Keeping Systems Accountable and Young People Engaged

Posted May 3, 2016
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog keepingsystemsaccountable 2016

When man­aged well, fos­ter care can pro­vide young peo­ple in cus­tody the same devel­op­men­tal and social expe­ri­ences as their peers who are not in care. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, we most often hear about the lim­it­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties and atyp­i­cal lives of youth in fos­ter care. The fed­er­al Pre­vent­ing Sex Traf­fick­ing and Strength­en­ing Fam­i­lies Act (SFA) pro­vides new incen­tives for child wel­fare agen­cies to pro­mote health­i­er and, in some ways, typ­i­cal expe­ri­ences for chil­dren and youth in fos­ter care.

In a six-part webi­nar series, the Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Oppor­tu­ni­ties Ini­tia­tive high­lights key SFA pro­vi­sions that hold poten­tial for right­ing the expe­ri­ences of young peo­ple. Many of the new require­ments could make the sto­ries of youth in fos­ter care much like the sto­ries of all youth.

Keep­ing Sys­tems Account­able in the Imple­men­ta­tion of the SFA, the third ses­sion in the SFA webi­nar series, dis­cussed how to lever­age the law’s enforce­ment mech­a­nisms to improve out­comes for kids. These mech­a­nisms not only pro­vide an avenue for rem­e­dy­ing vio­la­tions, but can estab­lish bet­ter prac­tices from the start. The more friend­ly and acces­si­ble the enforce­ment reme­dies are to young peo­ple, the bet­ter out­comes they’ll expe­ri­ence.

Future webi­na­rs include Max­i­miz­ing Youth Engage­ment in Court Reviews and Case Plan­ning Thurs­day, May 26; Improv­ing Per­ma­nen­cy Out­comes for Old­er Youth Tues­day, July 26; and Mod­el Exten­sion of Care and Re-Entry Poli­cies – Cre­at­ing a Legal Struc­ture that Pro­motes Engage­ment Thurs­day, Sept. 29.

The webi­nar series sup­ple­ments the Jim Casey Initiative’s recent­ly released report, What Young Peo­ple Need To Thrive: Lever­ag­ing the Strength­en­ing Fam­i­lies Act To Pro­mote Nor­mal­cy, which high­lights rec­om­men­da­tions from young peo­ple in fos­ter care.

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