ERIC Number: ED463338
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Child Welfare Privatization: Reform Efforts in the States. Briefing.
Sells, Julia K.
The number of children in foster care has nearly doubled in recent years. Despite reform efforts, the U.S. child welfare system is not increasing the number of children who get adopted. The federal government spends over $12 billion annually on child welfare programs, but the growing government bureaucracy has allowed the problems to worsen. The child welfare system receives government funding without concise performance and outcome standards. Without accountability, there is no incentive for states to ensure speedy adoption. Several states, including Kansas, made accountability a central focus of their restructuring plans. Accountability can be achieved through the establishment of financial incentives and standards for performance and outcomes. State human resources departments and/or community-based agencies must develop a permanency plan for children in foster care, allowing states to emphasize accountability among local providers. Recommendations for alleviating many nationwide problems with child welfare services include establishing accountability through financial incentives; removing onerous state and federal regulations; and allowing full privatization. The child welfare system requires fundamental state-level structural reforms, specifically in foster care and adoption services. Community action by nongovernmental agencies, in swiftly placing foster children into adoptive homes, may benefit children more than expanding government programs. (Contains 93 endnotes.) (SM)
Descriptors: Accountability, Adoption, Child Welfare, Children, Federal Government, Federal Legislation, Foster Care, Privatization, State Legislation, Welfare Reform
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pacific Research Inst. for Public Policy, San Francisco, CA.
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; California; Florida; Kansas; North Dakota