Foster Care Reform: Now's the Time

Publication: New York Times

Author: Donna Butts

05/15/2006 - To the Editor:"Reform Isn't Cheap" (editorial, April 30) cuts to the core of the foster care reform debate. In a time of tightened budgets and other priorities, how do we improve outcomes for children in foster care and move them quickly and safely into permanent, loving homes?

Instead of cutting support for adoption, we need public policies to support a range of permanency options — including reunification, adoption and, when neither is possible, subsidized guardianship. As one of its recommendations, the nonpartisan Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care determined that subsidized guardianships allow children to exit foster care to live safely and permanently with caregivers — often grandparents or other relatives — yet continue to be able to access much needed supports and services such as adequate medical care or special educational assistance.

Our nation's foster care system is failing 500,000 children. To echo your editorial: "Now is not the time to pull back on reform."

Donna Butts
Executive Director
Generations United
Washington, D.C. 

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