Away From Home: Youth Experiences of Institutional Placement in Foster Case – Since the creation of the modern child welfare system, child welfare has sent a percentage of youth in foster care to live in institutional placements, not with relatives or foster families. Of the hundreds of thousands of young people in foster care systems each year, over 43,823 (AFCARS, 2020), or 10%, are in group homes or institutional placements, but in some states, that number is much higher, topping over 30% (Children’s Bureau, 2015).
Child abuse and neglect in institutional settings, cumulative lifetime traumatization, and psychopathological long-term correlates in adult survivors – Child maltreatment (CM) in foster care settings (i.e., institutional abuse, IA) is known to have negative effects on adult survivor’s mental health. This study examines and compares the extent of CM (physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; physical and emotional neglect) and lifetime traumatization with regard to current adult mental health in a group of survivors of IA and a comparison group from the community. Participants in the foster care group were adult survivors of IA in Viennese foster care institutions, the comparison group consisted of persons from the Viennese population. The comparison group included persons who were exposed to CM within their families. Participants completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Life Events Checklist for DSM-5, the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5, the International Trauma Questionnaire for ICD-11, and the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 and completed a structured clinical interview.
Congregate Care, Residential Treatment and Group Home State Legislative Enactments 2014-2019 – Just over 400,000 American children live in foster care, and some 55,000 reside in group homes, residential treatment facilities, psychiatric institutions and emergency shelters. This type of placement—called “congregate care”—may be beneficial for children who require short-term supervision and structure because their behavior may be dangerous. However, many officials believe that children who don’t need that type of intense supervision are still in these group placements—depending on the state, between 5% and 32%—making it harder to find them permanent homes and costing state governments three to five times more than family foster care.
Estimating the number of children in formal alternative care: Challenges and results – The purpose of this paper is to provide a snapshot of the availability and coverage of data on children living in residential and foster care from some 142 countries covering more than 80 per cent of the world’s children. Utilizing these country-level figures, it is estimated that approximately 2.7 million children between the ages of 0 and 17 years could be living in institutional care worldwide. Where possible, the article also presents regional estimates of the number of children living in residential and foster care.
Institutional abuse and societal silence: An emerging global problem – The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was announced by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on 11 January 2013. Examining how institutions with a responsibility for children ‘have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sex-ual abuse and related matters’ (Australian Government, 2013) argu-ably represents the most wide-ranging attempt by any national government in history to examine the institutional processes (or lack thereof) for addressing such abuse.
Institutionalisation and deinstitutionalisation of children 1: a systematic and integrative review of evidence regarding effects on development – Millions of children worldwide are brought up in institutional care settings rather than in families. These institutions vary greatly both in terms of their organisational principles and structure, and in terms of the quality of care provided. Although institutions are universally recognised as providing suboptimal caregiving environments, consensus is still needed on how to interpret the evidence relating to the size, range, and persistence of the effect of institutional care on the development and wellbeing of children. This absence of consensus has led to disagreement as to whether policy should focus on eliminating, transforming, or improving institutions.
Institutionalisation and deinstitutionalisation of children 2: policy and practice recommendations for global, national, and local actors – Worldwide, millions of children live in institutions, which runs counter to both the UN-recognised right of children to be raised in a family environment, and the findings of our accompanying systematic review of the physical, neurobiological, psychological, and mental health costs of institutionalisation and the benefits of deinstitutionalisation of child welfare systems. In this part of the Commission, international experts in reforming care for children identified evidence-based policy recommendations to promote family-based alternatives to institutionalisation. Family-based care refers to caregiving by extended family or foster, kafalah (the practice of guardianship of orphaned children in Islam), or adoptive family, preferably in close physical proximity to the biological family to facilitate the continued contact of children with important individuals in their life when this is in their best interest. 14 key recommendations are addressed to multinational agencies, national governments, local authorities, and institutions. These recommendations prioritise the role of families in the lives of children to prevent child separation and to strengthen families, to protect children without parental care by providing high-quality family-based alternatives, and to strengthen systems for the protection and care of separated children. Momentum for a shift from institutional to family-based care is growing internationally—our recommendations provide a template for further action and criteria against which progress can be assessed.
Juvenile Residential Facility Census Databook – The JRFC Databook was developed to facilitate independent analysis of national data on the characteristics of youth residential placement facilities, including detailed information about facility operation, classification, size, and capacity.
State-level Data for Understanding Child Welfare in the United States – This comprehensive child welfare resource provides state and national data on child maltreatment, foster care, kinship caregiving, and adoption from foster care. The data are essential to help policymakers understand how many children and youth came in contact with the child welfare system, and why. States can use this information to ensure their child welfare systems support the safety, stability, and well-being of all families in their state.
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