Foster Care

More than 500,000 children are living in foster care in the United States. Although an important safety net for abused and neglected children, foster care was never intended to be a long-term solution. All children need safe, permanent families in which to grow and thrive.
From 2003 to 2009, Pew worked with partners at the local, state and national level to ensure more of these children were living with safe, permanent families. In 2004, the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care issued recommendations to reform the way the federal government supports children who are abused or neglected and encourage increased judicial accountability through better case tracking systems.
In 2007, the Kids Are Waiting: Fix Foster Care Now campaign began advocacy efforts to promote federal financing reform. Working with national, state and community-based child welfare, adoption, judicial, and other organizations, the initiative argued for aligning federal financing with services and supports that produce better outcomes for children.
Substantial progress has been made. With the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Congress invested $100 million over five years for courts to track cases, provide training and increase collaboration with child welfare agencies. Improvements are underway in all 50 states. And, in October 2008, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act was passed unanimously by Congress and signed into law by President Bush. The most significant child welfare legislation in ten years, the law includes many of the Pew Commission recommendations. Pew concluded its foster care initiative in 2009. 


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