Family preservation and reunification how effective a social policy
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Family Preservation and Reunification: How Effective a Social Policy?. Richard J. Gelles, Ph.D. Professor and Dean School of Social Policy & Practice University of Pennsylvania. Facts and Factoids. The Campaign to Discredit Child Safety and Permanence as the Appropriate Child Welfare Policy.

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Family Preservation and Reunification: How Effective a Social Policy?

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Family preservation and reunification how effective a social policy

Family Preservation and Reunification: How Effective a Social Policy?

Richard J. Gelles, Ph.D.

Professor and Dean

School of Social Policy & Practice

University of Pennsylvania


Facts and factoids

Facts and Factoids

The Campaign to Discredit Child Safety and Permanence as the Appropriate Child Welfare Policy


The epidemic of child abuse

The Epidemic of Child Abuse

  • Factoids:

    A cluster of homicides or gruesome cases of abuse and neglect, abandoned babies, or “home alone” cases, or kidnappings, sparks interest in child abuse and neglect.

    • Stories begin with the claims of:

      An epidemic, or

      National estimates of 3,000,000 cases of abuse and neglect

      A “growing problem”


Facts

Facts

  • 3,000,000 is the number of reports

  • Substantiated cases are about 1,000,00 per year

  • Reports flat since 1992

  • Substantiations and Recognized cases have declined since 1996

  • Child Fatalities Have Increased (slightly)


More than half of all abuse and neglect reports are false

More than half of all abuse and neglect reports are false

  • Factoid

    50 to 60 % of child abuse and neglect reports are false


Family preservation and reunification how effective a social policy

Fact

An unsubstantiated report is not the same as a false report


Children are removed from their homes needlessly

Children are Removed from their Homes Needlessly

  • Factoid:

    Child welfare agencies are much to quick to remove children from their homes, especially minority and poor children


The can pyramid

The CAN Pyramid

  • 3,000,000 reports

  • 2,600,000 investigations

  • 990,000 substantiations

  • 200,000 removals

    Of children reported 6% are removed

    Of investigations, 7.6% removed

    Of substantiations, 20% removed


There is a foster care panic

There is a Foster Care Panic

  • Factoid

    The foster care system is bursting at the seams because there are so many removals


Family preservation and reunification how effective a social policy

Fact

  • Eighty percent of substantiated reports do not result in a removal

  • Nationally, the number and rate of removals has been constant for a decade

  • The growth of the foster care populations is fueled by too few children existing, not more children entering

  • The Foster Care Population is declining


Children are in danger in foster care

Children are in Danger in Foster Care

Factoid: Children are more likely to be killed or injured in foster care than in their own homes


Family preservation and reunification how effective a social policy

Fact

  • Comparing the injury and death rate of children in foster care to the injury and death rate of children reunified with their caregivers, the rate is lower in foster care than among reunified children.


Eureka it works

Eureka, It Works!!!!!!!

  • Factoids:

    Intensive Family Preservation Services reduce placements, reduce costs, and keep children safe.

    Intensive Family Preservation Services could reduce placements, reduce costs, and keep children safe if there were more money for services or if the services were implemented properly


It works continued

It Works (continued)

  • Family Group Conferencing:

    • Reduces child maltreatment

    • Reduces domestic violence

    • Decreases disproportionate numbers of children in out of home care

    • Promotes the well-being of children and family members


Family preservation and reunification how effective a social policy

Fact

  • There are no scientifically valid studies that support any of the above claims

  • Nearly all of the published claims have appeared in reports issued by the foundations that funded the programs, none have been made in appropriately peer reviewed professional journals.


The crises afflicting child welfare agencies can be solved by

The Crises Afflicting Child Welfare Agencies can be Solved by:

More money

More staff, fewer caseloads

More training


Family preservation and reunification how effective a social policy

Fact

  • The child welfare systems’ annual expenditures exceed $20 billion

  • No increase in staffing or decrease in case loads has produced measurable improvements.

  • Child welfare systems use the least experienced, most poorly paid workforce armed with the lowest level of technology.

  • Little effort has been expended to find the center of gravity of the system and intervene at that level


Other popular factoid

Other Popular Factoid

  • There is no such thing as a non adoptable child.

  • Adoptions are very fragile and are prone to break up, further harming the child.

  • Neglected children do not need to be removed from their homes, they would be better off if left at home.

  • There is a state or local child welfare system doing it right.


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