Publication date: August 2019
Source: Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 94
Author(s): Kimberly Y. Huggins-Hoyt, Orion Mowbray, Harold E. Briggs, Junior Lloyd Allen
Ensuring the safety of American children is one of the chief mandates of the U.S. Child Welfare System. Yet system differences, including privatization remain an area of concern for whether safety of children is achieved.
This study examined the effect of privatization policy on the performance of state child welfare systems in terms of achieving national safety outcome standards.
Participants and Setting
N1 = 10 states systems (5 privatized and 5 public systems) with N2 = 118,761 foster care cases located throughout the U.S.
Using data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), safety outcome performance measures were assessed, as were child-/case factors to predict the likelihood of the system types meeting the national safety outcome standards.
Logistic regression models of child, case, and system factors predicting the likelihood state systems met national safety outcome performance standards were statistically significant. Private systems, compared to non-private systems, were found to have lower odds of meeting the safety outcome 1 standard (OR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.40–0.42), but greater odds of meeting the safety outcome 2 standard (OR = 6.79, 95% CI = 6.56–7.02).
The implementation of privatization policy in state child welfare/foster care service delivery was found to have mixed results in terms of the national safety outcome standards.