Sarah Font

Date of Defense



Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Yvonne Unrau

Second Advisor

Jane McComber

Third Advisor

Dr. Rick Grinnell


The intent of this paper is to provide thorough insight into the issue of placement breakdowns within the foster care system. Specific focus will be directed toward the effect of disruptions on foster children as well as on foster parents. Using a number of previous studies on foster children, I will discern the short and long term consequences of placement disruption for this at-risk population. Factors that can enhance the risk of placement disruption as well as factors that assist in placement stability will be discussed. In addition to a literature review of the topic of placement changes, I will use data from a research study in which I participated, entitled Moving in Foster Care: The Foster Parent Perspective.

All of the presented information will be used in a final discussion concerning how policy and practice need be altered in order to reduce harm to children in the foster care system. I will conclude with my suggestions for improvement in the foster care system based on my research.

Data included in this piece comes through two avenues: a review of the literature and my participation in a new study regarding moving in foster care. Though the majority of my sources are peer-reviewed journal articles, other articles are included as well, based on their relevance and the insight they bring to foster care issues.


Fourth Advisor: Dr. Gary Mathews

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only