Report

In the last decade, a strategy consulting group within the Casey Foundation has worked with public systems to reduce their use of institutional placements (called “congregate care”) for children and youth in child welfare systems. The strategy of reducing reliance on congregate care has better outcomes for children and families, strengthens neighborhoods through support of community-based services, and cost savings that can be reinvested into evidence-based family supports.

January 1, 2009

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    The opinions of the Casey Foundation, backed by evidence, regarding why the current emphasis on congregate care is a disservice to youths.

  2. 2

    Levers of change that promote rightsizing congregate care.

  3. 3

    An in-depth look at how the public systems in five states benfitted from the suggestions of the strategy consulting group using the levers of change.

  4. 4

    The challenges of implementing a plan to right-size congregate care, and how certain programs overcame them to get results.

Key Takeaway

Reforming congregate care can have tertiary benefits that provoke an agency to change their approach.

Congregate care placements cost child welfare systems three to five times the amount of family-based placements – and they are not nearly as effective at helping youths to find permanent homes before aging out. Reducing reliance on congregate care has benefits for children and families, but reforming congregate care can have tertiary benefits that provoke an agency to change their approach entirely.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations