Children, Families, And Foster Care : Analysis And Recommendations

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Children, Families, and Foster Care: Analysis and Recommendations
Foster care is intended to serve as a temporary haven for abused or neglected children who cannot safely remain with their families. However for some children, the journey through foster care is characterized by further trauma and abuse; and even in the best situations, foster care is inherently fraught with uncertainty, instability, and impermanence. The number of children and families who require foster care services has grown substantially over the past two decades, and these families are typically contending with a multitude of complex and interrelated life challenges such as mental illness, unemployment, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Child welfare agencies face chronic organizational challenges that undermine their ability to provide appropriate case management, services, and supports to the children and families in their care. Reports of children being injured while in care thrust the system into crisis and reaction, yet reforms in response to tragedy have generally failed to result in meaningful change.
A Child 's Journey Through Foster Care
Children enter foster care for a number of reasons. For some children, the journey begins at birth, when it is clear that a mother cannot care for her newborn infant. Other children come to the attention of child welfare when a teacher, a social worker, a police officer, or a neighbor reports suspected child maltreatment to child protective services. Some

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