Monday, August 04, 2008

Foster care reunification and reentry

Changing Foster Care
Tamsen, Trevor.

Sacramento, CA - Thursday morning Speaker Bass and Assemblymember Beall are holding a special hearings on the best way to fix California's foster care system.

There are 74,000 children who live away from their families and communities because of abuse or neglect at home.

Fifty percent of the children who enter foster care are under five years old.

Eighty-three percent of foster youth will be held back by the 3rd grade.

While nearly 50 percent will reunify with their families, too many will return to foster care because of the lack of an available, long-term stable funding stream to provide supportive services.

California is failing the federal performance measure related to repeat visits to foster care.

Far too many children are trapped in the system and remain in foster care until they "age out" at 18.

With no place to go, one in four of the youths who age out is incarcerated within two years of leaving foster care, one in five becomes homeless at some time after age 18, only 46% complete high school, a mere 3 % earn a college degree, and just 51% of aged out foster care youths have a job at age 21.

This mornings hearings will feature testimonies from foster youth; community organizations, social workers and advocates on challenges and solutions to strengthening California's Foster Care System.

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