Support Of Family Reunification As A Primary Outcome For Children

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In recent years, there has been much support for family reunification as a primary outcome for children in foster care providing them a better alternative than aging out of the foster care system. Some of the reasons in support of family reunification include that children do best when raised in a stable family setting, preventing multiple placements increases safety, permanency and well-being, there are cost benefits in reduction in the number of children in care, and states can avoid funding sanctions by meeting federal outcome goals ("Supporting Reunification and Preventing Reentry Into Out-of-Home Care"). Leaving children to grow up in the foster care system is not a good placement option as there is a substantial amount of research about the negative impact it has on children. Some recent findings of a study reported that 25 percent of youth who aged out of care did not obtain high school diploma or GED, only 50 percent were currently employed, and three quarters of the males and more than half of the females had ever been arrested (Courtney et al. 2007). Another study examining youth in California, Minnesota, and North Carolina found these employment patterns persist for many at age 24, with only a small portion of youth (25 percent in California, 22 percent in Minnesota, 16 percent in North Carolina) managing to maintain consistent connections to the labor market and earn as much as their peers nationally (Macomber et al. 2008). In addition to the poor outcomes
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