Child Welfare:

Monitoring Out-of-State Placements

HRD-91-107BR: Published: Sep 3, 1991. Publicly Released: Sep 3, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO studied the monitoring of children in state care after they have been placed into residential group care facilities outside their home states.

GAO found that: (1) placement agencies complied with federal law regarding the frequency of case reviews in the sample of 42 children from 15 states; (2) as required, case reviews were done to assess the continued appropriateness of the placement, as well as to review and update the case plan regarding the child's treatment, education, and placement; (3) although budgetary constraints limited some agencies' compliance with state and local requirements for visits with their children, many agencies made the required visits; (4) during such visits, caseworkers assessed the children's well-being and progress in the treatment program; (5) in each case, agencies maintained regular contact with the children, family, and facility through such means as written progress reports and telephone calls; (6) for the three types of placements in the sample, the nature and frequency of monitoring by placement agencies was driven by the laws and regulations that governed the respective placements; and (7) facilities' nonprofit or for-profit status had no bearing on the placement agencies' monitoring.

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