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At-risk children who participate in the federal Head Start preschool program are less likely to end up in foster care than those who don’t, finds a study in Children and Youth Services Review. Researchers analyzed data on nearly 2,000 children who had entered the child welfare system because of suspected neglect or abuse. Those children who were enrolled in Head Start were 93 percent less likely to enter foster care than those who were not. The researchers suggest Head Start might prevent children entering foster care because it supports a child’s entire family. They did not see the same protective effect among children who attended non-Head Start preschools and day care centers.

Susie Bean Gives