For Your Information (FYI)
New Finding on Foster Care For Babies......
Research studies by the AIA Resource Center's principal investigator, Richard Barth, has revealed some interesting finding about babies in foster care. Infants account for 25% of the children entering foster care for the first time and they remain in foster care longer than older children. When they leave foster care before their first birthdays, they are 25% more likely to re-enter out-of home care after a period of reunification with their biological families.
Related research has examined re entry rates for children returned home from foster care 1983 and 1993. About 30% of them were removed from their homes a second time. The re-entry rate was consis tently greater when the first stay in foster care had less than three months in duration.
Examined together, these two research findings led the authors of "The Reunification of Very Young Children from Foster Care" to conclude that: "Although shorter stays in foster care are apparently consistent with permanency planning goals, they are more likely to be followed by re-entry into foster care." They recommend longer and more extensive reunification services to assist parents in maintaining the new behaviors learned during the early months of the child welfare intervention. "In general, a close response relationship does exist for services, and longer services are better." For more information contact: ALA Resource Center University of California, Berkeley, Scbool of Social Welfare: AIA Resource Center, 1950 Addison Street, Suite 104, Berkeley, California 94704 1182
Foster Family Shortage
At the same time that the number of children in foster care increased, providers steadily decreased from 147,000 in 1985 to only 125,000 in 1994. There is not only a shortage in the overall number of foster families, but there is also a shortage of foster families with certain characteristics and willingness to parent children with certain characteristics or circumstances, i.e. shortage of foster families of color, foster families for sibling groups, emotionally disturbed teens, and medically fragile/ complex infants. Of licensed foster families; 35% had no children placed with them; and 40% of foster families leave fostering in the first year of being licensed.
Several studies have found the following reasons for leaving fostering:
New HUD Rule, Re: Foster Care Kids!
Children separated from their parents through foster care are now included in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of "homeless families with children" in the new rules taking effect August 18. The definition applies to HUD's Supportive Housing Program and also covers disabled individu als over 18 years old. For more information call (202) 708-1234
HHS Releases New Statistics On Child Abuse And Neglect
4/1/96 - In a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Donna E. Shalala has released new state statistics on child abuse and neglect and called on all Americans to help stop the growing harm inflicted on the country’s children.
The "Child Maltreatment 1994: Reports from the States to the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect" shows that 1,012,000 children from 48 states were victims of substantiated child abuse and neglect in 1994, an increase of 27 percent since 1990.
The report found that 53 percent of maltreated children suffered neglect, 26 percent physical abuse, 14 percent sexual abuse, 5 percent emotional abuse and 22 percent other forms of maltreatment. Nearly half of the children abused or neglected were 6 years old or younger, while more than a quarter were 3 years old or younger.
Loss of life is the severest penalty of child abuse and neglect. Forty-three states reported that 1,111 children died as a result of abuse in 1994. During the five-year period of 1990 to 1994 states totaled 5,400 children killed.
To request a copy of the Child Abuse Neglect Prevention Resource Kit or for more information, call the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information at 1-800-FYI-3366 or write to P.O. Box 1182, Washington, D.C. 20013-1182.
Abused-Kids Bill Signed
4/23/96 - A bill that would make it easier for authorities to remove children from parents who abuse and neglect them was signed into law by Governor Tommy Thompson, reported Chicago times.
The law makes several changes in the state's children's code to put greater emphasis on protecting the child, rather than keeping them in abusive situations to preserve family unity.
The bill provides for court intervention when a child is abandoned, neglected or abused, or at substantial risk of being abandoned, neglected or abused. It also allows involuntary termination of a parent's rights if the parent fails to visit or communicate with the child for at least six months while the youngster is left with someone else.
House Rejects Indian Adoption
4/25/96 - A house committee rejected an effort to make it easier for non-lndians to adopt the children of tribal members. The 1978 law, known as the Indian Child Welfare Act, gives extended families and tribes of Indian children first adoption rights and allows tribal courts to intervene in adoptions involving tribal members. At one time, an estimated one of every four Indian children was adopted or living in an institution or is in foster care.
Nutrition Block Grant Update
5/30/96 - USDA Secretary Dan Clickman told delegates at Food Research and Action Center's Building Blocks conference in D.C. that no social program has a greater cost/benefits ratio than the school lunch program, but effort is needed to expand school breakfast and summer food service programs.
New Welfare Bill
Child Welfare League of America, reports a summary from the House Ways and Means Committee shows the GOP bill retains the open-ended entitlement funding for foster care maintenance payments, training and administration; the open-ended training; and the capped entitlement for Independent Living Services. The bill consolidates eleven existing child protection program into block grants that require only one state applica tion, one state plan, and one state report.
House Passes Adoption Bill
Controversial amendments to the Indian Child Welfare Acts were reinserted in the final bill despite opposition from tribes. The House bill includes a tax credit of $5,000 to help defer adoption expenses and a prohibition against insistence on same-race adoptive placements and/or delaying adoptive placements based on race. The Senate has no definite plans to consider an adoption bill, reports Child Welfare League of America. "
1996 Kids Count Data Book" Will be released by Annie E. Casey Foundation on 6/3; to order call (410) 223-2890.
Housing And Foster Care Survey
The American Public Welfare Association (APWA) has surveyed 270 local and 42 state public child welfare agencies with respect to the connection between foster care and inadequate housing and hopelessness. Among the responses: