Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Infographic: Every Kid Needs a Family


Every Kid Needs a Family   
Kids do best with the support of a loving family. As our child welfare system develops strategies to help our most vulnerable children, it has a number of opportunities to provide kids with supportive families.  One is to help families that are living in precarious circumstances by providing the supports they need to care for their children in a safe and stable environment. 

When a child does need to be removed from her immediate family, she can be placed with a grandparent or other member of the extended family (called kinship care). Finally, the state can seek to recruit more foster parents who can provide good homes to children who would otherwise have to live in group homes or other institutional settings.

Every Kid Needs a Family: Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Success, released today by the national partner of MassBudget's KIDS COUNT project, explores strategies for providing more children in the foster care system with the opportunity to grow up in a family. 

The progress on these issues in Massachusetts, and the continuing challenges, are described in MassBudget's recent report Family Ties: Exploring Massachusetts's use of Kinship Foster Care for Children in the Child Welfare System and a related report by KIDS COUNT Advisory Council member the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute: The Ties That Bind: Strengthening, and Reducing Racial Disparities in, Kinship Foster Care in Massachusetts.

The infographic below shows that Massachusetts is below the national average in giving children who are in the child welfare system the opportunity to live with members of their extended family. 

This contributes to more kids leaving the system (aging-out) without the support of a permanent family. And unfortunately, when kids age-out without this support they are less likely to finish high school and more likely to end up homeless or even in jail.


The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

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