Evidence Based Intervention Impact in Pennsylvania

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EBI ImpactImpact of Evidence Based Interventions in Pennsylvania

The impact of evidence-based interventions in Pennsylvania is presented in three areas: youth outcomes, impact on placement rates, and cost savings.

Youth Outcomes, FY 2011/2012

The tables and graphs below summarize INSPIRE data for the three EBIs for FY 2011/2012. More detailed analysis, including data for FY 2010/2011, can be found in outcomes summaries.

  • Across all three programs, a total of 3,650 youth were served.
  • The vast majority of referrals come from the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. 
  • Over 1,600 newly enrolled youth were deemed by providers to be at imminent risk of placement outside the home or, in the case of MTFC, a more restrictive placement.

Outcomes at Discharge

When comparing data across the three programs, please note that the populations served by each program vary and therefore outcomes may not be directly comparable across the three programs. While there is significant overlap in the populations served, particularly for FFT and MST, there may also be overall differences in the severity of the population served (as reflected in the percent at risk for placement) and client risk factors.

Impact on Placement Rates

Over the past decade Pennsylvania has seen significant growth in the number of EBI programs, as well as an increase in the number of counties where such services are available. At the same time, the number and rate of placements have declined across all service systems – juvenile justice, child welfare, and mental health.  Are these two phenomena related? Data suggests they are: As a group, counties that adopted EBIs saw a decrease in placements over a 6-year period, while counties that did not adopt an EBI saw no change or even increases in juvenile justice and child welfare placement rates.

More detailed information is available at www.episcenter.psu.edu/sites/default/files/ebp/Placement%20Data%205-2012.pdf and interactive maps on the EPISCenter web-site provide a valuable tool for looking at county placement rates over the past 7 years. These e-maps can be accessed at www.episcenter.psu.edu/emaps

Economic Benefits

It is estimated that in FY 2011/2012 Pennsylvania saw an immediate savings of over $16 million as a result of diverting youth from placement through the use of EBIs.  This is based on a comparison of two cost estimates using data for youth who were clinically discharged from an EBI in FY 2011/2012:

Potential placement costs: The cost of simply placing the 1,148 youth who were at risk of placement* and not serving those who were not at risk.

Actual service and placement costs: The cost of sending 2,427 youth through an EBI at full cost** plus the cost of placement for 282 youth who were placed upon discharge.

Another economic benefit of evidence-based intervention is related to the potential longer-term savings associated with reductions in crime, including savings related to cost to victim and cost of crime (incarceration, etc.).  Based on all youth discharged from an EBI in FY 2011/2012, the total economic benefit resulting from crime reduction is estimated at $71.4 million. If we take a more conservative approach and only include youth successfully discharged during that same period, the economic benefit associated with reductions in future crime is still over $41 million.

Impact of EBIs

More information about cost savings related to placement diversion and crime reduction can be found in the FY 2011/2012 Outcomes Summary at www.episcenter.psu.edu/resources/PRCmainresearch/researchreports

*Estimated placement savings is based on data available at the time of this report and will be updated when data regarding the cost of private residential placements and average length of placement are available. Placement cost per youth is based on the average per diem for YDC/YFC placement in FY 2011/2012 (OCYF Bulletin 00-11-02).  A very conservative approach of 90 days per placement was used.

**EBI program cost per youth is based on average across providers or sites for each program, using BH-MCO rates as reported by providers and average length of stay for successful cases in FY 2011/2012. For MTFC, program cost includes room and board.

h. The estimated benefit-cost per youth was based on benefit-cost from the 2008 Prevention Research Center report, The Economic Return on PCCD’s Investment in Research-based Programs, translated into 2011 dollars using the Consumer Price Index. The 2008 report is available at www.episcenter.psu.edu/sites/default/files/resources/PCCD_Report2.pdf 


Download the full verison of The Impact of EBI's in Pennsylvania (Written in December 2012)

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