What’s the evidence for programs that reduce long-term foster care?

Building evidence for programs that reduce long-term foster care


Evaluations to improve child welfare practice, ensuring that children are in safe, stable, and permanent homes.

The Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII), a Presidential initiative, has funded 6 grantees to test innovative strategies to improve the outcomes for foster children who face the most serious barriers to permanence.

Westat, for the Administration for Children and Families, is leading a team that is designing and conducting rigorous evaluations to test their effectiveness.


Westat has helped the grantees identify the subpopulations at risk of long-term foster care in their systems, understand the evidence for their selected interventions, and develop comprehensive evaluation plans.

We collected primary and administrative data on outcomes for treatment and comparison groups.

We have worked closely with the grantees to conduct thoughtful formative evaluations and to encourage use of randomized controlled trials and other rigorous evaluation methodologies.

The work also includes an implementation evaluation, a cost study, an impact evaluation, and dissemination.


Evaluating the success of these innovations and of the overall PII approach enhances the knowledge base that guides child welfare practice.


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