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May 2014Vol. 15, No. 5California Foster Care Reentry Data

Twice a month, the Chronicle of Social Change's Focus on the Figures series features data on different California child well-being indicators from In January 2014, the Chronicle focused on children who reenter foster care after being reunited with their families. In 2011, data showed that 12 percent of children in California who attempted reunification with their families reentered foster care within 1 year, although reentry rates varied greatly by county—ranging from 1 percent in one county to 32 percent in another county.

The article notes that reentry rates are some of the most important data reported by child welfare agencies, as they can be used as a measure for successful intervention and/or reunification timeliness. The author also notes that the Children's Bureau's Child Welfare Outcomes Report measures reentry differently than The Bureau measures national reentry "within 12 months of a prior episode" and "more than 12 months after a prior episode." Child Welfare Outcomes data for 2011 show that, in California, nearly 9 percent (8.7) of children reentered foster care within 12 months of a prior episode and nearly 13 percent (12.9) of children reentered care more than 12 months after a prior episode. County-specific data are not included in the Bureau's Child Welfare Outcomes Report.

Other recent Focus on the Figures topics have included the first type of placement in foster care, reasons for removing a child from his or her home, foster care demographics, and more.

"Focus on the Figures: Re-Entry into Foster Care," by John Kelly, and other articles in this series, are available on the website for the Chronicle of Social Change:

The most recent Child Welfare Outcomes report, Child Welfare Outcomes 2008–2011: Report to Congress, is available on the Children's Bureau's website:

Search for State-specific data on the Child Welfare Outcomes Data Site:

Related Item

Children's Bureau Express featured recent updates to the Child Welfare Outcomes Data Site that provide users with increased capabilities for viewing race/ethnicity data. Read the article "Child Welfare Outcomes Data Site Update" (March 2014):