Predictors of Running Away from Out-of-Home Care
This article was published in, and the following abstract copied from Children and Youth Services Review.
This study examines the frequency and predictors of youth running away from foster care in Illinois. Using data from the state's child welfare management information system and Medicaid paid claims data, study analyses focus on 14,282 children and youth who ran away from care at least once between 1993 and 2003. The likelihood that youths in care would run nearly doubled over the study period, driven largely by an increase over time in the likelihood that youths who had run once would run again. Child age, gender, race/ethnicity, disability, and diagnosed mental health and substance use disorders all predicted running from care. System-level factors including placement type, number of prior placements, prior runaway history, and administrative region were also found to predict running away. Implications of the study findings for child welfare policy and practice are discussed.