May is National Foster Care Month, where we should take an opportunity to honor those in out-of-home placement and the individuals who support them. In 2021, 20,490 children and youth were placed in the foster care system—many who were unable to safely remain in the homes of their parents or caregivers and others who could’ve stayed in their home communities with community-based services.
We recognize and thank the kinship caregivers and foster parents who have stepped up to care for them. We acknowledge biological parents and caregivers working tirelessly to mitigate the risk and safety concerns that lead to placement. We also thank the caseworkers, providers and advocates on the front lines daily, ensuring that foster children grow, thrive and achieve permanency.
To further highlight the child welfare system in May, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released Fostering Youth Transitions 2023: State and National Data to Drive Foster Care Advocacy. Transition age youth are foster children ages 14 and older who are in or exiting the system to adulthood. This population has poorer outcomes compared to their peers in the general population. The report notes that although the number of teenagers and young adults in foster care has decreased by 45% nationally over the past 15 years, systems are falling short of delivering services to those who are in care.
Read PPC’s press release on the report noting Pennsylvania-specific data and policy recommendations.
Axios PA interviewed PPC Policy Director Rachael Miller about the report.