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.
An approach rooted in a solid, data-driven technical process? Yes, please.
Findings & Stats
Placement days are the total number of days that all children and youth in a jurisdiction live in out-of-home settings. In child welfare, this figure includes stays in kinship care homes, foster homes and institutional settings such as group homes and residential facilities.
Every Day Matters
Because child welfare agencies pay foster families on a per diem basis, all diverted placement days constitute real savings.
The Other Approach
Unlike the placement day analysis approach, the head-count approach assesses the degree to which a proposed intervention will change caseload costs by reaching more or fewer children.
Statements & Quotations
A critical benefit of placement day analysis is that it allows agencies, legislators and others to understand actual and prospective child welfare program costs with more precision than simpler head-count approaches.
Measuring whether new child welfare interventions work requires at least two yardsticks: one to measure the effect on children’s ability to thrive, and another to examine various cost factors, such as resource allocations and savings.