Researchers at Rand Corp modeled the complex child welfare system and found “that combining expanded prevention and treatment in the form of support for kinship care leads to a net cost reduction in the range of 3 to 7 percent of total spending (or approxi mately $5.2 billion to $10.5 billion saved against the current baseline of $155.9 billion) for a cohort of children born over a five-year period.
Increases in prevention lead to decreases in mal-treatment and improvements in young adult outcomes but do not affect the experiences of children who enter the system and result in small additional costs. Increases in treatment lead to improvements in system experience and outcomes and reduce lifetime costs but do not reduce maltreatment. It is only when increases to prevention and treatment are implemented together that all of the policy objectives are achieved. It is not necessarily unexpected that this approach would generate reductions in maltreatment, improvements in system experience, and improvements in outcomes. ”