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Keeping Families Together When every child has a chance to realize his or her potential, our work will be complete. Until then, Kids Herkimer commits itself to helping children who suffer from childhood trauma to lead safer, healthier, more productive lives. When a child is raised from reticence to confidence, from despair to hope, we are closer to our goal of making every child a success. It’s nearly impossible for a child who is exposed to trauma on a daily basis to learn anything beyond basic survival. That’s where Kids Herkimer comes in. Whatever a child’s past circumstances, we strive to provide a stable environment, a healthy routine, and a strong education. We help families stay together whenever possible and provide a supportive and nurturing alternative when it isn’t. Kids Herkimer gives children a chance to fulfill their potential, helping them learn to lead better lives.

Return Home Early Project Goals

RETURNED HOME WITH FAMILY

PLACEMENT CLOSER TO HOME

APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF CARE

Kids Herkimer, keeping families together.

HERKIMER COUNTY 

Return Home Early Project Through strong advocacy, collaboration, and family empowerment, the Return Home Early Project identifies children that can be better served at home keeping families together.

310 Main Street Utica, New York 13501 315.792.9039 315.792.9578 kidsoneida.org

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What the Research Says… For over a decade, child welfare and mental health systems have realized that long term residential treatment is both ineffective and costly. The 1999 Surgeon General’s report supported these conclusions by stating that there was “weak evidence for their effectiveness.” A child and community’s safety and the ability to receive specialized treatment have been offered as justification for out of home

residential care. However, research has shown there has been a lack of generalized improvement in either area once the youth has been discharged into their home community. Further research has shown that increased lengths of stay in a residential treatment center does NOT increase the chances of a child being more successful after discharge. Furthermore,

it does not decrease the recidivism rate regarding that child’s chances of returning to residential care at some point in the future. Studies show, in fact, that increased residential stays and limited contact with their home and community actually impede a child’s progress in meeting their treatment goals.

Annual Per Child Cost Comparison (ANNUAL COST PER CHILD TREATED)

$34,000 Per Year

$110,870 Per Year

$172,920 Per Year

Intensive Kids Oneida Program Residential Treatment Center Hard To Place Facility

In response to sky rocketing out of home placement numbers and increased financial strain in Herkimer County, Kids Herkimer was created in an attempt to identify children in placement that would benefit from intensive community based services.

provided a list of every child placed in DSS custody and where they reside. Their placement and demographic information is tracked through a proprietary software program called Client Tracker. This software has the capability of monitoring movements, outcomes, and readiness of all children in care. The Child Readiness Assessment, created by Kids Oneida, is an evaluation tool that is completed on every child to rate their readiness to return to their home environment. Every child is given a face to face interview with their treat-

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

4

10

11

9

11

Children Returned Home Early

Children Returned Home Early

Children Returned Home Early

Children Returned Home Early

Children Returned Home Early

633

1,515

1,290

1,885

1,498

Days of Care Were Avoided with the Return Home Early Program

154K

$

Days of Care Were Avoided with the Return Home Early Program

or Juvenile Delinquents (JD) because of disruptive behaviors at home, school or community. Often times, placements by the court were mandated for a set period of time which often extended beyond the time necessary for the children/youth to return to his/her home community. Many of these youth continued to languish in residential care when they could have been better served in a lower level of care or even home, generating unnecessary cost to the county. HCDSS charged the program manager with the ability to provide a neutral assessment of every child’s individual situation that was placed at the institutional level of care. The county has

Days of Care Were Avoided with the Return Home Early Program

445K

322K

$

$

Net cost avoidance in Residential Placement Costs

Herkimer County Return Home Early Project Kids Herkimer, placement facilities, families, school districts, and community partners was named the Return Home Early Project. It was the premise of the Return Home Early Project that at risk youth would be best suited to continue their treatment at home with their family after a short term placement. The program manager would in turn identify children at the Residential Treatment Center or Group Home level of care that fit this mold. At the time of the agreement, Herkimer County had 94 children and youth in institutional placement. Many of these children had been court ordered as Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS)

children were placed at extraordinary distances from their home. Children placed from Buffalo, to Watertown, to Albany, to the outskirts of New York City were at incredible distances that made it virtually impossible for parents to remain actively involved in the treatment process. Through strong advocacy, collaboration, and family empowerment, children that could be served at home, in lower levels of care (i.e., foster care), and closer to home were pursued by the Return Home Early Project.

Kids Herkimer Return Home Early Project Outcomes – Herkimer County 2008 through 2012

Net cost avoidance in Residential Placement Costs

In response to sky rocketing out of home placement numbers and increased financial strain in Herkimer County, Kids Herkimer was created in an attempt to identify children in placement that would benefit from intensive community based services. These interventions, in lieu of the expensive residential facilities, are provided to the children and families in their homes and community. Kids Herkimer has dedicated one fulltime and two part-time staff to assessing children in placement and coordinating wraparound services once they return home from placement. This collaborative effort with the Herkimer County Department of Social Services (HCDSS),

ment team to better understand the intricacies of each individual’s situation. Family history, school records, and legal involvement are all reviewed during this process. It is the culmination of this intensive process that provided HCDSS, Family Court, the family, and placement agency a fresh perspective on treatment alternatives to residential placement. Children that were identified at an earlier stage would be better served by community services prior to the expiration of their court order. The efforts of the project further discovered that some

Net cost avoidance in Residential Placement Costs

Days of Care Were Avoided with the Return Home Early Program

336K

$

Net cost avoidance in Residential Placement Costs

Days of Care Were Avoided with the Return Home Early Program

251K

$

Net cost avoidance in Residential Placement Costs

1,508,980

$

TOTAL NET COST AVOIDANCE IN RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENT COSTS FROM 2008 – 2012

Outcomes After its first year as a full time endeavor, the Return Home Early project identified 10 children that would benefit from a discharge early from placement, saving Herkimer County 1,515 days of care in 2009. At approximately $320 per day, a cost avoidance of $444,522 was realized in one year alone. By the end of 2009, institutional placements had gone from

94 to 72 children from Herkimer County. HCDSS has seen a significant reduction in institutional and group home days of care since the inception of the Kids Herkimer Return Home Early Project. Days of care have dropped from 12,011 in 2008 to 9,983 in 2009. Later in 2008, Kids Oneida, partnered with Herkimer County DSS to

develop the Kids Herkimer program with the same mission as a result of the success of the program in Oneida County. With similar success, the Kids Herkimer program has been responsible for returning 45 kids home early by nearly 8,152 days amounting to a net cost avoidance to tax payers of $1.5 million.

The Return Home Early Project has been a successful full-time endeavour in Oneida County since 2008 with equally as successful results. For further information please contact Steven Bulger, Director of Operations at 315.731.2603.


What the Research Says… For over a decade, child welfare and mental health systems have realized that long term residential treatment is both ineffective and costly. The 1999 Surgeon General’s report supported these conclusions by stating that there was “weak evidence for their effectiveness.” A child and community’s safety and the ability to receive specialized treatment have been offered as justification for out of home

residential care. However, research has shown there has been a lack of generalized improvement in either area once the youth has been discharged into their home community. Further research has shown that increased lengths of stay in a residential treatment center does NOT increase the chances of a child being more successful after discharge. Furthermore,

it does not decrease the recidivism rate regarding that child’s chances of returning to residential care at some point in the future. Studies show, in fact, that increased residential stays and limited contact with their home and community actually impede a child’s progress in meeting their treatment goals.

Annual Per Child Cost Comparison (ANNUAL COST PER CHILD TREATED)

$34,000 Per Year

$110,870 Per Year

$172,920 Per Year

Intensive Kids Oneida Program Residential Treatment Center Hard To Place Facility

In response to sky rocketing out of home placement numbers and increased financial strain in Herkimer County, Kids Herkimer was created in an attempt to identify children in placement that would benefit from intensive community based services.

provided a list of every child placed in DSS custody and where they reside. Their placement and demographic information is tracked through a proprietary software program called Client Tracker. This software has the capability of monitoring movements, outcomes, and readiness of all children in care. The Child Readiness Assessment, created by Kids Oneida, is an evaluation tool that is completed on every child to rate their readiness to return to their home environment. Every child is given a face to face interview with their treat-

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

4

10

11

9

11

Children Returned Home Early

Children Returned Home Early

Children Returned Home Early

Children Returned Home Early

Children Returned Home Early

633

1,515

1,290

1,885

1,498

Days of Care Were Avoided with the Return Home Early Program

154K

$

Days of Care Were Avoided with the Return Home Early Program

or Juvenile Delinquents (JD) because of disruptive behaviors at home, school or community. Often times, placements by the court were mandated for a set period of time which often extended beyond the time necessary for the children/youth to return to his/her home community. Many of these youth continued to languish in residential care when they could have been better served in a lower level of care or even home, generating unnecessary cost to the county. HCDSS charged the program manager with the ability to provide a neutral assessment of every child’s individual situation that was placed at the institutional level of care. The county has

Days of Care Were Avoided with the Return Home Early Program

445K

322K

$

$

Net cost avoidance in Residential Placement Costs

Herkimer County Return Home Early Project Kids Herkimer, placement facilities, families, school districts, and community partners was named the Return Home Early Project. It was the premise of the Return Home Early Project that at risk youth would be best suited to continue their treatment at home with their family after a short term placement. The program manager would in turn identify children at the Residential Treatment Center or Group Home level of care that fit this mold. At the time of the agreement, Herkimer County had 94 children and youth in institutional placement. Many of these children had been court ordered as Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS)

children were placed at extraordinary distances from their home. Children placed from Buffalo, to Watertown, to Albany, to the outskirts of New York City were at incredible distances that made it virtually impossible for parents to remain actively involved in the treatment process. Through strong advocacy, collaboration, and family empowerment, children that could be served at home, in lower levels of care (i.e., foster care), and closer to home were pursued by the Return Home Early Project.

Kids Herkimer Return Home Early Project Outcomes – Herkimer County 2008 through 2012

Net cost avoidance in Residential Placement Costs

In response to sky rocketing out of home placement numbers and increased financial strain in Herkimer County, Kids Herkimer was created in an attempt to identify children in placement that would benefit from intensive community based services. These interventions, in lieu of the expensive residential facilities, are provided to the children and families in their homes and community. Kids Herkimer has dedicated one fulltime and two part-time staff to assessing children in placement and coordinating wraparound services once they return home from placement. This collaborative effort with the Herkimer County Department of Social Services (HCDSS),

ment team to better understand the intricacies of each individual’s situation. Family history, school records, and legal involvement are all reviewed during this process. It is the culmination of this intensive process that provided HCDSS, Family Court, the family, and placement agency a fresh perspective on treatment alternatives to residential placement. Children that were identified at an earlier stage would be better served by community services prior to the expiration of their court order. The efforts of the project further discovered that some

Net cost avoidance in Residential Placement Costs

Days of Care Were Avoided with the Return Home Early Program

336K

$

Net cost avoidance in Residential Placement Costs

Days of Care Were Avoided with the Return Home Early Program

251K

$

Net cost avoidance in Residential Placement Costs

1,508,980

$

TOTAL NET COST AVOIDANCE IN RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENT COSTS FROM 2008 – 2012

Outcomes After its first year as a full time endeavor, the Return Home Early project identified 10 children that would benefit from a discharge early from placement, saving Herkimer County 1,515 days of care in 2009. At approximately $320 per day, a cost avoidance of $444,522 was realized in one year alone. By the end of 2009, institutional placements had gone from

94 to 72 children from Herkimer County. HCDSS has seen a significant reduction in institutional and group home days of care since the inception of the Kids Herkimer Return Home Early Project. Days of care have dropped from 12,011 in 2008 to 9,983 in 2009. Later in 2008, Kids Oneida, partnered with Herkimer County DSS to

develop the Kids Herkimer program with the same mission as a result of the success of the program in Oneida County. With similar success, the Kids Herkimer program has been responsible for returning 45 kids home early by nearly 8,152 days amounting to a net cost avoidance to tax payers of $1.5 million.

The Return Home Early Project has been a successful full-time endeavour in Oneida County since 2008 with equally as successful results. For further information please contact Steven Bulger, Director of Operations at 315.731.2603.


Keeping Families Together When every child has a chance to realize his or her potential, our work will be complete. Until then, Kids Herkimer commits itself to helping children who suffer from childhood trauma to lead safer, healthier, more productive lives. When a child is raised from reticence to confidence, from despair to hope, we are closer to our goal of making every child a success. It’s nearly impossible for a child who is exposed to trauma on a daily basis to learn anything beyond basic survival. That’s where Kids Herkimer comes in. Whatever a child’s past circumstances, we strive to provide a stable environment, a healthy routine, and a strong education. We help families stay together whenever possible and provide a supportive and nurturing alternative when it isn’t. Kids Herkimer gives children a chance to fulfill their potential, helping them learn to lead better lives.

Return Home Early Project Goals

RETURNED HOME WITH FAMILY

PLACEMENT CLOSER TO HOME

APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF CARE

Kids Herkimer, keeping families together.

HERKIMER COUNTY 

Return Home Early Project Through strong advocacy, collaboration, and family empowerment, the Return Home Early Project identifies children that can be better served at home keeping families together.

310 Main Street Utica, New York 13501 315.792.9039 315.792.9578 kidsoneida.org

t

f


2013 Herkimer County: Return Home Early Brochure