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|
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.