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FOSTER CARE. Shasta County Health and Human Services Marta McKenzie, RD, MPH, Director Shasta County Superior Court The Honorable Molly Bigelow , Dependency Judge. Objectives of Presentation. Role of child welfare system Role of the Dependency Court

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Foster care


Shasta County Health and Human Services

Marta McKenzie, RD, MPH, Director

ShastaCounty Superior Court

The Honorable MollyBigelow,

Dependency Judge

Objectives of presentation

Objectives of Presentation

  • Role of childwelfare system

  • Role of the Dependency Court

  • Child welfaredemographics

  • Cost(s) of childmaltreatment

Adverse childhood experiences aces

Adverse ChildhoodExperiences (ACEs)

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences are strong predictors of later health risks and disease

    • Injuries, heart disease, cancer, suicide, smoking, drug use, numerous sexual partners, psychotropic medications

  • ACEs include:

    • Abuse: Physical, sexual, emotional

    • Family risks: Substance abuse, divorce, mental illness, domestic violence, incarcerated parent

    • Neglect: Emotional, physical

Foster care

Population-Attributable Risk Due to ACE for Rating Health as Fair or Poor

Population attributable risk due to ace for current smoking

Population-AttributableRisk Due to ACE for Current Smoking

Population attributable risk due to ace for having an std

Population-Attributable Risk Due to ACE for Having an STD

Population attributable risk due to ace for chronic bronchitis emphysema

Population-Attributable Risk Due to ACE for Chronic Bronchitis/Emphysema

Population attributable risk due to ace for having over 50 sexual partners

Population-Attributable Risk Due to ACE for Having over 50 Sexual Partners

Population attributable risk due to ace for depression

Population-Attributable Risk Due to ACE for Depression

Population attributable risk due to ace for ever having used illicit drugs

Population-Attributable Risk Due to ACE for Ever Having Used Illicit Drugs

Population attributable risk due to ace for alcoholism

Population-Attributable Risk Due to ACE for Alcoholism

Population attributable risk due to ace for reporting having attempted suicide

Population-Attributable Risk Due to ACE for Reporting Having Attempted Suicide

Child welfare roles

Child Welfare Roles

  • Investigate reports of suspected abuse and determine if children can remain home safely

  • Arrange for foster care when removal from home is necessary

  • Provide intensive case management to abused and neglected children, their families and alternative caregivers

  • Work toward reunifying families when they are safe and stable

  • Find permanent homes when reunification is not possible

  • Advise, report to and follow directions of Dependency Court

Child abuse statistics

Child Abuse Statistics

  • At any given time, 700-800 children are receiving services from Shasta County’s child welfare system

Our child abuse reporting line is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 225-5144

3,438 children were referred for abuse and neglect in Fiscal Year 2009-10

815 required further involvement with the child welfare system

Foster care

Child Abuse Statistics:

Protective custody

Protective Custody

Child can’t safely remain at home

Law enforcement officer removes child from home (temporary custody)

Emergency medical or psychiatric services are provided

Alternatives for care: other parent, relative, receiving home

Intensive investigation within 48 hours to decide whether to continue custody

Intensive case management

Intensive Case Management

  • Services for children:

    • Mental health screening and treatment

    • Psychotropic medication management

    • Health care – immediate and ongoing needs

    • Education plan

    • Foster family support

Mandates and timelines

Mandates and Timelines

  • 12 months from the date a child 3 or older was removed

  • 6 months from the date a child under 3 was removed

  • Concurrent permanency planning ensures that children aren’t in temporary placement longer than necessary if it is determined that they cannot go home

  • Get children into stable homes – ideally their own – as quickly as safely possible

    Limited amount of time to offer reunification services

    Foster care

    Child Abuse Statistics:

    Foster care


    Foster care

    Child Abuse Statistics:

    311 Shasta County children entered foster care in 2008

    338 in 2009

    363 in 2010

    Shasta s child welfare placement

    Shasta’s Child Welfare Placement

    Juvenile dependency court

    Juvenile Dependency Court

    Role of the Court

    Ensure that children are safe from abuse and neglect.

    Goals of dependency

    Goals of Dependency

    Safety &


    Children who are, or at risk of:

    abuse, neglect or exploitation


    of family

    If it can be done safely


    in a timely manner.


    Either return home to parents;


    Adoption, Guardianship or LTFC

    Filing of a petition alleging

    Filing of a Petition Alleging

    Physical Abuse


    Emotional abuse

    Sexual abuse

    Severe physical abuse

    Causing the death of another child



    Abuse of Sibling

    Presenting problems

    Presenting problems:

    Domestic Violence – 40%

    Substance Abuse – 85%

    Presenting problems1

    Presenting problems:

    Mental Health of Parents – 18%

    General Neglect – 35%

    Presenting problems2

    Presenting problems:

    Emotional Abuse – 13%

    Physical Abuse – 14%

    Presenting problems3

    Presenting problems:

    Severe Neglect – 5%

    Sexual Abuse – 9%

    Placement of children

    Placement of Children

    In the home of

    the parents.

    Custody of the


    Jurisdiction and disposition

    Jurisdiction and Disposition


    Hearing on the allegations in the petition.


    Can the children remain safely in the home?




    Under 3

    6 months


    over 3

    12 months

    Family reunification fails

    Family Reunification Fails

    What we know

    What we know?

    Children do better at home.

    Children need family/permanence.

    Removal has long term consequences.

    Child safety requires financial resources.

    So where are we

    So, where are we?

    Shasta s child welfare population

    Shasta’s Child Welfare Population

    Shasta s child welfare population1

    Shasta’s Child Welfare Population

    Shasta county adoptions

    Shasta County Adoptions

    In December 2010, there were 924 adoptions assistance payments made

    Shasta county s child welfare budget

    Shasta County’s Child Welfare Budget

    • FY 09-10 expenditures: $32.3 million, 140 staff

      ~ $8.9 million in foster care placement

      ~ $10.5 million in adoption assistance (about $880,000 for adoptions staff and services)

      ~ $12.9 million in child welfare staff and services

    • Does not include court costs, medical or mental health care, or ‘lifetime costs’ associated with maltreatment (ACE)

    Shasta county s child welfare budget1

    Shasta County’s Child Welfare Budget

    * Group home rates increased by 32 percent in February 2010 (retroactive to Dec. 2009)

    ** Rate litigationpending

    A Oftensupplementedbaseduponneeds of child

    • Placement costs

      • Foster care

        • Foster care/kinship careA:


        • Foster Family Agency:


        • Group home:


      • Adoption

        • $446-$627/mo. A

        • Average Cost ~ $800/mo.

    What s needed system

    What’s Needed: System

    More intensive assessment of familyneedsatoutset of case

    Rigorous use of child welfare practice tools to ensurewell-informed and consistent decisionmaking (SDM, SOS, FTM, familyfinding)

    More foster parents willing to mentor & support parents to reunify


    Dependencydrug court

    Continuedimplementation of Safe Care®

    What s needed prevention

    What’s Needed: Prevention

    Community-wide Triple P implementation and more community support for familieswithyoungchildren

    More college-going and career planning

    Continuedeasyaccess and payment for birth control

    More family-to-family connections for self help, respite and parenting support

    Foster care

    A Perspective

    from Casey Family Programs

    Lisa Tange, LCSW

    Deputy Director

    San Diego Field Office

    Casey family programs

    Casey Family Programs

    • Founded in 1966

    • Jim Casey - United Parcel Service

    • Nation’s largest operating foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system

    Work includes

    Work includes:

    • Direct Service

    • Strategic Consulting

    • Public Policy

    2020 vision

    2020 Vision

    • Champions for change through:

      • Safe reduction

      • Reinvestment

      • Well-being and self-sufficiency

    Why the urgency

    Why the URGENCY?

    • Young adults who experienced foster care as children are just as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as U.S. veterans of the Vietnam and Iraq wars.

    • 50% of foster youth have chronic medical problems

    Why the urgency1

    Why the URGENCY?

    • 65% of Alumni (adults formerly in foster care) experienced seven or more school changes (K-12)

    • Only 3% - 11% of Alumni complete a bachelor’s degree (compared to 25% - 28% of the general population)

    Why the urgency2

    Why the URGENCY?

    • One in four young adults who were in foster care experience homelessness after aging out of care.

    • More than 270,000 inmates in America’s prisons were once children in foster care.

    Who is part of the team

    Who is part of the team?

    • Child welfare

    • Public and private organizations

    • Community programs

    • Judges

    • The court system

    • Law enforcement

    • Politicians

    • Informed citizens

    Most importantly

    Most Importantly:

    • The Youth in Foster Care

    • Their Birth Parents, Families and Natural Connections

    Together we can make a difference

    Together we can make a difference!



    California still has:

    • Highest number of children in foster care

    • 2ndhighest number of child deaths

    What must we do

    What MUST we do?

    Focus on SAFE reduction of children in foster care through:

    - Reducing entries into care

    - Shortening the length of stay in care

    - Increasing exits

    Promising practices


    Federal finance reform

    Federal Finance Reform

    • Reform that allows flexible use of existing federal funding to support innovative programs for children and families

    • Reform is NOT a request for additional federal funding.

    Title iv e waivers

    Title IV-E waivers

    • California- two counties safely reducing the number of children in foster care through flexible funding

    • Los Angeles County - 17.7 % in 18 mos.

    • Alameda County - 10.4 percent reduction in 18 mos.

    How did they do it

    How Did They Do It?

    • New front-end “Family Finding and Engagement” priorities in Alameda County

    • In Los Angeles, 5,000 early assessments will be done annually for families in need of mental health, substance abuse or domestic violence services.

    Differential response

    Differential Response

    In California DR is defined as:

    Developing a broader set of responses to reports of possible child abuse or neglect, including prevention and early intervention, engaging families to address issues of safety and risk, and improving access to services

    Birth family engagement

    Birth Family Engagement

    • Family Finding

    • Family Group Decision Making

    • Birth Parent, including Birth Father, engagement and support

    • Parent Partners

    Community engagement

    Community Engagement

    • Information

    • Advocacy

    • Partnership

    How can you help

    How Can You Help?

    • YOU CAN help youth in foster care by encouraging child welfare systems to act with urgency in moving children out of the system

    • YOU CAN support community services that address the root causes of child abuse and neglect - substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence and poverty.

    Foster care

    • YOU CAN raise your voice and express to lawmakers, policymakers and the media that supporting prevention and early intervention strategies is a top community priority.

    • YOU CAN support federal funding policies that give state and county child welfare systems flexibility to invest in programs that strengthen families and find permanent homes for children in foster care.

    Foster care

    • YOU CAN support policies that assist grandparents, aunts, uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.

    • YOU CAN support policies and programs that make it easier for parents to adopt children in foster care.

    Foster care

    • YOU CAN become a foster or adoptive parent

    • YOU CAN be a mentor

    • YOU CAN be part of a Permanency Pact

    What s a permanency pact

    What’s a Permanency Pact?

    A pledge by a supportive adult to provide specific supports to a young person in foster care with a goal of establishing a lifelong,

    kin-like relationship




      (Resource Library/Publications)


      (Permanency Pact)

    A look inside

    A Look Inside

    The life Of

    The life of

    Denise Ratliff

    Foster care

    “It is important to dwell on my future,

    because that is where I will spend the rest

    of my life.”

    • From the beginning

    • My mother

    • Six years old

    • What a life

    • Being saved

    The journey

    The Journey

    • Temporary solution

    • No one to turn to

    • Mr. Gibson

    • A new kind of hell

    • So much pain

    • Saved again

    Foster care


    • House to house

    • Education

    • No house?

    • Group home

    • Control

    • Medication

    • Being bad

    Foster care

    “The greatest thing you

    will ever learn is just to love,

    and be loved in return.”

    Blue Skies

    • A new place

    • Being loved, and

      learning to love

    • Being a kid

    Foster care

    Learning to live again

    • Going to school and prom

    • Riding horses

      and dirt bikes

    • Climbing trees

    • Swimming

    • Writing poetry

    Foster care

    Moving Forward

    • Volunteering

    • Helping others

    • Being the best

      me that I can be

    If i could wave a magical wand

    If I could wave a magical wand

    I would fix the problem before it

    started. Prevention of the initial

    problem is the only true solution.

    “An ounce of precaution is worth a pound of cure.”

    Phil and linda rocke

    Phil and Linda Rocke

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