The revolving door of families in the child welfare system: Risk and protective factors associated with families returning

Ryan D. Davidson, Claire S. Tomlinson, Connie J. Beck, Anne M. Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The number of families involved in the child welfare system (including child protective services, foster care, juvenile court) has increased since 2011(Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, 2015). Professionals involved in these systems have discussed the increase in number of families who return to the child welfare system after an initial case closure. We aim to identify risk and protective factors associated with families returning to the system within a social ecological framework, to identify gaps in the current literature, and to discuss areas for future research. A literature search was conducted using PsycInfo, PubMED, and SociIndex through June 2017 on three case outcomes: reunification, re-entry/reactivation, and termination of parental rights. The authors then reviewed the articles located and highlight the findings using a social ecological framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-479
Number of pages12
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019



  • Child welfare services/child protection
  • Recidivism
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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