Prior Placements of Youth Admitted to Therapeutic Foster Care and Residential Treatment Centers: The Odyssey Project Population

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Two samples of youth in the child welfare system were compared–youth entering residential treatment centers (RTCs) and youth entering therapeutic foster care (TFC). Three questions were addressed: (1) Where were youth living prior to the current placement? (2) Had youth been treated in other systems of care? (3) How many prior placements did youth have? Time 1 data of the national “Odyssey Project” developed by the Child Welfare League of America were used. The measure utilized was the child and family characteristics form (CFC). Results revealed that youth admitted to RTCs were more likely to be entering from other systems of care and stepping down to the RTC while youth entering TFCs were more likely to be entering from within the child welfare system and stepping up to a higher level of care. The results have implications for improving clinical practice and for the development of a cross-system perspective on serving troubled youth.

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