The Cost of Protecting Vulnerable Children III

Research Report

The Cost of Protecting Vulnerable Children III

What Factors Affect States' Fiscal Decisions?

Abstract

Researchers asked child welfare administrators in all 50 states and DC how much they spent on child welfare programs in state fiscal year (SFY) 2000, how they spent the money, and where the money came from. States spent at least $20 billion on child welfare service in SFY 2000, a 20 percent increase from SFY 1998. The federal share of total spending increased to 49 percent from 45 percent in SFY 1998. Spurred by the Adoption and Safe Families Act, spending on adoptions, other services, and administration increased. Reliance on nondedicated federal funds (TANF, SSBG, and Medicaid) continued. State administrators expressed concern that budget deficits and declines in TANF funding for child welfare services since SFY 2000 may force cutbacks in an array of child welfare support services.

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