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New Report Sets a Course for Improving Foster Care Systems

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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Innovative child welfare practices from across the country offer hope for America's most vulnerable children and families

SEATTLE, July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- All across America, child welfare systems are making crucial changes to the way they do business. These changes are improving the lives of children in foster care as well as children at risk of entering foster care.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070116/CASEYFAMILYLOGO )

A new Casey Family Programs report, And How Are the Children?, details several real-world success stories from child welfare systems throughout the United States, highlighting innovative practices and courageous policies that safely move children out of foster care and strengthen at-risk families.

"These are stories of commitment and common purpose, stories that demonstrate the power of working together in new and different ways to do what needs to be done in the best interests of children," said William C. Bell, president and CEO of Casey Family Programs, the nation's largest operating foundation entirely focused on the issues surrounding foster care.

These stories give us hope. Collectively, they guide us in the direction we need to go to improve foster care systems. By shining a light on these innovations, Casey Family Programs seeks to spur the public action and political will to replicate these proven successful practices and policies across the country.

The momentum for change is growing in America: In 2007, the number of children in foster care in the United States dropped below 500,000 for the first time since reporting of the count began. Still, that number is way too high. Research indisputably shows that many vulnerable children can be best served outside of the foster care system.

And How Are the Children? tells intimate stories of the various ways child welfare systems are keeping children safe by placing or keeping them in homes where they are showered with love:

And How Are the Children? also reports on innovations and successes in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Florida.

Casey Family Programs is committed to our 2020 Strategy that calls for safely reducing the number of children in foster care by 50 percent by the year 2020 and reinvesting the savings to improve the child welfare system.

"While this report details many successes, we still have a long way to go to fulfill the promise of our 2020 Strategy," said Gary Severson, chair of Casey Family Programs' board of trustees.

To view and download the report:

http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/AndHowAreTheChildren

About Casey Family Programs

Casey Family Programs is the nation's largest operating foundation entirely focused on foster care.

Since 1966, we have worked to provide and improve -- and ultimately prevent the need for -- foster care in the United States. As advocates for change, we are committed to our 2020 Strategy -- an ambitious yet attainable goal to safely reduce the number of children in foster care -- and improve the lives of those who remain in care. Decades of front-line experience make us exceptionally qualified to identify various improvements in child welfare practices, and help states and counties implement them. We promote these changes by providing nonpartisan research to members of Congress, state legislators and other policymakers so they may craft laws and policies to better the lives of children in foster care and their families. The foundation, established by United Parcel Service founder Jim Casey, is headquartered in Seattle.

For more information, visit our Web site at www.casey.org.

Contact Casey Family Programs at info@casey.org, 206-282-7300, or 1300 Dexter Ave. N., Floor 3,

Seattle, WA 98109.

-- In Georgia, children who have had lengthy stays in foster care are, at last, finding a way out because of the state's ingenuity and resolve. And How Are the Children? features the story of a teenager's emotional reunion with a man who is providing the child a way out by becoming his legal guardian. -- In Santa Clara, Calif., the child welfare system is entering the homes -- and hearts -- of vulnerable families to give them a better chance to succeed while keeping children safe at home. And How Are the Children? features the story of a couple with three small children who are availing themselves of community services in order to become stronger parents.

SOURCE Casey Family Programs
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