Institutional Predictors of Developmental Outcomes Among Racially Diverse Foster Care Alumni

Antonio R. Garcia, Peter J. Pecora, Tracy Harachi, Eugene Aisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Child welfare practitioners are confronted with the responsibility of relying on best practice to ensure children in foster care transition successfully into adulthood after leaving the foster care system. Yet, despite recent reforms and efforts to address their needs, research clearly shows that foster care alumni are still more likely to experience negative developmental outcomes compared to adults in the general population. The purpose of this study was to better understand how child-serving systems of care adequately prepare racially diverse foster care alumni to thrive. Controlling for gender, age, placement instability, and circumstances of exit from foster care, study findings highlighted salient racial and ethnic differences relative to which factors predicted the odds of mental health, education, and employment outcomes. Implications for developing and implementing culturally sensitive, evidence-based prevention and intervention programs to promote positive developmental outcomes among racially diverse foster care alumni are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-584
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Child abuse
  • Child neglect
  • Foster care alumni
  • Latino Child Welfare Research and Practice
  • Mental health disorders
  • Out-of-home care
  • Placement instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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