1 Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Yale University, Department of Economics3 Cornell University4 Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Although recent research suggests that the cumulative risk of foster care placement is far higher for American children than originally suspected, little is known about the cumulative risk of foster care placement in other countries, which makes it difficult to gauge the degree to which factor foster care placement is salient in other contexts. In this article, we provide companion estimates to those provided in recent work on the US by using Danish registry data and synthetic cohort life tables to show how high and unequally distributed the cumulative risk of foster care placement is for Danish children. Results suggest that at the beginning of the study period (in 1998) the cumulative risk of foster care placement for Danish children was roughly in line with the risk for American children. Yet, by the end of the study period (2010), the risk had declined to half the risk for American children. Our results also show some variations by parental ethnicity and sex, but these differences are small. Indeed, they appear quite muted relative to racial/ethnic differences in these risks in the United States. Last, though cumulative risks are similar between Danish and American children (especially at the beginning of the study period), the age-specific risk profiles are markedly different, with higher risks for older Danish children than for older American children.