Five Top States for Placing Children in Child Welfare in Families

Posted May 19, 2015
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog topfivestatesforplacingkidsincwinfamilies 2015

As child wel­fare prac­tices have evolved in response to research on healthy child devel­op­ment, more kids who have been removed from home in recent years because of abuse or neglect have been liv­ing in fam­i­lies. But the per­cent­age of kids in the child wel­fare sys­tem who are liv­ing in fam­i­lies com­pared with those liv­ing in group place­ments varies con­sid­er­ably from state to state — and some­times from coun­ty to coun­ty with­in a state.

An analy­sis of 2013 data on the place­ments of chil­dren from birth through age 20 showed that the per­cent­ages liv­ing in group place­ments ranged from 4% to 35%. Over­all, 14% of chil­dren under the care of U.S. child wel­fare sys­tems lived in group placements.

Five states that have kept fam­i­ly place­ments high and group place­ments low include:

  • Ore­gon (94% in fam­i­ly place­ments; 4% in group place­ments; 2% in oth­er placements)
  • Wash­ing­ton (94% in fam­i­ly place­ments; 5% in group place­ments; 1% in oth­er placements)
  • Maine (94% in fam­i­ly place­ments; 5% in group place­ments; 0% in oth­er placements)
  • Neva­da (94% in fam­i­ly place­ments; 6% in group place­ments; 1% in oth­er placements)
  • Kansas (93% in fam­i­ly place­ments; 5% in group place­ments; 1% in oth­er placements)

Note: Per­cent­ages may not add up to 100 per­cent because of round­ing. Oth­er” place­ments include run­aways and super­vised inde­pen­dent living.

While res­i­den­tial treat­ment — a spe­cial­ized form of group place­ment — is a ben­e­fi­cial, short-term option for the small per­cent­age of young peo­ple with severe or com­plex needs that can’t be met in a home envi­ron­ment, we know kids do best in families.

To see more data on fam­i­ly and group place­ments by state, down­load the Every Kid Needs a Fam­i­ly report.

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