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  code 03/28/2022 01:11:AM
  data 03/28/2022 01:12:AM
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Project Citation: 

Bald, Anthony, Doyle, Jr., Joseph J., Gross, Max, and Jacob, Brian A. Data and Code for: Economics of Foster Care. Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2022. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2022-05-02.

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary Foster care provides substitute living arrangements to protect maltreated children. The practice is remarkably common: it is estimated that 5 percent of children in the United States are placed in foster care at some point during childhood. These children exhibit poor outcomes as children and adults, and economists have begun to estimate the causal relationship between foster care and life outcomes. This paper provides background on the latest trends in foster care policy and practice to highlight areas most in need of rigorous evidence. These trends include efforts to prevent foster care on the demand side and to improve foster home recruitment on the supply side. With increasing data availability and a growing interest in evidence-based practices, there are a range of opportunities for economic research to inform policies that protect vulnerable children.

The code and data contained here can be used to replicate a portion of the statistics, tables, and figures presented in this study. We use two sources of data: publicly available data from the KIDS COUNT Data Center, and restricted use AFCARS Foster Care files. All KIDS COUNT data used in our study are contained here. AFCARS data are not publicly available, therefore we provide instructions for accessing the data. All code used in this study is contained here.

Scope of Project

Subject Terms:  View help for Subject Terms economics; foster care; child welfare
JEL Classification:  View help for JEL Classification
      H51 National Government Expenditures and Health
      H53 National Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
      H75 State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
      I38 Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
      J12 Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
      J13 Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Geographic Coverage:  View help for Geographic Coverage USA
Time Period(s):  View help for Time Period(s) 1995 – 2019
Universe:  View help for Universe Children reported for maltreatment and in foster care.
Data Type(s):  View help for Data Type(s) administrative records data; program source code


Data Source:  View help for Data Source Annie E. Casey Foundation. 2022. KIDS COUNT Data Center:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2020. Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), Foster Care Files 1995-2019 [Dataset]. National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. Washington, DC: Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, Children’s Bureau.

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