Congregate Care

Of the approximately 437,000 children in foster care, about 53,000 reside in congregate (group) care facilities. While congregate care plays a role in an effective continuum of care, there is consensus across the field that all children and youth, especially infants and toddlers, do best in families.

Over the last decade, there has been a 37 percent reduction in the number of children living in congregate care nationwide. New federal legislation, the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018, incentivizes states to reduce placement of children in congregate care by placing limitations on federal funding reimbursement, and articulating expectations for quality. Continued investments are needed to ensure the safe and appropriate reduction of congregate care and the development of a robust continuum of care that can serve children in family-based settings.

FEATURED RESOURCES

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What are some potential strategies for reducing reliance on congregate care?

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How did New Jersey safely reduce the number of children in congregate care?

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What are the outcomes for youth placed in congregate care settings?

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Please explore the related resources below and at Questions from the field to learn more about congregate care.

Related Resources

This strategy brief describes the key strategies and lessons learned that Virginia employed to reduce reliance on congregate care. 

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The relationship between congregate care and vulnerability to sex trafficking can be cyclical; this information packet explores the issue.

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Learn about practice, program and three-branch strategies to safely reduce the number of children living in congregate care settings.

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All children deserve to grow up in a home-based setting. Learn how New Jersey decreased congregate care usage by 45 percent.

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This information packet provides an overview of congregate care use in child welfare, research about youth outcomes and selected resources.

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Children’s first and only placement should be with family. This jurisdiction scan describes strategies to place children with family.

LEARN MORE

This strategy brief describes the key strategies and lessons learned that Virginia employed to reduce reliance on congregate care. 

READ STORY

The relationship between congregate care and vulnerability to sex trafficking can be cyclical; this information packet explores the issue.

READ STORY

Learn about practice, program and three-branch strategies to safely reduce the number of children living in congregate care settings.

READ STORY

All children deserve to grow up in a home-based setting. Learn how New Jersey decreased congregate care usage by 45 percent.

READ STORY

This information packet provides an overview of congregate care use in child welfare, research about youth outcomes and selected resources.

READ STORY

Children’s first and only placement should be with family. This jurisdiction scan describes strategies to place children with family.

READ STORY

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