Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Final Report - Volume One. 6.3 Child Welfare Services


Public child welfare services are administered at the county level in Pennsylvania. The State's Department of Public Welfare inspects and licenses county child welfare agencies, and retains some regulatory authority.

To provide background for the findings from the evaluation, an overview of the number of children in out-of-home placement in Philadelphia County for three years prior to the study and the first year of the study, and the number of child abuse and neglect reports in 1990 and 1994 are presented in Table 6-4.

The number of children in out-of-home care in the county remained fairly stable from 1994 to 1997, at approximately 7,800 children. About 2 percent of children in the County were in out-of-home placements in 1994. Philadelphia County had about 11,700 reports of abuse and neglect in 1990. There was an increase in the number of abuse and neglect reports, by about 1,000, between 1990 and 1994. The reports of abuse and neglect involved an estimated 3 percent of all children in the county in 1994. (64)

Table 6-4
Child Welfare Statistics In Philadelphia County
Number of children in out-of-home carea
1994 7,773
1995 7,825
1996 7,808
1997 7,870
Reports of abuse and neglect
1990 11,685
1994 12,577
Estimated reports as a percent of children under 18 in 1994 3.1%
a Point-in-time estimates at the end of the fiscal year (June 30th).
Sources: Curtis, Boyd, Liepold, and Petit. Child Abuse and Neglect: A Look at the States (1995) and (1999); personal communication with Patrick Kutzler, Philadelphia County Department of Human Services.

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