do not differ from the general population in unemployment rate. Factors associated with outcomes include the type of placement, reason for admission, age at placement and discharge, number of placements, time in care, disposition, caseworker activity, and contact and closeness with biological and foster families. Section 4, "Summary and Conclusions," summarizes the outcomes experienced, discusses factors associated with outcomes of out-of-home care, and offers recommendations for future research and program and policy development. Appendices summarize outcome studies of out-of-home care in tabular and narrative form and summarize studies relating out-of-home care to homelessness. (Contains about 80 references.) (KDFB)
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Delineates a foster care research agenda that includes improvement of data available for foster care research; permanency planning; multiple services used by foster children; epidemiology of foster care; bonding of children with foster parents; outcomes of foster care; mental health service provision to foster children; relationship of service characteristics to foster care outcomes; system studies; and kinship foster care. (TJQ)
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In response to the question of how research can contribute to the recently intensified reexamination of family reunification services in public as well as private child welfare agencies, this article reviews research findings from related studies, delineates knowledge gaps and issues, and identifies emerging research priorities. (TJQ)
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Risk assessment in child protective services (CPS) is a complex process involving judgment of the adequacy of the physical home environment and the current psychological and emotional status of children and families to estimate the likelihood of child maltreatment. The study reported in this article gathered data from CPS workers and supervisors to test two basic measurement properties of a set of risk assessment scales: internal consistency and interrater reliability. The research design asked the subjects to read a randomly selected set of three case vignettes and to rate levels of risk using the risk assessment scales. The rating patterns suggest that the scales have adequate levels of internal consistency and interrater reliability. Depending on the results of a test of predictive validity, the scales appear to have the potential for improving the consistency of worker judgments regarding risk potential to children.
Article
Child welfare services have multiple goals, including child protection, family continuity, and achievement of legal permanency so children can end their involvement with child welfare services and have a lifetime family. These goals are not all achievable to the same extent in all cases. American child welfare policy has, in the last few years, become more definitive about the priority of child protection above family preservation. Now, situations which involve safety risks that are too great do not require any efforts at reunifying children to their biological homes. Less clear in American child welfare policy and practice is the value to be placed on other factors – particularly when a child cannot return home and will need an alternative adoptive family. Practitioners often emphasize family continuity– that is, the opportunity to maintain contact with the biological parent and extended family members – as a key decision making consideration. Yet, family continuity does not necessarily predict a successful transition to adulthood that is healthy for children or provides social benefits to the community. This paper explores the rationale for expanding child welfare decision making criteria by adding longer-term outcomes and the likelihood that children will eventually generate social benefits.
Article
This paper identifies several priorities for organizing research that is needed to significantly improve the prospects for children in out-of-home care. These priorities include (1) program evaluation research on services provided to children in out-of-home care, (2) organizational studies of various aspects of the child welfare system and the relationships between child welfare services and other systems, (3) research on child welfare decision making, (4) examination of the role of race and ethnicity in outcomes of care, (5) attention to recurring methodological issues. Accomplishing this research agenda will most likely require a sustained federal commitment to funding research on out-of-home care.
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This article introduces a new class of instrumental variable (IV) estimators for linear and nonlinear treatment response models with covariates. The rationale for focusing on nonlinear models is that, if the dependent variable is binary or limited, or if the effect of the treatment varies with covariates, a nonlinear model is appropriate. In the spirit of Roehrig (Econometrica 56 (1988) 433), identification is attained nonparametrically and does not depend on the choice of the parametric specification for the response function of interest. One virtue of this approach is that it allows the researcher to construct estimators that can be interpreted as the parameters of a well-defined approximation to a treatment response function under functional form misspecification. In contrast to some usual IV models, heterogeneity of treatment effects is not restricted by the identification conditions. The ideas and estimators in this article are illustrated using IV to estimate the effects of 401(k) retirement programs on savings.
Article
We offer evidence that legalized abortion has contributed significantly to recent crime reductions. Crime began to fall roughly eighteen years after abortion legalization. The five states that allowed abortion in 1970 experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation, which legalized in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. States with high abortion rates in the 1970s and 1980s experienced greater crime reductions in the 1990s. In high abortion states, only arrests of those born after abortion legalization fall relative to low abortion states. Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime.
Article
The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration assigned housing vouchers via random lottery to public housing residents in five cities. We use the exogenous variation in residential locations generated by MTO to estimate neighborhood effects on youth crime and delinquency. The offer to relocate to lower-poverty areas reduces arrests among female youth for violent and property crimes, relative to a control group. For males the offer to relocate reduces arrests for violent crime, at least in the short run, but increases problem behaviors and property crime arrests. The gender difference in treatment effects seems to reflect differences in how male and female youths from disadvantaged backgrounds adapt and respond to similar new neighborhood environments.
Article
Despite widespread belief that violence begets violence, methodological problems substantially restrict knowledge of the long-term consequences of childhood victimization. Empirical evidence for this cycle of violence has been examined. Findings from a cohort study show that being abused or neglected as a child increases one's risk for delinquency, adult criminal behavior, and violent criminal behavior. However, the majority of abused and neglected children do not become delinquent, criminal, or violent. Caveats in interpreting these findings and their implications are discussed in this article.
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We examine the effects of family background variables and neighborhood peers on the behaviors of inner-city youths in a tight labor market using data from the 1989 NBER survey of youths living in low-income Boston neighborhoods. We find that family adult behaviors are strongly related to analogous youth behaviors. The links between the behavior of older family members and youths are important for criminal activity, drug and alcohol use, childbearing out of wedlock, schooling, and church attendance. We also find that the behaviors of neighborhood peers appear to substantially affect youth behaviors in a manner suggestive of contagion models of neighborhood effects. Residence in a neighborhood in which a large proportion of other youths are involved in crime is associated with a substantial increase in an individual's probability of the being involved in crime. Significant neighborhood peer effects are also apparent for drug and alcohol use, church attendance, and the propensity of youths to be out of school and out of work. Our results indicate that family and peer influences both operate in manner such that "like begets like."
Article
Child maltreatment, which includes both child abuse and child neglect, is a major social problem. This paper focuses on measuring the effects of child maltreatment on crime using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). We focus on crime because it is one of the most socially costly potential outcomes of maltreatment, and because the proposed mechanisms linking maltreatment and crime are relatively well elucidated in the literature. Our work addresses many limitations of the existing literature on child maltreatment. First, we use a large national sample, and investigate different types of abuse in a similar framework. Second, we pay careful attention to identifying the causal impact of abuse, by using a variety of statistical methods that make differing assumptions. These methods include: Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), propensity score matching estimators, and twin fixed effects. Finally, we examine the extent to which the effects of maltreatment vary with socio-economic status (SES), gender, and the severity of the maltreatment. We find that maltreatment approximately doubles the probability of engaging in many types of crime. Low SES children are both more likely to be mistreated and suffer more damaging effects. Boys are at greater risk than girls, at least in terms of increased propensity to commit crime. Sexual abuse appears to have the largest negative effects, perhaps justifying the emphasis on this type of abuse in the literature. Finally, the probability of engaging in crime increases with the experience of multiple forms of maltreatment as well as the experience of Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation.
Article
The application of nonlinear fixed effects models in econometrics has often been avoided for two reasons, one methodological, one practical. The methodological question centers on a incidental parametres problem that raises questions about the statistical properties of the estimator. The practical one relates to the difficulty of estimating nonlinear models with possibly thousands of coefficients. This note will demonstrate that the second is in fact, a nonissue, and that in a very large number models of interest to practioners, estimation of the fixed effects model is quite feasible even in panels with huge numbers of groups.