BENEFITS AND COSTS OF INTENSIVE FOSTER CARE SERVICES: THE CASEY FAMILY PROGRAMS COMPARED TO STATE SERVICES
RICHARD O. ZERBE
ROBERT D. PLOTNICK
RONALD C. KESSLER
PETER J. PECORA
"The foster care system attempts to prepare children and youth who have suffered child maltreatment for successful adult lives. This study documents the economic advantages of a privately funded foster care program that provided longer term, more intensive, and more expensive services compared to public programs. The study found significant differences in major adult educational, health, and social outcomes between children placed in the private program and those placed in public programs operated by Oregon and Washington. For the outcomes for which we could find financial data, the estimated present value of the enhanced foster care services exceeded their extra costs. Generalizing to the roughly 100,000 adolescents age 12-17 entering foster care each year, if all of them were to receive the private model of services, the savings for a single cohort of these children could be about $6.3 billion in 2007 dollars. "("JEL "D61, H75) Copyright (c) 2009 Western Economic Association International.
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