Goal- Reduce Out-of-home Placements: Change practices and incentives so that keeping youth with their families and in their communities is the norm and out-of-home placements the alternative.
Out-of-home placements, especially detention, state correctional facilities and residential treatment centers produce poor outcomes and can be located far from families, sometimes in another state. Generally, they do more harm than good. These institutional placements are also extremely expensive, drain resources from community budgets and prevent the growth of more effective community-based programs.
Juvenile justice, child welfare and behavioral health leaders need to make a commitment to reduce their reliance on out-of-home placements to free up resources to build effective services and supports for the youth and families with the most complex needs in each community.
With proper systems in place and the right community-based programs available, government agencies can reduce out-of-home placements, have more funds available to create effective programs and obtain better and long lasting outcomes for their highest risk youth.