After peaking with nearly 19,000 children in foster care in 2016, Arizona set out to keep more families together and pull fewer kids from their homes.Some changes are taking hold, and the number of kids in out-of-home care is trending downward.
But the state still hasn’t tackled the bigger question: How can we solve the problems that spurred the foster care crisis?
Deep state spending cuts in the last decade to services that helped struggling families left Arizona’s child safety agency as the catch-all for cases that were often more about poverty, family dysfunction and addiction than intentional child abuse.The Arizona Daily Star, with support from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and the USC Annenberg Center’s Fund for Journalism on Child Well-being, investigated how our state came to have one of the nation’s highest rates of child removal, and how we can keep more kids at home by helping at-risk families break generational cycles of trauma, neglect or abuse.
Four Star journalists talked with more than 100 local, state and national leaders in reform. They visited six U.S. states to see what programs are working to support families at home, transform child safety agencies and guide children and families to a healthy future.
The team searched for solutions that could work in Arizona — and will share them in three installments this month.
Read more at the source: Foster Care | tucson.com