Fiscal Analysis Shows “When Child Welfare Works” Recommendations Add Up

Posted May 19, 2014, By Robert Geen

As part of the Casey Foundation’s push to spur changes in federal financing as a means to help improve child welfare systems nationwide, we recently asked an outside organization to review our financing reform proposal – "When Child Welfare Works – A Proposal for Financing Best Practices” – to help show that our recommendations are fiscally feasible and would not require additional spending, but instead smarter spending.

Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan child development research center with much expertise in the area of child welfare financing, calculated projections of the fiscal impact of the 14 proposed recommendations and detailed its analysis in this memo, “Child Welfare Fiscal Reform Analysis.” The memo estimates federal costs and savings that would result from the major provisions of our recommendations.

Their analysis shows that, taken together, our recommendations provide a viable framework for achieving system reform with level federal funding.

Among their projections:

  • If the federal government limited the length of federal Title IV-E reimbursement eligibility for foster care for any child under 18 to no more than 36 months per child, then that would free up more than $3 billion within 5 years that could be directed to those best practices that we know are working for children and families.
  • Meanwhile, eliminating federal reimbursements for non-therapeutic placements in group homes, shelters and reassessments centers would free up nearly $800 million.

Learn more about Child Trends’ analysis of our recommendations

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