Change Indicator

Foster Care - Reunification re-entries during reporting period in Pennsylvania

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Why This Indicator Matters

While a child is in out-of-home care, the child welfare agency should provide services to ensure that efforts are made to restore the family, or successfully achieve another permanency option, and avoid the need for future placement. The rate of children re-entering care within 12 months from reunification is the lowest it has been since 2010.
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Definition and Source



This indicator shows the number and percent of children who were discharged to reunification with their parents or other relatives before their 18th birthday in a 12-month period and re-entered foster care in less than 12 months following their reunification.  Young adults up to age 21 are counted as a re-entry if the initial discharge was before they turned 18, and reunified with their parents or other relatives.

Data Source

PPC analysis of AFCARS longitudinal file produced by Public Consulting Group for Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families.


The data system does not allow the capture of enough information on children discharged from care who re-entered foster care within the first year to determine whether that discharge was a reunification to parents or relatives or discharge for another reason.  This may result in an over-reporting of reunifications and subsequent re-entries.  Some counties may also have an overcount of re-entries because of nuances of their billing systems.  Some county-level data is also not available for certain years.

S = Suppressed.  Statistics (rates, ratios, percents) are not calculated and displayed for counts less than 10 (or less than 3 for Bayesian/Nearest Neighbor rates). This is due to the unreliability of statistics based on small numbers of events.

Last Updated

January 2024