Children thrive when living with family in their own communities. Congregate care settings, such as group homes and residential facilities, are not a substitute for family and should only be used on a time-limited basis when youth require services that are unavailable in a less restrictive environment to address psychological or behavioral needs.
Living with family generally improves child and youth well-being, reduces trauma, promotes normalcy and self-esteem, and builds relational permanency. Reducing congregate care placements may also reduce inequitable child welfare outcomes since Black and Hispanic children and youth are more likely to experience these placements than White children and youth.
Brief, therapeutic stays in congregate care facilities may be required to stabilize some children's and youth’s psychological, behavioral, or substance use treatment needs. The Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 outlines requirements that nonfamily settings must meet to be designated as a qualified residential treatment program (QRTP). QRTPs provide time-limited, trauma-informed, and family-focused treatment and aftercare services.
Use the following resources to learn about reducing the use of congregate care settings and the benefits of kinship care and other family-based placements.
Adjust the filters below to refine your list of resources.
Can’t find what you need in the filtered results? Try searching our Library catalog to access a large selection of peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, Children’s Bureau grant materials, research studies, and more.
Safely Reducing the Use of Congregate Care: Considerations in the Age of Family First
Explore provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act relating to reducing the use of congregate care and strategies to reduce reliance on congregate care.
A Review of 1 Year of Congregate Care Reform Under Family First
Outlines a report that looked into the early outcomes related to reducing the use of congregate care as a response to the provisions in the Family First Prevention Services Act noting that many states are in the early stages of their systemic reform.
Congregate Care in the Age of Family First
Presents resources about congregate care benefits under the Family First Prevention Services Act and how it may impact child welfare agencies.
A National Look at the Use of Congregate Care in Child Welfare
Examines data that are designed to help professionals gain a better understanding of children who are likely to experience congregate care and the supports they may require.