Pathways of Out-of-Home Care in the Netherlands

Mioara Zoutewelle-Terovan , Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Ruben van Gaalen, Statistics Netherlands/University of Amsterdam (Sociology)
Ingeborg Deerenberg, Statistics Netherlands

When the safety of a child is threatened (by abuse, neglect, loss of parents, or severe anti-social behavior), he/she may experience out-of-home forms of care in foster families, residential facilities or family-style group homes. In 2017, over 46,000 children in the Netherlands lived apart from their biological parents in a variety of formal care arrangements. These children vary enormously in the out-of-home care settings they experience and, to date, an understanding of this diversity is sorely lacking. Using sequence analysis, I will provide a meaningful classification of youth care experiences by integrating elements such as types of placements (parental, residential, grandparental and ‘other’ foster care), timing of entering out-of-home care, duration of stay, number of placements, and the order in which placements occur. This study is based on the use of register data from Statistics Netherlands and includes an entire population-based birth cohort of children in out-of-home care (children born between 1991-1995). This study moves beyond simple classifications of children in out-of-home care using isolated features (e.g. number of placements, duration of stay), and provides an integrated multi-faceted typology accounting for entire histories of youth care. This classification will be used in future research to study long-term consequences of various out-of-home care pathways for adult functioning.

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 Presented in Session 11. Flash session: intersections of family formation and employment during the life course