urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

The Cost of Protecting Vulnerable Children V

Understanding State Variation in Child Welfare Financing

Read complete document: PDF


PrintPrint this page
Share:
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Digg Share on Reddit
| Email this pageE-mail
Document date: May 24, 2006
Released online: May 24, 2006

The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).

The text below is a portion of the complete document.


Executive Summary

Child welfare agencies provide a safety net for abused and neglected children and children at risk of abuse and neglect. Federal, state, and local government funding supports all services provided by the state child welfare agencies. However, the amount of funding from federal, state, or local sources varies greatly by state and can be affected by both national and state-specific events. Our findings document the amount states spent on child welfare activities in state fiscal year (SFY) 2004, the funding sources they used, how child welfare spending changed since SFY 2002, and why we see such state variation in child welfare spending.

This survey was the fifth in a series analyzing states' financing of child welfare activities. The methodology was the same as previous rounds of the survey. In April 2005, we mailed the survey to each state child welfare director. Urban Institute staff conducted extensive phone, facsimile, and e-mail follow-up with each state to ensure data were properly interpreted. We received survey responses from 48 states and the District of Columbia. For the purposes of this paper, the District of Columbia is treated as a state.

In addition to the survey, this round also contained an intensive interviewing component of several stakeholders in a purposive sample of 15 states to help us understand and explore the reasons for state variation in child welfare spending. We sought interviews with child welfare agency directors and administrators, state legislators or legislative staff, and key informants (e.g., advocates, researchers). Interview questions focused primarily on the state's use of title IV-E and factors that may affect IV-E spending; however, other topic areas explored included basic background information on child welfare activities within the state, TANF and Medicaid spending, local spending, and the decisionmaking process around funding child welfare activities. Thirty-two interviews within 10 states were completed between April 2005 and October 2005.

Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).



Topics/Tags: | Children and Youth | Economy/Taxes | Governing


Usage and reprints: Most publications may be downloaded free of charge from the web site and may be used and copies made for research, academic, policy or other non-commercial purposes. Proper attribution is required. Posting UI research papers on other websites is permitted subject to prior approval from the Urban Institute—contact publicaffairs@urban.org.

If you are unable to access or print the PDF document please contact us or call the Publications Office at (202) 261-5687.

Disclaimer: The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Copyright of the written materials contained within the Urban Institute website is owned or controlled by the Urban Institute.

Email this Page