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

Posted May 19, 2014

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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