Inadequate care for juvenile delinquents and disturbed children may be the result of institutional, governmental or personal financial inability to pay for costly residential homes. Although some view the cost of sending a child to a correctional institution as an investment against future prison and psychiatric bills, many families of juvenile offenders are either too poor or disinterested to raise the finances required. A great number of disturbed children are products of dysfunctional and abusive families. Many charitable reform institutions, despite good intentions, are unable to function without adequate finances.
According to a 1993 UK report, 15 independent and charitable schools for some of the country's most disturbed children closed within 18 months due to financial problems. In 1993, the annual cost of enrolment at residential schools for juvenile delinquents was between £27,000 and £40,000.