Essay On Foster Care

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Executive Summary:
The primary responsibility for child welfare services rests with the States. Each State has its own legal and administrative structures and programs that address the needs of children and families. However, States must comply with specific Federal requirements and guidelines in order to be eligible for Federal funding under certain programs. Even though federal laws have had a major influence on foster care and child welfare policy for more than 40 years, additional reforms are needed to ensure safe and stable families for children in care. A number of federal policies addressing issues such as housing, health care, welfare, social security benefits, taxes, and foster care reimbursement to the states, form the federal foster care policy framework.
The Adoption and Safe Families Act significantly altered federal foster care policy by instituting key changes such as defining when it is reasonable to pursue family reunification, expediting timelines for making permanency decisions, recognizing kinship care as a permanency option, and providing incentives to the state for increasing the number of adoptions. Courts play a key and often overlooked role in achieving safety and permanency for children in foster care. Efforts to improve court performance have focused on increasing the responsiveness and capacity of courts. Such legislation frequently requires Federal departments and agencies, such as the Children’s Bureau within the U.S. Department of Health and

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