Change Indicator

Foster Care - September 30 snapshot by placement setting in Pennsylvania

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Why This Indicator Matters

It is important to review trends on how the state is ensuring that children in out-of-home care are placed in the most family-based setting. Relative-foster care placement consistently increased, while institutional care has decreased, in the last ten years. With implementation of new federal child welfare financing legislation enacted in 2018, states will be seeking improved efforts to keep families together through increased utilization of evidence-based in-home services with hopes of decreasing the overall placement population; and when placement is needed, that congregate care settings are the last resort, with decreased rates of children placed in such settings.
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Definition and Source



Shows the known latest placement setting for children in foster care on a given day (9/30). Placement settings are the different environments that children can be placed in while in the foster care system.  Pre-adoptive settings, as well as foster family settings (both relative and non-relative) are family-based placement settings.  Group homes and institutions are more restrictive placement settings and are often referred to as congregate care settings.

Data Source

PPC analysis of AFCARS longitudinal file produced by Public Consulting Group for Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families.


Totals and percentages are based on those children for whom the placement is known.

S = Suppressed.  Statistics (rates, ratios, percents) are not calculated and displayed for counts less than 10 (or less than 3 for Bayesian/Nearest Neighbor rates). This is due to the unreliability of statistics based on small numbers of events.

Last Updated

October 2022