See this excellent brief by Casey Family Programs, “Key strategies to improve placement stability in foster care,” which highlights effective strategies based on a survey of child welfare leaders and professionals from 44 states and counties. Strategies include:
- Placing children with relatives or family members when possible
- Placement matching to make optimal first placements for children
- Improving services to children in care
- Programs that support foster caregivers to better address children’s needs
- Caseworker retention
- Staff training
In many cases, these strategies overlap with strategies that improve time to permanency, thus attending to permanency can also improve placement stability.
See this related brief, “How can we ensure a child’s first placement is with family?” for examples of strategies used by six child welfare agencies aimed at strengthening family-based capacity to ensure children are connected to family settings at the outset rather than group care. Casey Family Programs conducted interviews with leadership from six agencies that have made changes in order to support a child’s first placement in family-based settings:
- New Jersey and
- Washington, D.C.