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Program Assessment


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Foster Care

Foster Care helps States provide care for children who need to live apart from their families due to risk of abuse, by placing them in a foster family home or an institution. It provides States with funding for foster care payments; administrative costs; and training for staff, foster parents, and others.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • Foster Care has strong management practices. The program uses the Child and Family Services Reviews to devise new management strategies and direct technical assistance resources. Also, financial management practices for the foster care maintenance payments program include eligibility reviews, state and Inspector General audits, and regional office assessment and resolution of state claims.
  • The office managing Foster Care works with States and Tribes to encourage effective practice through regular communication with regional office staff. It has proactive policy development and issuance, frequent training and technical assistance, and continued funding of research and demonstration grants, best practices documents, conferences, and National Resource Centers.
  • A more flexible financing system that could support preventative services would result in a stronger and more responsive child welfare system. The program's current funding structure, which combines detailed eligibility requirements with complex but narrow definitions of allowable costs, forces a focus on procedure rather than outcomes for children and families.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Working with the Congress to enact a State option for an alternative financing system for child welfare that will better meet the needs of each state's foster care population.
  • Conducting ongoing Child and Family Services Reviews and establishing a new set of long-term goals, based on revised performance metrics, once the second round of reviews is complete.

Learn More

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