State and county budget constraints require us to reassess the cost and delivery of juvenile justice to insure dollars go as far as possible. The In-Home Care Incentive grant is a solution designed to achieve the maximum benefits for the state, counties, families and children for every dollar spent.
Currently, the Child Care Fund (CCF), administered through the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS), reimburses courts/counties 50 percent of eligible expenditures for programs that provide direct service to delinquent youth. The In-Home Care Incentive grant will enhance the CCF reimbursement by offering an additional 25 percent for in-home care services that meet criteria based on agreed-upon eligibility standards.
The Incentive does not require any extra spending; it merely shifts already existing funds that the state and counties currently spend through the Child Care Fund and supports highly effective, less costly in-home care services. Counties would have the opportunity to apply for the grant as an addendum to their traditional CCF Annual Plan and Budget, subject to DHS approval.
The In-Home Care Incentive is a widely-supported strategy to achieve:
- Cost Savings – The state and counties can expect significant cost savings as a result of developing and utilizing more cost-effective, in-home care services. By preventing even a single youth from being placed out-of-home (an estimated cost of $189/day), those existing funds can be redirected to serve multiple youths and families with effective in-home care options, ranging from community probation ($10/day) to Multi-Systemic Therapy ($65/day).
- Public Safety – In-home care services are proven to be highly effective at preventing youth from reoffending and returning to the system.
- Local Reinvestment - The In-Home Care Incentive grant would provide counties with the funding necessary to increase local, cost-effective programming options in the juvenile justice system.
- Outcome-Driven Programs - The In-Home Care Incentive grant would allow DHS to request performance data above CCF reporting requirements. These performance measures will be used to promote the use of best practices. Only programs that show empirical evidence and project positive outcomes will be eligible for continued participation in the In-Home Care Incentive.
- Keeping Families Together – By keeping youth in their home and community, the In-Home Care Incentive grant would prioritize those programs that effectively work with the family or guardian, when available, to achieve positive outcomes.
Click below to learn more:
FY2012-13 Michigan House Subcommittee on the Department of Human Services--Draft Fiscal Analysis including the In-Home Care Incentive
National resources documenting the importance of in-home or community-based programming:
No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration, Annie E. Casey Foundation (2011)