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Foster and Adoptive Families

A defining feature of both foster and adoptive families is that they include children who are not being reared by their biological parents. As with other family forms such as single-parent families or blended families, foster and adoptive families can contribute to diversity within educational settings. This entry begins with a demographic description of children in foster and adoptive families, then summarizes research on the behavioral adjustment and academic achievement of children in foster and adoptive families, and finally highlights issues in educational settings that may be of particular concern for children in foster and adoptive families.

In the last 10 years, 700,000 to 800,000 children have been served each year in public foster care in the United States. Children most often enter foster families following ...

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