Perennial Factors Impacting Ffoster Care Placement Stability

Perspectives of Alumni of Foster Care Who Worked Directly with Children and Youths in Foster Care


  • Hadih Deedat West Chester University - West Chester, PA


Many of the hundreds of thousands of children and youth in foster care face uncertainty about the stability of their foster homes, making foster care placement instability one of the dire challenges perennially faced by many children and youth in foster care. A trove of research studies utilized the perspectives of children or youth in foster care, foster parents, alumni of the foster care system, and child welfare professionals. However, there is no known study on foster care placement instability that primarily focused on the perspectives of alumni of foster care who also work(ed) directly with children/youths in foster care. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were employed in this study, resulting in interviews involving 12 alumni of foster care who had professional experience working directly with children/youths in foster care. A major theme and five sub-themes emerged from the data analysis of participants’ interview responses. The findings are relevant to understanding foster care placement instability from a lived and professional experiences standpoint as they are primarily based on the perspectives of individuals with foster care lived experiences who also have professional experiences working with children/youths in foster care. Research and practice recommendations have been offered.

Keywords: foster care; foster care placement stability; foster placement disruptions

Author Biography

Hadih Deedat, West Chester University - West Chester, PA

Hadih A. Deedat, Ph.D., MSW, MPH

Assistant Professor

Undergraduate Social Work Department

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Hadih Deedat holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) degree in Sociology from the University of Ghana, Legon-Accra, Ghana. He also holds two master’s degrees: Master of Public Health (MPH) from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Master of Social Work (MSW) from Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania. Dr. Deedat continued his education at Widener University where he earned his doctoral degree in Social Work. 

Prior to becoming a part of the Undergraduate Social Work faculty at West Chester University 2019, Dr. Deedat taught various social work courses at both Widener University and Delaware State University between 2014 and 2018. From 2012 to 2019, Dr. Deedat was a full-time Clinical Screener/Family Crisis Therapist with the Office of Evidence-Based Practice (State of Delaware), working with children and youth in foster care to promote and advocate for better outcomes for that vulnerable population. Dr. Deedat’s passion for working to advance the overall wellbeing of children and youth in foster care saw him conduct his doctoral dissertation on foster care placement instability, utilizing perspectives of foster care alumni who had had professional experience working with children and youth in foster care.

Dr. Deedat has a deep-seated research interest in child welfare. His other major research interests include immigrant and refugee welfare, evidence-based social work practice, and public health and social work interdisciplinary approaches. Dr. Deedat’s research interests are driven by his strong belief that more scholarship, advocacy, and social justice efforts are needed to address inequality, discrimination, and other forms of social injustices that continue to plague our society.