Can states improve children’s health by preventing abuse and neglect?
On May 5, Princeton University and the Brookings Institution released the spring 2015 issue of The Future of Children. The title of the issue is “Policies to Promote Child Health.” Also released on May 5 was a policy brief on improving child health by improving programs for families that have committed child abuse or neglect or are at risk for doing so. The policy brief examines whether states should be given more flexibility in spending the nearly $7.5 billion the federal government now provides to states in funds that are designated almost exclusively to pay for out-of-home care.
The primary focus of the policy brief and the event on May 5 was whether that money might be better spent, at least in part, on prevention and treatment programs before children are removed from their homes. The event opened with an overview of the volume by one of its editors, Janet Currie of Princeton, and an overview of the policy brief by one of its authors, Ron Haskins. The event also featured a keynote speech by Patrick McCarthy, President and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and remarks by a panel of experts with extensive experience in studying, overseeing, or supporting child protection programs.