FCT Cost Effectiveness

FCT has proven cost saving results for states and funding sources. Additionally, FCT as an Evidence Based Model owned by a not-for-profit organization, has demonstrated significant cost saving for providers as well. Compared with other major evidence based models FCT can have significantly lower rates for startup and implementation.*

When implemented, FCT can have a positive impact on critical business elements such as: marketing and collateral relations, clinical goal planning and documentation, team effectiveness and staff retention, utilization review of necessity for services, hiring motivated clinicians, and improving data collection, research and distribution of data for your agency. These factors make FCT a progressive encompassing model for agencies ready to implement an evidence based model.

Independent Studies of FCT Effectiveness

Family Centered Treatment has been studied by two major independent publications for cost effectiveness. In all cases, FCT has demonstrated a highly-effective cost alternative to residential placement.

Independent Study Findings

These empirical analysis’ looked at costs of interventions. Additional study is in motion to determine societal or indirect long-term cost savings to state and tax dollars. Given the existing cost evidence, coupled with the positive post treatment outcomes, it is safe to hypothesize that these already cost saving results could be magnified greatly.

In its first major published study, Family Centered Treatment services were provided to over 2000 adjudicated youth with serious criminal offenses and their families then examined for costs. The youth examined were followed for at least one-year post-treatment and actual treatment costs of FCT was determined.

The findings concluded: Had these youth been placed in Group Homes or Therapeutic Group Homes instead, treatment costs would have been significantly higher. Therefore, the services Family Centered Treatment provided saved the state $12.3 million from 2003-2007. In other words: Every dollar spent on FCT saved the state $2.29 in residential placement costs. In this study, results showed cost of treatment per youth served through FCT can save as much as $27,916 per youth in Group Homes and as much as $25,433 per youth for Therapeutic Group Homes.**

In 2015, a second major study was completed by the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Their report titled “Summary of Youth Outcome Following Family Centered Treatment® In Maryland” established that initial intervention costs and total placement costs were significantly less for FCT than for Group Home Youth.

The report concluded that the initial intervention cost for FCT as compared with group home placement for the comparison group was less costly by $30,170 per youth, on average. This was attributable to a combination of youth having longer lengths of stay in group homes (201 days vs. 151 days for FCT) and the lower daily cost of Family Centered Treatment.

Post-admission placement costs for FCT plus out-of-home placements were $41,730 less per youth, on average, for the FCT group as compared with the control group for the 12 months after the start of each intervention. The cost spent on FCT was offset by $44,158 saved on group homes and other residential child care, and $8848, for secure facilities

Average Intervention Costs FCT vs. Group Home Youth

University of Maryland School of Social Work, 2015

“Moreover, given the findings in [the] cost analysis, FCT appears to be substantially more economical than group home use.”
Post Admission FCT vs Group Home Youth

Post Admission FCT vs Group Home Youth

OJJDP Journal of Juvenile Justice, 2012

“Indeed, the cost benefits of FCT to the state of Maryland reflect reported direct cost reductions in states using diversion programs for adjudicated youth throughout the United States.”

Placements and FCT costs 12- to 24-months post-admission were an average of $20,339 less per youth for the FCT group than the control group. ***


*Actual startup and implementation costs are determined upon readiness assessment and formal agreement.

**Sullivan, Bennear, Honess, et. al. (2012) Family Centered Treatment®—An Alternative to Residential Placements for Adjudicated Youth: Outcomes and Cost-Effectiveness, Journal of Juvenile Justice Volume 2, Issue 1 ePub.

***Bright, C. L., Betsinger, S., Farrell, J., Winters, A., Dutrow, D., Lee, B. R., & Afkinich, J. (2015). Youth Outcomes Following Family Centered Treatment® in Maryland. Baltimore, MD: University of Maryland School of Social Work.