Even though we spend more than $25 billion a year in the United States assisting children who have been abused, abandoned and neglected, the results have been dismal. The system, in spite of devoted social workers, has yet to find safe, supportive, permanent families for many of these kids. It’s not the time and talent, it’s the system full of outdated policies and procedures. They are so misaligned that they fail to promote programs and procedures providing better results for the children. Casey’s Congressional call-to-action recommends several changes that can promote proven practices in creating permanent family alignments for our most vulnerable children.
Each year, more than 900,000 children in the U.S. become victims--of neglect and physical or sexual abuse.
Statements & Quotations
Everyone agrees that requiring individual eligibility determinations, tied to a long-defunct welfare program, makes no sense. It has the perverse effect of incentivizing states to focus their time and attention on improving bureaucratic procedures rather than child outcomes, and it wastes substantial time and resources that could otherwise be spent meeting children’s needs.
Adoption is only one way to connect children to a safe, permanent family; far more children are reunified each year than adopted, and permanent legal guardianship is an increasingly important alternative. Federal policy should reward states that improve their performance in all of these areas, rather than promoting a single form of permanence at the expense of others.