ACF awards grants to reduce long-term foster care

Friday, October 1, 2010
Contact: Kenneth J. Wolfe
(202) 401-9215

The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today the award of nearly $9.5 million to help reduce the number of children in long-term foster care.  The grants will fund six partnerships between state and local public child welfare agencies, non-profits and institutions of higher education to develop innovative intervention strategies to help move children into permanent homes.  This is the first year of funding in a five-year initiative.

“For too long, thousands of children have grown up under the custody of the state, rather than with a permanent, loving and caring family,” said David A. Hansell, acting assistant secretary for children and families.  “These grants represent an important step to addressing the inadequacies in the child welfare system, and will help some of the most vulnerable children in that system.”

These projects will test new approaches to reducing long-term foster care placements for children with high rates of long-term placement.  The funds distributed over the next five years will go to six grantees across the country:

University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc., which will partner with four private providers of family preservation and family reunification services throughout Kansas to expedite permanency for children with severe emotional disturbances.
California Department of Social Services, which will convene a partnership of state, local and non-profit agencies in the four pilot counties of Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, and Santa Clara. The partners will collaborate to reduce long-term foster care for African American and Native American youth.
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center, which will create a county-wide system of care to address barriers to permanency and well-being for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning children and youth that are in or at-risk of placement in foster care, placement in the juvenile justice system, or homelessness.
Arizona Department of Economic Security, which will provide intensive services to the Native American and African American adolescents in the central region of Arizona to prepare them for permanency.
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, which will provide trauma-focused therapy for youth ages 9 to 12 who are at high risk of needing long-term foster care.  This program will train children’s caregivers, involve their birth parents, and locate other relatives who can be potential placements.
Washoe County, Nevada Department of Social Services, which will integrate two promising approaches into its Safety Intervention Permanency System designed to work with families to keep children safe and out of foster care, as well as to improve outcomes for children at risk of staying in foster care long term.
“Our goal is to reduce the number of children who enter into foster care, shorten the time spent, and expedite the process in which they move into other permanent living situations,” said Bryan Samuels, Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families. “The release of these grants will enable organizations to implement and sustain effective permanency achievement efforts and strengthen families.”

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