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Benefits And Costs Of Intensive Foster Care Services: The Casey Family Programs Compared To State Services




"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.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard O. Zerbe & Robert D. Plotnick & Ronald C. Kessler & Peter J. Pecora & Eva Hiripi & Kirk O'Brien & Jason Williams & Diana English & James White, 2009. "Benefits And Costs Of Intensive Foster Care Services: The Casey Family Programs Compared To State Services," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(3), pages 308-320, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:27:y:2009:i:3:p:308-320

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pecora, Peter J. & Kessler, Ronald C. & O'Brien, Kirk & White, Catherine Roller & Williams, Jason & Hiripi, Eva & English, Diana & White, James & Herrick, Mary Anne, 2006. "Educational and employment outcomes of adults formerly placed in foster care: Results from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 1459-1481, December.
    2. Buehler, Cheryl & Orme, John G. & Post, James & Patterson, David A., 2000. "The long-term correlates of family foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(8), pages 595-625, August.
    3. Richard O. Zerbe Jr & Allen S. Bellas, 2006. "A Primer for Benefit–Cost Analysis," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3480.
    4. Bradford, David F, 1975. "Constraints on Government Investment Opportunities and the Choice of Discount Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 887-899, December.
    5. Biehal, Nina & Wade, Jim, 1996. "Looking back, looking forward: Care leavers, families and change," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4-5), pages 425-445.
    6. Jessica Primoff Vistnes, 1997. "Gender Differences in Days Lost from Work Due to Illness," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 304-323, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lynch, Frances L. & Dickerson, John F. & Saldana, Lisa & Fisher, Phillip A., 2014. "Incremental net benefit of early intervention for preschool-aged children with emotional and behavioral problems in foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 213-219.
    2. Rishel, Carrie W. & Morris, Tracy L. & Colyer, Corey & Gurley-Calvez, Tami, 2014. "Preventing the residential placement of young children: A multidisciplinary investigation of challenges and opportunities in a rural state," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 9-14.
    3. repec:eee:cysrev:v:81:y:2017:i:c:p:63-71 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare


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