Using Community Based Participatory Research to Study the Relationship between Sources and Types of Funding and Mental Health Outcomes for Children Served by the Child Welfare System in Ohio
28 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2012 Last revised: 10 Jan 2013
Date Written: October 23, 2012
This article presents early findings in a 2-year mixed-methods study examining whether the source (federal/state/local) or type (restricted/flexible) of funding impacts quality outcome measures linked to mental health of children in foster care. The study, funded by the Public Health Law Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, focuses on three quality outcomes that are closely linked to the mental health of the children served by the child welfare system: days in placement, days awaiting adoption, and recurrent maltreatment. The authors are using community based participatory research to analyze ten years of county-based financial and child welfare outcome data for both quantitative and qualitative analyses. In Ohio, approximately half of the eighty-eight counties have a dedicated local tax levy for child welfare services, providing flexible funding at the local level. From 1997 to 2005, the federal government also provided flexible federal funding via Title IV-E waivers to fourteen “ProtectOhio” Counties and to an additional four counties through 2009. Early findings indicate that flexible funding is linked to reduced median days in care and days awaiting adoption. The study further indicates that community based participatory research is particularly helpful in designing the research questions that will provide relevant data for policy reform.
Keywords: child welfare, foster care, local funding, flexible funding, local levy, community based participatory research
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