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Privatization of State Foster Care and Adoption Services

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Child Protective Services (CPS) in the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) employs specialists who recruit, train, and monitor foster and adoptive parents and complete adoptions. CPS also contracts with private providers for these services. Some argue that the state should maintain this publicprivate system. Others argue that the state should use only private providers. This Policy Page explores the pros and cons of each approach. Our major findings include:

  • At a time when we have children sleeping in state office buildings, privatization will make our foster-care capacity crisis worse;
  • Rapid privatization will force children out of their homes, move children into more crowded homes, and compromise their care;
  • At a time when we have over 4,000 children available for adoption but without an adoptive home, privatization will make our adoption capacity crisis worse;
  • Privatization cannot possibly be accomplished in 24 months; and
  • Privatization will cost far more than the state has calculated