Child Welfare Outcome Report to Congress

 

The latest report, Child Welfare Outcomes 2006 – 2009 is the tenth report to Congress highlighting state performance in seven outcome categories.  The report is a requirement created through the Adoptions and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA).  The report is created by the Administration for Children and Families and provides the most current data available from state reporting through Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) and National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS). 

Findings from the Child Welfare Outcome Report

  • In 2009, 763,000 children were confirmed victims of maltreatment.
    • National confirmed child victim rate was 10.1 child victims per 1,000 children
    • State confirmed child victim rates ranged from 1.5 child victims per 1,000 to 29.9 child victims per 1,000 children
  • In 2009 the child victims of particular race or ethnicity varied among states, with highest percentages of children from minority race/ethnicity.  An overrepresentation of children was found –
    • Of Black child victims in 22 states
    • Of Alaska Native/American Indian child victims in 14 states
    • Of Hispanic child victims in 4 states
  • On the last day of Fiscal Year 2009, there were 435,000 children in foster care.
    • Foster care entry rate ranged from 1.4 children per 1,000 to 8.6 children per 1,000
    • Between FY 2002 and 2009, the number of children in foster care on the last day of the FY decreased nationally by 19 percent.
  • Outcome 1:  Reduce recurrence of child abuse and/or neglect.
    • 50 percent of states demonstrated improved performance with regard to this outcome measure.
  • Outcome 2:  Reduce the incidence of child abuse and/or neglect in foster care.
    • 62 percent of states identified improved performance since 2006
  • Outcome 3:  Increase permanency of children in foster care
    • States were more successful in achieving a permanent home for all children exiting foster care overall. 
    • Children with a diagnosed disability leaving foster care were less successful in achieving permanency
    • Children entering foster care over the age of 12 were significantly less likely to obtain permanency
  • Outcome 4:  Reduce time in foster care to reunification without increasing reentry
    • Data indicates that the majority of children discharged for reunification were done so in a timely manner.  The average percentage of reunifications in less than 12 months was about 67%
    • 52 percent of the states showed a decline in performance with regard with the median length of stay in foster care for reunified children.  The median length of stay went from 7.1 month in 2006 and 8.0 months in 2009.
  • Outcome 5:  Reduce time in foster care to adoption
    • Achieving timely adoptions was a challenge for most all states.  The percentage of adoptions that occurred in less than 12 months from entry into foster care was 3.4 percent.
    • 51 percent of the states demonstrated some improvement in percentage of adoptions occurring in less than 24 months.  In 2006, 29.9 percent of the children were in adoptions in less than 24 months, and in 2009, 33.8 percent the children were in adoptions in less than 24 months. 
    • 57 percent of the states showed improved performance in the percentage of children who were legally free for adoption who were adopted within 12 months of that status.
  • Outcome 6:  Increase placement stability
    • Placement stability is defined as no more than two placements for a child for a single foster care episode.
    • For children in foster care for less than 12 months, most states were fairly successful.  The median declined from 84.9 percent for children in foster care for less than 12 months to 60.8 percent for children in foster care for 12 to 24 months, to 30.5 percent for children in foster care for 24 months or longer.
  • Outcome 7:  Reduce placements of young children in group homes or institutions
    • In about 50 percent of the states, 4.4 percent or less of children entering foster care under the age of 12 were placed in group homes or institutions.
    • In 9 states the percent was between 12 and 19 percent of young children who were placed in group homes or institutions.

 

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

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