At Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, we believe every child deserves to grow up in a home where he or she feels safe and part of a loving, nurturing family. In the unfortunate instance where a child is removed from a home due to abuse or neglect and placed in the foster care system, there are two primary options for placement: a family-based setting or a group home or institution, often referred to as "congregate care."
Our latest report – Congregate Foster Care in PA – details why family-based care is a better choice than congregate care for the child and the commonwealth.
The report explains how children and youth living in family-based foster care settings tend to have better short-term and long-term outcomes. And from a financial standpoint, congregate care placement is seven to 10 times more expensive than family-based placements - an additional cost that can place further strain on child welfare systems already facing budgetary struggles.
Fortunately, Pennsylvania has made solid progress in recent years to shift away from congregate care and towards family-based placements. The report offers recommendations on how Pennsylvania can continue this positive movement.
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