If parents are unable or unwilling to care for their children (under the age of 18) the children often are taken into the custody of a public child welfare agency and are subsequently placed into foster care. While the child welfare agency remains responsible for any legal decisions for a child, foster families are responsible for the child’s day to day care and wellbeing. A number of children in the United States face this reality. In fiscal year 2017, there were almost 443,000 children in foster care in the United States (5.8 per 1,000); 1,592 of them in Idaho (3.6 per 1,000).
This study is the initial step in examining the long-term impacts of foster care in Idaho. The report is the first in a series that seeks to answer the question, “How does the experience associated with being removed from one’s family and placed in foster care in Idaho impact a person’s long-term outcomes?”
This first report specifically examines former foster youths’ rate of interaction with Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC).
There are three main findings:
- Former foster children and youth in the study are 2.2 times more likely to have interacted with IDOC than the general population.
- The ratio for males is 2.2 times that of the general population and for females it is 2.6 times.
- As former foster youth age, incidence increases.
Giuntini, Guido; Crossgrove Fry, Vanessa; Hansen, Jaime; and Torres, Christopher, "Outcomes for Idaho Foster Youth: Engagement with Idaho Department of Corrections 2019" (2019). Idaho Policy Institute Reports. 24.