Evaluation of Florida Community-Based Care and Residential Group Care
- Amy C. Vargo, MA
- Mary I. Armstrong, PhD
Florida Department of Children and Families
Community-Based Care is a comprehensive redesign of Florida's Child Welfare System. As of 1996, it combines the outsourcing of foster care and related services to lead agencies and provider networks, with an increased local community ownership of service delivery and design. The evaluation includes a mixed methodology consisting of both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. Data collection activities include key stakeholder interviews, focus groups, document review, analysis of administrative data sets, and surveys. Research questions center around three legislatively mandated areas of inquiry:
Quality: How effective is Community Based Care at incorporating consumer voice and maintaining a focus on child safety, permanency, and well being?
Cost: How effective is Community-Based Care at managing all resources and costs efficiently?
Programmatic Outcomes: How effective is Community-Based Care at meeting the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) outcome requirements for child safety and permanency?
Key policy recommendations have focused on community governance, family engagement, client satisfaction, decreasing funding restrictions, and increasing post-placement supervision services.