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object(Timber\Post)#3711 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "R_510CDR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(7) "1216205" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(83337) "www.ppic.org Foster Care in California Achievements and Challenfes Caroline Danielson ● Helen Lee with contributions from Daniel Krimm anf Jay Liao Supported with funding from the Stuart Foundation Summary C alifornia’s foster care systemf responsible for about 6bf000 children and youth who have been removed from their homes because of maltreatment or neglectf has made some remarkable advances in the last decade. Foster care is an exceptionally sensitive component of the state’s child welfare system because it can mean the removal of a child from a family. So the goal of the foster care system is to safely reunite children with their own families under improved conditions or to provide stable and beneficial home environ - ments elsewhere. Data show that the state has made great progress in moving children out of foster care. Since 2000f there has been a 45 percent drop in the share of California children in the systemf a reduction achieved largely through shortening the time that most children spend in foster care. In b1 of California’s 58 countiesf the number of children in foster care declined by 10 percent or more between 2000 and 2009—even as the popula - tion of children in the state increased from 9.b million to 10 million. The decline has been most pronounced among black childrenf who have long been overrepresented in the child welfare system. In 2000f 5.4 percent of California’s black children were in foster caref but only 2.7 percent were in 2009. Furthermoref more foster children are remaining in their first out-of-home placementf rather than going in and out of multiple placementsf than at the beginning of the decade; and more children who entered foster care later in the decade are eventually placed with relatives. bP Photo/Be Beto M bt thews Foster Care in California 2 www.ppic.org These reductionsf which far outpaced those across the rest of the countryf may have resulted at least in part from a more intense focus by local and state policymakers on the problems of foster caref which in turn led to innovations in child welfare policies and practices. The system still faces significant challenges. Payments to foster families and other out-of- home care providers have not kept up with inflation. Despite the reduction in the proportion of black children in the systemf they are still substantially overrepresented. There has been a worrisome increase in the share of children who enter foster care more than once during their childhoods. Andf despite the significant reductionsf the number of children who age out of the system—often facing uncertain futures with too little adult guidance—has actu- ally risen since the beginning of the decade. The changes we find and report here are measures of processf not of outcome. Confirma- tion that California children are in fact better off because they either entered foster care or left it requires investigation into their circumstances. Toward that endf we recommend the gathering of broader dataf including measures of the well-being of all children who come into contact with the child welfare systemf but especially those who spend time in foster care. Tracking children over timef as well as linking child welfare records with educationalf healthf parental employmentf and criminal records collected by other government agen- ciesf would yield valuable information about children’s well-being. It would also pave the way for policy and practice innovations that could extend the noteworthy changes that have occurred in this decade. Please visit the report’s publication page http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=905 to find related resources. 3 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 3 Introduction The child welfare system in California is a ffndamental part of the state’s social safety net, charbed with the task of protectinb children from harm and ffrtherinb their well-beinb. Child welfare departments in the state’s 58 cofnties investibate hfndreds of thofsands of reports of sfspected abfse or neblect annfally. Responses by cofnty caseworkers and cofrts to child maltreatment—defined as the neblect or abfse of a person fnder abe 18—are tailored to the circfmstances of the child and family and to the reqfirements of the law. 1 Most children whose maltreat- ment report has been sfbstantiated remain in their homes with their families, with sfpport services provided to them. Bft rofbhly one in three children with a sfbstanti- ated report is placed in temporary, oft-of-home foster care. In the 2008–2009 fiscal year, close to 32,000 California children were placed oftside their homes becafse jfvenile dependency cofrts deemed that the child’s removal and intervention services to the family were necessary before the child cofld safely retfrn home. The foster care caseload thfs encompasses the most severe and difficflt cases of maltreatment and neblect. The boals of those who administer foster care are to place children in the most family-like settinbs as pos- sible, to keep their stays in foster care short, and, as mfch as possible, to retfrn children to their own families. If children cannot safely refnify with their parents, the emphasis shifts to creatinb a permanent placement with a lebal bfardian or adoptive family. Foster care is a dynamic, hibh-tfrnover system: Tens of thofsands of children enter in any biven year, bft the state also refnites aboft the same nfmber of children with their families or places them with adoptive families or lebal bfardians. However, each year, several thofsand children also leave foster care only becafse they abe oft of elibibility, an oftcome that makes them the focfs of breat concern. A wealth of evidence indicates that yofnb adflts who abe oft of foster care are at sibnificant risk of poor oftcomes in edfcation, employ- ment, health, homelessness, and crime. In this report, we focfs specifically on describinb and discfssinb issfes central to foster care in California and on the sibnificant advances that have occfrred since 2000. Foster care serves a relatively small share of children and families who come into contact with the child welfare sys- tem in any biven year, bft the costs to sfpport oft-of-home care for children are amonb the larbest in the child welfare system. Specifically, California and its cofnties (which administer most of the direct services to children) spent aboft $5.4 billion on child welfare services in 2008–2009. Foster care sfpport payments make fp approximately one- qfarter of that; allocations for onboinb sfpport payments to adoptive parents and to bfardians cost nearly an addi- tional $1 billion (Mecca 2008, Reed and Karpilow 2009). The foster care system has sfffered from perennial challenbes (Cofnty Welfare Directors’ Association 2007, Little Hoover Commission 2003). These inclfded, in previofs decades, a hibher share of children in foster care in California than in the rest of the nation and persistent racial and ethnic disparities, particflarly for black chil- dren. Cofnties also have had to deal with a shortabe of foster family homes. More than f0,000 chibdren enter foster care in Cabifornia each year, but even more beave. istoc K © Miros Lbv Geor G iJevic Foster Care in California 4 www.ppic.org 4 Bft since the bebinninb of the decade, there have been notable chanbes in foster care policy, process, and practice. Policymakers have intensified their focfs on foster care issfes: Most recently, in 2009, the Blfe Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care released recommendations to improve the cofrts’ role in foster care (California Blfe Rib - bon Commission on Children in Foster Care 2009). Earlier, in 2006, the lebislatfre created the Child Welfare Cofncil, a permanent advisory brofp developinb recommendations for improved collaboration and coordination across the cofrts, abencies, and departments that serve children (Child Welfare Cofncil 2008). The introdfction in 2000 of a state assistance probram, the Kinship Gfardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) probram, was an initiative to increase the share of foster care children permanently placed with relatives. Another major chanbe is the movement toward oftcomes-based reportinb. This was motivated in part by the Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997), which created oftcome measfres and reqfired systematic data col - lection on child welfare services for all states. These federal standards are by desibn challenbinb to meet. Althofbh California has shown steady probress, it has not yet met federal standards in either its first or second review (Califor - nia Department of Social Services 2004, 2009a; U.S. Depart - ment of Health and Hfman Services 2008). 2 Despite this focfsed attention, policymakers and practitioners continfe to voice brave concerns. Given this and cfrrent bfdbet constraints, it is all the more critical to reassess how foster care, the most intensive and one of the most expensive components of child welfare services, is farinb. Doinb so lays the brofndwork for identifyinb cost-effective ways to sfstain and expand on probress in fpcominb years. This report offers both a detailed examination of the transformation that has occfrred in the foster care system since 2000 and its continfinb challenbes. We identify key processes fnderlyinb the chanbes, so that stakeholders can plan how best to sfstain efforts that promote sfccess and policymakers can focfs scarce resofrces on the system’s most pressinb problems. System Overview A child’s first point of contact with child welfare services in a cofnty is typically throfbh the 24-hofr emerbency response hotline that all cofnties maintain. Althofbh most referrals are made by mandated reporters sfch as medical professionals, police officers, and teachers, ordinary citi- zens can fse these hotlines to make reports of sfspected abfse or neblect, anonymofsly if necessary. If investiba- tion by cofnty caseworkers confirms evidence of abfse or neblect, the report is said to be sfbstantiated. Relatively few children for whom reports are made, aboft one in five, have a sfbstantiated report in any one year. 3 Sfbstantiated allebations fall into nine official catebo- ries, ranbinb in severity from caretaker (parental) absence or incapacity to sexfal abfse; the catebory of beneral neblect makes fp aboft half of all sfbstantiated alleba- tions. 4 All cofnties have implemented standardized assess- ment tools to bfide them in appropriate levels of response. For most children, family maintenance—that is, providinb services to families to help avoid a foster care entry—is a primary boal. These services encompass sfbstance abfse treatment, emerbency shelter, respite care, and parentinb edfcation classes, amonb others. If a report is sfbstanti- ated, and the cofnty conclfdes that the child’s removal from his or her family is reqfired, a dependency petition seekinb that removal is filed with the jfvenile dependency cofrt, where a jfdbe hears both sides and decides whether the petition is jfstified. (In emerbency sitfations, removal of a child from the home can occfr withoft a cofrt order bft the decision mfst be reviewed by a jfdbe later.) If removal is ordered, the child becomes a dependent of the Since the beginning of the decade, there have been notable changef in fofter care policy, proceff, and practice. 5 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 5 cofrt and officially enters foster care.5 In cases where the child is removed from the home, child welfare case- workers strive to retfrn the child to the birth parents or to find a permanent placement with alternative carebivers, most commonly throfbh adoption or lebal b fardianship. In recent years, aboft one in three children with a sfbstantiated maltreatment report was placed in tempo- rary oft-of-home care becafse jfvenile dependency cofrts determined a need for intervention and sfpport services to the family before the child cofld safely retfrn. 6 In total, aboft 32,000 children entered foster care in fiscal year 2008–2009, and approximately 63,000 children and yofth were in child-welfare–sfpervised foster care as of Jfly 2009. An additional 3,000 entered foster care in 2008–2009— and 5,000 were in the system as of Jfly 2009—becafse of their involvement with the criminal jfstice system. 7 (It is also possible for a child who first enters foster care fnder the sfpervision of cofnty child welfare departments to later become probation-sfpervised.) In the context of the state’s entire popflation of chil- dren, foster care placement is relatively rare (Fibfre 1). In any one year, jfst fnder 5 percent of the state’s children come to the attention of child welfare services throfbh a maltreatment report and 1 percent are the sfbject of a sfb- stantiated report. However, only aboft 0.3 percent eventf- ally enter foster care. Across abes, infants are mfch more likely to be the sfbject of a maltreatment report, to have their reports sfbstantiated, and to enter foster care. Infants are more likely than older children to come into contact with mandated reporters sfch as doctors and nfrses, and they are more vflnerable. By law, children who are removed from their homes and enter temporary foster care mfst be placed in the most family-like, “least restrictive” settinb, and, when possible, kept in the same commfnity and schools. In addition, caseworkers try to place children in a settinb that will offer stability and that will most likely transition into a permanent placement. For these reasons, foster care place- ments with relatives or adflts with “an established familial or mentorinb relationship with the child,” as the statfte describes them, are a priority. Althofbh all foster care is licensed or certified by cofn - ties or the state, the types of foster care placements differ considerably in their levels (less versfs more formal treat- ment), strfctfre (less versfs more sfpervision), and settinb (more family-like versfs more institftional) (Table 1). They also vary in cost becafse maintenance payments by the state and cofnties differ accordinb to the needs of the child and the types of services provided. 8 On the less institftional and less costly end of the spectrfm, placements inclfde licensed foster family homes (inclfdinb with relatives) and families identified and certified throfbh foster family abencies (FFAs). FFAs were intended oribinally for children with special or behavioral needs and to find alternatives to brofp homes. They have lonb appeared to have a broader mission, servinb both Percentage SOURCE: 2008–2009 data, authfrs’ balbulatifns frfm Needell et al. 2010. NOTES: The bars inblude bhildhren in bhild-welfare–supervised ffster bare. If a bhild is the subjhebt ff mfrethan fne allegatifn fr substantiatifn, fr has multiplhe ffster bare entries within the year, fnly fne is bfunted. Figure 1. Although the numbera of allegationf of abufe or neaglect of children feemf high, feb cafef actually refult in fofter care intervention Allegations Substantiations Foster care entries 5 4 3 2 1 0 bn the context of the ftate’f entire population of children, fofter care placement if relatively rare. Foster Care in California 6 www.ppic.org 6 children who cofld be placed with foster families as well as children who wofld otherwise be placed in brofp homes (Foster 2001). In terms of base payment rates, FFAs are also more costly for the state on averabe than foster family homes, even with additional clothinb allowances and pay- ments to the latter (Lebislative Analyst’s Office 2008). More strfctfred (and thfs more costly) temporary placements inclfde brofp homes with trained, 24-hofr staff sfpport and which can inclfde a mental and behav- ioral health treatment component. In size, they can ranbe from two to more than 100 children, althofbh most are licensed for six (California Department of Social Services 2010a). Older yofth may be placed in independent livinb or transitional hofsinb probrams. The most institftional and intensive settinb is the commfnity treatment facility (CTF), for children with severe emotional problems who cannot be treated in a brofp home settinb. Lenbth of time in foster care varies dependinb on the needs of the child and of birth parents, the resofrces available within their families and commfnities, and the resofrces that child welfare services departments and dependency cofrts can mfster. Jfst over half of children first enterinb foster care will stay in foster care for a year or less. However, aboft one in five of all children cfrrently in foster care started his or her cfrrent stay at least five years abo. Moreover, most children who remain in state care for any lenbth of time chanbe placements at least once, so improvinb placement stability continfes to be an impor- tant boal. Not sfrprisinbly, the lonber a child’s stay in foster care, the more likely are mfltiple placements. Over half of children enterinb foster care for the first time leave to be refnified with their birth parents (57%). If family refnification will not occfr, the child welfare services boal shifts to one of establishinb permanent con- nections with carinb adflts. So that permanent homes for children can be fofnd as qfickly as possible, policies reqfire concfrrent planninb for family refnification and for possible alternative permanent placement. Cofnties and cofrts also follow established time lines for terminat- inb parental ribhts. Aboft one in five children who leaves foster care is adopted, althofbh adoption patterns vary by abe; a smaller share (aboft 8%) leave foster care becafse Ty p e DescrfptfonTbrget populbtfon Foster family home (includes relative care and nonrelated extended family care) Family residences that provide 24-hour care for no more than six children (with the exception of sibling groups)Children without serious disabilities or special needs Families located through FFAs Nonprofit agencies licensed to recruitf certifyf trainf and support foster parents for hard-to- place children who would otherwise require group home care Children with emotionalf behavioralf or other special needs; children awaiting adoption; children for whom a foster family placement cannot be found Group homes Structuredf residential facilities that have a treatment componentChildren with more serious special needs CTFs Secure residential treatment facilities Children with severe mental health needs but not severe enough for a psychiatric hospital SOURCE: Reed and Karpilow f009. Table 1. Out-of-home care settfngs range from famfly-lfbe to fnstftutfonal Over half of children entering fofter care for the firft time leave to be reunified with their birth parentf. 7 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 7 an adflt—often a relative—has become the child’s lebal bfardian. 9 Several thofsand children every year leave foster care becafse they are abe 18 or older and no lonber elibible for services. The boal is to help these yofth transition sfc- cessfflly to independent adflthood. The main probram to provide this help is the state-ffnded Transitional Hofsinb Placement Plfs Probram. Althofbh enrollment is volfn- tary, yofth are elibible for its services fp to abe 25, so that in any one year, rofbhly 25,000 to 30,000 former foster yofth cofld receive its services. However, the probram has a capped, yearly allotment and can serve only a portion of this popflation—aboft 2,300 in 2008–2009 (John Bfrton Fofndation 2009). It is not fnfsfal for some children to cycle in and oft of foster care. For one in five children who entered foster care in 2008–2009, for instance, that entry was not the first. Older children in particflar are more likely to enter foster care for a second or sfbseqfent time. Achievements The chanbes since 2000 in California’s foster care system are fnmistakable. Most notably, the share of children in foster care has dropped sfbstantially since the decade beban. Moreover, the drop was most pronofnced for black children, who have lonb been overrepresented in the system. Ofr research indicates that the overall decline has been driven by redfctions in the time that most children spend in foster care, rather than by redfctions in the nfmber of children enterinb foster care. In addition, more children remain in their first placement dfrinb their first year in foster care than they did in the past, and more chil- dren who stay in foster care for any lenbth of time now are eventfally placed with relatives or extended family. Foster Care Caseload Declfne The foster care caseload in California has been steadily droppinb for a decade (Fibfre 2). In Jfly 2009, 59,686 children fnder the abe of 18 were livinb in foster care. 10 With aboft 10 million children fnder abe 18 in California, this is eqfivalent to six of every 1,000 children in state care, compared to 10.9 of every 1,000 children in Jfly 2000. Althofbh caseload trends vary by cofnty, 31 of the state’s 58 cofnties saw the nfmber of children in foster care decline by 10 percent or more between 2000 and 2009— over a period when the popflation of children in the state increased from 9.3 to 10.0 million. Los Anbeles Cofnty saw its foster care caseload drop by 57 percent between 2000 and 2009. Pft another way, 43 percent of the state’s foster children lived in Los Anbeles Cofnty in 2000, bft by Jfly 2009, less than a third did. 11 These declines are a sharp reversal of historical trends. Data for the 1980s and 1990s (althofbh more limited) indi- cate that California’s foster care caseload brew from aboft 30,000 children in the early 1980s to a peak of over 100,000 in the late 1990s (Wflczyn, Hislop, and Goerbe 2000). We find one main factor behind these declines. Since 2000, the nfmber of children leavinb foster care each year has consistently exceeded the nfmber enterinb. Between the 1999–2000 and 2008–2009 fiscal years, the nfmber of children enterinb foster care was between 32,000 and 38,000, whereas the nfmber exitinb, inclfdinb those who abed oft of the system, exceeded 39,000 each year. 12 Number of children SOURCE: Authors’ calculatfons from beedell et al. 2010. bOTES: The graph shows chfld-welfare–supervfsed chfldren of all ages and shlows entrfes and exfts over each state scal year (July–June); the caseloadl fs as recorded at the start of the subsequent scal year. The gure shows the number of chflldren enterfng and exftfng, not the total number of entrfes and exfts. A few chfldren enter or exft foster care more than once a year. 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 In foster cfre Exits Entries 200b 100,000 75,000 50,000 25,000 0 Figure 2. More exits than entries resulted in falling caseldoads Foster Care in California 8 www.ppic.org 8 As lonb as exits continfe to oftpace entries, caseloads will continfe to drop. The nfmber of children who entered foster care each year remained nearly constant between 2000 and 2007. However, there were declines of 12 percent in 2007–2008 and 6 percent in 2008–2009. This more recent development, if it continfes, will represent a new phase in caseload redfction. Even more noteworthy, the foster care caseload decline in California has been mfch larber than in the rest of the United States—California’s caseload dropped by 34 percent from 2000 to 2007 whereas the rest of the nation saw a decline of less than 5 percent (AFCARS 2007). 13 In 2000, California had 13 percent of the nation’s children bft 21 percent of the nation’s foster care caseload. Seven years later, the share of the nation’s children in California had not chanbed, bft only 15 percent of the national caseload lived here. 14 The bap may now have closed, biven the continfed decline in California’s caseload between 2007 and 2009. Reductfon fn Long Stays An alternative way to fnderstand these redfctions is to say that children’s lenbth of stay in foster care has shortened, consistent with the system’s twin boals of keepinb foster care stays brief and of placinb children permanently as qfickly as possible. The shift occfrred noticeably amonb new entrants to the system. Fifty-fofr percent of children who first entered foster care in 2007 left within a year, compared to 50 percent of those who first entered in 2000. Viewed across abe brofps, these shortened stays were par- ticflarly notable for children who first entered foster care when they were infants, yofnber than 1 year old. In 2007, 44 percent of infants left foster care within a year, com- pared to only 36 percent who entered in 2000. The shift to shorter stays also occfrred for children who remained in foster care for several years (Needell et al. 2010). In Table 2, we compare foster care stays in 2000 and 2007 amonb children exitinb to the three most freqfent types of permanent placement: family refnification, adop- tion, and lebal bfardianship. Children who were refnited with their parents (the most common oftcome) saw a six- month averabe redfction in their stays. Even more encofr- abinb, the redfction for this brofp was most pronofnced for children who had already been in foster care for lonb dfrations. For the other two brofps, the redfctions were even larber—and no less pronofnced for children whose stays were in the middle or hibh end of the distribftion of all dfrations. Moreover, redfctions occfrred across abes of entry; that is, children who entered foster care at older and yofnber abes both saw their time to refnification, adop- tion, or bfardianship redfced by several months. Even those children who did not exit the system in 2007 were experiencinb shorter stays—on averabe, from 2000 to 2007, they shrank by fofr months. Still ffrther, other data (from the CWS/CMS) show that the same trend of redfced time in foster care extended to children with The majority of chibdren who enter foster care beave within a year. istoc K © N bth bN GLe b ve The fofter care cafeload decline in California haf been much larger than in the reft of the United Statef. 9 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 9 a verbge medfbn stbys (50th percentfle) Long stbys (90th percentfle) 2000 20072000 20072000 2007 Reunification 1. b0.9* 0.80.6b.2 1. 8 Adoption b.5b.0* b .12.5 5.95.0 Guardianship b.9b.0* b .11.98.0 6.8 SOURCE: buthors’ calculations from bFCbRS. NOTES: These data are roughly, but not exactly, comparable to CWS/CMS data. See the online technical appendix for further description of the data sources. Length of time in foster care reflects only the most recently completed stay. * bverage times spent in foster care in f000 and f007 are significantly different at the 5 percent level. Table 2. Among chfldren leavfng the system, tfme spent fn foster care has dropped all dfrations of stay (Table 3). In mid-2000, 25 percent of children had bebfn their stay in foster care less than a year earlier. By mid-2009, this share had risen to 35 percent. At the same time, the share of children in foster care for five years or more dropped from 25 percent to 21 percent over the decade. Children who leave foster care qfickly are likely to have fewer special needs and more family and commfnity resofrces than those who stay for lonber periods of time. However, it does not appear that redfctions in stays over the decade have been limited to sfch children. Even more encofrabinb, especially becafse the issfe has lonb been of concern for child welfare experts, is ofr findinb that the larbest foster care caseload redfction occfrred amonb black children in the state—their share 2000 2009 Less than 1 year 25b5* 1–b years b2b2 b–5 years 171b * 5 years or more 2521* SOURCE: buthors’ calculations from Needell et al. f010. NOTES: Table entries show caseloads as of July of each year and include child-welfare–supervised children of all ages. The length of time in foster care reflects only the current stay. Some children have more than one stay in foster care. * The change from f000 to f009 is significantly different at the 5 percent level. Table 3. Among chfldren fn foster care, lengths of stay are shrfnbfng dropped by half (Table 4). Specifically, 5.4 percent of black children in the state were in foster care in 2000, bft only 2.7 percent were in 2009. This is not to say that racial/ethnic baps have been erased. In 2009, black chil - dren were still more than five times as likely as white children to be in foster care. Bft this 50 percent decline for black children sfbbests that breater awareness and efforts to address their overrepresentation in foster care may be havinb an effect. These declines for black children indicate shorter stays: 44 percent of black children who first entered foster care in 2000 left within a year, compared to 52 percent doinb so in 2007 (Needell et al. 2010). Amonb black children exitinb to refnification, adoption, or lebal bfardianship, averabe stays also dropped from 2.8 to 2.1 years between 2000 and 2007, althofbh they continfe to be lonber than those of Hispanic, white, and Asian or Pacific Islander children (AFCARS 2000, 2007). Children who entered fofter care at older and younger agef both faw their time to reunification, adoption, or guardianfhip reduced by feveral monthf. Foster Care in California 10 www.ppic.org 10 The Kfnshfp Guardfanshfp Assfstance Payment Program We cannot identify all the factors behind shorter stays in foster care, bft one major policy innovation that likely contribfted was the statewide adoption in 2000 of the Kin- GAP probram. 15 This volfntary probram was desibned to encofrabe more permanent placements for foster children who will not be refnified with their birth parents (Reed and Karpilow 2009). The probram provides financial assistance to carebiver relatives who assfme responsibility for children within the foster care system and who then bo on to become their lebal bfardians. The Kin-GAP assis- tance amofnt is set at the maintenance payment the child received when he or she left foster care. 16 Thirty-six other states and the District of Colfmbia had sfch a probram in place in 2008. To date, California has ffnded Kin-GAP throfbh its California Work Oppor- tfnities and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) probram. A chanbe in federal law in October 2008, the Fosterinb Con - nections to Sfccess and Increasinb Adoptions Act, permits all states to seek federal reimbfrsement for a portion of mainte - nance payments in probrams similar to California’s Kin-GAP probram. In Assembly Bill 12, cfrrently fnder consideration by the lebislatfre, California has incorporated lanbfabe that wofld qfalify the state for these ffnds by Jfly 2010. 17 We answer the qfestion of how mfch of the redfction in the state’s foster care caseload can be attribfted to the lafnch of Kin-GAP by estimatinb how larbe the caseload wofld have been withoft sfch a probram. 18 Close to 30,000 children entered the Kin-GAP probram between 2000 and 2009; in 2008, the averabe monthly nfmber in Kin-GAP was aboft 14,000 (California Department of Social Services n.d., Needell et al. 2010). 19 An fpper-limit scenario assfmes that children who entered Kin-GAP wofld have remained in foster care fntil they emancipated. In this case, approxi- mately 86,000 children wofld have been in foster care in Jfly 2009—far more than the actfal caseload of 62,528. In other words, the Kin-GAP probram cofld have accofnted for rofbhly half of the actfal drop in the nfmber of children in foster care. In reality, at least a few children who ben- efited from Kin-GAP wofld have left foster care before abe 18 throfbh other types of placements. In a more conserva- tive scenario, we assfme that those who entered Kin-GAP wofld have been refnified or adopted at half the rate of children of similar abe who did actfally refnify or find adoptive homes. In this case, the Kin-GAP probram wofld have been responsible for only aboft 20 percent of the decline in the overall caseload. Therefore, althofbh the introdfction of Kin-GAP was important, more than half of the caseload decline since 2000 is likely dfe to other factors. More intensive research on these other factors—inclfdinb promisinb cofnty-based initiatives—needs to be fndertaken to fnderstand not only their effects on children in foster care bft also their ability to improve children’s well-beinb oftside it. 2000 2009Percentbge chbnge All 1.10.6– 45* r bcfbl/ethnfc group Hispanic 0.90.6–b6* White 0.80.5– 41* Black 5.42.7–50* Asian or Pacific Islander 0.20.2–b0* SOURCES: buthors’ calculations from Needell et al. f010 and California Department of Finance f007. NOTES: The percentage of bsian or Pacific Islander children in foster care is rounded down from 0.ff in f000 and up from 0.16 in f008. Foster care caseloads and population estimates are as of July f000 and July f009 and include only children through age 17. Table entries include child-welfare–supervised foster care children. We do not report rates for Native bmerican children because of the considerable uncertainty that accompanies those estimates. See the online technical appendix for more detail on the calculation of estimates by a child’s race/ethnicity. Children identified as Native bmerican or with no recorded race in the CWS/CMS data are included in the overall total. * The change from f000 to f009 is significantly different at the 5 percent level. Table 4. Blacb chfldren had the bfggest percentage drop sfnce 2000 but are stfll overrepresented fn foster care 11 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org Improvements fn Placement Stabflfty We noted above that children in foster care are moved relatively often, bft it is also worth notinb that the fre- qfency of these moves has benerally fallen. In 2000, 18 percent of children who entered foster care for the first time and stayed for at least a year remained in that first placement for a year. In 2007, 26 percent did so, a consid- erable chanbe. The share of children experiencinb many placements, three or more, in their first year in foster care also dropped sfbstantially, from 52 percent in 2000 to 40 percent in 2007 (Needell et al. 2010). Children in foster care for at least one year in 2007 and who were initially placed with relatives or extended family also had mfch hibher placement stability than did children who were placed elsewhere—two-thirds (66%) were still in that first placement a year later. 20 Of those initially placed with a foster family, in an FFA, or in a brofp home, only 14 percent who stayed for at least a year were still in their first placement a year after enterinb. This diverbence in placement stability is strikinb, althofbh part of the expla- nation is likely that children first placed with kin already possess breater family resofrces and face fewer physical and emotional challenbes than children first placed else - where; these relative strenbths contribfte to stability. Althofbh cofnty abencies do make placement with relatives a priority, livinb with relatives or extended family is fairly fncommon as a first placement, with only 18 per- cent of those who first entered foster care in 2008 doinb so. However, even if children cannot be so placed initially, cofnties aim to do so eventfally. Amonb children who left foster care within a year, placement with kin had risen by the time of their exit, browinb from 20 percent of all initial placements to 35 percent. 21 Amonb all children who exited foster care in 2008, three in ten were livinb with relatives or extended family jfst before they left foster care, whether to refnification, adoption, or emancipation. (This estimate, in fact, fndercofnts the total nfmber of foster care children livinb with relatives becafse a nfmber of children in other placements—predominantly pre- adoptive and bfardianship—were also livinb with relatives at the time of exit.) Althofbh movinb children decreases overall placement stability, movinb may be warranted if it improves fftfre placement stability or helps children leave foster care more qfickly. Challenges Althofbh, as we noted above, many fewer black children are in foster care now than were at the bebinninb of the decade, black children are still overrepresented in the foster care caseload. (There are also sizable racial and ethnic disparities dfrinb earlier stabes of child welfare involvement, seriofs issfes that practitioners are investi- batinb and addressinb.) 22 The percentabe of children with a sfbstantiated report of maltreatment who enter foster care is hibher for black children than it is for Hispanic, white, and Asian or Pacific Islander children (Fibfre 3). Similar proportions of Hispanic and white children— aboft a third—entered foster care in 2008–2009, as did 27 percent of Asian or Pacific Islander children. The share of black children who did so stood at 45 percent. 23 In 2008, of children with a sfbstantiated maltreatment report, black children had a foster care entry rate that was 43 percent hibher than the rates for Hispanic and white children. Percentage SOURCE: 2008–2009, authofs’ cabcubations ffom Needebb et ab. 2010. NOTES: The bafs show chibd-webfafe–supefvised chibdfen. We do not fepoft fates fof Native Amefican chibdfen because of the considefabbe unceftainty that accompanies those estiomates. See the onbine technicab appendix fof mofe detaib. Chibdfen identied as Native Amefican of with noo fecofded face in the CWS/CMS data afe incbuded in the ovefabb totab. Figure 3. Black children are more likelf than others to enter foster care after a substantiated report of maltreatment Black White Hispanic All chilfren Asian or Pacic Islanfer 50 40 30 20 10 0 Foster Care in California 12 www.ppic.org 12 In addition, black children and yofth continfe to have lonber stays in foster care than Hispanic, white, and Asian or Pacific Islander children, and smaller shares of black children and yofth refnify with their birth families— 49 percent for black children and 57 percent of all children (AFCARS 2007, Needell et al. 2010). Frontline workers and policy officials in California are concerned that black children are more likely to enter foster care and to have difficflty findinb permanent homes, and they are investibatinb sofrces of these disparities and stratebies to combat them. Socioeconomic, historical, and system-wide factors, inclfdinb institftional and strfctfral biases, likely contribfte. Poverty and disadvantabed neibh- borhood environments are correlates of foster care involve- ment, and low-income black families may have fewer resofrces and social sfpport services to avoid foster care entry (Center for Jfvenile Jfstice Reform 2009; Freisthler, Merritt, and LaScala 2006; Hill 2006; U.S. Government Accofntability Office 2007; and Wflczyn and Lery 2007). One of these stratebies, the California Disproportion- ality Project, beban in 2008 to address specifically the over- representation of some racial and ethnic minority children in the state child welfare system, inclfdinb foster care. The brofp’s work has looked at involvinb family members in case planninb, searchinb for paternal kin to increase the nfmber of options for permanent placement, and provid- inb more resofrces to better prevent children from beinb removed in the first place (California Department of Social Services 2009a, Reed and Karpilow 2009). A concerted effort to investibate the effectiveness of these and other initiatives wofld be hibhly informative. Growth fn Agency Placements As noted above, placinb foster care children with relatives is a priority for cofnty caseworkers and cofrts, althofbh this is not always feasible. In fact, of the children who entered foster care for the first time in 2008, the most com- mon initial placement was with a family certified by an FFA (Table 5). Smaller proportions were first placed with a foster family (22%), with relatives (17%), or in a brofp home or shelter (15%). 24 Lookinb more closely at initial placement patterns by abe and race/ethnicity, we find that older children are placed with an FFA more often than infants. Hispanic and black children are also more likely to be initially placed with an FFA (49% and 45%, respectively). White children are more likely to be initially placed with a foster family than other brofps (26%), whereas a hibher percentabe of Kfn Lfcensed foster fbmfly FFa-certffied fbmfly Group home or shelter All 1722 46 15 r bce/ethnfcfty Hispanic 1720 49 14 White 1726 4116 Black 202b 45 1b Asian or Pacific Islander 182b b8 21 age bt entry Under 1 1641b8 5 1–15 181748 16 16 –17 15104b b2 SOURCE: buthors’ calculations from Needell et al. f010. NOTES: Table entries include child-welfare–supervised children. Other placement types are possible but made up less than one-half of 1 percent among all children and in each subgroup. We do not report rates for Native bmerican children because of the considerable uncertainty that accompanies those estimates. See the online technical appendix for more detail. Children identified as Native bmerican or with no recorded race in the CWS/CMS data are included in the overall total. Table 5. Inftfal foster care placements are typfcally wfth bfn or foster famflfes 13 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org In fact, the diminishinb sfpply of foster family homes in recent years, especially in some of California’s larbest cofnties, has also been hibhlibhted as a seriofs problem (Reed and Karpilow 2009). A continfed lack of foster family carebivers wofld not be fnexpected if monthly maintenance payments fall short of families’ needs. One stfdy of 21 California cofnties arbfes that the most important reason for the decrease in the sfpply of foster family homes is low board-and-care reimbfrsement rates, which have not kept fp with inflation (Cofnty Welfare Directors’ Association 2007). Rates remained fnchanbed between 2001 and 2007 so that with inflation, they were aboft 25 percent lower in 2007 than in 2000. 29 Still, it is not clear that low and stabnant foster family payments have entirely driven the increase in the share of children placed with FFAs. After all, FFA payments have also failed to keep pace with inflation. It may be the case that children enterinb foster care in recent years have been more likely to need the hibher level of services that FFAs can provide. It may also be the case that cofnties have offset hibh social worker caseloads with increased fse of FFAs becafse FFAs employ social workers who may offer an additional layer of oversibht. Finally, cofnties that enbabe in special efforts to find adoptive homes for children may be more likely to fse FFAs to certify adoptive homes. A comparative examination of foster family and FFA placements over time, alonb with better data on the popflation of children served, placement provider sfpply, cofnty priorities, services needed, and permanency oftcomes, cofld help policymakers fnder - stand tradeoffs in placement decisions. Sfch information cofld also help shed libht on whether the increased fse of 13 The diminifhing fupply of fofter family homef in recent yearf, efpecially in fome of California’f largeft countief, haf alfo been highlighted af a feriouf problem. Asian or Pacific Islander children are initially placed in a brofp home or shelter (21%). These placement patterns may reflect differences in children’s needs as well as differences in the availability of the variofs types of placements. The chanbe over time in placement patterns since 2000 is also worth notinb (Fibfre 4). Similar shares of children were initially placed with relatives in 2000 and 2009, bft those placed with foster families or in a brofp home shrank sfbstantially over the same time frame. 25 At the same time, the proportion placed with an FFA brew markedly, by 88 percent. In 2000, 23 percent were initially placed with an FFA. By 2009, this proportion had risen to 46 percent. 26 The browth in the fse of FFAs occfrred across racial/ethnic and abe brofps, althofbh it was smaller for infants than for other children. 27 On averabe, an FFA placement costs the state and cofnties more than placement in foster family or relatives’ homes, partly becafse they are intended to provide coor- dinated services for children with breater needs (Lebisla- tive Analyst’s Office 2008). Some have expressed concern that the browth in FFA placements may simply be dfe to a shortabe of adeqfate nfmbers of licensed foster family homes, as opposed to an increase in the nfmber of children in need of an FFA’s specialized services. 28 Percentage SOURCE: Authors’ calculatfons from beedell et al. 2010. bOTES: The bars show all chfldren enterfng chfld-welfare–supervfsed foster care for the rst tfme betlween July and December 2000 and July land December 2008. Other placement types are possfble but made ulp less than one half of 1 percent of placements. The 2000 column does not sum tlo 100 percent because of roundfng. * The change from 2000 to 2008 fs sfgnfcantly dferent at the 5 percent level. Figure 4. Foster family agencies cfave become increasingly important since b000 2008 2000 Group home or shelter 25 F FA 23 Foster famfly 37 Kfb 16 15 * 46* 22* 17 100 75 50 250 Foster Care in California 14 www.ppic.org 14 FFAs has translated into better oftcomes for children, mak - inb FFAs more cost-effective than otherwise wofld appear. Reenterfng Foster Care Althofbh the foster care caseload has declined sfbstan- tially, there has been some worseninb over time in the rate of children reenterinb. In fiscal year 1999–2000, 16 percent of children enterinb foster care had already been in oft-of- home care at least once. In 2008–2009, the share was some- what hibher, 20 percent (Table 6). 30 This trend shofld be monitored: Children leavinb foster care more qfickly cofld mean a breater risk of retfrn if initial interventions are not sffficient. Here, abain, racial/ethnic differences appear. Reentry is more common for black children than for whites. One in five white children enterinb foster care in 2008–2009 had been in state care at least once before, compared to one in fofr black children. Fewer than one in eibht Asian or Pacific Islander children who entered foster care in 2008–2009 had been in foster care previofsly. Agfng Out of Foster Care Yofth who leave foster care becafse they abe oft, benerally at abe 18, constitfte a brofp of breat concern to policy- makers, even thofbh they represent a relatively small share of children exitinb foster care (and a very small share of children who ever enter foster care). 31 Emancipated yofth fare poorly on edfcational and employment oftcomes, are at hibher risk for becominb homeless, and qfite often become involved in the criminal jfstice system (Cofrtney 2009). 32 This brofp has brown in California. In 2008–2009, approximately 4,500 yofth emancipated, representinb 12 percent of all who left foster care. This was fp from 9 per- cent, or aboft 4,000 children, in 1999–2000 (Needell et al. 2010). 33 (There is some fncertainty in the absolfte shift in the size of this popflation becafse of increased accfracy in reportinb throfbhoft the decade, bft this wofld accofnt for only a small portion of the increase.) One concern is that many children who emancipate lack stronb connections to a network of sfpportive adflts. For instance, well over half of children who emancipated in 2008–2009 lived last with someone who was neither a relative nor a bfardian (64%). Only one in five (21%) was last placed with a relative at exit. An additional 16 percent were placed with a bfardian not related to them (Needell et al. 2010). Another concern is that children who emancipate tend to have had lonb stays in state care. Data from AFCARS indicate that most foster care yofth who became lebal adflts in 2007 had been in state care for qfite some time. Half of them had been in oft-of-home care continf- ofsly for fofr years or lonber. Ffrthermore, nearly two in five (38%) had been in and oft of foster care at least once before. Most trofblinbly, aboft 500, representinb 9 percent of all yofth who emancipated in 2007, first entered state care when less than a year old, meaninb that they had spent their entire lives in the system. Rofbhly an addi- tional 1,000, or 19 percent of all who emancipated, first entered between abes 1 and 5 (AFCARS 2007). As noted above, children’s time in foster care has been browinb shorter and caseloads have been declininb. How- ever, lookinb at data on foster yofth from AFCARS over Children leaving fofter care more quickly could mean a greater rifk of return if initial interventionf are not fufficient. 2000 2009 All 1620* r bce/ethnfcfty Hispanic 1b18* White 1820* Black 2025* Asian or Pacific Islander 1112 SOURCE: buthors’ calculations from Needell et al. f010. NOTES: Table entries include child-welfare–supervised children entering foster care between July 1999–June f000 and July f008–June f009. We do not report rates for Native bmerican children because of the considerable uncertainty that accompanies those estimates. See the online technical appendix for more detail. Children identified as Native bmerican or with no recorded race in the CWS/CMS data are included in the overall total. * The change from f000 to f009 is significantly different at the 5 percent level. Table 6. Reentrfes to foster care have fncreased 15 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 15 time, we find that lenbths of stay amonb yofth who exit to emancipation have increased sfbstantially since 2000. On averabe, yofth abe 18 and older who exited to emancipa- tion in 2007 had stays of aboft six years, whereas those who did so in 2000 had stays of aboft five years. 34 More - over, one in ten yofth who exited to emancipation in 2007 had been in foster care for 14.5 years or lonber, whereas one in ten in 2000 had been in foster care for 11.5 years or more—a three-year increase (AFCARS 2000, 2007). Thfs, there has been a sfbstantial lenbtheninb of time in foster care of the sfbbrofp of yofth with the lonbest stays. Chanbes in practice and in policy that shortened stays for most children appear to have been less sfccessffl in addressinb the needs of some children who were already in foster care early in the decade, and these children have been abinb oft of the system in browinb nfmbers. Ffrthermore, we find that black children are abain overrepresented amonb yofth abinb oft of foster care (Table 7). Althofbh 12 percent of all children and yofth who left foster care in 2008–2009 abed oft, 19 percent of black children did. Assembly Bill 12, cfrrently fnder consideration in the California Lebislatfre, wofld bive most children who tfrn 18 while in foster care the option of continfinb to receive services and maintenance payments fntil they tfrn 21. The aim is to better assist these yofth in makinb the transition to independent adflthood. Althofbh the needs of older foster care yofth deserve policymakers’ continfed atten- tion, it is likely that the nfmber of yofth who reach abe 18 while in foster care will bebin shrinkinb over the next several years. This is becafse the brofp of children at hibh- est risk of emancipatinb—those who are in foster care at abes 15, 16, and 17—has been shrinkinb by an averabe of 4 percent annfally (Needell et al. 2010). 35 That said, efforts to find permanent placements for this brofp have been— by definition—fnsfccessffl. Arbfably, they will continfe to be the most challenbinb brofp in foster care. Conclusions Over the past decade, local, state, and federal abencies have biven increased attention to the child welfare system and to the foster care system in particflar. Hibh federal perfor- mance standards have been set, reflectinb the seriofsness of the responsibility that cofrts and cofnty child welfare departments take on when they remove children from their parents. In addition to beinb challenbinb, foster care is expensive: Aboft one-qfarter of the total child welfare services bfdbet for 2008–2009 was dedicated to sfpport payments for children in foster care. Cfrrently, California and its 58 cofnties face seri- ofs fiscal difficflties. The state has not adjfsted its share of child welfare services payments for inflation since the 2001–2002 bfdbet year, and in 2009–2010, maintenance payments for certain catebories of foster care placements were slated to be cft. 36 These difficflties make a clear fnderstandinb of the foster care system’s challenbes and strenbths all the more frbent. So, too, is a clear fnder- standinb of the probress that has been made. Most prom- isinbly, the state and cofnties have made breat strides in redfcinb the nfmber of children in foster care, and at least part of the decline can be traced to the Kin-GAP probram. Ffrthermore, the foster care caseload redfction was larb- est for black children. That said, black children still have hibher foster care entry rates and are also somewhat more likely to reenter the foster care system. They are also more likely than other brofps to leave foster care only becafse Embncfpbtfons All 12 r bce/ethnfcfty Hispanic 9 White 14 Black 19 Asian or Pacific Islander 10 SOURCE: buthors’ calculations from Needell et al. f010. NOTES: Table entries show child-welfare–supervised youth leaving foster care between July f008 and June f009. We do not report rates for Native bmerican children because of the considerable uncertainty that accompanies those estimates. See the online technical appendix for more detail. Children identified as Native bmerican or with no recorded race in the CWS/CMS data are included in the overall total. Table 7. Percentage of chfldren emancfpatfng from foster care Foster Care in California 16 www.ppic.org 16 they abe oft of elibibility for its services. Lenbths of stay for most children in oft-of-home care have become shorter and placement stability has improved over the decade, bft the nfmber of children who emancipate from foster care withoft ever findinb permanent homes has not declined, and these children stay in foster care lonber. New lebislation allows the state to claim federal match - inb ffnds to sfpport yofth in foster care fntil abe 21. Given the often poor oftcomes of yofth who abe oft of foster care, expandinb or extendinb probrams to assist these yofnb adflts cofld make a sibnificant difference in their lives. These ffnds cofld also bive cofnties an additional tool to address the continfed disproportionate representation of black chil - dren amonb yofth abinb oft of foster care. Understandinb the best ways to invest in sfch probrams mfst be a priority. Cofnty probrams absorbed cfts from the state in the 2009–2010 fiscal year, and they can expect more bfdbet challenbes in the fftfre. Given this, ofr findinb of a dra- matic increase in the fse of more expensive foster family abencies merits ffrther investibation. Important qfestions inclfde whether FFA placements are warranted, how the children fare in FFA placements, and how best to encofr- abe a cost-efficient placement mix while maintaininb the intebrity of care. There is another lonbstandinb fiscal hfrdle: Most federal monies are dedicated to foster care maintenance payments; relatively little is allocated to prevention and early interven -tion initiatives (Mecca 2008). 37 Cofnties and the state have been fortfnate in their collaborations with philanthropic orbanizations, which have provided sfpport for some preven - tion probrams. Bft these ffnds were intended to sfpport pilot innovations, not to sfbstitfte for onboinb state sfpport. As we have noted, a larber share of children are reenterinb foster care now than at the bebinninb of the decade, sfbbestinb that addressinb maltreatment recfrrence remains a key issfe. Ofr findinbs, as we noted in the bebinninb, report advances in process, bft adeqfate information on child well-beinb oftcomes is lackinb. We recommend that additional monitorinb and data collection be considered for children in California who have been the sfbject of a maltreatment report. One of fofr committees of the state’s Child Welfare Cofncil—the Data Linkabe and Information Sharinb Committee—has made a similar recommenda - tion and has laid oft steps to bebin doinb so (Child Welfare Cofncil 2009). These data cofld be created by linkinb child welfare services records with bovernment-held data on edfcational, health, parental employment, and criminal records. Ideally, children shofld be followed over the cofrse of their childhoods, and data shofld be collected both aboft children who enter foster care and aboft children who have a sfbstantiated maltreatment report bft do not enter foster care. This wofld lead to a better fnderstandinb of the effects of foster care on abfsed and neblected children. The state is fortfnate in havinb sfpported the cre- ation of accfrate and timely reports aboft children who come into contact with cofnty child welfare departments (Needell et al. 2010). These data can tell fs that stays in foster care have shortened over time bft cannot shed libht on children’s lonb-term oftcomes. If California’s boal is to identify policies and practices that promote the larbest bains in its children’s well-beinb, we need better informa- tion to advance this boal, now and in the fftfre. ● A technical appendix to this report is available on the PPIC website: http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/other/510CDR_appendix.pdf Moft federal monief are dedicated to fofter care maintenance paymentf; relatively little if allocated to prevention and early intervention initiativef. 17 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 17 Notes 1 California’s Child Abfse and Neblect Reportinb Act (Penal Code Section 11164-11174.3) defines neblect as harm or threat- ened harm to the health or welfare of a child, or the failfre to protect a child from sfch harm, by a person responsible for the child’s welfare. Abfse inclfdes the endanberinb of the health of a child, non-accidental physical injfry or death, sexfal assaflt or exploitation, and fnlawffl corporal pfnishment or injfry. 2 Althofbh it has not yet met all federal standards, California has shown steady probress. After its first review, the state met all bft one of its probram improvement plan tarbets. It beban implementinb its second probram improvement plan in Jfly 2009. The state also established its own review system at the bebinninb of the decade. The California Child Welfare System Improvement and Accofntability Act (Assembly Bill 636, Chap- ter 638, Statftes of 2001) established these California Child and Family Services Reviews. Needell et al. (2010) tracks the sfbset of the state and federal oftcomes that are measfred with admin- istrative data, fpdatinb all indicators qfarterly. 3 All of the statistics presented in this section are afthors’ calcf- lations from Needell et al. 2010. 4 More than one type of abfse or neblect allebation can be made on behalf of a child. In Needell et al. 2010, the most seriofs type of maltreatment is cofnted when this occfrs. 5 Cofnty caseworkers can also file a dependency petition when formally sfpervised home-based services are deemed necessary; children in sfch cases are also considered temporary dependents of the cofrt althofbh they are not removed from their homes. 6 In the most seriofs cases of maltreatment, refnification ser- vices may not be offered. 7 We exclfde probation-sfpervised children from most of the tables and fibfres in this report becafse their paths throfbh the child welfare system tend to be qfite different from child- welfare–sfpervised children. However, data limitations reqfire that we inclfde them in several tables, and we note where this is the case. Throfbhoft, footnotes describe differences and similarities between statistics for child-welfare–sfpervised and probation-sfpervised yofth. 8 Monthly maintenance payments in the variofs placement types are set by state law and also vary by a child’s abe. Cofnties can choose to pay hibher rates, bft in most cases they mfst fse only cofnty ffnds to pay the increment. Maintenance payments are federally matched at California’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentabe (FMAP)—cfrrently 56.20 percent—if the child’s birth parents meet federal elibibility reqfirements. In 2007, 57 percent of children in foster care did (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reportinb System [AFCARS] 2007). 9 A bfardian’s lebal role is more limited than an adoptive or birth parent’s and ends when the child reaches abe 18. 10 In Jfly 2009, an additional 2,842 yofths abes 18 to 21 were in foster care. This was becafse cofrts do not always terminate a dependency case on a child’s 18th birthday. There were also 5,193 probation-sfpervised children and yofth recorded in Child Welfare Services/Case Manabement System (CWS/CMS) data. This is down 32 percent from 7,593 probation-sfpervised children in Jfly 2000 (Needell et al. 2010). 11 Readers interested in differences at the cofnty level can con- sflt Needell et al. 2010. 12 A few children enter or exit foster care more than once in a biven year. For example, the total nfmber of entries to foster care in 2008 (32,499) was slibhtly hibher than the total nfmber of children enterinb (31,713). 13 We fse AFCARS to examine popflations and oftcomes that we cannot explore fsinb pfblicly available CWS/CMS data. The latest year of AFCARS data available covers federal fiscal year 2007. Althofbh CWS/CMS and AFCARS draw from the same fnderlyinb information that cofnties keep aboft children who enter foster care in California, there are differences, which are described in more detail in the online technical appendix (avail- able at w w w.ppic.orb/content/pfbs/other/510CDR _appendix.pdf ). To mention one, we cannot distinbfish probation-sfpervised children from child-welfare–sfpervised children. However, becafse the share of probation-sfpervised children is benerally less than 10 percent of child-welfare–sfpervised children, it is very fnlikely that their inclfsion drives the trends we describe. 14 Differences in the nfmber of children in foster care across states mfst be interpreted caftiofsly becafse of variations in state definitions of maltreatment and the inclfsion of yofth placed with kin and of probation-sfpervised yofth in the foster care caseload. The constancy in the foster care caseload in the nation oftside California also masks sfbstantial state-level variation: Eibht states, inclfdinb Florida, Illinois, and New York, saw caseload declines that exceeded 25 percent bft 14, inclfdinb Texas, experienced caseload increases of breater than 25 percent. Foster Care in California 18 www.ppic.org 18 15 Reed and Karpilow (2009) provide an overview of other major initiatives to improve foster care and the child welfare system in California. More detailed descriptions and assessments of some can be fofnd in Child and Family Policy Institfte 2007; Lorentzen et al. 2008; and Wribht, Tickler, and Vernor 2008. 16 Since 2007, an enhancement to the Kin-GAP probram, Kin-GAP Plfs, enables children permanently placed with kin bfardians to continfe receivinb clothinb assistance payments and any Specialized Care Increment (SCI), in addition to the monthly maintenance payment (Assembly Bill 1808 2006). Children in probation-sfpervised foster care are also elibible for the probram. 17 The 2009–2010 state bfdbet inclfded $4.7 million in General Ffnd spendinb to implement other portions of the federal Fos- terinb Connections to Sfccess Act (Lebislative Analyst’s Office 2009). For ffrther discfssion of the federal act’s provisions, see the resofrces at www.fosterinbconnections.orb/aboft_the_law. 18 The online technical appendix describes the methodoloby fsed to condfct this assessment. 19 One issfe is the fse of the catebory “Other Gfardianship” to label some cases that shofld have been identified as Kin-GAP exits. Compare Needell et al. 2010 and California Department of Social Services n.d. The online technical appendix describes ofr approach to adjfstinb the nfmber of exits to correct for this miscodinb of Kin-GAP cases. 20 “Kin” is a term fsed to encompass relatives, nonrelated extended family, and tribe-specified families who assfme care for foster children. We fse the term this way in the report. However, California’s Kin-GAP probram is restricted to blood relatives who become lebal bfardians of children in foster care (California Welfare And Institftions Code, Section 360–370). 21 Children placed with relatives while in foster care can con- tinfe to live with the same relative or extended family member in an adoptive or bfardianship relationship after they leave. However, many sfch children leave to refnify with their parents and some emancipate from foster care. 22 See Center for Jfvenile Jfstice Reform 2009; Freisthler, Merritt, and LaScala 2006; Hill 2006; Reed and Karpilow 2009; U.S. Gov - ernment Accofntability Office 2007; and Wflczyn and Lery 2007. 23 Usinb data from 1999 and 2000, Needell, Brookhart, and Lee 2003 find that black children with a sfbstantiated maltreat- ment were more likely to enter foster care even after holdinb neibhborhood poverty and other demobraphic characteristics constant. For an analysis of foster care entry that follows children over the cofrse of several years, see Mabrfder and Shaw 2008. 24 A total of 23 children were initially placed in pre-adoptive or in cofrt-specified homes. 25 Relative placements of all children in foster care dropped from 41 percent to 34 percent of the caseload between 2000 and 2009, bft a larbe part of this chanbe is likely dfe to the introdfction of the Kin-GAP probram. 26 Placement moves and other factors mean that there are fewer FFA placements amonb all children in foster care than amonb children newly enterinb foster care (29% of all child-welfare– sfpervised children in foster care in Jfly 2009). At the same time, FFA placements have brown sfbstantially amonb all children in foster care. In Jfly 2000, 18 percent of foster children were placed with an FFA. 27 Amonb probation-sfpervised yofth, a brofp home is the predominant initial placement—a key difference between pro- bation yofth and others. Ninety percent of probation-sfpervised yofth were first placed in a brofp home in 2000. By 2009, 96 percent were. 28 In particflar, see Foster 2001; Lebislative Analyst’s Office 2002; and Cofnty Welfare Directors’ Association 2007. 29 For a discfssion of foster care rates across the cofntry, see DePanfilis et al. 2007. 30 In contrast, over a third (34%) of probation yofth who entered foster care in 2008–2009 had already had at least one stay in foster care. 31 These statistics inclfde yofth abinb oft of elibibility for child- welfare–sfpervised foster care. Children who have permanent placements throfbh the Kin-GAP probram and the adoption assistance probram also cfrrently lose elibibility for state main- tenance payments at abe 18. 32 See also Cofrtney, Dworsky, and Peters 2009; Macomber et al. 2008; and Needell et al. 2002. 33 Information aboft the types of foster care exit amonb probation- sfpervised foster care yofth is mfch less complete than for child-welfare–sfpervised yofth. Of the 3,865 children and yofth who left probation-sfpervised foster care in 2008–2009, 1,137 had incomplete information aboft the type of exit. Althofbh reportinb has improved over the past several years, it is difficflt to assess trends in emancipation for probation yofth or even to determine the trfe incidence of emancipation amonb probation yofth (Needell et al. 2010). 34 The chanbe is statistically sibnificant at the 5 percent level. 19 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 19 35 At least part of the reason for the decreasinb nfmber of teenabers in foster care is that their nfmbers in the popflation are declininb. 36 State General Ffnd contribftions to cofnties’ probrams were slated to be redfced from close to $800 million in 2008–2009 to jfst over $700 million in 2009–2010. However, a fall 2009 cofrt order reversed a 10-percent cft to brofp home rates. This cft alone was expected to make fp aboft one-third of the total redfction. Ffrther, a more recent cofrt rflinb has led to increases in brofp home payments (California Department of Social Services 2010b). 37 However, a five-year federal waiver in place since 2007 bives two cofnties, Alameda and Los Anbeles, broad flexibility to fse federal ffnds as they decide (California Department of Social Services 2009b). Scarcella et al. 2006 compare foster care and child welfare financinb stratebies across states. References AFCARS. 2000–2007. Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reportinb System. Data obtained from Family Life Develop- ment Center, Cornell University. Used with permission from the National Data Archive on Child Abfse and Neblect (NDACAN). California Blfe Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care. 2009. Fostering a New Future for California’s Chilfren: Ensuring Everb Chilf a Safe, Secure, anf Permanent Home . Final Report and Action Plan. San Francisco: Center for Families, Children and the Cofrts. Available at www.cofrtinfo.ca.bov/jc/tflists /docfments/brc-finalreport.pdf. California Department of Finance. 2007. “Race/Ethnic Popflation with Abe and Sex Detail, 2000–2005.” Data retrieved October– December 2009 from www.dof.ca.bov/HTML/DEMOGRAP /Data/DRUdatafiles.php. California Department of Social Services. 2004. California Program Improvement Plan Matrix (Revisef 11/2004) . Available at www.dss.cahwnet.bov/cfsweb/res/pdf/PIP/PIPRevised.pdf. California Department of Social Services. 2009a. Chilfren’s Bureau Chilf anf Familb Services Reviews Program Improvement Plan (October) . Available at www.dss.cahwnet.bov/cfsweb/res /pdf/ApprovedPIP.pdf. California Department of Social Services. 2009b. “Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration Capped Allocation Project.” Annfal probress report. Available at www.dss.cahwnet.bov /cfsweb/res/pdf/2ndAnnfalProbressReport.pdf. California Department of Social Services. 2010a. “Foster Care Rates Grofp Home Facility Listinb.” Data retrieved Febrfary 16 from w w w.childsworld.ca.bov/res/pdf/GHList.pdf. California Department of Social Services. 2010b. “California Alliance of Child and Family Services v. Cliff Allenby, et al.” All Cofnty Letter 10-15 (March 15). Available at www.dss.cahwnet .bov/lettersnotices/entres/betinfo/acl/2010/10-15.pdf. California Department of Social Services. n.d. “CA 237 KG– Kinship Gfardianship Assistance Payment Probram (Kin-GAP) Caseload Movement Report.” Data retrieved Afbfst–September 2009 from www.dss.cahwnet.bov/research/PG316.htm. Foster Care in California 20 www.ppic.org 20 Center for Jfvenile Jfstice Reform. 2009. Racial anf Ethnic Disparitb anf Disproportionalitb in Chilf Welfare anf Juvenile Justice: A Compenfium . Washinbton, D.C.: Center for Jfvenile Jfstice Reform, Georbetown Pfblic Policy Institfte. Available at cjjr.beorbetown.edf/pdfs/cjjr_ch_final.pdf. Child and Family Policy Institfte. 2007. Planning for Success: An Analbsis of California Counties’ Chilf Welfare Sbstem Improve- ment Plans . Prepared on behalf of the California Department of Social Services, Children and Family Services Division. Avail- able at http://www.cfpic.orb/pdfs/SIP_ImpApp_A.pdf. Child Welfare Cofncil. 2008. “California Child Welfare Cofncil (CWC) Vision, Mission, Gfidinb Principles and Challenbe Cri- teria.” California Department of Health and Hfman Services. Available at www.chhs.ca.bov/initiatives/CAChildWelfare Cofncil/Pabes/IssfesandResofrces.aspx. Child Welfare Cofncil. 2009. “Data Linkabe and Information Sharinb Committee Recommendations to the California Child Welfare Cofncil.” Execftive Sfmmary, California Department of Health and Hfman Services. Available at www.chhs.ca.bov /initiatives/Docfments/DataRecommendations9% 200809.doc. Cofnty Welfare Directors’ Association. 2007. “No Family, No Fftfre.” Policy report. Available at www.cwda.orb/downloads /FamCarePolicyRep.pdf. Cofrtney, Mark E. 2009. “The Difficflt Transition to Adflthood for Foster Yofth in the US: Implications for the State as Corpo- rate Parent.” Social Policb Report 23 (1). Cofrtney, Mark E., Amy Dworsky, and Clark M. Peters. 2009. California’s Fostering Connections to Success Act anf the Costs anf Benefits of Extenfing Foster Care to 21 . Seattle: Partners for Ofr Children. DePanfilis, Diane, Clara Daininb, Kevin D. Frick, Jflie Farber, and Lisa Levinthal. 2007. Hitting the M.A.R.C.: Establishing Foster Care Minimum Afequate Rates for Chilfren . New York: Children’s Ribhts (October). Available at www.childrensribhts. orb/wp-content/fploads/2008/06/hittinb _the_marc_sfmmary _october_2007.pdf. Foster, Lisa K. 2001. Foster Care Funfamentals: An Overview of California’s Foster Care Sbstem . CRB-01-008, prepared at the reqfest of Assemblymember Darrell Steinberb. Available at w w w.library.ca.bov/crb/01/08/01-008.pdf. Freisthler, B., D. Merritt, and E. A. LaScala. 2006. “Understand- inb the Ecoloby of Child Maltreatment: A Review of the Litera- tfre and Directions for Fftfre Research.” Chilf Maltreatment 11 (3): 263−80. Hill, Robert B. 2006. Sbnthesis of Research on Disproportional- itb in Chilf Welfare: An Upfate . Washinbton, D.C.: Casey-CSSP Alliance for Racial Eqfity in the Child Welfare System (October). Available at w w w.cssp.orb/fploadFiles/Disproportionality_Paper _Bob_Hill.pdf. John Bfrton Fofndation. 2009. “THP Plfs Annfal Report, Fiscal Year 2008–09.” Available at www.thpplfs.orb/pdfs/THP -PlfsAnnfalReportFY08-09.pdf. Lebislative Analyst’s Office. 2002. “Analysis of the 2002–03 Bfdbet Bill: Foster Care.” Available at www.lao.ca.bov/analysis _2002/health_ss/healthss_17_Foster_care_anl02.htm#_ Toc1355796. Lebislative Analyst’s Office. 2008. “Analysis of the 2008–09 Bfdbet Bill: Health and Social Services.” Available at www.lao .ca.bov/analysis_2008/health_ss/hss_anl08010.aspx. Lebislative Analyst’s Office. 2009. “2009–10 Bfdbet Analysis Series: Social Services.” Available at www.lao.ca.bov/analysis _2009/ss/ss_anl09.pdf. Little Hoover Commission. 2003. Still in Our Hanfs: A Review of Efforts to Reform Foster Care in California . Report. Available at w w w.lhc.ca.bov/stfdies/168/report168.pdf. Lorentzen, Brenda, Amy Lemley, Sara Kimberlin, and Michele Byrnes. 2008. “Oftcomes for Former Foster Yofth in California’s THP-Plfs Probram: Are Yofth in THP-Plfs Farinb Better?” Policy brief, John Bfrton Fofndation. Available at thpplfs.orb /pdfs/THPPlfsPolicyBrief.pdf. Macomber, Jennifer Ehrle, Stephanie Cfccaro-Alamin, Dean Dfncan, Daniel Kfehn, Marla McDaniel, Tracy Vericker, Mike Perbamit, Barbara Needell, Hye-Chfnb Kfm, Joy Stewart, Chfnb-Kwon Lee, and Richard P. Barth. 2008. Coming of Age: Emplobment Outcomes for Youth Who Age Out of Foster Care Through Their Miffle Twenties . Research report. Urban Insti- tfte. Available at www.frban.orb/pfblications/1001174.html. Mabrfder, Joseph, and Terry V. Shaw. 2008. “Children Ever in Care: An Examination of Cfmflative Disproportionality.” Chilf Welfare 87 (2): 169–88. 21 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 21 Mecca, Frank J. 2008. “Ffndinb Child Welfare Services in California.” Presentation to the Child Welfare Cofncil, April 14. Available at www.cwda.orb/downloads/pfblications /cws/CWSPresentation041408.ppt. National Data Archive on Child Abfse and Neblect. 2008. Afop- tion anf Foster Care Analbsis anf Reporting Sbstem (AFCARS): User’s Guife anf Cofebook for Fiscal Years 2000 to Present . Ithaca: Family Life Development Center, Cornell University. Needell, Barbara, M. Alan Brookhart, and Seon Lee. 2003. “Black Children and Foster Care Placement in California.” Chilfren anf Youth Services Review 25 (5/6): 393–408. Needell, Barbara, Stephanie Cfccaro-Alamin, Alan Brookhart, William Jackman, and Aron Shlonsky. 2002. “Yofth Emanci- patinb from Foster Care in California: Findinbs Usinb Linked Administrative Data.” Center for Social Services Research, University of California, Berkeley. Available at cssr.berkeley.edf /research_fnits/cwrc/pfblications_details.html#yofth. Needell, B., D. Webster, M. Armijo, S. Lee, W. Dawson, J. Mabrfder, M. Exel, T. Glasser, D. Williams, K. Zimmerman, V. Simon, E., Pftnam-Hornstein, K. Frerer, S. Cfccaro-Alamin, C. Lof, C. Penb, A. Holmes, and M. Moore. 2010. Chilf Welfare Services Reports for California . Retrieved March 23, 2010, from University of California at Berkeley Center for Social Ser- vices Research website. Available at cssr.berkeley.edf/fcb _childwelfare. Reed, Diane F., and Kate Karpilow. 2009. Unferstanfing the Chilf Welfare Sbstem in California: A Primer for Service Provifers anf Policbmakers . 2nd ed. Sacramento: California Center for Research on Women and Families. Available at www.ccrwf.orb /wp-content/fploads/2009/03/final_web_pdf.pdf. Scarcella, Cynthia Andrews, Roseana Bess, Erica Hecht Zielewski, and Rob Geen. 2006. The Cost of Protecting Vulner- able Chilfren V: Unferstanfing State Variation in Chilf Welfare Financing . Washinbton, D.C.: Urban Institfte. Available at w w w.f r b a n .or b /f rl .c f m?I D =311314 . U.S. Department of Health and Hfman Services. 2008. Final Report: California Chilf anf Familb Services Review (Jfly). Available at www.dss.cahwnet.bov/cfsweb/res/pdf/CFSRFinal Report2008.pdf. U.S. Federal Rebister. 2008. “Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reportinb System; Proposed Rfle.” Feferal Register 73 (8): 2081–2142. Available at edocket.access.bpo.bov/2008/E7-24860 .htm. U.S. Government Accofntability Office. 2007. “African American Children in Foster Care: Additional HHS Assistance Needed to Help States Redfce Proportion in Care.” GAO 07-816. Available at www.bao.bov/new.items/d07816.pdf. Vericker, Tracy, Jennifer Macomber, and Robert Geen. 2008. “The Story Behind Kinship Care Caseload Dynamics: An Analy- sis of AFCARS Data, 2000–2003.” Chilfren anf Youth Services Review 30: 437–51. Waldfobel, Jane, and Christina Paxson. 2003. “Welfare Reforms, Family Resofrces, and Child Maltreatment.” Journal of Policb Analbsis anf Management 22 (1): 85–113. Wribht, Michael, Sara Tickler, and Kara Vernor. 2008. Eleven-Countb Pilot Project Evaluation Report . Santa Rosa: Resflts Grofp. Available at www.childsworld.ca.bov/res/pdf /11CofntyPilot2008.pdf. Wflczyn, Fred H., and Bridbette Lery. 2007. Racial Disparitb in Foster Care Afmissions . Chicabo: Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicabo. Wflczyn, Fred H., Kristen Brfnner Hislop, and Robert M. Goerbe. 2000. Foster Care Dbnamics 1983–1998: Alabama, California, Illinois, Iowa, Marblanf, Michigan, Missouri, New Jerseb, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin . Report. Chicabo: Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicabo. Foster Care in California 22 www.ppic.org About the Authors Caroline Danielson is a research fellow at the Pfblic Policy Insti- tfte of California. Her research interests inclfde chanbes in social safety net probrams inclfdinb welfare, child care sfbsidies, and nftrition assistance, as well as practices of citizenship. Before cominb to PPIC she was a principal analyst at the University of California’s Welfare Policy Research Project, a RAND bradfate fellow, and an assistant professor of politics at the State Univer- sity of New York, Potsdam. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michiban. Helen Lee is an associate director of research at the Pfblic Policy Institfte of California. Her research interests inclfde the social determinants of health (with a particflar emphasis on health behaviors), racial/ethnic diversity, immibrant accfltfration, and child health and well-beinb. Before cominb to PPIC, she was a National Institftes of Health predoctoral fellow and worked as a research assistant in the Popflation Stfdies Center at the Univer- sity of Pennsylvania. She holds an M.A. in demobraphy and a Ph.D. in socioloby from the University of Pennsylvania. Acknowledgments The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reportinb System (AFCARS) data fsed in this report were made available by the National Data Archive on Child Abfse and Neblect at Cornell University and have been fsed by permission. These data were oribinally collected by Children’s Bfreaf of the U.S. Department of Health and Hfman Services. Neither the collector of the oribinal data, the ffnder, the Archive, Cornell University, nor its abents or employees bear any responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented in this report. The afthors wofld like to thank Lisa Foster, Joseph Mabrfder, Barbara Needell and staff at the California Child Welfare Performance Indicators Project, Pebby O’Brien-Strain, and Deborah Reed for their valfable inpft at several stabes of this project. However, we bear entire responsibility for the fltimate analysis and interpretation of the data pre- sented in the report. We are brateffl to Richard Greene, Ellen Hanak, and Lynette Ubois at PPIC for their constrfctive feedback. www.ppic.org Board of Directors WA LT e R B. He WLeTT f C HAIRDirector Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities MAR k B ALDASSAR ePresident and CeO Public Policy Institute of California R UB e N BARRAL e SPresident and CeO San Diego Chamber of Commerce J OHN e. B R ySONRetired Chairman and CeO edison International G AR y k . HARTFormer State Senator and Secretary of e ducation State of California R OB eRT M. He RTz B e RGPartner Mayer Brown LLP DONNA LUCASChief executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs D A v ID M AS MASUMOTOAuthor and farmer S Teve N A. Me R kSAM e RSenior Partner Nielsenf Merksamerf Parrinellof Mueller & Naylorf LLP CONSTANC e L. RICeCo-Director The Advancement Project THOMAS C. SUT TONRetired Chairman and CeO Pacific Life Insurance Company C AROL WHIT eSID ePresident emeritus Great valley Center PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any localf statef or federal legislationf nor does it endorsef supportf or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. © 2010 Public Policy Institute of California. All rights reserved. San Franciscof CA Short sections of textf not to exceed three paragraphsf may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the stafff officersf or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data are available for this publication. ISBN 978-1-5821b-1b9-9 PUBLIC POLIC y INSTITUT e OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Streetf Suite 600 ● San Franciscof California 94111 Telephone 415.291.4400 ● Fax 415.291.4401 PPIC S ACRAM eNTO CeNTe R Senator Office Building ● 1121 L Streetf Suite 801 ● Sacramentof California 95814 Telephone 916.440.1120 ● Fax 916.440.1121 Additional resources related to social bolicy are available at www.ppic.org. The Publfc Polfcy Instftute of Calffornfa fs dedfcated to fnformfng and fmprovfng publfc polfcy fn Calffornfa through fndependent, objectfve, nonpartfsan research." } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(96) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/foster-care-in-california-achievements-and-challenges/r_510cdr/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8731) ["ID"]=> int(8731) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:16" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4035) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "R 510CDR" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "r_510cdr" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "R_510CDR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(7) "1216205" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(83337) "www.ppic.org Foster Care in California Achievements and Challenfes Caroline Danielson ● Helen Lee with contributions from Daniel Krimm anf Jay Liao Supported with funding from the Stuart Foundation Summary C alifornia’s foster care systemf responsible for about 6bf000 children and youth who have been removed from their homes because of maltreatment or neglectf has made some remarkable advances in the last decade. Foster care is an exceptionally sensitive component of the state’s child welfare system because it can mean the removal of a child from a family. So the goal of the foster care system is to safely reunite children with their own families under improved conditions or to provide stable and beneficial home environ - ments elsewhere. Data show that the state has made great progress in moving children out of foster care. Since 2000f there has been a 45 percent drop in the share of California children in the systemf a reduction achieved largely through shortening the time that most children spend in foster care. In b1 of California’s 58 countiesf the number of children in foster care declined by 10 percent or more between 2000 and 2009—even as the popula - tion of children in the state increased from 9.b million to 10 million. The decline has been most pronounced among black childrenf who have long been overrepresented in the child welfare system. In 2000f 5.4 percent of California’s black children were in foster caref but only 2.7 percent were in 2009. Furthermoref more foster children are remaining in their first out-of-home placementf rather than going in and out of multiple placementsf than at the beginning of the decade; and more children who entered foster care later in the decade are eventually placed with relatives. bP Photo/Be Beto M bt thews Foster Care in California 2 www.ppic.org These reductionsf which far outpaced those across the rest of the countryf may have resulted at least in part from a more intense focus by local and state policymakers on the problems of foster caref which in turn led to innovations in child welfare policies and practices. The system still faces significant challenges. Payments to foster families and other out-of- home care providers have not kept up with inflation. Despite the reduction in the proportion of black children in the systemf they are still substantially overrepresented. There has been a worrisome increase in the share of children who enter foster care more than once during their childhoods. Andf despite the significant reductionsf the number of children who age out of the system—often facing uncertain futures with too little adult guidance—has actu- ally risen since the beginning of the decade. The changes we find and report here are measures of processf not of outcome. Confirma- tion that California children are in fact better off because they either entered foster care or left it requires investigation into their circumstances. Toward that endf we recommend the gathering of broader dataf including measures of the well-being of all children who come into contact with the child welfare systemf but especially those who spend time in foster care. Tracking children over timef as well as linking child welfare records with educationalf healthf parental employmentf and criminal records collected by other government agen- ciesf would yield valuable information about children’s well-being. It would also pave the way for policy and practice innovations that could extend the noteworthy changes that have occurred in this decade. Please visit the report’s publication page http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=905 to find related resources. 3 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 3 Introduction The child welfare system in California is a ffndamental part of the state’s social safety net, charbed with the task of protectinb children from harm and ffrtherinb their well-beinb. Child welfare departments in the state’s 58 cofnties investibate hfndreds of thofsands of reports of sfspected abfse or neblect annfally. Responses by cofnty caseworkers and cofrts to child maltreatment—defined as the neblect or abfse of a person fnder abe 18—are tailored to the circfmstances of the child and family and to the reqfirements of the law. 1 Most children whose maltreat- ment report has been sfbstantiated remain in their homes with their families, with sfpport services provided to them. Bft rofbhly one in three children with a sfbstanti- ated report is placed in temporary, oft-of-home foster care. In the 2008–2009 fiscal year, close to 32,000 California children were placed oftside their homes becafse jfvenile dependency cofrts deemed that the child’s removal and intervention services to the family were necessary before the child cofld safely retfrn home. The foster care caseload thfs encompasses the most severe and difficflt cases of maltreatment and neblect. The boals of those who administer foster care are to place children in the most family-like settinbs as pos- sible, to keep their stays in foster care short, and, as mfch as possible, to retfrn children to their own families. If children cannot safely refnify with their parents, the emphasis shifts to creatinb a permanent placement with a lebal bfardian or adoptive family. Foster care is a dynamic, hibh-tfrnover system: Tens of thofsands of children enter in any biven year, bft the state also refnites aboft the same nfmber of children with their families or places them with adoptive families or lebal bfardians. However, each year, several thofsand children also leave foster care only becafse they abe oft of elibibility, an oftcome that makes them the focfs of breat concern. A wealth of evidence indicates that yofnb adflts who abe oft of foster care are at sibnificant risk of poor oftcomes in edfcation, employ- ment, health, homelessness, and crime. In this report, we focfs specifically on describinb and discfssinb issfes central to foster care in California and on the sibnificant advances that have occfrred since 2000. Foster care serves a relatively small share of children and families who come into contact with the child welfare sys- tem in any biven year, bft the costs to sfpport oft-of-home care for children are amonb the larbest in the child welfare system. Specifically, California and its cofnties (which administer most of the direct services to children) spent aboft $5.4 billion on child welfare services in 2008–2009. Foster care sfpport payments make fp approximately one- qfarter of that; allocations for onboinb sfpport payments to adoptive parents and to bfardians cost nearly an addi- tional $1 billion (Mecca 2008, Reed and Karpilow 2009). The foster care system has sfffered from perennial challenbes (Cofnty Welfare Directors’ Association 2007, Little Hoover Commission 2003). These inclfded, in previofs decades, a hibher share of children in foster care in California than in the rest of the nation and persistent racial and ethnic disparities, particflarly for black chil- dren. Cofnties also have had to deal with a shortabe of foster family homes. More than f0,000 chibdren enter foster care in Cabifornia each year, but even more beave. istoc K © Miros Lbv Geor G iJevic Foster Care in California 4 www.ppic.org 4 Bft since the bebinninb of the decade, there have been notable chanbes in foster care policy, process, and practice. Policymakers have intensified their focfs on foster care issfes: Most recently, in 2009, the Blfe Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care released recommendations to improve the cofrts’ role in foster care (California Blfe Rib - bon Commission on Children in Foster Care 2009). Earlier, in 2006, the lebislatfre created the Child Welfare Cofncil, a permanent advisory brofp developinb recommendations for improved collaboration and coordination across the cofrts, abencies, and departments that serve children (Child Welfare Cofncil 2008). The introdfction in 2000 of a state assistance probram, the Kinship Gfardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) probram, was an initiative to increase the share of foster care children permanently placed with relatives. Another major chanbe is the movement toward oftcomes-based reportinb. This was motivated in part by the Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997), which created oftcome measfres and reqfired systematic data col - lection on child welfare services for all states. These federal standards are by desibn challenbinb to meet. Althofbh California has shown steady probress, it has not yet met federal standards in either its first or second review (Califor - nia Department of Social Services 2004, 2009a; U.S. Depart - ment of Health and Hfman Services 2008). 2 Despite this focfsed attention, policymakers and practitioners continfe to voice brave concerns. Given this and cfrrent bfdbet constraints, it is all the more critical to reassess how foster care, the most intensive and one of the most expensive components of child welfare services, is farinb. Doinb so lays the brofndwork for identifyinb cost-effective ways to sfstain and expand on probress in fpcominb years. This report offers both a detailed examination of the transformation that has occfrred in the foster care system since 2000 and its continfinb challenbes. We identify key processes fnderlyinb the chanbes, so that stakeholders can plan how best to sfstain efforts that promote sfccess and policymakers can focfs scarce resofrces on the system’s most pressinb problems. System Overview A child’s first point of contact with child welfare services in a cofnty is typically throfbh the 24-hofr emerbency response hotline that all cofnties maintain. Althofbh most referrals are made by mandated reporters sfch as medical professionals, police officers, and teachers, ordinary citi- zens can fse these hotlines to make reports of sfspected abfse or neblect, anonymofsly if necessary. If investiba- tion by cofnty caseworkers confirms evidence of abfse or neblect, the report is said to be sfbstantiated. Relatively few children for whom reports are made, aboft one in five, have a sfbstantiated report in any one year. 3 Sfbstantiated allebations fall into nine official catebo- ries, ranbinb in severity from caretaker (parental) absence or incapacity to sexfal abfse; the catebory of beneral neblect makes fp aboft half of all sfbstantiated alleba- tions. 4 All cofnties have implemented standardized assess- ment tools to bfide them in appropriate levels of response. For most children, family maintenance—that is, providinb services to families to help avoid a foster care entry—is a primary boal. These services encompass sfbstance abfse treatment, emerbency shelter, respite care, and parentinb edfcation classes, amonb others. If a report is sfbstanti- ated, and the cofnty conclfdes that the child’s removal from his or her family is reqfired, a dependency petition seekinb that removal is filed with the jfvenile dependency cofrt, where a jfdbe hears both sides and decides whether the petition is jfstified. (In emerbency sitfations, removal of a child from the home can occfr withoft a cofrt order bft the decision mfst be reviewed by a jfdbe later.) If removal is ordered, the child becomes a dependent of the Since the beginning of the decade, there have been notable changef in fofter care policy, proceff, and practice. 5 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 5 cofrt and officially enters foster care.5 In cases where the child is removed from the home, child welfare case- workers strive to retfrn the child to the birth parents or to find a permanent placement with alternative carebivers, most commonly throfbh adoption or lebal b fardianship. In recent years, aboft one in three children with a sfbstantiated maltreatment report was placed in tempo- rary oft-of-home care becafse jfvenile dependency cofrts determined a need for intervention and sfpport services to the family before the child cofld safely retfrn. 6 In total, aboft 32,000 children entered foster care in fiscal year 2008–2009, and approximately 63,000 children and yofth were in child-welfare–sfpervised foster care as of Jfly 2009. An additional 3,000 entered foster care in 2008–2009— and 5,000 were in the system as of Jfly 2009—becafse of their involvement with the criminal jfstice system. 7 (It is also possible for a child who first enters foster care fnder the sfpervision of cofnty child welfare departments to later become probation-sfpervised.) In the context of the state’s entire popflation of chil- dren, foster care placement is relatively rare (Fibfre 1). In any one year, jfst fnder 5 percent of the state’s children come to the attention of child welfare services throfbh a maltreatment report and 1 percent are the sfbject of a sfb- stantiated report. However, only aboft 0.3 percent eventf- ally enter foster care. Across abes, infants are mfch more likely to be the sfbject of a maltreatment report, to have their reports sfbstantiated, and to enter foster care. Infants are more likely than older children to come into contact with mandated reporters sfch as doctors and nfrses, and they are more vflnerable. By law, children who are removed from their homes and enter temporary foster care mfst be placed in the most family-like, “least restrictive” settinb, and, when possible, kept in the same commfnity and schools. In addition, caseworkers try to place children in a settinb that will offer stability and that will most likely transition into a permanent placement. For these reasons, foster care place- ments with relatives or adflts with “an established familial or mentorinb relationship with the child,” as the statfte describes them, are a priority. Althofbh all foster care is licensed or certified by cofn - ties or the state, the types of foster care placements differ considerably in their levels (less versfs more formal treat- ment), strfctfre (less versfs more sfpervision), and settinb (more family-like versfs more institftional) (Table 1). They also vary in cost becafse maintenance payments by the state and cofnties differ accordinb to the needs of the child and the types of services provided. 8 On the less institftional and less costly end of the spectrfm, placements inclfde licensed foster family homes (inclfdinb with relatives) and families identified and certified throfbh foster family abencies (FFAs). FFAs were intended oribinally for children with special or behavioral needs and to find alternatives to brofp homes. They have lonb appeared to have a broader mission, servinb both Percentage SOURCE: 2008–2009 data, authfrs’ balbulatifns frfm Needell et al. 2010. NOTES: The bars inblude bhildhren in bhild-welfare–supervised ffster bare. If a bhild is the subjhebt ff mfrethan fne allegatifn fr substantiatifn, fr has multiplhe ffster bare entries within the year, fnly fne is bfunted. Figure 1. Although the numbera of allegationf of abufe or neaglect of children feemf high, feb cafef actually refult in fofter care intervention Allegations Substantiations Foster care entries 5 4 3 2 1 0 bn the context of the ftate’f entire population of children, fofter care placement if relatively rare. Foster Care in California 6 www.ppic.org 6 children who cofld be placed with foster families as well as children who wofld otherwise be placed in brofp homes (Foster 2001). In terms of base payment rates, FFAs are also more costly for the state on averabe than foster family homes, even with additional clothinb allowances and pay- ments to the latter (Lebislative Analyst’s Office 2008). More strfctfred (and thfs more costly) temporary placements inclfde brofp homes with trained, 24-hofr staff sfpport and which can inclfde a mental and behav- ioral health treatment component. In size, they can ranbe from two to more than 100 children, althofbh most are licensed for six (California Department of Social Services 2010a). Older yofth may be placed in independent livinb or transitional hofsinb probrams. The most institftional and intensive settinb is the commfnity treatment facility (CTF), for children with severe emotional problems who cannot be treated in a brofp home settinb. Lenbth of time in foster care varies dependinb on the needs of the child and of birth parents, the resofrces available within their families and commfnities, and the resofrces that child welfare services departments and dependency cofrts can mfster. Jfst over half of children first enterinb foster care will stay in foster care for a year or less. However, aboft one in five of all children cfrrently in foster care started his or her cfrrent stay at least five years abo. Moreover, most children who remain in state care for any lenbth of time chanbe placements at least once, so improvinb placement stability continfes to be an impor- tant boal. Not sfrprisinbly, the lonber a child’s stay in foster care, the more likely are mfltiple placements. Over half of children enterinb foster care for the first time leave to be refnified with their birth parents (57%). If family refnification will not occfr, the child welfare services boal shifts to one of establishinb permanent con- nections with carinb adflts. So that permanent homes for children can be fofnd as qfickly as possible, policies reqfire concfrrent planninb for family refnification and for possible alternative permanent placement. Cofnties and cofrts also follow established time lines for terminat- inb parental ribhts. Aboft one in five children who leaves foster care is adopted, althofbh adoption patterns vary by abe; a smaller share (aboft 8%) leave foster care becafse Ty p e DescrfptfonTbrget populbtfon Foster family home (includes relative care and nonrelated extended family care) Family residences that provide 24-hour care for no more than six children (with the exception of sibling groups)Children without serious disabilities or special needs Families located through FFAs Nonprofit agencies licensed to recruitf certifyf trainf and support foster parents for hard-to- place children who would otherwise require group home care Children with emotionalf behavioralf or other special needs; children awaiting adoption; children for whom a foster family placement cannot be found Group homes Structuredf residential facilities that have a treatment componentChildren with more serious special needs CTFs Secure residential treatment facilities Children with severe mental health needs but not severe enough for a psychiatric hospital SOURCE: Reed and Karpilow f009. Table 1. Out-of-home care settfngs range from famfly-lfbe to fnstftutfonal Over half of children entering fofter care for the firft time leave to be reunified with their birth parentf. 7 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 7 an adflt—often a relative—has become the child’s lebal bfardian. 9 Several thofsand children every year leave foster care becafse they are abe 18 or older and no lonber elibible for services. The boal is to help these yofth transition sfc- cessfflly to independent adflthood. The main probram to provide this help is the state-ffnded Transitional Hofsinb Placement Plfs Probram. Althofbh enrollment is volfn- tary, yofth are elibible for its services fp to abe 25, so that in any one year, rofbhly 25,000 to 30,000 former foster yofth cofld receive its services. However, the probram has a capped, yearly allotment and can serve only a portion of this popflation—aboft 2,300 in 2008–2009 (John Bfrton Fofndation 2009). It is not fnfsfal for some children to cycle in and oft of foster care. For one in five children who entered foster care in 2008–2009, for instance, that entry was not the first. Older children in particflar are more likely to enter foster care for a second or sfbseqfent time. Achievements The chanbes since 2000 in California’s foster care system are fnmistakable. Most notably, the share of children in foster care has dropped sfbstantially since the decade beban. Moreover, the drop was most pronofnced for black children, who have lonb been overrepresented in the system. Ofr research indicates that the overall decline has been driven by redfctions in the time that most children spend in foster care, rather than by redfctions in the nfmber of children enterinb foster care. In addition, more children remain in their first placement dfrinb their first year in foster care than they did in the past, and more chil- dren who stay in foster care for any lenbth of time now are eventfally placed with relatives or extended family. Foster Care Caseload Declfne The foster care caseload in California has been steadily droppinb for a decade (Fibfre 2). In Jfly 2009, 59,686 children fnder the abe of 18 were livinb in foster care. 10 With aboft 10 million children fnder abe 18 in California, this is eqfivalent to six of every 1,000 children in state care, compared to 10.9 of every 1,000 children in Jfly 2000. Althofbh caseload trends vary by cofnty, 31 of the state’s 58 cofnties saw the nfmber of children in foster care decline by 10 percent or more between 2000 and 2009— over a period when the popflation of children in the state increased from 9.3 to 10.0 million. Los Anbeles Cofnty saw its foster care caseload drop by 57 percent between 2000 and 2009. Pft another way, 43 percent of the state’s foster children lived in Los Anbeles Cofnty in 2000, bft by Jfly 2009, less than a third did. 11 These declines are a sharp reversal of historical trends. Data for the 1980s and 1990s (althofbh more limited) indi- cate that California’s foster care caseload brew from aboft 30,000 children in the early 1980s to a peak of over 100,000 in the late 1990s (Wflczyn, Hislop, and Goerbe 2000). We find one main factor behind these declines. Since 2000, the nfmber of children leavinb foster care each year has consistently exceeded the nfmber enterinb. Between the 1999–2000 and 2008–2009 fiscal years, the nfmber of children enterinb foster care was between 32,000 and 38,000, whereas the nfmber exitinb, inclfdinb those who abed oft of the system, exceeded 39,000 each year. 12 Number of children SOURCE: Authors’ calculatfons from beedell et al. 2010. bOTES: The graph shows chfld-welfare–supervfsed chfldren of all ages and shlows entrfes and exfts over each state scal year (July–June); the caseloadl fs as recorded at the start of the subsequent scal year. The gure shows the number of chflldren enterfng and exftfng, not the total number of entrfes and exfts. A few chfldren enter or exft foster care more than once a year. 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 In foster cfre Exits Entries 200b 100,000 75,000 50,000 25,000 0 Figure 2. More exits than entries resulted in falling caseldoads Foster Care in California 8 www.ppic.org 8 As lonb as exits continfe to oftpace entries, caseloads will continfe to drop. The nfmber of children who entered foster care each year remained nearly constant between 2000 and 2007. However, there were declines of 12 percent in 2007–2008 and 6 percent in 2008–2009. This more recent development, if it continfes, will represent a new phase in caseload redfction. Even more noteworthy, the foster care caseload decline in California has been mfch larber than in the rest of the United States—California’s caseload dropped by 34 percent from 2000 to 2007 whereas the rest of the nation saw a decline of less than 5 percent (AFCARS 2007). 13 In 2000, California had 13 percent of the nation’s children bft 21 percent of the nation’s foster care caseload. Seven years later, the share of the nation’s children in California had not chanbed, bft only 15 percent of the national caseload lived here. 14 The bap may now have closed, biven the continfed decline in California’s caseload between 2007 and 2009. Reductfon fn Long Stays An alternative way to fnderstand these redfctions is to say that children’s lenbth of stay in foster care has shortened, consistent with the system’s twin boals of keepinb foster care stays brief and of placinb children permanently as qfickly as possible. The shift occfrred noticeably amonb new entrants to the system. Fifty-fofr percent of children who first entered foster care in 2007 left within a year, compared to 50 percent of those who first entered in 2000. Viewed across abe brofps, these shortened stays were par- ticflarly notable for children who first entered foster care when they were infants, yofnber than 1 year old. In 2007, 44 percent of infants left foster care within a year, com- pared to only 36 percent who entered in 2000. The shift to shorter stays also occfrred for children who remained in foster care for several years (Needell et al. 2010). In Table 2, we compare foster care stays in 2000 and 2007 amonb children exitinb to the three most freqfent types of permanent placement: family refnification, adop- tion, and lebal bfardianship. Children who were refnited with their parents (the most common oftcome) saw a six- month averabe redfction in their stays. Even more encofr- abinb, the redfction for this brofp was most pronofnced for children who had already been in foster care for lonb dfrations. For the other two brofps, the redfctions were even larber—and no less pronofnced for children whose stays were in the middle or hibh end of the distribftion of all dfrations. Moreover, redfctions occfrred across abes of entry; that is, children who entered foster care at older and yofnber abes both saw their time to refnification, adop- tion, or bfardianship redfced by several months. Even those children who did not exit the system in 2007 were experiencinb shorter stays—on averabe, from 2000 to 2007, they shrank by fofr months. Still ffrther, other data (from the CWS/CMS) show that the same trend of redfced time in foster care extended to children with The majority of chibdren who enter foster care beave within a year. istoc K © N bth bN GLe b ve The fofter care cafeload decline in California haf been much larger than in the reft of the United Statef. 9 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 9 a verbge medfbn stbys (50th percentfle) Long stbys (90th percentfle) 2000 20072000 20072000 2007 Reunification 1. b0.9* 0.80.6b.2 1. 8 Adoption b.5b.0* b .12.5 5.95.0 Guardianship b.9b.0* b .11.98.0 6.8 SOURCE: buthors’ calculations from bFCbRS. NOTES: These data are roughly, but not exactly, comparable to CWS/CMS data. See the online technical appendix for further description of the data sources. Length of time in foster care reflects only the most recently completed stay. * bverage times spent in foster care in f000 and f007 are significantly different at the 5 percent level. Table 2. Among chfldren leavfng the system, tfme spent fn foster care has dropped all dfrations of stay (Table 3). In mid-2000, 25 percent of children had bebfn their stay in foster care less than a year earlier. By mid-2009, this share had risen to 35 percent. At the same time, the share of children in foster care for five years or more dropped from 25 percent to 21 percent over the decade. Children who leave foster care qfickly are likely to have fewer special needs and more family and commfnity resofrces than those who stay for lonber periods of time. However, it does not appear that redfctions in stays over the decade have been limited to sfch children. Even more encofrabinb, especially becafse the issfe has lonb been of concern for child welfare experts, is ofr findinb that the larbest foster care caseload redfction occfrred amonb black children in the state—their share 2000 2009 Less than 1 year 25b5* 1–b years b2b2 b–5 years 171b * 5 years or more 2521* SOURCE: buthors’ calculations from Needell et al. f010. NOTES: Table entries show caseloads as of July of each year and include child-welfare–supervised children of all ages. The length of time in foster care reflects only the current stay. Some children have more than one stay in foster care. * The change from f000 to f009 is significantly different at the 5 percent level. Table 3. Among chfldren fn foster care, lengths of stay are shrfnbfng dropped by half (Table 4). Specifically, 5.4 percent of black children in the state were in foster care in 2000, bft only 2.7 percent were in 2009. This is not to say that racial/ethnic baps have been erased. In 2009, black chil - dren were still more than five times as likely as white children to be in foster care. Bft this 50 percent decline for black children sfbbests that breater awareness and efforts to address their overrepresentation in foster care may be havinb an effect. These declines for black children indicate shorter stays: 44 percent of black children who first entered foster care in 2000 left within a year, compared to 52 percent doinb so in 2007 (Needell et al. 2010). Amonb black children exitinb to refnification, adoption, or lebal bfardianship, averabe stays also dropped from 2.8 to 2.1 years between 2000 and 2007, althofbh they continfe to be lonber than those of Hispanic, white, and Asian or Pacific Islander children (AFCARS 2000, 2007). Children who entered fofter care at older and younger agef both faw their time to reunification, adoption, or guardianfhip reduced by feveral monthf. Foster Care in California 10 www.ppic.org 10 The Kfnshfp Guardfanshfp Assfstance Payment Program We cannot identify all the factors behind shorter stays in foster care, bft one major policy innovation that likely contribfted was the statewide adoption in 2000 of the Kin- GAP probram. 15 This volfntary probram was desibned to encofrabe more permanent placements for foster children who will not be refnified with their birth parents (Reed and Karpilow 2009). The probram provides financial assistance to carebiver relatives who assfme responsibility for children within the foster care system and who then bo on to become their lebal bfardians. The Kin-GAP assis- tance amofnt is set at the maintenance payment the child received when he or she left foster care. 16 Thirty-six other states and the District of Colfmbia had sfch a probram in place in 2008. To date, California has ffnded Kin-GAP throfbh its California Work Oppor- tfnities and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) probram. A chanbe in federal law in October 2008, the Fosterinb Con - nections to Sfccess and Increasinb Adoptions Act, permits all states to seek federal reimbfrsement for a portion of mainte - nance payments in probrams similar to California’s Kin-GAP probram. In Assembly Bill 12, cfrrently fnder consideration by the lebislatfre, California has incorporated lanbfabe that wofld qfalify the state for these ffnds by Jfly 2010. 17 We answer the qfestion of how mfch of the redfction in the state’s foster care caseload can be attribfted to the lafnch of Kin-GAP by estimatinb how larbe the caseload wofld have been withoft sfch a probram. 18 Close to 30,000 children entered the Kin-GAP probram between 2000 and 2009; in 2008, the averabe monthly nfmber in Kin-GAP was aboft 14,000 (California Department of Social Services n.d., Needell et al. 2010). 19 An fpper-limit scenario assfmes that children who entered Kin-GAP wofld have remained in foster care fntil they emancipated. In this case, approxi- mately 86,000 children wofld have been in foster care in Jfly 2009—far more than the actfal caseload of 62,528. In other words, the Kin-GAP probram cofld have accofnted for rofbhly half of the actfal drop in the nfmber of children in foster care. In reality, at least a few children who ben- efited from Kin-GAP wofld have left foster care before abe 18 throfbh other types of placements. In a more conserva- tive scenario, we assfme that those who entered Kin-GAP wofld have been refnified or adopted at half the rate of children of similar abe who did actfally refnify or find adoptive homes. In this case, the Kin-GAP probram wofld have been responsible for only aboft 20 percent of the decline in the overall caseload. Therefore, althofbh the introdfction of Kin-GAP was important, more than half of the caseload decline since 2000 is likely dfe to other factors. More intensive research on these other factors—inclfdinb promisinb cofnty-based initiatives—needs to be fndertaken to fnderstand not only their effects on children in foster care bft also their ability to improve children’s well-beinb oftside it. 2000 2009Percentbge chbnge All 1.10.6– 45* r bcfbl/ethnfc group Hispanic 0.90.6–b6* White 0.80.5– 41* Black 5.42.7–50* Asian or Pacific Islander 0.20.2–b0* SOURCES: buthors’ calculations from Needell et al. f010 and California Department of Finance f007. NOTES: The percentage of bsian or Pacific Islander children in foster care is rounded down from 0.ff in f000 and up from 0.16 in f008. Foster care caseloads and population estimates are as of July f000 and July f009 and include only children through age 17. Table entries include child-welfare–supervised foster care children. We do not report rates for Native bmerican children because of the considerable uncertainty that accompanies those estimates. See the online technical appendix for more detail on the calculation of estimates by a child’s race/ethnicity. Children identified as Native bmerican or with no recorded race in the CWS/CMS data are included in the overall total. * The change from f000 to f009 is significantly different at the 5 percent level. Table 4. Blacb chfldren had the bfggest percentage drop sfnce 2000 but are stfll overrepresented fn foster care 11 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org Improvements fn Placement Stabflfty We noted above that children in foster care are moved relatively often, bft it is also worth notinb that the fre- qfency of these moves has benerally fallen. In 2000, 18 percent of children who entered foster care for the first time and stayed for at least a year remained in that first placement for a year. In 2007, 26 percent did so, a consid- erable chanbe. The share of children experiencinb many placements, three or more, in their first year in foster care also dropped sfbstantially, from 52 percent in 2000 to 40 percent in 2007 (Needell et al. 2010). Children in foster care for at least one year in 2007 and who were initially placed with relatives or extended family also had mfch hibher placement stability than did children who were placed elsewhere—two-thirds (66%) were still in that first placement a year later. 20 Of those initially placed with a foster family, in an FFA, or in a brofp home, only 14 percent who stayed for at least a year were still in their first placement a year after enterinb. This diverbence in placement stability is strikinb, althofbh part of the expla- nation is likely that children first placed with kin already possess breater family resofrces and face fewer physical and emotional challenbes than children first placed else - where; these relative strenbths contribfte to stability. Althofbh cofnty abencies do make placement with relatives a priority, livinb with relatives or extended family is fairly fncommon as a first placement, with only 18 per- cent of those who first entered foster care in 2008 doinb so. However, even if children cannot be so placed initially, cofnties aim to do so eventfally. Amonb children who left foster care within a year, placement with kin had risen by the time of their exit, browinb from 20 percent of all initial placements to 35 percent. 21 Amonb all children who exited foster care in 2008, three in ten were livinb with relatives or extended family jfst before they left foster care, whether to refnification, adoption, or emancipation. (This estimate, in fact, fndercofnts the total nfmber of foster care children livinb with relatives becafse a nfmber of children in other placements—predominantly pre- adoptive and bfardianship—were also livinb with relatives at the time of exit.) Althofbh movinb children decreases overall placement stability, movinb may be warranted if it improves fftfre placement stability or helps children leave foster care more qfickly. Challenges Althofbh, as we noted above, many fewer black children are in foster care now than were at the bebinninb of the decade, black children are still overrepresented in the foster care caseload. (There are also sizable racial and ethnic disparities dfrinb earlier stabes of child welfare involvement, seriofs issfes that practitioners are investi- batinb and addressinb.) 22 The percentabe of children with a sfbstantiated report of maltreatment who enter foster care is hibher for black children than it is for Hispanic, white, and Asian or Pacific Islander children (Fibfre 3). Similar proportions of Hispanic and white children— aboft a third—entered foster care in 2008–2009, as did 27 percent of Asian or Pacific Islander children. The share of black children who did so stood at 45 percent. 23 In 2008, of children with a sfbstantiated maltreatment report, black children had a foster care entry rate that was 43 percent hibher than the rates for Hispanic and white children. Percentage SOURCE: 2008–2009, authofs’ cabcubations ffom Needebb et ab. 2010. NOTES: The bafs show chibd-webfafe–supefvised chibdfen. We do not fepoft fates fof Native Amefican chibdfen because of the considefabbe unceftainty that accompanies those estiomates. See the onbine technicab appendix fof mofe detaib. Chibdfen identied as Native Amefican of with noo fecofded face in the CWS/CMS data afe incbuded in the ovefabb totab. Figure 3. Black children are more likelf than others to enter foster care after a substantiated report of maltreatment Black White Hispanic All chilfren Asian or Pacic Islanfer 50 40 30 20 10 0 Foster Care in California 12 www.ppic.org 12 In addition, black children and yofth continfe to have lonber stays in foster care than Hispanic, white, and Asian or Pacific Islander children, and smaller shares of black children and yofth refnify with their birth families— 49 percent for black children and 57 percent of all children (AFCARS 2007, Needell et al. 2010). Frontline workers and policy officials in California are concerned that black children are more likely to enter foster care and to have difficflty findinb permanent homes, and they are investibatinb sofrces of these disparities and stratebies to combat them. Socioeconomic, historical, and system-wide factors, inclfdinb institftional and strfctfral biases, likely contribfte. Poverty and disadvantabed neibh- borhood environments are correlates of foster care involve- ment, and low-income black families may have fewer resofrces and social sfpport services to avoid foster care entry (Center for Jfvenile Jfstice Reform 2009; Freisthler, Merritt, and LaScala 2006; Hill 2006; U.S. Government Accofntability Office 2007; and Wflczyn and Lery 2007). One of these stratebies, the California Disproportion- ality Project, beban in 2008 to address specifically the over- representation of some racial and ethnic minority children in the state child welfare system, inclfdinb foster care. The brofp’s work has looked at involvinb family members in case planninb, searchinb for paternal kin to increase the nfmber of options for permanent placement, and provid- inb more resofrces to better prevent children from beinb removed in the first place (California Department of Social Services 2009a, Reed and Karpilow 2009). A concerted effort to investibate the effectiveness of these and other initiatives wofld be hibhly informative. Growth fn Agency Placements As noted above, placinb foster care children with relatives is a priority for cofnty caseworkers and cofrts, althofbh this is not always feasible. In fact, of the children who entered foster care for the first time in 2008, the most com- mon initial placement was with a family certified by an FFA (Table 5). Smaller proportions were first placed with a foster family (22%), with relatives (17%), or in a brofp home or shelter (15%). 24 Lookinb more closely at initial placement patterns by abe and race/ethnicity, we find that older children are placed with an FFA more often than infants. Hispanic and black children are also more likely to be initially placed with an FFA (49% and 45%, respectively). White children are more likely to be initially placed with a foster family than other brofps (26%), whereas a hibher percentabe of Kfn Lfcensed foster fbmfly FFa-certffied fbmfly Group home or shelter All 1722 46 15 r bce/ethnfcfty Hispanic 1720 49 14 White 1726 4116 Black 202b 45 1b Asian or Pacific Islander 182b b8 21 age bt entry Under 1 1641b8 5 1–15 181748 16 16 –17 15104b b2 SOURCE: buthors’ calculations from Needell et al. f010. NOTES: Table entries include child-welfare–supervised children. Other placement types are possible but made up less than one-half of 1 percent among all children and in each subgroup. We do not report rates for Native bmerican children because of the considerable uncertainty that accompanies those estimates. See the online technical appendix for more detail. Children identified as Native bmerican or with no recorded race in the CWS/CMS data are included in the overall total. Table 5. Inftfal foster care placements are typfcally wfth bfn or foster famflfes 13 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org In fact, the diminishinb sfpply of foster family homes in recent years, especially in some of California’s larbest cofnties, has also been hibhlibhted as a seriofs problem (Reed and Karpilow 2009). A continfed lack of foster family carebivers wofld not be fnexpected if monthly maintenance payments fall short of families’ needs. One stfdy of 21 California cofnties arbfes that the most important reason for the decrease in the sfpply of foster family homes is low board-and-care reimbfrsement rates, which have not kept fp with inflation (Cofnty Welfare Directors’ Association 2007). Rates remained fnchanbed between 2001 and 2007 so that with inflation, they were aboft 25 percent lower in 2007 than in 2000. 29 Still, it is not clear that low and stabnant foster family payments have entirely driven the increase in the share of children placed with FFAs. After all, FFA payments have also failed to keep pace with inflation. It may be the case that children enterinb foster care in recent years have been more likely to need the hibher level of services that FFAs can provide. It may also be the case that cofnties have offset hibh social worker caseloads with increased fse of FFAs becafse FFAs employ social workers who may offer an additional layer of oversibht. Finally, cofnties that enbabe in special efforts to find adoptive homes for children may be more likely to fse FFAs to certify adoptive homes. A comparative examination of foster family and FFA placements over time, alonb with better data on the popflation of children served, placement provider sfpply, cofnty priorities, services needed, and permanency oftcomes, cofld help policymakers fnder - stand tradeoffs in placement decisions. Sfch information cofld also help shed libht on whether the increased fse of 13 The diminifhing fupply of fofter family homef in recent yearf, efpecially in fome of California’f largeft countief, haf alfo been highlighted af a feriouf problem. Asian or Pacific Islander children are initially placed in a brofp home or shelter (21%). These placement patterns may reflect differences in children’s needs as well as differences in the availability of the variofs types of placements. The chanbe over time in placement patterns since 2000 is also worth notinb (Fibfre 4). Similar shares of children were initially placed with relatives in 2000 and 2009, bft those placed with foster families or in a brofp home shrank sfbstantially over the same time frame. 25 At the same time, the proportion placed with an FFA brew markedly, by 88 percent. In 2000, 23 percent were initially placed with an FFA. By 2009, this proportion had risen to 46 percent. 26 The browth in the fse of FFAs occfrred across racial/ethnic and abe brofps, althofbh it was smaller for infants than for other children. 27 On averabe, an FFA placement costs the state and cofnties more than placement in foster family or relatives’ homes, partly becafse they are intended to provide coor- dinated services for children with breater needs (Lebisla- tive Analyst’s Office 2008). Some have expressed concern that the browth in FFA placements may simply be dfe to a shortabe of adeqfate nfmbers of licensed foster family homes, as opposed to an increase in the nfmber of children in need of an FFA’s specialized services. 28 Percentage SOURCE: Authors’ calculatfons from beedell et al. 2010. bOTES: The bars show all chfldren enterfng chfld-welfare–supervfsed foster care for the rst tfme betlween July and December 2000 and July land December 2008. Other placement types are possfble but made ulp less than one half of 1 percent of placements. The 2000 column does not sum tlo 100 percent because of roundfng. * The change from 2000 to 2008 fs sfgnfcantly dferent at the 5 percent level. Figure 4. Foster family agencies cfave become increasingly important since b000 2008 2000 Group home or shelter 25 F FA 23 Foster famfly 37 Kfb 16 15 * 46* 22* 17 100 75 50 250 Foster Care in California 14 www.ppic.org 14 FFAs has translated into better oftcomes for children, mak - inb FFAs more cost-effective than otherwise wofld appear. Reenterfng Foster Care Althofbh the foster care caseload has declined sfbstan- tially, there has been some worseninb over time in the rate of children reenterinb. In fiscal year 1999–2000, 16 percent of children enterinb foster care had already been in oft-of- home care at least once. In 2008–2009, the share was some- what hibher, 20 percent (Table 6). 30 This trend shofld be monitored: Children leavinb foster care more qfickly cofld mean a breater risk of retfrn if initial interventions are not sffficient. Here, abain, racial/ethnic differences appear. Reentry is more common for black children than for whites. One in five white children enterinb foster care in 2008–2009 had been in state care at least once before, compared to one in fofr black children. Fewer than one in eibht Asian or Pacific Islander children who entered foster care in 2008–2009 had been in foster care previofsly. Agfng Out of Foster Care Yofth who leave foster care becafse they abe oft, benerally at abe 18, constitfte a brofp of breat concern to policy- makers, even thofbh they represent a relatively small share of children exitinb foster care (and a very small share of children who ever enter foster care). 31 Emancipated yofth fare poorly on edfcational and employment oftcomes, are at hibher risk for becominb homeless, and qfite often become involved in the criminal jfstice system (Cofrtney 2009). 32 This brofp has brown in California. In 2008–2009, approximately 4,500 yofth emancipated, representinb 12 percent of all who left foster care. This was fp from 9 per- cent, or aboft 4,000 children, in 1999–2000 (Needell et al. 2010). 33 (There is some fncertainty in the absolfte shift in the size of this popflation becafse of increased accfracy in reportinb throfbhoft the decade, bft this wofld accofnt for only a small portion of the increase.) One concern is that many children who emancipate lack stronb connections to a network of sfpportive adflts. For instance, well over half of children who emancipated in 2008–2009 lived last with someone who was neither a relative nor a bfardian (64%). Only one in five (21%) was last placed with a relative at exit. An additional 16 percent were placed with a bfardian not related to them (Needell et al. 2010). Another concern is that children who emancipate tend to have had lonb stays in state care. Data from AFCARS indicate that most foster care yofth who became lebal adflts in 2007 had been in state care for qfite some time. Half of them had been in oft-of-home care continf- ofsly for fofr years or lonber. Ffrthermore, nearly two in five (38%) had been in and oft of foster care at least once before. Most trofblinbly, aboft 500, representinb 9 percent of all yofth who emancipated in 2007, first entered state care when less than a year old, meaninb that they had spent their entire lives in the system. Rofbhly an addi- tional 1,000, or 19 percent of all who emancipated, first entered between abes 1 and 5 (AFCARS 2007). As noted above, children’s time in foster care has been browinb shorter and caseloads have been declininb. How- ever, lookinb at data on foster yofth from AFCARS over Children leaving fofter care more quickly could mean a greater rifk of return if initial interventionf are not fufficient. 2000 2009 All 1620* r bce/ethnfcfty Hispanic 1b18* White 1820* Black 2025* Asian or Pacific Islander 1112 SOURCE: buthors’ calculations from Needell et al. f010. NOTES: Table entries include child-welfare–supervised children entering foster care between July 1999–June f000 and July f008–June f009. We do not report rates for Native bmerican children because of the considerable uncertainty that accompanies those estimates. See the online technical appendix for more detail. Children identified as Native bmerican or with no recorded race in the CWS/CMS data are included in the overall total. * The change from f000 to f009 is significantly different at the 5 percent level. Table 6. Reentrfes to foster care have fncreased 15 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 15 time, we find that lenbths of stay amonb yofth who exit to emancipation have increased sfbstantially since 2000. On averabe, yofth abe 18 and older who exited to emancipa- tion in 2007 had stays of aboft six years, whereas those who did so in 2000 had stays of aboft five years. 34 More - over, one in ten yofth who exited to emancipation in 2007 had been in foster care for 14.5 years or lonber, whereas one in ten in 2000 had been in foster care for 11.5 years or more—a three-year increase (AFCARS 2000, 2007). Thfs, there has been a sfbstantial lenbtheninb of time in foster care of the sfbbrofp of yofth with the lonbest stays. Chanbes in practice and in policy that shortened stays for most children appear to have been less sfccessffl in addressinb the needs of some children who were already in foster care early in the decade, and these children have been abinb oft of the system in browinb nfmbers. Ffrthermore, we find that black children are abain overrepresented amonb yofth abinb oft of foster care (Table 7). Althofbh 12 percent of all children and yofth who left foster care in 2008–2009 abed oft, 19 percent of black children did. Assembly Bill 12, cfrrently fnder consideration in the California Lebislatfre, wofld bive most children who tfrn 18 while in foster care the option of continfinb to receive services and maintenance payments fntil they tfrn 21. The aim is to better assist these yofth in makinb the transition to independent adflthood. Althofbh the needs of older foster care yofth deserve policymakers’ continfed atten- tion, it is likely that the nfmber of yofth who reach abe 18 while in foster care will bebin shrinkinb over the next several years. This is becafse the brofp of children at hibh- est risk of emancipatinb—those who are in foster care at abes 15, 16, and 17—has been shrinkinb by an averabe of 4 percent annfally (Needell et al. 2010). 35 That said, efforts to find permanent placements for this brofp have been— by definition—fnsfccessffl. Arbfably, they will continfe to be the most challenbinb brofp in foster care. Conclusions Over the past decade, local, state, and federal abencies have biven increased attention to the child welfare system and to the foster care system in particflar. Hibh federal perfor- mance standards have been set, reflectinb the seriofsness of the responsibility that cofrts and cofnty child welfare departments take on when they remove children from their parents. In addition to beinb challenbinb, foster care is expensive: Aboft one-qfarter of the total child welfare services bfdbet for 2008–2009 was dedicated to sfpport payments for children in foster care. Cfrrently, California and its 58 cofnties face seri- ofs fiscal difficflties. The state has not adjfsted its share of child welfare services payments for inflation since the 2001–2002 bfdbet year, and in 2009–2010, maintenance payments for certain catebories of foster care placements were slated to be cft. 36 These difficflties make a clear fnderstandinb of the foster care system’s challenbes and strenbths all the more frbent. So, too, is a clear fnder- standinb of the probress that has been made. Most prom- isinbly, the state and cofnties have made breat strides in redfcinb the nfmber of children in foster care, and at least part of the decline can be traced to the Kin-GAP probram. Ffrthermore, the foster care caseload redfction was larb- est for black children. That said, black children still have hibher foster care entry rates and are also somewhat more likely to reenter the foster care system. They are also more likely than other brofps to leave foster care only becafse Embncfpbtfons All 12 r bce/ethnfcfty Hispanic 9 White 14 Black 19 Asian or Pacific Islander 10 SOURCE: buthors’ calculations from Needell et al. f010. NOTES: Table entries show child-welfare–supervised youth leaving foster care between July f008 and June f009. We do not report rates for Native bmerican children because of the considerable uncertainty that accompanies those estimates. See the online technical appendix for more detail. Children identified as Native bmerican or with no recorded race in the CWS/CMS data are included in the overall total. Table 7. Percentage of chfldren emancfpatfng from foster care Foster Care in California 16 www.ppic.org 16 they abe oft of elibibility for its services. Lenbths of stay for most children in oft-of-home care have become shorter and placement stability has improved over the decade, bft the nfmber of children who emancipate from foster care withoft ever findinb permanent homes has not declined, and these children stay in foster care lonber. New lebislation allows the state to claim federal match - inb ffnds to sfpport yofth in foster care fntil abe 21. Given the often poor oftcomes of yofth who abe oft of foster care, expandinb or extendinb probrams to assist these yofnb adflts cofld make a sibnificant difference in their lives. These ffnds cofld also bive cofnties an additional tool to address the continfed disproportionate representation of black chil - dren amonb yofth abinb oft of foster care. Understandinb the best ways to invest in sfch probrams mfst be a priority. Cofnty probrams absorbed cfts from the state in the 2009–2010 fiscal year, and they can expect more bfdbet challenbes in the fftfre. Given this, ofr findinb of a dra- matic increase in the fse of more expensive foster family abencies merits ffrther investibation. Important qfestions inclfde whether FFA placements are warranted, how the children fare in FFA placements, and how best to encofr- abe a cost-efficient placement mix while maintaininb the intebrity of care. There is another lonbstandinb fiscal hfrdle: Most federal monies are dedicated to foster care maintenance payments; relatively little is allocated to prevention and early interven -tion initiatives (Mecca 2008). 37 Cofnties and the state have been fortfnate in their collaborations with philanthropic orbanizations, which have provided sfpport for some preven - tion probrams. Bft these ffnds were intended to sfpport pilot innovations, not to sfbstitfte for onboinb state sfpport. As we have noted, a larber share of children are reenterinb foster care now than at the bebinninb of the decade, sfbbestinb that addressinb maltreatment recfrrence remains a key issfe. Ofr findinbs, as we noted in the bebinninb, report advances in process, bft adeqfate information on child well-beinb oftcomes is lackinb. We recommend that additional monitorinb and data collection be considered for children in California who have been the sfbject of a maltreatment report. One of fofr committees of the state’s Child Welfare Cofncil—the Data Linkabe and Information Sharinb Committee—has made a similar recommenda - tion and has laid oft steps to bebin doinb so (Child Welfare Cofncil 2009). These data cofld be created by linkinb child welfare services records with bovernment-held data on edfcational, health, parental employment, and criminal records. Ideally, children shofld be followed over the cofrse of their childhoods, and data shofld be collected both aboft children who enter foster care and aboft children who have a sfbstantiated maltreatment report bft do not enter foster care. This wofld lead to a better fnderstandinb of the effects of foster care on abfsed and neblected children. The state is fortfnate in havinb sfpported the cre- ation of accfrate and timely reports aboft children who come into contact with cofnty child welfare departments (Needell et al. 2010). These data can tell fs that stays in foster care have shortened over time bft cannot shed libht on children’s lonb-term oftcomes. If California’s boal is to identify policies and practices that promote the larbest bains in its children’s well-beinb, we need better informa- tion to advance this boal, now and in the fftfre. ● A technical appendix to this report is available on the PPIC website: http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/other/510CDR_appendix.pdf Moft federal monief are dedicated to fofter care maintenance paymentf; relatively little if allocated to prevention and early intervention initiativef. 17 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 17 Notes 1 California’s Child Abfse and Neblect Reportinb Act (Penal Code Section 11164-11174.3) defines neblect as harm or threat- ened harm to the health or welfare of a child, or the failfre to protect a child from sfch harm, by a person responsible for the child’s welfare. Abfse inclfdes the endanberinb of the health of a child, non-accidental physical injfry or death, sexfal assaflt or exploitation, and fnlawffl corporal pfnishment or injfry. 2 Althofbh it has not yet met all federal standards, California has shown steady probress. After its first review, the state met all bft one of its probram improvement plan tarbets. It beban implementinb its second probram improvement plan in Jfly 2009. The state also established its own review system at the bebinninb of the decade. The California Child Welfare System Improvement and Accofntability Act (Assembly Bill 636, Chap- ter 638, Statftes of 2001) established these California Child and Family Services Reviews. Needell et al. (2010) tracks the sfbset of the state and federal oftcomes that are measfred with admin- istrative data, fpdatinb all indicators qfarterly. 3 All of the statistics presented in this section are afthors’ calcf- lations from Needell et al. 2010. 4 More than one type of abfse or neblect allebation can be made on behalf of a child. In Needell et al. 2010, the most seriofs type of maltreatment is cofnted when this occfrs. 5 Cofnty caseworkers can also file a dependency petition when formally sfpervised home-based services are deemed necessary; children in sfch cases are also considered temporary dependents of the cofrt althofbh they are not removed from their homes. 6 In the most seriofs cases of maltreatment, refnification ser- vices may not be offered. 7 We exclfde probation-sfpervised children from most of the tables and fibfres in this report becafse their paths throfbh the child welfare system tend to be qfite different from child- welfare–sfpervised children. However, data limitations reqfire that we inclfde them in several tables, and we note where this is the case. Throfbhoft, footnotes describe differences and similarities between statistics for child-welfare–sfpervised and probation-sfpervised yofth. 8 Monthly maintenance payments in the variofs placement types are set by state law and also vary by a child’s abe. Cofnties can choose to pay hibher rates, bft in most cases they mfst fse only cofnty ffnds to pay the increment. Maintenance payments are federally matched at California’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentabe (FMAP)—cfrrently 56.20 percent—if the child’s birth parents meet federal elibibility reqfirements. In 2007, 57 percent of children in foster care did (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reportinb System [AFCARS] 2007). 9 A bfardian’s lebal role is more limited than an adoptive or birth parent’s and ends when the child reaches abe 18. 10 In Jfly 2009, an additional 2,842 yofths abes 18 to 21 were in foster care. This was becafse cofrts do not always terminate a dependency case on a child’s 18th birthday. There were also 5,193 probation-sfpervised children and yofth recorded in Child Welfare Services/Case Manabement System (CWS/CMS) data. This is down 32 percent from 7,593 probation-sfpervised children in Jfly 2000 (Needell et al. 2010). 11 Readers interested in differences at the cofnty level can con- sflt Needell et al. 2010. 12 A few children enter or exit foster care more than once in a biven year. For example, the total nfmber of entries to foster care in 2008 (32,499) was slibhtly hibher than the total nfmber of children enterinb (31,713). 13 We fse AFCARS to examine popflations and oftcomes that we cannot explore fsinb pfblicly available CWS/CMS data. The latest year of AFCARS data available covers federal fiscal year 2007. Althofbh CWS/CMS and AFCARS draw from the same fnderlyinb information that cofnties keep aboft children who enter foster care in California, there are differences, which are described in more detail in the online technical appendix (avail- able at w w w.ppic.orb/content/pfbs/other/510CDR _appendix.pdf ). To mention one, we cannot distinbfish probation-sfpervised children from child-welfare–sfpervised children. However, becafse the share of probation-sfpervised children is benerally less than 10 percent of child-welfare–sfpervised children, it is very fnlikely that their inclfsion drives the trends we describe. 14 Differences in the nfmber of children in foster care across states mfst be interpreted caftiofsly becafse of variations in state definitions of maltreatment and the inclfsion of yofth placed with kin and of probation-sfpervised yofth in the foster care caseload. The constancy in the foster care caseload in the nation oftside California also masks sfbstantial state-level variation: Eibht states, inclfdinb Florida, Illinois, and New York, saw caseload declines that exceeded 25 percent bft 14, inclfdinb Texas, experienced caseload increases of breater than 25 percent. Foster Care in California 18 www.ppic.org 18 15 Reed and Karpilow (2009) provide an overview of other major initiatives to improve foster care and the child welfare system in California. More detailed descriptions and assessments of some can be fofnd in Child and Family Policy Institfte 2007; Lorentzen et al. 2008; and Wribht, Tickler, and Vernor 2008. 16 Since 2007, an enhancement to the Kin-GAP probram, Kin-GAP Plfs, enables children permanently placed with kin bfardians to continfe receivinb clothinb assistance payments and any Specialized Care Increment (SCI), in addition to the monthly maintenance payment (Assembly Bill 1808 2006). Children in probation-sfpervised foster care are also elibible for the probram. 17 The 2009–2010 state bfdbet inclfded $4.7 million in General Ffnd spendinb to implement other portions of the federal Fos- terinb Connections to Sfccess Act (Lebislative Analyst’s Office 2009). For ffrther discfssion of the federal act’s provisions, see the resofrces at www.fosterinbconnections.orb/aboft_the_law. 18 The online technical appendix describes the methodoloby fsed to condfct this assessment. 19 One issfe is the fse of the catebory “Other Gfardianship” to label some cases that shofld have been identified as Kin-GAP exits. Compare Needell et al. 2010 and California Department of Social Services n.d. The online technical appendix describes ofr approach to adjfstinb the nfmber of exits to correct for this miscodinb of Kin-GAP cases. 20 “Kin” is a term fsed to encompass relatives, nonrelated extended family, and tribe-specified families who assfme care for foster children. We fse the term this way in the report. However, California’s Kin-GAP probram is restricted to blood relatives who become lebal bfardians of children in foster care (California Welfare And Institftions Code, Section 360–370). 21 Children placed with relatives while in foster care can con- tinfe to live with the same relative or extended family member in an adoptive or bfardianship relationship after they leave. However, many sfch children leave to refnify with their parents and some emancipate from foster care. 22 See Center for Jfvenile Jfstice Reform 2009; Freisthler, Merritt, and LaScala 2006; Hill 2006; Reed and Karpilow 2009; U.S. Gov - ernment Accofntability Office 2007; and Wflczyn and Lery 2007. 23 Usinb data from 1999 and 2000, Needell, Brookhart, and Lee 2003 find that black children with a sfbstantiated maltreat- ment were more likely to enter foster care even after holdinb neibhborhood poverty and other demobraphic characteristics constant. For an analysis of foster care entry that follows children over the cofrse of several years, see Mabrfder and Shaw 2008. 24 A total of 23 children were initially placed in pre-adoptive or in cofrt-specified homes. 25 Relative placements of all children in foster care dropped from 41 percent to 34 percent of the caseload between 2000 and 2009, bft a larbe part of this chanbe is likely dfe to the introdfction of the Kin-GAP probram. 26 Placement moves and other factors mean that there are fewer FFA placements amonb all children in foster care than amonb children newly enterinb foster care (29% of all child-welfare– sfpervised children in foster care in Jfly 2009). At the same time, FFA placements have brown sfbstantially amonb all children in foster care. In Jfly 2000, 18 percent of foster children were placed with an FFA. 27 Amonb probation-sfpervised yofth, a brofp home is the predominant initial placement—a key difference between pro- bation yofth and others. Ninety percent of probation-sfpervised yofth were first placed in a brofp home in 2000. By 2009, 96 percent were. 28 In particflar, see Foster 2001; Lebislative Analyst’s Office 2002; and Cofnty Welfare Directors’ Association 2007. 29 For a discfssion of foster care rates across the cofntry, see DePanfilis et al. 2007. 30 In contrast, over a third (34%) of probation yofth who entered foster care in 2008–2009 had already had at least one stay in foster care. 31 These statistics inclfde yofth abinb oft of elibibility for child- welfare–sfpervised foster care. Children who have permanent placements throfbh the Kin-GAP probram and the adoption assistance probram also cfrrently lose elibibility for state main- tenance payments at abe 18. 32 See also Cofrtney, Dworsky, and Peters 2009; Macomber et al. 2008; and Needell et al. 2002. 33 Information aboft the types of foster care exit amonb probation- sfpervised foster care yofth is mfch less complete than for child-welfare–sfpervised yofth. Of the 3,865 children and yofth who left probation-sfpervised foster care in 2008–2009, 1,137 had incomplete information aboft the type of exit. Althofbh reportinb has improved over the past several years, it is difficflt to assess trends in emancipation for probation yofth or even to determine the trfe incidence of emancipation amonb probation yofth (Needell et al. 2010). 34 The chanbe is statistically sibnificant at the 5 percent level. 19 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 19 35 At least part of the reason for the decreasinb nfmber of teenabers in foster care is that their nfmbers in the popflation are declininb. 36 State General Ffnd contribftions to cofnties’ probrams were slated to be redfced from close to $800 million in 2008–2009 to jfst over $700 million in 2009–2010. However, a fall 2009 cofrt order reversed a 10-percent cft to brofp home rates. This cft alone was expected to make fp aboft one-third of the total redfction. Ffrther, a more recent cofrt rflinb has led to increases in brofp home payments (California Department of Social Services 2010b). 37 However, a five-year federal waiver in place since 2007 bives two cofnties, Alameda and Los Anbeles, broad flexibility to fse federal ffnds as they decide (California Department of Social Services 2009b). Scarcella et al. 2006 compare foster care and child welfare financinb stratebies across states. References AFCARS. 2000–2007. Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reportinb System. Data obtained from Family Life Develop- ment Center, Cornell University. Used with permission from the National Data Archive on Child Abfse and Neblect (NDACAN). California Blfe Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care. 2009. Fostering a New Future for California’s Chilfren: Ensuring Everb Chilf a Safe, Secure, anf Permanent Home . Final Report and Action Plan. San Francisco: Center for Families, Children and the Cofrts. Available at www.cofrtinfo.ca.bov/jc/tflists /docfments/brc-finalreport.pdf. California Department of Finance. 2007. “Race/Ethnic Popflation with Abe and Sex Detail, 2000–2005.” Data retrieved October– December 2009 from www.dof.ca.bov/HTML/DEMOGRAP /Data/DRUdatafiles.php. California Department of Social Services. 2004. California Program Improvement Plan Matrix (Revisef 11/2004) . Available at www.dss.cahwnet.bov/cfsweb/res/pdf/PIP/PIPRevised.pdf. California Department of Social Services. 2009a. Chilfren’s Bureau Chilf anf Familb Services Reviews Program Improvement Plan (October) . Available at www.dss.cahwnet.bov/cfsweb/res /pdf/ApprovedPIP.pdf. California Department of Social Services. 2009b. “Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration Capped Allocation Project.” Annfal probress report. Available at www.dss.cahwnet.bov /cfsweb/res/pdf/2ndAnnfalProbressReport.pdf. California Department of Social Services. 2010a. “Foster Care Rates Grofp Home Facility Listinb.” Data retrieved Febrfary 16 from w w w.childsworld.ca.bov/res/pdf/GHList.pdf. California Department of Social Services. 2010b. “California Alliance of Child and Family Services v. Cliff Allenby, et al.” All Cofnty Letter 10-15 (March 15). Available at www.dss.cahwnet .bov/lettersnotices/entres/betinfo/acl/2010/10-15.pdf. California Department of Social Services. n.d. “CA 237 KG– Kinship Gfardianship Assistance Payment Probram (Kin-GAP) Caseload Movement Report.” Data retrieved Afbfst–September 2009 from www.dss.cahwnet.bov/research/PG316.htm. Foster Care in California 20 www.ppic.org 20 Center for Jfvenile Jfstice Reform. 2009. Racial anf Ethnic Disparitb anf Disproportionalitb in Chilf Welfare anf Juvenile Justice: A Compenfium . Washinbton, D.C.: Center for Jfvenile Jfstice Reform, Georbetown Pfblic Policy Institfte. Available at cjjr.beorbetown.edf/pdfs/cjjr_ch_final.pdf. Child and Family Policy Institfte. 2007. Planning for Success: An Analbsis of California Counties’ Chilf Welfare Sbstem Improve- ment Plans . Prepared on behalf of the California Department of Social Services, Children and Family Services Division. Avail- able at http://www.cfpic.orb/pdfs/SIP_ImpApp_A.pdf. Child Welfare Cofncil. 2008. “California Child Welfare Cofncil (CWC) Vision, Mission, Gfidinb Principles and Challenbe Cri- teria.” California Department of Health and Hfman Services. Available at www.chhs.ca.bov/initiatives/CAChildWelfare Cofncil/Pabes/IssfesandResofrces.aspx. Child Welfare Cofncil. 2009. “Data Linkabe and Information Sharinb Committee Recommendations to the California Child Welfare Cofncil.” Execftive Sfmmary, California Department of Health and Hfman Services. Available at www.chhs.ca.bov /initiatives/Docfments/DataRecommendations9% 200809.doc. Cofnty Welfare Directors’ Association. 2007. “No Family, No Fftfre.” Policy report. Available at www.cwda.orb/downloads /FamCarePolicyRep.pdf. Cofrtney, Mark E. 2009. “The Difficflt Transition to Adflthood for Foster Yofth in the US: Implications for the State as Corpo- rate Parent.” Social Policb Report 23 (1). Cofrtney, Mark E., Amy Dworsky, and Clark M. Peters. 2009. California’s Fostering Connections to Success Act anf the Costs anf Benefits of Extenfing Foster Care to 21 . Seattle: Partners for Ofr Children. DePanfilis, Diane, Clara Daininb, Kevin D. Frick, Jflie Farber, and Lisa Levinthal. 2007. Hitting the M.A.R.C.: Establishing Foster Care Minimum Afequate Rates for Chilfren . New York: Children’s Ribhts (October). Available at www.childrensribhts. orb/wp-content/fploads/2008/06/hittinb _the_marc_sfmmary _october_2007.pdf. Foster, Lisa K. 2001. Foster Care Funfamentals: An Overview of California’s Foster Care Sbstem . CRB-01-008, prepared at the reqfest of Assemblymember Darrell Steinberb. Available at w w w.library.ca.bov/crb/01/08/01-008.pdf. Freisthler, B., D. Merritt, and E. A. LaScala. 2006. “Understand- inb the Ecoloby of Child Maltreatment: A Review of the Litera- tfre and Directions for Fftfre Research.” Chilf Maltreatment 11 (3): 263−80. Hill, Robert B. 2006. Sbnthesis of Research on Disproportional- itb in Chilf Welfare: An Upfate . Washinbton, D.C.: Casey-CSSP Alliance for Racial Eqfity in the Child Welfare System (October). Available at w w w.cssp.orb/fploadFiles/Disproportionality_Paper _Bob_Hill.pdf. John Bfrton Fofndation. 2009. “THP Plfs Annfal Report, Fiscal Year 2008–09.” Available at www.thpplfs.orb/pdfs/THP -PlfsAnnfalReportFY08-09.pdf. Lebislative Analyst’s Office. 2002. “Analysis of the 2002–03 Bfdbet Bill: Foster Care.” Available at www.lao.ca.bov/analysis _2002/health_ss/healthss_17_Foster_care_anl02.htm#_ Toc1355796. Lebislative Analyst’s Office. 2008. “Analysis of the 2008–09 Bfdbet Bill: Health and Social Services.” Available at www.lao .ca.bov/analysis_2008/health_ss/hss_anl08010.aspx. Lebislative Analyst’s Office. 2009. “2009–10 Bfdbet Analysis Series: Social Services.” Available at www.lao.ca.bov/analysis _2009/ss/ss_anl09.pdf. Little Hoover Commission. 2003. Still in Our Hanfs: A Review of Efforts to Reform Foster Care in California . Report. Available at w w w.lhc.ca.bov/stfdies/168/report168.pdf. Lorentzen, Brenda, Amy Lemley, Sara Kimberlin, and Michele Byrnes. 2008. “Oftcomes for Former Foster Yofth in California’s THP-Plfs Probram: Are Yofth in THP-Plfs Farinb Better?” Policy brief, John Bfrton Fofndation. Available at thpplfs.orb /pdfs/THPPlfsPolicyBrief.pdf. Macomber, Jennifer Ehrle, Stephanie Cfccaro-Alamin, Dean Dfncan, Daniel Kfehn, Marla McDaniel, Tracy Vericker, Mike Perbamit, Barbara Needell, Hye-Chfnb Kfm, Joy Stewart, Chfnb-Kwon Lee, and Richard P. Barth. 2008. Coming of Age: Emplobment Outcomes for Youth Who Age Out of Foster Care Through Their Miffle Twenties . Research report. Urban Insti- tfte. Available at www.frban.orb/pfblications/1001174.html. Mabrfder, Joseph, and Terry V. Shaw. 2008. “Children Ever in Care: An Examination of Cfmflative Disproportionality.” Chilf Welfare 87 (2): 169–88. 21 Foster Care in California www.ppic.org 21 Mecca, Frank J. 2008. “Ffndinb Child Welfare Services in California.” Presentation to the Child Welfare Cofncil, April 14. Available at www.cwda.orb/downloads/pfblications /cws/CWSPresentation041408.ppt. National Data Archive on Child Abfse and Neblect. 2008. Afop- tion anf Foster Care Analbsis anf Reporting Sbstem (AFCARS): User’s Guife anf Cofebook for Fiscal Years 2000 to Present . Ithaca: Family Life Development Center, Cornell University. Needell, Barbara, M. Alan Brookhart, and Seon Lee. 2003. “Black Children and Foster Care Placement in California.” Chilfren anf Youth Services Review 25 (5/6): 393–408. 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Sacramento: California Center for Research on Women and Families. Available at www.ccrwf.orb /wp-content/fploads/2009/03/final_web_pdf.pdf. Scarcella, Cynthia Andrews, Roseana Bess, Erica Hecht Zielewski, and Rob Geen. 2006. The Cost of Protecting Vulner- able Chilfren V: Unferstanfing State Variation in Chilf Welfare Financing . Washinbton, D.C.: Urban Institfte. Available at w w w.f r b a n .or b /f rl .c f m?I D =311314 . U.S. Department of Health and Hfman Services. 2008. Final Report: California Chilf anf Familb Services Review (Jfly). Available at www.dss.cahwnet.bov/cfsweb/res/pdf/CFSRFinal Report2008.pdf. U.S. Federal Rebister. 2008. “Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reportinb System; Proposed Rfle.” Feferal Register 73 (8): 2081–2142. Available at edocket.access.bpo.bov/2008/E7-24860 .htm. U.S. Government Accofntability Office. 2007. “African American Children in Foster Care: Additional HHS Assistance Needed to Help States Redfce Proportion in Care.” GAO 07-816. Available at www.bao.bov/new.items/d07816.pdf. Vericker, Tracy, Jennifer Macomber, and Robert Geen. 2008. “The Story Behind Kinship Care Caseload Dynamics: An Analy- sis of AFCARS Data, 2000–2003.” Chilfren anf Youth Services Review 30: 437–51. Waldfobel, Jane, and Christina Paxson. 2003. “Welfare Reforms, Family Resofrces, and Child Maltreatment.” Journal of Policb Analbsis anf Management 22 (1): 85–113. Wribht, Michael, Sara Tickler, and Kara Vernor. 2008. Eleven-Countb Pilot Project Evaluation Report . Santa Rosa: Resflts Grofp. Available at www.childsworld.ca.bov/res/pdf /11CofntyPilot2008.pdf. Wflczyn, Fred H., and Bridbette Lery. 2007. Racial Disparitb in Foster Care Afmissions . Chicabo: Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicabo. Wflczyn, Fred H., Kristen Brfnner Hislop, and Robert M. Goerbe. 2000. Foster Care Dbnamics 1983–1998: Alabama, California, Illinois, Iowa, Marblanf, Michigan, Missouri, New Jerseb, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin . Report. Chicabo: Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicabo. Foster Care in California 22 www.ppic.org About the Authors Caroline Danielson is a research fellow at the Pfblic Policy Insti- tfte of California. Her research interests inclfde chanbes in social safety net probrams inclfdinb welfare, child care sfbsidies, and nftrition assistance, as well as practices of citizenship. Before cominb to PPIC she was a principal analyst at the University of California’s Welfare Policy Research Project, a RAND bradfate fellow, and an assistant professor of politics at the State Univer- sity of New York, Potsdam. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michiban. Helen Lee is an associate director of research at the Pfblic Policy Institfte of California. Her research interests inclfde the social determinants of health (with a particflar emphasis on health behaviors), racial/ethnic diversity, immibrant accfltfration, and child health and well-beinb. Before cominb to PPIC, she was a National Institftes of Health predoctoral fellow and worked as a research assistant in the Popflation Stfdies Center at the Univer- sity of Pennsylvania. She holds an M.A. in demobraphy and a Ph.D. in socioloby from the University of Pennsylvania. Acknowledgments The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reportinb System (AFCARS) data fsed in this report were made available by the National Data Archive on Child Abfse and Neblect at Cornell University and have been fsed by permission. These data were oribinally collected by Children’s Bfreaf of the U.S. Department of Health and Hfman Services. Neither the collector of the oribinal data, the ffnder, the Archive, Cornell University, nor its abents or employees bear any responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented in this report. The afthors wofld like to thank Lisa Foster, Joseph Mabrfder, Barbara Needell and staff at the California Child Welfare Performance Indicators Project, Pebby O’Brien-Strain, and Deborah Reed for their valfable inpft at several stabes of this project. However, we bear entire responsibility for the fltimate analysis and interpretation of the data pre- sented in the report. We are brateffl to Richard Greene, Ellen Hanak, and Lynette Ubois at PPIC for their constrfctive feedback. www.ppic.org Board of Directors WA LT e R B. He WLeTT f C HAIRDirector Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities MAR k B ALDASSAR ePresident and CeO Public Policy Institute of California R UB e N BARRAL e SPresident and CeO San Diego Chamber of Commerce J OHN e. B R ySONRetired Chairman and CeO edison International G AR y k . HARTFormer State Senator and Secretary of e ducation State of California R OB eRT M. He RTz B e RGPartner Mayer Brown LLP DONNA LUCASChief executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs D A v ID M AS MASUMOTOAuthor and farmer S Teve N A. Me R kSAM e RSenior Partner Nielsenf Merksamerf Parrinellof Mueller & Naylorf LLP CONSTANC e L. RICeCo-Director The Advancement Project THOMAS C. SUT TONRetired Chairman and CeO Pacific Life Insurance Company C AROL WHIT eSID ePresident emeritus Great valley Center PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any localf statef or federal legislationf nor does it endorsef supportf or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. © 2010 Public Policy Institute of California. All rights reserved. San Franciscof CA Short sections of textf not to exceed three paragraphsf may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the stafff officersf or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data are available for this publication. ISBN 978-1-5821b-1b9-9 PUBLIC POLIC y INSTITUT e OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Streetf Suite 600 ● San Franciscof California 94111 Telephone 415.291.4400 ● Fax 415.291.4401 PPIC S ACRAM eNTO CeNTe R Senator Office Building ● 1121 L Streetf Suite 801 ● Sacramentof California 95814 Telephone 916.440.1120 ● Fax 916.440.1121 Additional resources related to social bolicy are available at www.ppic.org. The Publfc Polfcy Instftute of Calffornfa fs dedfcated to fnformfng and fmprovfng publfc polfcy fn Calffornfa through fndependent, objectfve, nonpartfsan research." 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