Skip to Main Content

Out-of-Home Placement


The number of out-of-home placements that occur per 1,000 children in the population.


Rate of New Placement Settings (per 1,000 children birth through 18), by Fiscal Year
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
MD 11.4 11.6 11 12.3 11.2 9.9

Data Source:  2014 State of Maryland Out-of-Home Placement and Family Preservation Resource Plan

Story Behind the Data:

Out-of-Home (OOH) placement describes the situation of children who are in the care and custody of the State for a variety of reasons.  These may include a Child In Need of Assistance (CINA), a Child In Need of Supervision (CINS), or Delinquent.  Children can also enter OOH placement when a parent voluntarily places a child in the care of the State—for example, when a child is unable to access funding for necessary treatment without being in the State’s care.  A child may be placed in a family home (such as foster or kinship care), a community-based residential facility (such as an independent living program), a non-community-based residential facility (such as a detention center or drug treatment program), or hospital.

The number of OOH placements has been steadily decreasing since FY2009 due to continuing Statewide efforts to place children in the least restrictive level of care and maximize community-based services.  The total number of children served decreased by more than 6% from FY2013 to FY2014.  The number of children served in Family Home Settings decreased by 13.1% from FY2013 to FY2014, and the number of children served in Community-Based programs decreased by 17.9%.

The rate of new placement settings has also decreased, with 9.9 per 1,000 Maryland children.  The number of new placement settings includes both initial placement and movement from one placement to another.  Placement moves may occur when a child is in need of more intensive services or when a child has met placement goals and enters a less restrictive setting.  A placement move is not necessarily a negative outcome, but may occur because a child has been identified as having needs that are better served by another placement.  Most jurisdictions reported a decrease in new placements, although smaller jurisdictions that place fewer youth saw greater fluctuation.  A majority of youth (57.9%) were placed in family home settings, while one-fifth (20%) were placed in non-community-based facilities and 16% in community-based facilities.  Fewer than one percent (0.35%) was hospitalized.

Family preservation and reunification are two top concerns for the State when working with children in this population, and a decrease in OOH placement is a positive indicator for those concerns.  It is only one metric, however, in measuring success in promoting stability for children and youth who require OOH placement.  Other metrics include length of stay in placement, educational attainment, employment readiness, and safety in OOH placement.

Though stakeholders may assume that as OOH placements decrease, the rate of In-Home and Family Preservation Services will increase, this has not been the case.  In FY2013, In-Home Services decreased by 4% and in FY2014 decreased further.*  This is likely due to the Family-Centered Practice model, which seeks to negate the need for other interventions altogether by emphasizing child and family involvement in case planning and decisions, and using natural and community resources to meet families’ needs.  Overall, these numbers indicate that interagency efforts toward preserving families and preventing disruptions have been effective.

Additional Information:

*The final number of unique families served will be available after FY2015.