ERIC Number: ED478705
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Jul-24
Improving Child Welfare Agency Performance through Fiscal Reforms: An Assessment of Recent Proposals. JCPR Working Paper.
In state fiscal year (SFY) 2000, states expended at least $20 billion on child welfare services, 20 percent more than in SFY 1998. This increase occurred despite the fact that the number of children reported as abused and neglected and the number of children in foster care declined. This suggests that not only are child welfare agencies spending more money than they have in the past, they are spending more money per-child. Yet criticism of the performance of our nation's child welfare system has continued unabated. Many researchers and policy makers have argued that the existing structure of federal child welfare financing limits the ability of states to develop and implement innovative programs, services, and administrative reforms to address performance weaknesses. Over the past decade, a number of federal fiscal reform proposals have been introduced in Congress or floated around on Capitol Hill. Most recently, President Bush's FY 2004 budget proposed legislation that would offer states an alternative financing system that would provide for greater flexibility. This paper summarizes what is known about states' financing of child welfare services. The paper identifies commonly cited problems with the federal child welfare financing structure, describes and assesses recently proposed solutions, and questions how financing data can be used in assessments of state performance. (Contains 22 references.)(Author)
Descriptors: Budgeting, Change Strategies, Child Welfare, Cost Effectiveness, Evaluation Criteria, Expenditures, Feasibility Studies, Federal State Relationship, Financial Policy, Financial Support, State Agencies
Joint Center for Poverty Research, University of Chicago, 1155 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 773-702-0472; Fax: 773-702-0926; Web site: http://www.jcpr.org. For full text: http://www.jcpr.org/conferences/child_welfare/geen-revised.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Joint Center for Poverty Research, IL.
Note: Paper presented at the Child Welfare Services Research and Its Policy Implications Conference (Washington, DC, March 20-21, 2003).