A Parenting & kids forum. ParentingBanter.com

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » ParentingBanter.com forum » alt.support » Foster Parents
Site Map Home Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care Releases Sweeping Recommendations to Overhaul Nation's Foster Care System



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old May 19th 04, 05:50 PM
wexwimpy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care Releases Sweeping Recommendations to Overhaul Nation's Foster Care System

Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care Releases Sweeping
Recommendations to Overhaul Nation's Foster Care System

5/18/2004 10:01:00 AM

To: National Desk

Contact: Gina Russo of The Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care,
202-687-0697,

WASHINGTON, May 18 /U.S. Newswire/ -- After a year of intensive
analysis, conversations with professionals, parents, and children, The
Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care today released far-reaching
recommendations to overhaul the nation's foster care system.

The Commission, a national, nonpartisan panel funded by The Pew
Charitable Trusts and composed of leading experts in child welfare,
undertook the first-ever, comprehensive assessment of two key aspects
of the foster care system: a federal financing structure that
encourages an over-reliance on placement of children in foster care at
the expense of other more permanent options for children who have been
abused or neglected, and a court system that lacks sufficient tools,
information, and accountability necessary to move children swiftly out
of foster care and into permanent homes. Reform in these two areas,
the Commission determined, will have far-reaching effects for children
in foster care and is a critical first step to solving many other
problems that plague the child welfare system.

"The nation's foster care system is unquestionably broken," stated
Commission Chairman Bill Frenzel (R-Minn.), a 20-year veteran of
Congress and former Ranking Minority Member of the House Budget
Committee. "The Commission's recommendations focus on what states and
courts must do to help children get safe and permanent homes."

"Our recommendations call for greater accountability by both child
welfare agencies and courts. They give states a flexible, reliable
source of federal funding, as well as new options and incentives to
seek safety and permanence for children in foster care. Further, they
help courts secure the tools, information and training needed to
fulfill their responsibilities to children, and help children and
parents have a strong, informed voice in court proceedings."

Adds Commission Vice Chairman William H. Gray (D-Pa.), former Majority
Whip and Chairman of the House Budget Committee, "The foster care
system is in disrepair. Every state has now failed the federal foster
care reviews and we've seen far too many news stories of children
missing from the system or injured while in care. We must act now on
behalf of the half a million children currently in foster care."

The Commission's recommendations offer a bold, achievable plan for
improving outcomes for children in foster care and those at risk of
entering care.

The Commission proposes a fundamental restructuring of existing
resources, as well as targeted new investments that will provide real
returns to our children and our nation. Additionally, the Commission's
court recommendations give children a much higher priority in state
courts, give courts the tools to better oversee foster care cases, and
help to ensure that every child and parent have an effective voice in
court decisions that affect their lives.

Foster care protects children who are not safe in their own homes. For
some, it is life-saving. But for too many children, what should be a
short-term refuge becomes a long-term saga, involving multiple moves.
Almost half of children spend at least two years in care, and move to
at least three different placements. This turbulence and uncertainty
can have lasting consequences, for which children and society pay a
price.

The Role of Federal Financing

Current federal funding mechanisms for child welfare encourage an
over-reliance on foster care at the expense of other services that
might keep families safely together, allow children to return safely
home, or move children swiftly and safely from foster care to adoptive
families or permanent legal guardians.

The Commission's recommendations require stronger accountability for
how public dollars are used to protect and support children who have
suffered abuse and neglect. They require redirection of current
funding, and give states the freedom to decide whether foster care is
the right choice for an individual child, or whether there are other
options that might keep children safe and secure.

The key components of the Commission's financing recommendations a

-- Preserving federal foster care maintenance and adoption assistance
as an entitlement and expanding it to all children, regardless of
their birth families' income and including Indian children and
children in the U.S. territories;

-- Providing federal guardianship assistance to all children who leave
foster care to live with a permanent legal guardian when a court has
explicitly determined that neither reunification nor adoption are
feasible permanence options;

-- Helping states build a range of services from prevention, to
treatment, to post-permanence by (1) creating a flexible, indexed Safe
Children, Strong Families Grant from what is currently included in
Title IV-B and the administration and training components of Title
IV-E; and (2) allowing states to "reinvest" federal and state foster
care dollars into other child welfare services if they safely reduce
their use of foster care;

-- Encouraging innovation by expanding and simplifying the federal
waiver process and providing incentives to states that (1) make and
maintain improvements in their child welfare workforce and (2)
increase all forms of safe permanence; and

-- Strengthening the current Child and Family Services Review process
to increase states' accountability for improving outcomes for
children.

The Role of the Courts

For years, the courts have been the unseen partners in child welfare
-- yet they are vested with enormous responsibility. Along with child
welfare agencies, the courts have an obligation to ensure that
children are protected from harm. Courts make the formal determination
on whether abuse or neglect has occurred and whether a child should be
removed from the home. Courts review cases to decide if parents and
the child welfare agencies are meeting their legal obligations to a
child. Courts are charged with ensuring that children are moved from
foster care and placed in a safe, permanent home within statutory
timeframes. And courts determine if and when a parent's rights should
be terminated and whether a child should be adopted or placed with a
permanent guardian.

The Commission's court recommendations call for:

-- Adoption of court performance measures by every dependency court to
ensure that they can track and analyze their caseloads, increase
accountability for improved outcomes for children, and inform
decisions about the allocation of court resources;

-- Incentives and requirements for effective collaboration between
courts and child welfare agencies on behalf of children in foster
care;

-- A strong voice for children and parents in court and effective
representation by better trained attorneys and volunteer advocates;

-- Leadership from Chief Justices and other state court leaders in
organizing their court systems to better serve children, provide
training for judges, and promote more effective standards for
dependency courts, judges, and attorneys.

"Children deserve more from our child welfare system than they are
getting now," stated Chairman Frenzel. "Yet, for this to happen, those
on the front lines of care-caseworkers, foster parents, judges-need
the support necessary to do their jobs more effectively. And the
public needs to know that, with this support, every part of the chain
of care-from the federal government to the states to the courts-can
reasonably be held to high standards of accountability for the
well-being of children."

ABOUT THE PEW COMMISSION: The nonpartisan Pew Commission on Children
in Foster Care was launched on May 7, 2003. Supported by a grant from
The Pew Charitable Trusts to the Georgetown University Public Policy
Institute, the panel includes some of the nation's leading child
welfare experts. The panel was charged with developing practical,
evidence-based recommendations related to federal financing and court
oversight of child welfare to improve outcomes for children in foster
care, particularly to expedite the movement of children from foster
care to safe, permanent families and to prevent unnecessary placements
in foster care.

For additional information about the Pew Commission on Children in
Foster Care, or to obtain a copy of the Commission's report, or 50
state data about foster care, please visit the Commission website at:
www.pewfostercare.org. TO INTERVIEW COMMISSION MEMBERS PLEASE CONTACT
Gina Russo at 202-687-0697 or

http://www.usnewswire.com/

Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care Releases Sweeping
Recommendations to Overhaul Nation's Foster Care System

5/18/2004 10:01:00 AM

To: National Desk

Contact: Gina Russo of The Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care,
202-687-0697,

WASHINGTON, May 18 /U.S. Newswire/ -- After a year of intensive
analysis, conversations with professionals, parents, and children, The
Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care today released far-reaching
recommendations to overhaul the nation's foster care system.

The Commission, a national, nonpartisan panel funded by The Pew
Charitable Trusts and composed of leading experts in child welfare,
undertook the first-ever, comprehensive assessment of two key aspects
of the foster care system: a federal financing structure that
encourages an over-reliance on placement of children in foster care at
the expense of other more permanent options for children who have been
abused or neglected, and a court system that lacks sufficient tools,
information, and accountability necessary to move children swiftly out
of foster care and into permanent homes. Reform in these two areas,
the Commission determined, will have far-reaching effects for children
in foster care and is a critical first step to solving many other
problems that plague the child welfare system.

"The nation's foster care system is unquestionably broken," stated
Commission Chairman Bill Frenzel (R-Minn.), a 20-year veteran of
Congress and former Ranking Minority Member of the House Budget
Committee. "The Commission's recommendations focus on what states and
courts must do to help children get safe and permanent homes."

"Our recommendations call for greater accountability by both child
welfare agencies and courts. They give states a flexible, reliable
source of federal funding, as well as new options and incentives to
seek safety and permanence for children in foster care. Further, they
help courts secure the tools, information and training needed to
fulfill their responsibilities to children, and help children and
parents have a strong, informed voice in court proceedings."

Adds Commission Vice Chairman William H. Gray (D-Pa.), former Majority
Whip and Chairman of the House Budget Committee, "The foster care
system is in disrepair. Every state has now failed the federal foster
care reviews and we've seen far too many news stories of children
missing from the system or injured while in care. We must act now on
behalf of the half a million children currently in foster care."

The Commission's recommendations offer a bold, achievable plan for
improving outcomes for children in foster care and those at risk of
entering care.

The Commission proposes a fundamental restructuring of existing
resources, as well as targeted new investments that will provide real
returns to our children and our nation. Additionally, the Commission's
court recommendations give children a much higher priority in state
courts, give courts the tools to better oversee foster care cases, and
help to ensure that every child and parent have an effective voice in
court decisions that affect their lives.

Foster care protects children who are not safe in their own homes. For
some, it is life-saving. But for too many children, what should be a
short-term refuge becomes a long-term saga, involving multiple moves.
Almost half of children spend at least two years in care, and move to
at least three different placements. This turbulence and uncertainty
can have lasting consequences, for which children and society pay a
price.

The Role of Federal Financing

Current federal funding mechanisms for child welfare encourage an
over-reliance on foster care at the expense of other services that
might keep families safely together, allow children to return safely
home, or move children swiftly and safely from foster care to adoptive
families or permanent legal guardians.

The Commission's recommendations require stronger accountability for
how public dollars are used to protect and support children who have
suffered abuse and neglect. They require redirection of current
funding, and give states the freedom to decide whether foster care is
the right choice for an individual child, or whether there are other
options that might keep children safe and secure.

The key components of the Commission's financing recommendations a

-- Preserving federal foster care maintenance and adoption assistance
as an entitlement and expanding it to all children, regardless of
their birth families' income and including Indian children and
children in the U.S. territories;

-- Providing federal guardianship assistance to all children who leave
foster care to live with a permanent legal guardian when a court has
explicitly determined that neither reunification nor adoption are
feasible permanence options;

-- Helping states build a range of services from prevention, to
treatment, to post-permanence by (1) creating a flexible, indexed Safe
Children, Strong Families Grant from what is currently included in
Title IV-B and the administration and training components of Title
IV-E; and (2) allowing states to "reinvest" federal and state foster
care dollars into other child welfare services if they safely reduce
their use of foster care;

-- Encouraging innovation by expanding and simplifying the federal
waiver process and providing incentives to states that (1) make and
maintain improvements in their child welfare workforce and (2)
increase all forms of safe permanence; and

-- Strengthening the current Child and Family Services Review process
to increase states' accountability for improving outcomes for
children.

The Role of the Courts

For years, the courts have been the unseen partners in child welfare
-- yet they are vested with enormous responsibility. Along with child
welfare agencies, the courts have an obligation to ensure that
children are protected from harm. Courts make the formal determination
on whether abuse or neglect has occurred and whether a child should be
removed from the home. Courts review cases to decide if parents and
the child welfare agencies are meeting their legal obligations to a
child. Courts are charged with ensuring that children are moved from
foster care and placed in a safe, permanent home within statutory
timeframes. And courts determine if and when a parent's rights should
be terminated and whether a child should be adopted or placed with a
permanent guardian.

The Commission's court recommendations call for:

-- Adoption of court performance measures by every dependency court to
ensure that they can track and analyze their caseloads, increase
accountability for improved outcomes for children, and inform
decisions about the allocation of court resources;

-- Incentives and requirements for effective collaboration between
courts and child welfare agencies on behalf of children in foster
care;

-- A strong voice for children and parents in court and effective
representation by better trained attorneys and volunteer advocates;

-- Leadership from Chief Justices and other state court leaders in
organizing their court systems to better serve children, provide
training for judges, and promote more effective standards for
dependency courts, judges, and attorneys.

"Children deserve more from our child welfare system than they are
getting now," stated Chairman Frenzel. "Yet, for this to happen, those
on the front lines of care-caseworkers, foster parents, judges-need
the support necessary to do their jobs more effectively. And the
public needs to know that, with this support, every part of the chain
of care-from the federal government to the states to the courts-can
reasonably be held to high standards of accountability for the
well-being of children."

ABOUT THE PEW COMMISSION: The nonpartisan Pew Commission on Children
in Foster Care was launched on May 7, 2003. Supported by a grant from
The Pew Charitable Trusts to the Georgetown University Public Policy
Institute, the panel includes some of the nation's leading child
welfare experts. The panel was charged with developing practical,
evidence-based recommendations related to federal financing and court
oversight of child welfare to improve outcomes for children in foster
care, particularly to expedite the movement of children from foster
care to safe, permanent families and to prevent unnecessary placements
in foster care.

For additional information about the Pew Commission on Children in
Foster Care, or to obtain a copy of the Commission's report, or 50
state data about foster care, please visit the Commission website at:
www.pewfostercare.org. TO INTERVIEW COMMISSION MEMBERS PLEASE CONTACT
Gina Russo at 202-687-0697 or

http://www.usnewswire.com/
http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRe...d=108-05182004

Defend your civil liberties! Get information at http://www.aclu.org, become a member at http://www.aclu.org/join and get active at http://www.aclu.org/action.
 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Human Costs of Foster Ca Pew Commission Releases wexwimpy Foster Parents 0 February 19th 04 05:03 PM
Addtl Congressional hearing to monitor $ to foster care & adoption Fern5827 Foster Parents 2 November 14th 03 05:35 AM
'Horrible' Home Kane General 1 July 16th 03 02:29 AM
| Database should audit high $$ in Foster Care system Kane General 3 July 15th 03 06:43 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2017 ParentingBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.