Goal- Redirect Dollars: Capture savings from reducing out-of-home placements and redirect them to community-based programs.

The Safely Home Campaign promotes the belief that community-based programs for high-risk youth should be the norm, and out-of-home placement the exception, not the other way around. Currently, state and local investments often reflect an out-of-home removal bias, funding programs that incarcerate or confine young people at a ratio as high as 10 to one in some locations. Our experience over the last four decades tells us that a paradigm shift that favors community-based solutions for high-risk youth is possible and happening in some places, but is still the exception, not the rule.

Heavy investments in out-of-home and institutional placements, such as shelters, detention centers, state correctional facilities and residential treatment centers drain the community of dollars needed to fund more effective community-based solutions. Youth often languish in congregate care facilities much longer than necessary when they could receive intensive and more cost-effective services in their communities that could keep them at home with their families. Many youth in out-of-home placements return to unsafe and impoverished neighborhoods that need better investment in building and maintaining supportive communities.

The Safely Home Campaign will help governments reduce their reliance on congregate care and redirect funds to support effective community-based programs for all kids, families and communities through direct services and policy change.