Saturday, July 23, 2011

Report: Foster teens fall through cracks, cost to society called 'tremendous'


The age group with the highest number of people entering the system is 15 to 17, he said.

"People think of Children and Youth as the abuse and neglect system," Mr. Cherna said.

Instead, it is older adolescents

Mr. Pertman believes programs like those in Allegheny County are an important part of the solution, though not the end goal.

That, he said, is getting even the older children in the system permanent homes.

"The new reality is that you don't have to form families with just little kids," Mr. Pertman said. "The way we've been doing [adoptions] is suited for little kids who look like them. It's not like that anymore.

"The idea of this report is to reinvigorate the discussion. We've got to do something today. If we keep waiting for tomorrow, all we're doing is wasting more lives and throwing away more money."

I have said it before and I will say it again…Families for older foster kids would be nice, but we have to face that adoption is unlikely and not a helpful or realistic goal for older children in the foster care system. Why is it that we can’t seem to face that fact and move on to trying to come up with some real- world workable ways to support older children caught in the system? The kids over 15 who are coming into the system for delinquency are rarely even available for adoption (parental rights having not been severed) but still obviously lacking adequate a support within their original families. We need to do much better with providing support and services for these kids, until the age of 24. It is the least we can do for OUR kids.

Report: Foster teens fall through cracks, cost to society called 'tremendous'

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