This new brief from CHAMPS summarizes the latest research on the benefits of family-based foster care over group care. It highlights effective policies to creating alternatives to group care by strengthening kin and non-kin recruitment, retention and support. Share this brief with legislators, agency partners and advocates and encourage them to take action. Recommendations include:
- Kin-first policies
- Require family finding, engagement, and support caregivers from first contact throughout the life of the case; utilize emergency licensing and non-safety licensing waivers for kin; and fund dedicated kinship staff positions.
- Effective foster parent recruitment
- Ensure agency recruitment practices are data-driven and have measurable goals such as increased kinship placement and a foster parent pool that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of children in care; involve youth and foster, kin, birth, and adoptive families in recruitment and training activities; and adopt licensing standards that remove barriers for kin and non-kin foster families.
- Reliable family support
- Establish and fund peer support groups and peer mentors for foster and kinship families; hire dedicated staff to support foster families; and provide accessible respite and 24-hour crisis and stabilization support.
- Engage families as valued partners
- Create and financially support an inclusive and diverse parent advisory board that can guide policymaking and ensure that all families receive the support they need to care for children and youth.
Many of the policy solutions are no or low cost steps that can spur better outcomes for children and families.
See here for the new brief.
See here for PPT slides with the same content of the new brief.