Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Kathleen M. Baker

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Third Advisor

Dr. Lisa DeChano-Cook


Foster care, Medicaid, prenatal care, Michigan, counties

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, at any given time, there are approximately 13,000 youth in foster care throughout Michigan. This study used secondary data of linked child welfare case records and State of Michigan Medicaid claims from January 1, 2009 to September 30, 2012 to research the effects of individual, foster care and spatial characteristics experienced by 307 women that became pregnant and delivered while still enrolled in foster care in Michigan on their prenatal care and prenatal outcomes. While, the majority of the analyses resulted in insignificant relationships, significant differences between foster care characteristics were identified regarding mental illness, and significant differences between races were identified regarding tobacco use. The spatial distribution of prenatal care and prenatal outcomes highlights that access to care leads to higher percentages of women being diagnosed with negative prenatal outcomes. One hundred percent of the women in Calhoun County received adequate prenatal care and it also ranked in the top 25 percent for seven out of the ten prenatal outcomes examined.