The number of children in foster care has dropped by more than 40 percent over the past 8 years. To safely sustain and accelerate this trend, more parents need in-home services. Marylanders overwhelmingly support providing more supportive services to at-risk families to keep more children out of the foster care system.
2014 Policy Priorities
• Launch Alternative Response, finalize implementation design and monitor program evaluation
• Define action steps to improve outcomes for young women dually involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems
• Chair and serve as administrative home to the Coalition to Protect Maryland’s Children
• Prevent homelessness in youth aging out of foster care
For a list of 2013 successes, click here.
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Child Welfare Director,
Improving Outcomes for Former Foster Youth:
Reducing Homelessness and Increasing Financial Literacy
Each year, over 26,000 foster youth between the ages of 18 and 21 “age out” of the child welfare system in the United States. In Maryland, 608 foster youth emancipated from the child welfare system in FY 2012. Additionally, it is estimated that the majority of Maryland’s foster youth over the age of 14 – a total of 4,100 at the end of FY 2012 – will remain in care until they age out of the child welfare system between 18 and 21 years old.
While some of these youth may transition to independence smoothly and successfully, many more face significant challenges finding and maintaining adequate housing and becoming self-sufficient adults. To best support former foster youth in obtaining safe, stable and affordable housing as they transition to independence, it is important to:
- Engage youth in a proactive and robust transition planning process;
- Provide increased access to a continuum of housing options;
- Ensure the opportunity to develop assets and financial literacy skills; and
Unique Risk Factors Signal Dual Involvement for Female Youth in
Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems
Youth who experience childhood maltreatment are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior and become involved in the juvenile justice system. Although the relationship between maltreatment and delinquency is well established, little research has addressed the specific risk factors and unique experiences of youth, particularly female youth, who are involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
This increased risk warrants extra attention from child welfare and juvenile justice professionals. To better understand and serve this population, Advocates for Children and Youth will publish several briefs on the experiences of crossover youth in Maryland. As the first of several publications, this brief will provide an overview of existing research, outline some of the unique risk factors of female crossover youth generally, and highlight trends of female youth involved with the juvenile justice system in Maryland.
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How Changing a Law Improves Foster Children's Lives
Graduation and Foster Youth
Commentary: Are We a New Normal?
MORE CHILD WELFARE UPDATES