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Report: backlog has developed for foster children looking for homes

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(Harrisburg) — A recent report¬†says more people are needed to help provide stable, permanent homes for children in the state’s care;¬†Pennsylvania once was keeping up with the demand, but that recently flipped.

The overall number of children getting placed in the foster care system hasn’t changed much, going back to 2011.¬†

But according to the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, starting in 2013, more kids were entering the system than leaving it.

Mike Race with the advocacy group says there could be a couple fixes to the problem.

“And that could be something as simple as recruiting more foster parents, but it’s also making sure the foster care system is working in a way that best serves those children,” says Race.

But Race also says beyond the capacity issue, the system needs to improve collaboration.

Children can often get shuffled from foster home to foster home, which can lead to problems in school and behavioral issues.

“So kids who do go from foster home from foster home to foster home and school to school to school have the supports and resources they need to make that transition as seamlessly as possible so they don’t fall through the cracks,” he adds.

Race says by establishing a solid foundation in each part of Pennsyvlania, kids will at least know what to expect and can adjust more easily.

The report from the group points out many children who reach have a court-ordered deadline to leave the foster care system never find a permanent, stable home.

Those who stay in the system long-term are more likely to experience homelessness or lose their job in their adult life, according to the report.

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