Residential treatment is the most intensive and costly component of all child welfare systems per episode of care. At the same time, decisions to place in residential treatment centers are prioritized by the practice of least restrictive setting and best interest for children. There are, however, no standard evidence-based criteria for placing children in residential treatment. Clinical judgment, staffing dynamics, and other system factors are part of the decision-making process. Thus, some residential placements may be unnecessary and may be even harmful. The present study compares two models of decision-making, a multidisciplinary team approach and an objective decision support algorithm, and assesses outcomes when the two models either concur or not. Concordant decisions predicted greater clinical improvement than discordant decisions, but no differences were found in length of stay in placement. Policy implications for the decision-making process in child welfare are discussed.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Children and Youth Services Review|
|State||Published - 2012|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) . The authors would like to give special thanks to Brice Bloom-Ellis and the Child and Youth Investment Teams (CAYIT), especially Teddy Savas and Lee Annes for their invaluable insight and input.
- Child welfare
- Decision support algorithm
- Multidisciplinary decision-making
- Out-of-home placements
- Residential treatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science