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The Economics of Foster Care – Healthcare Economist

That is one thing I knew little or no about and thus Bald et al. (2022) NBER working paper was fascinating to learn. They describe the important thing stress of foster care: failing to place in danger kids in foster care could expose them to abuse or neglect; nevertheless placing too many in danger kids into foster care results in a dismantling of households. Some fascinating excerpts are under:

  • Prevalence/Incidence: “5 % of US kids are positioned in foster care in some unspecified time in the future throughout childhood, and related charges are present in different international locations…. In 2019 [Child Protective Services] CPS investigated practically 3.5 million kids for maltreatment (practically 5 % of all kids), and categorized about 652,000 kids as victims (practically 1 % of all kids)…a exceptional 37 % of all kids expertise a baby welfare investigation, and 12 % of youngsters are recognized as maltreatment victims, together with 18 % of Black kids and 16 % of Native American kids”
  • “Orphan trains”: “On the flip of the final century, ‘orphan trains’ transported hundreds of uncared for kids from cities to dwell and work on farms”
  • Excessive charges of melancholy. “Compared to related kids who didn’t spend time in foster care, foster kids have charges of melancholy and anxiousness which might be seven occasions increased”
  • Incarceration. “Shut to twenty % of the US jail inhabitants have been in foster care as a youth”
  • Employment outcomes. “Those that flip 18 in foster care report 50 % decrease earnings and employment charges which might be 20 share factors decrease by age 26 in comparison with a pattern of younger adults with related ranges of schooling as many as one-third expertise homelessness”
  • Foster care price. “Little one welfare businesses presently spend over $30 billion every year on youngster safety, with roughly half of their funding offered by the federal authorities… common month-to-month foster care fee was simply over $500, which is twice the quantity of the typical Short-term Help for Needy Households profit “
  • Racial disparities. “Racial disparities happen at practically each foster care determination level. Black kids are reported to youngster protecting providers extra often than White kids, and stories involving Black kids usually tend to be confirmed as maltreatment” Cumulative foster care charges are 10%-12% for Blacks, and 11-15% for American Indian/Alaska Native kids in comparison with 5% for White kids.
  • Geographic disparities. Lowest charges are <3 per 1,000 kids in New Jersey, Utah, and Virginia in comparison with >15 per 1,000 kids in West Virginia, Montana, and Alaska.
  • Danger elements: These are pretty apparent: poverty, substance abuse (particularly in recent times opioid abuse).
  • Efficiency primarily based contracts. Some states are experimenting with linking youngster outcomes to foster care funds. A key difficulty is, would this incentivize foster households to attempt to keep away from essentially the most in danger youngsters?

Foster care traits

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