What’s the Return on Investment?

Using Placement Analysis to Measure Child Welfare Costs

Posted August 19, 2019
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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Using Placement Analysis to Measure Child Welfare Costs


In this brief, child welfare leaders and agencies learn about an approach, called placement day analysis, that calculates the financial impact of diverting or shortening child welfare placements. Equipped with this information, decision makers can identify the right interventions and program changes — those that are good for both children and lean agency budgets — to invest in moving forward.

Findings & Stats

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Key Takeaway

An approach rooted in a solid, data-driven technical process? Yes, please.

Placement day analysis pinpoints real savings generated by avoiding child welfare placements or reducing lengths of stay. As a result, this approach can be used to uncover fiscal trends; compare and forecast costs as new programs are considered; and track expected versus actual costs and savings.