CASCW study provides snapshot of youth experiences in private placement settings

In February 2012, the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) in collaboration with the Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies (MCCCA) conducted a study to examine adoption disruptions and dissolutions among children in Minnesota’s private-agency out-of-home placements. Preliminary results from this study are now available online.
In conducting this study, CASCW and MCCCA hoped to gain a better understanding of the experiences of children in private out-of-home placements in Minnesota. What is contained in the preliminary results is a side-by-side comparison of data from all residential facilities, group homes, and foster homes that participated in the study.
In sum, there were 938 youth from 34 agencies in the sample.

  • The largest percentages of children were placed by a court order; this was higher in treatment foster homes (74.3% of youths) and lower in residential treatment (16.9%).
  • The average youth from within this study experienced 1 to 2 previous placements.
  • 77.6% never experienced a finalized adoption or pre-adoptive placement.
  • 92% of the youth had a disability/diagnosis.
  • The most frequently diagnosed disorders held across all placement types; these were Disruptive Behavior Disorder, Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

In-depth analysis of data is ongoing with an anticipated completed report later this year.
For more information on this report, please contact the Principal Investigator for this study, Dr. Traci LaLiberte, at