Foster Care Reform
Children’s Rights is the only organization in the United States dedicated solely to turning dangerous child welfare systems into safe havens for kids in need.
We team up with local child advocates to thoroughly investigate damaging systems. We expose pervasive failures, help develop long-term solutions and negotiate court-enforceable plans that ultimately transform the way child welfare agencies treat kids. And we complement our legal efforts with research and policy advocacy at the state and national levels to improve the public policy guiding child welfare systems.
Children’s Rights is steadfast in our mission to compel real and sustainable change. Once reform strategies are in place, we hold governments accountable by monitoring progress – and taking action as needed – for as long as it takes to ensure kids have the support and care they deserve. As a result, kids are safer. They get the education and health care they need. They have better foster homes. And best of all, children find permanent, loving families more quickly.
Time and again, Children’s Rights has proven that broken, overburdened foster care agencies can be run well and provide brighter futures for abused and neglected children. Our campaigns produce real, measurable improvements. For example:
Connecticut decreased the number of institutionalized children aged 12 and younger by nearly 90 percent, from 201 kids in 2011 to 22 in 2015.
In 2003, children in metropolitan Atlanta foster care would often go six or more months without a visit from a caseworker. But by 2015, workers provided 96 percent of required twice-monthly visits to children.
In 2006, approximately 6,300 Michigan children were legally free for adoption, but instead were growing up as permanent wards of the state. By 2014, the number dropped to under 2,700.
The rate at which children were abused and neglected in foster care was reduced tenfold between 2000 and 2014. Allegations of maltreatment, which used to sit for months, are now referred and investigated within days.
More siblings are being placed together in Tennessee foster homes. In 2002, less than 35 percent of sibling groups were living together while in state custody, compared to 75 percent in 2015.