Careening Toward Crisis: State and Federal Funding of Child Welfare Services in Connecticut

Back • Publication Date: January 11th, 2005

Authors: Shelley Geballe, JD, MPH & Judith Solomon, JD

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Rigid federal funding rules and counterproductive state budget choices have resulted in a foster care system that is “careening toward crisis,” this report finds. Reviewing trends in state and federal spending on Connecticut’s child welfare system, the report finds that Connecticut is spending far too little on the home and community-based services that can prevent child abuse and can avert costly out-of-home placements once a child is referred to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Instead, families are helped primarily when crises erupt, children are harmed, and the problems have become more difficult and costly to address. Among the key findings: 40% of federal TANF funds are now being used in DCF’s budget, rather than to help low-wage families get on their feet economically.