Using Evidence to Accelerate the Safe and Effective Reduction of Congregate Care for Youth Involved with Child Welfare –

February 22, 2016


The child welfare system’s use of congregate care is in a period of rapid transition. Building on years of professional interest in offering more home-like placement options, legislative and administrative pressure at the state and federal levels is accelerating the pace of change. Congregate care has long been viewed as a viable placement alternative for children and adolescents, especially those whose histories, mental health needs, and current behavior render them difficult to manage in home-based settings. In our current fiscal and cultural climate, the appropriateness and effectiveness of congregate care is increasingly being called into question. Changing federal and state policies, as well as clinical guidelines, now suggest that congregate care be reserved for the short-term treatment of acute mental health problems to enable stability in subsequent community-based settings (Blau et al., 2010). In response to these changing expectations, the demand for congregate care will likely decline. From a public policy perspective, it is vital that we establish the infrastructure necessary to support the type of children and youth often served in group and residential care in more home-like environments

Read the pdf  Effective Reduction of Congregate Care