Project Description

Subject Summary, February 2009
Authors: Susan J. Wells, Esther Wattenberg, & Angela Neal

Children who experience multiple placements in foster care suffer from a range of emotional, behavioral, and developmental problems that persist over a lifetime. There are several reasons why multiple placements occur. Frequently, sources of foster placement instability may include the abilities and tolerance of foster parents, the behavior and needs of the child, and the success of the match. In addition, there may be institutional and administrative factors that contribute to instability. This study was designed to find ways to minimize unstable care for children entrusted to Hennepin County’s child protection system. The purpose of the study was to determine factors that were associated with the stability and instability of placement experiences.


CASCW’s subject summaries were developed by affiliated faculty within the School of Social Work from 2004–2010. Child welfare-relevant evaluation findings, which include current policies and practices affecting Title IV-E eligible families and children, are incorporated into these supplemental training materials.

Each Subject Summary contains features such as discussion questions, selected references, additional resources, suggested guest speakers and a PowerPoint presentation.