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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

Population attributable risk due to ace for current smoking
Population- Fair or PoorAttributableRisk Due to ACE for Current Smoking

Child welfare roles
Child Welfare Roles Attempted Suicide

  • 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 Attempted Suicide

  • 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: Attempted Suicide

Protective custody
Protective Custody Attempted Suicide

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 Attempted Suicide

  • 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 Attempted Suicide

  • 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: Attempted Suicide

    Foster care

    2006-2008 Attempted Suicide

    Foster care

    Child Abuse Statistics: Attempted Suicide

    311 Shasta County children entered foster care in 2008

    338 in 2009

    363 in 2010

    Juvenile dependency court
    Juvenile Dependency Court Attempted Suicide

    Role of the Court

    Ensure that children are safe from abuse and neglect.

    Goals of dependency
    Goals of Dependency Attempted Suicide

    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 Attempted Suicide

    Physical Abuse


    Emotional abuse

    Sexual abuse

    Severe physical abuse

    Causing the death of another child



    Abuse of Sibling

    Presenting problems
    Presenting problems: Attempted Suicide

    Domestic Violence – 40%

    Substance Abuse – 85%

    Presenting problems1
    Presenting problems: Attempted Suicide

    Mental Health of Parents – 18%

    General Neglect – 35%

    Presenting problems2
    Presenting problems: Attempted Suicide

    Emotional Abuse – 13%

    Physical Abuse – 14%

    Presenting problems3
    Presenting problems: Attempted Suicide

    Severe Neglect – 5%

    Sexual Abuse – 9%

    Placement of children
    Placement of Children Attempted Suicide

    In the home of

    the parents.

    Custody of the


    Jurisdiction and disposition
    Jurisdiction and Disposition Attempted Suicide


    Hearing on the allegations in the petition.


    Can the children remain safely in the home?

    Reunification Attempted Suicide


    Under 3

    6 months


    over 3

    12 months

    Family reunification fails
    Family Reunification Fails Attempted Suicide

    What we know
    What we know? Attempted Suicide

    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? Attempted Suicide

    Shasta county adoptions
    Shasta County Adoptions Attempted Suicide

    In December 2010, there were 924 adoptions assistance payments made

    Shasta county s child welfare budget
    Shasta County’s Child Welfare Budget Attempted Suicide

    • 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 Attempted Suicide

    * 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 Attempted Suicide: 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 Attempted Suicide: 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 Attempted Suicide

    from Casey Family Programs

    Lisa Tange, LCSW

    Deputy Director

    San Diego Field Office

    Casey family programs
    Casey Family Programs Attempted Suicide

    • 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: Attempted Suicide

    • Direct Service

    • Strategic Consulting

    • Public Policy

    2020 vision
    2020 Vision Attempted Suicide

    • Champions for change through:

      • Safe reduction

      • Reinvestment

      • Well-being and self-sufficiency

    Why the urgency
    Why the URGENCY? Attempted Suicide

    • 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? Attempted Suicide

    • 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? Attempted Suicide

    • 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? Attempted Suicide

    • Child welfare

    • Public and private organizations

    • Community programs

    • Judges

    • The court system

    • Law enforcement

    • Politicians

    • Informed citizens

    Most importantly
    Most Importantly: Attempted Suicide

    • The Youth in Foster Care

    • Their Birth Parents, Families and Natural Connections

    However… Attempted Suicide

    California still has:

    • Highest number of children in foster care

    • 2ndhighest number of child deaths

    What must we do
    What MUST we do? Attempted Suicide

    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

    PROMISING Attempted SuicidePRACTICES

    Federal finance reform
    Federal Finance Reform Attempted Suicide

    • 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 Attempted SuicideIV-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? Attempted Suicide

    • 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 Attempted Suicide

    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 Attempted Suicide

    • Family Finding

    • Family Group Decision Making

    • Birth Parent, including Birth Father, engagement and support

    • Parent Partners

    Community engagement
    Community Attempted SuicideEngagement

    • Information

    • Advocacy

    • Partnership

    How can you help
    How Can You Help? Attempted Suicide

    • 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

    Foster care

    What s a permanency pact
    What’s a Permanency Pact? uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.

    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

    Resources uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.


      (Resource Library/Publications)


      (Permanency Pact)

    A look inside

    A Look Inside uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.

    The life Of

    The life of

    Denise Ratliff

    Foster care

    “It is important to dwell on my future, uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.

    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 uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.

    • Temporary solution

    • No one to turn to

    • Mr. Gibson

    • A new kind of hell

    • So much pain

    • Saved again

    Foster care

    Welcome uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.tothesystem

    • House to house

    • Education

    • No house?

    • Group home

    • Control

    • Medication

    • Being bad

    Foster care

    uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.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 uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.

    • Going to school and prom

    • Riding horses

      and dirt bikes

    • Climbing trees

    • Swimming

    • Writing poetry

    Foster care

    Moving Forward uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.

    • 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 uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.

    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 uncles and older siblings caring for children who have been removed from their parents.Rocke