Giving Compass’ Take:
• The foster care system needs to explore solutions for kids that are moved around too frequently in multiple foster placements.
• How can donors help solve some of these issues locally?
• Read about programs that help foster kids go to college.
How does a child in foster care wind up in 130 different places over the course of just a few years? That’s the question that many observers might have after learning about a recent lawsuit against the state of Kansas.
The National Center for Youth Law, Children’s Rights, and Kansas Appleseed filed the suit against Gov. Jeff Colyer and the heads of the Department for Children and Families, the Department for Aging and Disability Services and the Department of Health and Environment, alleging that the state violated the rights of foster kids by moving them so many times.
It is intuitively obvious but there is also plenty of evidence that children who are moved frequently have worse outcomes. A study in the journal “Pediatrics” found “that children with multiple placements had between 36 and 63 percent greater risk of developing behavioral challenges than did children in stable placements.”
The easiest way to solve this problem would be to have more beds. But that’s more complicated than it sounds. One solution would be to get extended family to take in these kids, but kinship care comes with its own set of issues.
Every state in the country reports a shortage of traditional nonrelative foster homes. Despite the fact that many faith-based institutions have been ramping up recruitment and training for these families, it is not happening fast enough to keep up with demand.
Finally, there is congregate, or institutional, care. Many states are trying to phase out congregate care. The Families First legislation that passed late last year actually limits federal support for such care and instead offers states the opportunity to put more foster care dollars toward preventive services.
Read the full article about foster care by Naomi Schaefer Riley at AEI
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