Estimating the relational well-being of siblings separated by out-of-home care

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This study utilized web-based data collection and latent profile analysis to visualize and describe the relational well-being of youth experiencing foster care-related sibling separation. Legally authorized representatives for 724 youth in seven states in the U.S.A. completed a brief electronic questionnaire assessing youth’s social competence, emotional competence, sibling warmth, and sibling interaction quality. Six profiles of relational well-being emerged from the analysis and included youth who were “struggling—all domains,” “struggling—sibling relationships,” “thriving—all domains,” “near struggling—all domains,” “mixed—thriving sibling relationships/near-struggling social-emotional competence,” and “average—all domains.” Significant differences were observed for the proportion of youth in a particular profile based on their current out-of-home care status, permanency plan goal, and the survey respondent’s relationship to the youth. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Public Child Welfare
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Foster care
  • research methodology
  • well-being

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