Early child care and education programs have the potential to play a supportive role in the lives of vulnerable children and families involved in the child welfare system. Child care subsidies can help low-income families to access these programs. The current study examines the use and stability of child care subsidies among children from families involved in the child welfare system. Administrative data were obtained from the Oregon Department of Human Services through two linked datasets: Child Welfare Services and Employment Related Day Care (Oregon's child care subsidy program). Results indicate that children placed out of their biological homes through child welfare services, and those with more instability in child welfare placements, are less likely to receive subsidized child care than those protected in their homes. Findings further suggest that children involved in child welfare services have even less stability in child care subsidy use than other children from low-income families, evidenced by shorter durations of subsidy use. These findings provide a platform for future research in this area, and have implications for the well-being of children and families involved in child welfare services, whose lives involve a host of challenges, risks, and instabilities. (author abstract)
Child care assistance for families involved in the child welfare system: Predicting child care subsidy use and stability
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