Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Kenneth I. Millar

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of participation in a CASA child advocacy program on the length of time in out-of-home placement among children in foster care. Two groups of children, one group having a CASA volunteer, and the other not having a CASA volunteer, were compared on selected characteristics. Also, this study sought to determine if a model existed that explains a significant portion of the variance in the length of time in out-of-home placement among children in foster care. The demographic information analyzed was obtained using recorded information from the computerized files of the local CASA office and information recorded from interviews with assigned caseworkers for children in foster care. The study used data on 289 subjects, CASA group (n = 193) and Non-CASA group (n = 96), which was the entire population of children in foster care during the period of July 1, 1998--June 30, 1999. The results of this study indicated that the subjects were diverse in ages and mostly African-American. The majority was male and neglect was the most prevalent reason for initial placement. Most were placed with their siblings at the time of their initial placement and most were placed initially within 30 miles of their original home. Comparing the CASA and Non-CASA groups revealed that the CASA group was younger and was found to be more likely to have been placed within 30 miles of their original home. Also, the CASA group of children was found to have spent a significantly shorter time in out-of-home care. Using a regression analysis, it was found that a model does exist that explained a significant portion of the variance in the length of time in out-of-home placement among children in the study. This model included 3 factors; whether or not the child had a CASA, age, and whether or not the child was biracial. This study offers considerable support for the position of those that believe that a CASA program is an important aspect of reducing the length of time a child spends in foster care.

ISBN

9780493328454

Pages

69

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