The Role of Kinship and Siblings in Young Children's Placement Preferences

19 Pages Posted: 8 May 2019

See all articles by Kelli Dickerson

Kelli Dickerson

University of California, Irvine

Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Jodi Quas

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society

Date Written: May 7, 2019

Abstract

Although considerable attention has been directed toward the most appropriate placement for children following removal from home due to maltreatment, very little of this attention has focused on children’s stated preferences, particularly when they are young. Specifically, children under 12 years of age are typically presumed incompetent to form reasoned judgments about their best interests in placement. This assumption, however, has rarely been tested directly. We surveyed 100 4- to 11-year-olds removed from home because of maltreatment about their placement preferences. Children were less likely to indicate they wanted to return home if they were placed with siblings or with kin, consistent with statutory placement preferences. These results suggest that young children may express more mature preferences than recognized by the law, and that there may be value in asking even relatively young children about with whom they would like to live following removal from home as a result of maltreatment.

Suggested Citation

Dickerson, Kelli and Lyon, Thomas D. and Quas, Jodi, The Role of Kinship and Siblings in Young Children's Placement Preferences (May 7, 2019). Forthcoming, Journal of Interpersonal Violence; USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 19-12; USC CLASS Research Papers Series No. CLASS19-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3384390

Kelli Dickerson (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine ( email )

P.O. Box 19556
Science Library Serials
Irvine, CA 62697-3125
United States

Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-0142 (Phone)
213-740-5502 (Fax)

Jodi Quas

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society ( email )

2340 Social Ecology 2, RM
Irvine, CA 92697

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