Foster Care Awareness Month

Author: Kathryn Desai

The Problem

Every year more than 200,000 children enter foster care with more than 390,000 in care per year. Estimates show that between 3 to 7 million adults (ages 18-44) experienced foster care in their youth. Children in foster care are at a higher risk of living in poverty, having a teenage pregnancy, engaging in alcohol and drug use, being arrested, having long term mental and physical health problems, and are less likely to enroll and complete college than the general population. There is clearly a strong need to identify programs and interventions that effectively improve these outcomes. Congress has identified the need for evidence-based programming, but there are several barriers to this happening.

In a new policy brief, LEO makes three policy recommendations for Congress that would improve evidence-building & evidence-use for foster care prevention programs across the country, which are summarized below.

  • Authorize grants to state child welfare agencies to build data capacity.
  • Give additional resources to the Families First Clearinghouse.
  • Incentivize and pay for more rigorous evaluation.

Read the full brief here and be sure to follow along on social media as we share about what LEO researchers are doing to identify and support interventions that provide better outcomes for these children.