Children’s Rights is pleased to see that the reform of our badly broken child welfare and juvenile justice systems is sparking the national conversation it deserves.
Secretary Julian Castro’s Children First plan for foster care, released today, focuses on the underlying causes of the abuse and neglect of children living in foster care systems that Children’s Rights and other advocacy groups have long recognized.
The plan focuses on prevention services that can help poor and low-income families, highlighting the causal relationship between poverty and child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The plan also expands aspects of the Family First Act to help keep even more children and families together.
Too often, the plight of these children and their families is not part of the political discourse. They are poor, and disproportionately children of color. The plan recognizes that the system punishes families when the underlying problem is poverty. This plan presents a holistic approach to addressing root issues.
Many key issues central to the work of Children’s Rights are highlighted in the plan: discrimination against LGBTQ children and LGBTQ prospective foster parents; kinship care as a critical solution; prevention services; reduction in congregant care; the importance of trauma-informed care; the foster care to juvenile justice pipeline; and the need for access to education access and heathcare.
Read more about the plan here.