State support policies and children's living arrangements

Marina Haddock Potter, Tenesha Littleton, Sarah A. Font

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Many children in the United States live apart from their parents, in either formal or informal foster care, due to concerns about child abuse and neglect. Prior research has established a connection between poverty and child maltreatment, but many aspects of state support to families remain unexamined in relation to child living arrangements. Objective: We test welfare access, welfare generosity, work supports, and family supports indicators as predictors of foster care removal rates and nonparental care rates. Participants and setting: We use a population of 51 states, including the District of Columbia, for years 2008 to 2018, totaling 561 state-years. Methods: We utilize negative binomial regression models with state and year fixed effects. Results: We find that one-dollar higher minimum wages are negatively associated with both foster care removal rates (IRR = 0.947, p < 0.001) and nonparental care rates (IRR = 0.975, p < 0.01), but that other state policies are not consistently beneficial. Conclusions: Our results have implications for policies to assist families and reduce child maltreatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105873
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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