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

Posted May 19, 2014
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

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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