This article examines out-of-home placements for youth with mental health problems in community-based systems of care. Longitudinal data come from the national evaluation of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program. One third of youth residing at home when they enrolled in the system of care were placed out of home during the 2-year follow-up period. As expected, youth who were placed out of home displayed more problems, fewer strengths, and more risk factors than youth who remained at home. However, results suggested few differences between youth placed in foster care and those placed in more restrictive settings. In addition, there was increased placement instability for Hispanic and older youth. Findings suggest that out-of-home placements remain a common component in systems of care. This suggests the immediate need for additional work on effectiveness of these settings for youth within systems of care.
Use and predictors of out-of-home placements within systems of care