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 Policy Statement (PDF - 59 KB)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (2011)
Advocates for increased funding for front-end child welfare services to keep children from entering the dependency system.
Child Welfare Finance Reform Principles (PDF - 59 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.
CLC Practice Point: Child Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (PDF - 432 KB)
Children's Law Center of Minnesota (2011)
Explains key provisions of Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act that addresses reauthorization and modification of child and family service programs under title IV-B and title IV-E of the Social Security Act, and provides new requirements for States to receive Federal funding under title IV-E of the Social Security Act. The brief also explains new funding opportunities under the legislation for demonstration projects to address permanency and child welfare improvement plans.
Direct Service Workers' Recommendations for Child Welfare Financing and System Reform (PDF - 442 KB)
Hughes & Lay (2012)
Child Welfare League of America
Summarizes the responses by participants in a series of webinars conducted by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) with groups of frontline child welfare workers and supervisors about their perspectives on child welfare financing reform. An update on the latest financing reform developments and CWLA's policy positions also are presented.
American Public Human Services Association
Describes an initiative to transform how health and human services are provided and funded.
Innovations in Child Welfare Waivers: Starting on the Pathway to Reform (PDF - 162 KB)
First Focus (2011)
Presents the policy statement submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance calling for improvements to the existing child welfare financing structure to ensure flexibility in the use title IV-E funds and explains that current restrictions in the allowable use of the funds result in the larger portion of Federal funding being dedicated to foster care rather than a broad continuum of services for children and families. This statement provides recommendations for ensuring child welfare waiver demonstration projects can promote flexibility and foster innovation in practice at the State level and modifying title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Demonstration Waivers.
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.
What Barriers Remain?: Areas of Reform for Congress to Consider in its 112th Session
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (2011)
Highlights key areas of adoption policy, such as Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA), the affordability of adoption, universal accreditation of adoption agencies even when the sending country is not a Hague Convention signatory, and post adoption services that should be addressed by the U.S. Congress.
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.
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.