Why Should the Child Welfare Field Focus on Minimizing Placement Change as Part of Permanency Planning for Children?
Paper presented at the California Permanency Conference
by Peter Pecora, Ph.D.; Ronald Kessler, Ph.D.; A. Chris Downs, Ph.D.; Diana English, Ph.D.; James White, Ph.D.; Steven Heeringa, Ph.D.
March 2007

Recent studies conducted by Casey Family Programs and other organizations have found that placement stability is a key predictor of youth success in foster care.

This handout reviews current studies to summarize why it is so important that children placed in foster care experience as few moves as possible. It demonstrates that minimizing placement change will:

  • minimize child pain and trauma
  • lessen child attachment, behavior and mental health disorders
  • decrease school changes and increase academic achievement
  • maximize continuity in services, decrease foster parent stress, and lower program costs
  • increase the likelihood that a child will establish an enduring positive relationship with a caring adult