Previous reports of child maltreatment Sequelae have not systematically examined the effects of societal intervention. A historical cohort study has been undertaken to examine the impact of one intervention, foster care, on the subsequent development of juvenile delinquency among child victims. One hundred fourteen foster children, aged 11 to 18 years, in foster care for three or more years, and who were in foster care as a result of maltreatment were studied. A comparison cohort was composed of 106 victims of maltreatment who were left in their family home; these children were similar to the children in foster care with regard to age, race, sex, and year of diagnosis. Cohort differences in maternal education, type of abuse, history of prior maltreatment, sex, and race were controlled in the analysis. Foster children committed 0.050 crimes per person-year after age 11 years; home care children committed 0.059 crimes per person-year after age 11 years (P > .2). Foster children were more likely to have committed criminal assault. Among foster children, increased number of foster home placements correlated with increased number of delinquency convictions. Overall, there appears to be no support for the idea that foster care is responsible for a significant portion of later problems encountered by victims of maltreatment.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.