U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Location of Placement and Juvenile Delinquency: Do Neighborhoods Matter in Child Welfare?

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2014
13 pages
This study aims to advance the knowledge base by investigating where foster youth are placed in terms of neighborhood characteristics and whether specific neighborhood characteristics were associated with delinquency for adolescents in the child welfare system.
The study followed the placement experiences of 2,360 foster youth in Chicago from birth to 16 years of age, using State administrative data, census data, and the community survey of the Project of Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. The results show that foster care placements clustered in neighborhoods characterized by high concentrated disadvantage, low ethnic heterogeneity, low collective efficacy, prevalent neighborhood disorder, and violent culture. The results indicated that neighborhood ethnic heterogeneity is positively associated with delinquent offending. The implications for policy and practice are discussed.
Date Published: September 1, 2014