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February 2022Vol. 23., No. 1Types of Maltreatment Prevalent Among Children With Disabilities Involved With Child Welfare

recent study by the Center for State Child Welfare Data aims to examine factors related to the utilization of congregate care, such as the likelihood and stability of congregate care and if the utilization aligned with federal requirements under the Family First Prevention Services Act. The study looked at data from 15 states from 2012 to 2019 and outcomes at the child, county, and state levels.

The data showed an overall gradual decline in congregate care utilization for children in all age groups since 2015. Additionally, on average, approximately 15 percent of children were placed in congregate care for their initial placement, but it is becoming less likely for children to be placed in congregate or foster care and more likely to be placed in kinship care. The study also looked at the stability of congregate care placement, whether the child excited congregate care to permanency, and whether children who exited to permanency reentered care.

The authors suggest that federal policies should be interpreted in a way that recognizes differential impact at the state level. They also state that the relationship between age and race/ethnicity with regard to disparity in utilization of congregate care is tangled in the context of the local child welfare systems and services, which makes generalizations challenging. Finally, the study raises the question of what impact federal reimbursement of congregate care services has on its delivery. 

To learn more, read Using Congregate Care: What the Evidence Tells Us.