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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
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
MD 11.0 12.3 11.2 9.9 7.5

Data Source:  2015 State of Maryland Out-of-Home Placement and Family Preservation Resource Plan

Story Behind the Data:

In Maryland, children enter out-of-home care for a variety of reasons and under a number of circumstances. Children may be placed in the care and custody of the State when they are determined by the court to be a Child In Need of Assistance, a Child In Need of Supervision, or Delinquent. Children can also enter placement through a Voluntary Placement Agreement under which a parent voluntarily places a child in the care of the State. 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.

Out-of-home placements have been decreasing over time, and the decline was especially sharp between FY2014 and FY2015. Placements have decreased an average of 10% in each of the last five years. New placements are down from 11 placements per 1,000 youth in 2011 to 7.47 in this fiscal year. In FY2015, there were nearly 63% more exits (youth returning to their families, being adopted, or aging out of care) than there were new placements.

Out-of-State placements have fluctuated over the last five years, but have averaged a 4% decrease overall. Non-community-based placements increased by nearly one-fifth (19.8%) from FY2014 to FY2015. These placements included residential treatment centers, residential education facilities, and juvenile detention centers. Common reasons for choosing to place out of state are because a youth has both acute medical issues and developmental disabilities; a history of running away or aggression; a youth needs a less restrictive placement but is also a sex offender; or an out-of-State facility’s location may be more convenient for the family.

The cost of out-of-home placements has risen 14.2% from FY2014 to FY2015, with all of the increase due to a rise in costs related to non-community-based placements. Out-of-State placements represented about 6.5% of all costs and their cost has risen an average of 4.3% since FY2010, but has been trending downward over the last four years.