Children in Foster Care Institutions:

Steps Government Can Take to Improve Their Care

HRD-77-40: Published: Feb 22, 1977. Publicly Released: Feb 22, 1977.

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The federal government provides funds to states for foster care of children who receive unsuitable care at home by placing the children in either foster family homes or child-care institutions.

State and local agencies responsible for the placing and care of foster children in child care institutions did not always provide required social services to the children and their families, sometimes paid rates to institutions which were based on unallowable and/or unreasonable costs, and did not make sure that physical conditions and services at the institutions were satisfactory. State officials believe the program scope has changed to include children placed primarily because of mental or delinquency problems. Excessive case loads and insufficient staff prevented required services from being regularly provided. Lack of specific guidelines and criteria to which placing agencies can be held accountable primarily caused these problems.

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