Extended Foster Care Program Enrollment and Retention in Ohio: A Survival Analysis

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)

Committee Chair

Jonathan McCombs

Committee Member

Christopher Washington

Committee Member

Leslie Mathew


Extended foster care (EFC) programs have emerged as a way to provide continued financial and case management support and improve well-being outcomes for young adults who have aged-out of foster care. Research has suggested that young adults who participate in extended foster care programs after aging out of care, are more likely to experience better well-being outcomes, such as stable housing, delayed pregnancy, employment, financial stability and higher levels of education. There is growing support that extended care programs are effective in aiding young adults in their transition to adulthood, however retention in these programs have not been studied. The present study set out to examine a new, statewide extended foster care program in Ohio to better understand the population and patterns of termination, re-entry, and retention among those enrolled. To address a gap in literature, this research analyzes termination and group differences through the use of a survival analysis. The sample consisted of 1162 cases. Termination was analyzed using seven variables: placement setting count, total number of days spent in foster care, eligibility criteria, service region, tier level, age, and gender. Re-entry was assessed across the three age groups: 18, 19, and 20-year olds. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory was used to discuss as a framework for understanding human development in relation to the influences of time, individuals, and proximal processes. Finally, opportunities for future research are addressed with respect to the study’s limitations and study findings.