Deductive Reasoning Doesn’t Work for Children

The federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) largely defunds group homes and residential treatment centers.  As the Child Welfare Monitor argues, that’s not good for children.  


The FFPSA provision is based on the belief that “every kid needs a family”.  Using deductive reasoning, the authors reach the oversimplified conclusion that family foster care is good, congregate care bad.  

However many children and youth need more structure and therapy than most foster homes can provide.

Deductive reasoning supports the unscientific belief that if core principles are correct, programs based on them will surely work.

Inductive reasoning is a better tool for improving complex systems like child welfare.  It requires gathering facts, listening to stakeholders, engaging in trial and error, then doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

What do you think?

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Rich Gehrman2 Comments