Methods. Indiana's approach to these goals were to use the flexible funding to expand evidence-based and promising practices, better support relative/kinship placements, and increase the use of concrete services. One of the promising practices that was introduced during the Waiver was Family Centered Treatment, a family-centered approach for family preservation. During the demonstration period, Indiana increased relative placements from 37% of all out-of-home placements in 2010 to 50% by 2017 in the hope to reduce trauma and better support keeping families intact. The increase in these types of placements was made possible by the flexible funding to better support relatives, particularly those who had not been licensed foster care providers. Finally, the increase in concrete service use was aimed at supporting permanency and well-being through purchasing items such as beds, clothing, birthday gifts, pest control, or sporting equipment and services such as day care, transportation, tutoring, or recreation. Given the expanded flexibility of the Waiver, the hypothesis was that the availability and use of concrete services would better support safety, permanency, and well-being in new and creative ways.
Symposium Presentations. This symposium includes three primary studies. First, Finneran Muzzey will provide a presentation that describes the overall effectiveness of Family Centered Treatment (FCT) implemented under Indiana's Title IV-E Waiver Evaluation Project. An evaluation of FCT used propensity-score matching to compare 187 children who received FCT to 187 who did not receive FCT. Children who received FCT had better outcomes associated with their safety, permanency goals, and well-being. Second, Teresa Imburgia and Eprise Armstrong-Richardson present our research using data from the child welfare agency's Quality Service Review (QSR). They found that the agency's increased use of relative care contributed to permanency and well-being outcomes. Third, Drew Winters presents analyses on concrete service spending within the QSR instrument described in the first presentation. His analyses suggest that concrete service spending in the general services category is associated with increased permanency and overall concrete service spending across all spend categories is associated with increased stability. Following these presentations, the PI will provide a summary of the results, conclusions and implications. Following her discussion, questions and comments will be invited in open dialogue.