Linking state child care and child welfare policies and populations: Implications for children, families, and policymakers
Policymakers have begun to explore new areas of service system integration, including coordination of services for vulnerable children and families. Early care and education (ECE) research has also begun to pursue more nuanced questions about the role of ECE in the development of vulnerable children, including those involved with child welfare. Yet, to date, very little is understood about the integration of ECE and child welfare service systems or policy. This study examined state variation in federal child care subsidy (CCDF) program policies including eligibility, priority, copays, and activity requirements for families involved in child-welfare. Findings showed that, overall, states made fewer accommodations in their CCDF policies for children in foster care than for those otherwise involved in child welfare, such as by waving copays and activity requirements. Three typologies of states' CCDF policies were identified using latent class analysis: an accommodating typology, a selective accommodations typology, and a not accommodating typology. The relationships between these typologies and indicators of states' child welfare placements (types and stability) were also explored. Findings have implications for state policymakers and researchers interested in the integration and improvement of services for vulnerable children and families.
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Volume (Year): 57 (2015)
Issue (Month): C ()
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