This study uses a large administrative dataset, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), to explore how public child welfare agencies in the United States use parental disability in their data collection efforts through examining the use of parental disability as a removal reason. Using data from the 2012 AFCARS foster care file, this study explores how the parental disability removal reason is used and how this removal reason relates to parent and child demographics. The study found that 19% of foster children had parental disability as a removal reason. Children with disabilities and children of certain races had higher odds of having parental disability as a removal reason, as did both younger and older parents. The study also found great variation amongst states in the use of parental disability as a removal. Recommendations for more appropriate collection of parental disability related data are suggested, as basing child welfare decisions on diagnoses versus behavior contradicts guidance jointly put forth by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services.
- Child welfare
- Foster care
- Parents with disabilities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science