Advocates Call for Eliminating Group Homes for Foster Kids
Monday, November 15, 2021
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Group homes and large institutional foster-care settings should be phased out - that's the recommendation of a recent report that surveyed youths in foster care.
The youths interviewed for the "Away from Home" report complained of feeling vulnerable to further abuse, with little privacy or personal connection.
Report co-author Sixto Cancel, founder and CEO of the nonprofit "Think of Us", said placement with relatives often is the best option, as long as the child is consulted.
"Let's actually ask young people who they would like to be placed with," said Cancel. "Let's ask the family to step up. We are still not actually maximizing aunts, uncles, cousins, grandma, grandpa."
California, which has 60,000 children in foster care, has been moving away from congregate care for years. The County Welfare Directors' Association recommends more funding and that priority be given to recruiting new foster families.
The state also committed $100 million in the most recent budget to help counties build facilities for foster youths with complex mental-health needs.
Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez is vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Center for Systems Innovation. She applauded states like California, which have a dedicated ombudsman to handle allegations of abuse or neglect within the foster system.
"The young people who were brave enough to make themselves loud and clear through the Away from Home report are telling us that now really is the time to hear them," said Gasca-Gonzalez. "They want us to hear their truth, they want us to heed their wisdom, and they want us to help them heal."
A 2020 study in the Journal of Children and Youth Services shows that an average of one in five foster-care kids in the state will end up in congregate living. And according to the Children's Law Center, only 53% graduate high school on time.
California must provide resources, support for youth in crisis CalMatters/The County Welfare Directors Association 11/3/21
Correlates of entry into congregate care among a cohort of California foster youth Children and Youth Services Review 3/1/21
Foster Care Facts the Childrens Law Center 2021
get more stories like this via email
This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…
It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…
July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …
Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…
Health and Wellness
A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …
The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …
Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …
Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …