Child wefare performance improving — but still falling short
Findings & Stats
The vacancy rate for family service worker positions in Arkansas in 2004 was 23% — more than double the average rate in 2002. By 2006, vacancies had dropped to 16%.
The percentage of children seen by an investigator within 72 hours of a report of maltreatment declined steadily from 2000 to 2006.
Family Needs Assessment
The percentage of protective service cases in which a family needs assessment was completed within 30 days consistently fell well below DCFS's goal of 80%.
Monthly Caseworker Visits
In 2006, more than half (56%) of children in Arkansas' child welfare system received no monthly home visits from their caseworker.
Statements & Quotations
While it is important that the case worker have regular visits with the child, it is also important the child in foster care have regular contact with his or her parents and siblings if the goal is to achieve reunification of the family. In 2004, children in foster care did not have weekly visits with their parents in 60 percent of the cases. The percentage has continued to rise, despite an increase in staffing.
Children need a nurturing and loving environment to grow. Neglect not only impacts their physical health, but also their emotional and social development. These children rely on public intervention to help them, and with the appropriate services, they can grow up to live healthy and productive lives. Our children cannot wait.
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