Index: Demographics / Subcategory: Demographics

Children In Out-of-Home Placement

Date updated: 03/19/2013

Out-of-home placement is only used when children cannot safely remain in the home of their parents or with a relative caretaker. Larimer County's goal is to safely reunify children with their families. When reunification isn't possible, permanent custody with a relative or adoption is explored. Reunification efforts are made through family engagement, treatment planning, and service provision. Foster care is the most common type of out-of-home placement; see the Larimer County Foster Care page for more information.

There are six types of out-of-home placement available for children in the Larimer County system. The four most common types are shown in the charts; data for all placement types can be found in the data tables.

What this chart shows: Child Abuse Reports by Disposition, Larimer County, 2012

Data Source: Larimer County Human Services - Children, Youth, & Family Division (data not available online)

See data table

What these data tell us:

In 2012, there were nearly 5,700 reports of child abuse or neglect in Larimer County. Close to 2,100 cases merited investigation, which resulted in 428 substantiated cases of child abuse. See Child Abuse for more information.

What this chart shows: Average Number of Children in the Most Common Types of Placement, FYE 2010 - FYE 2012

Data Source: Larimer County Human Services - Children, Youth, & Family Division (data not available online)

See data table

What the above data tell us:

In Larimer County, a high priority is placed on ensuring children are in the least restrictive placements possible (i.e., Kinship Placement or Family Foster Home), and the most intensive placements (i.e., Residential Child Care Facility) are chosen only when necessary.

In January 2005, the Family Options program was implemented, which places an emphasis on keeping the family involved in the process. The program includes immediate and extended family members in the initial decision-making process, and within 72 hours of a placement, a family meeting is held with an independent facilitator. The initial meeting is designed to determine a plan for the child and the family, ensure that the child is kept safe, and expedite the provision of necessary services.

This has resulted in a significant increase in Kinship Placements as more family members are involved in the process. An additional benefit to this approach is that children remain in the community, and if they are placed with foster families, then foster parents can work with biological parents in an effort to reunite the family.

In FYE 2010, a new program was implemented that offers relatives the opportunity to take temporary custody of the child(ren) without being certified. Financial support is available, at the discretion of the relative caretaker, through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. Caseworkers are also available to provide additional non-financial assistance if requested. In FYE 2010, the average monthly number of children in non-certified kinship placement was 46, compared to 45 in FYE 2011.

What this chart shows: Average Monthly Cost per Child for the Most Common Types of Placement, FYE 2010 - FYE 2012

*The cost for Kinship Placement and Family Foster Home placements includes the cost of certification and support for these homes in addition to the amount paid directly to the providers.

Data Source: Larimer County Human Services - Children, Youth, & Family Division (data not available online)

See data table

What the above data tell us:

In general, the higher the level of care, the more expensive the placement. Residential Child Care Facilities provide therapeutic services in an institutional setting, making them the highest level of care short of hospitalization and one of the most expensive types of placement. In contrast, Kinship Placements, which allow children to be placed with relatives and remain with their extended families, cost significantly less than placements in Residential Child Care Facilities. Kinship care averaged $1,159 per month in FYE 2012, while residential child care facilities averaged $4,680 per month.

A new program was implemented in FYE 2010 that offers relatives the opportunity to take temporary custody of the child(ren) without being certified. Financial support is available, at the discretion of the relative caretaker, through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. Caseworkers are also available to provide additional non-financial assistance if requested.

Types of Placements (from least intensive to most intensive care):

Kinship: Placements with a relative, or a person with a kin-like relationship, to the child (i.e., grandparents, aunts and uncles, family friend). Kinship placements, like any Family Foster Home, are trained and can be certified. This is the lowest (least intensive) level of care and most desirable since kin are family. Kinship placements were not tracked separately from Family Foster Homes until January 1999.

Larimer County Family Foster Homes: Homes recruited, certified, trained, and supported by Larimer County Human Services, Children, Youth, and Family Division. The county also provides case management and may purchase supplementary therapeutic services as needed. This is the lowest (least intensive) level of care next to kinship placements, and more desirable because it is a home/family setting.

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Child Placement Agency: Private agencies licensed by the State of Colorado. They recruit, train, support, and certify foster families. They also provide case management and therapeutic services. While children still experience a family setting, this is considered a higher level of care than Family Foster Homes because it can have a more intensive case management intervention.

Group Home: Group homes are operated through Child Placement Agencies. These homes typically take 6 to 8 children and provide a higher level of care than a regular foster home. The foster parents provide extra support to accommodate the needs of the children placed there.

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Independent Living: A placement where a youth lives independently in the community under the supervision of the Department of Human Services. These placements are designed specifically for youth who emancipate from foster care and need assistance transitioning from out-of-home care to living independently.

Residential Child Care Facility: Facilities providing intensive therapeutic services in an institutional setting. This is the most intensive level of care short of hospitalization.

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Related Information on COMPASS-

Other Resources -

Industry Standards or Targets:

The federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 [pdf] set permanency standards for children in state care. A main component of ASFA's goals is to reduce the amount of time children spend in an out-of-home, or a non-permanent, situation. The law states that children who are in continual care of a state for 19 months must have parental rights terminated and be placed for adoption.

Data Tables:

Child Abuse Reports by Disposition - Larimer County, 2012

Report by Disposition

Number of Reports

Total Referrals

5,686

Total Investigated

2,079

Substantiated Reports

428

Unsubstantiated Reports

1,209

Inconclusive Reports

357

See chart

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Average Number of Children in Out-of-Home Placement

Fiscal Year

Kinship Placement

Larimer County Family Foster Home

Child Placement Agency

FYE 2010

51

97

16

FYE 2011

26

83

21

FYE 2012

35

67

26

(continued)

Group Home

Independent Living

Residential Child Care Facility

FYE 2010

1

8

17

FYE 2011

3

8

14

FYE 2012

4

7

7

See chart

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Average Monthly Cost per Child for Out-of-Home Placement

Average Cost /Child

Kinship Placement

Family Foster Home

Child Placement Agency

Residential Child Care Facility

FYE 2010

$833 $1,592 $1,731 $4,954

FYE 2011

$2,010 $1,473 $2,308 $4,721

FYE 2012

$1,159 $1,649 $2,359 $4,680

See chart

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