Fiscal reform in child welfare generally focuses on improving outcomes for children, youth, and families; controlling costs; and reallocating resources to other services. The methods may initiate innovations in spending, such as flexible funding and blended funding strategies, or privatization of services including the use of managed care models. The following resources address fiscal reform efforts, including State and local examples.
Big Ideas for Children: Investing in Our Nation's Future (PDF - 903 KB)
First Focus (2008)
Proposes solutions to improving investments in problem areas that relate to children including poverty, child health, early childhood, education, home and community, child welfare, and child safety.
Changes Needed in Federal Child Welfare Law to Better Protect Children and Ensure Them Nurturing Families (PDF - 201 KB)
Partnership to Protect Children and Strengthen Families (2007)
Lists Federal and State policy recommendations for financing child welfare services that address issues such as prevention, eligibility requirements, kinship and guardianship care, youth who age out of care, post-permanency, and the workforce.
Child Welfare Finance Reform Policy Proposal (PDF - 211 KB)
National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators (2010)
Describes how to create a continuum of child welfare services that meets the needs of children and families and keeps Federal, State, and local financing flexible so that agencies may provide a range of services and ensure accountability.
Child Welfare Finance Reform Principles (PDF - 207 KB)
Casey Family Programs (2008)
Presents five principles to help guide State and Federal policymakers on the best ways to finance America's child welfare systems.
Child Welfare Financing Reform: Strengthening Families and Ending the Overuse of Foster Care (PDF - 141 KB)
American Bar Association (2010)
Describes the current structure of child welfare financing and recommends reforms to end incentives for placing children in foster care.
Effective Federal Child Welfare Funding Strategies (PDF - 23 KB)
Discusses the four principles of finance reform and strategies for implementation.
Encouraging Child Welfare Innovation Through IV-E Waivers (PDF - 307 KB)
Children and Family Research Center (2005)
Reviews the role of waiver demonstrations in advancing child welfare reform, and offers a set of policy options to amend the existing waiver program to encourage innovation, evaluation, and widespread dissemination of proven practices.
The Foster Care Strait Jacket: Innovation, Federal Financing and Accountability in State Foster Care Reform (PDF - 387 KB)
Children and Family Research Center (2004)
Presents information on the States that have received waivers for allocating Federal foster care financing with more flexibility, and their successes in reducing the number of children in foster care and the length of time children spent in the foster care system.
Fostering the Future: Safety, Permanence and Well-Being for Children in Foster Care (PDF - 264 KB)
Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care (2004)
Makes recommendations for reform in two areas of the foster care system: the Federal financing structure and the court system.
American Public Human Services Association
Describes an initiative to transform how health and human services are provided and funded.
Time for Reform Reports
Kids Are Waiting
Reports in this series address fiscal reform in guardianship, child abuse prevention, foster care, American Indian and Alaska Native children, and more.
State and local examples
Child Welfare Reform Savings Reinvestment: Report to the Governor and Legislature (PDF - 183 KB)
Washington Office of Financial Management (2011)
Reviews different ways of calculating savings from reduced foster care caseloads in Washington State brought about by consolidating and converting existing service contracts to performance-based contracts, and linking contractor performance to the level and timing of reimbursement for services.
Moving Away From Crisis?: Alternatives in Financing Child Welfare Services in Connecticut (PDF - 436 KB)
Geballe & Langer (2005)
Explores financing options such as increasing Federal Medicaid matching funds, increasing Title IV-E claims, gaining greater flexibility in the use of Title IV-E funds, and blending and braiding State and Federal social and health services funding.
Prospects and Promises 2006: A Guide to Children's Services and Budgets for New York City Policymakers (PDF - 1114 KB)
Citizens' Committee for Children of New York (2006)
Describes major system reform initiatives being implemented in nine New York City service delivery systems for children, and makes recommendations for increasing accountability and public reporting, streamlining access to public services, maximizing State and Federal funding, and more.
State Innovations in Child Welfare Financing (PDF - 545 KB)
Westat & Chapin Hall Center for Children (2002)
Describes how States implement fiscal reforms to contain costs or improve performance in child welfare systems, and identifies implementation issues.