Date of Award

Summer 8-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Dr Gengsheng (Jeff) Qin

Second Advisor

Dr. Xu Zhang

Third Advisor

Dr. Jun Han


This thesis investigates the relationship between foster care placement settings and discharges. Placement settings are where foster children live: foster homes, group homes, etc. There may be one or several placements for any individual child. In the interest of stability, federal funding to states depends in part on low numbers of placement moves. Federal reviews, however, do not consider whether the placement settings resemble permanent family life (foster homes compared to congregate care) or the direction of placement moves. Competing risks regression was used to analyze time to discharge data of foster children in Georgia. Discharges (competing risks) were compared based on the number and the direction of placement moves. Children with movement patterns that favored placements similar to permanent family life were found to have higher probabilities of discharges to safe permanence. This thesis promotes “proximity to permanence” as an important, but often overlooked, consideration in foster care placements.


Included in

Mathematics Commons