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on foster care, faith, and florida

Here are a few recent articles about child welfare that you may find interesting.

1. Foster care system needs fresh ideas, not more money The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light systemic weaknesses in the child welfare systems of many states. These weaknesses have stirred a movement to increase funding for foster care systems. Rather than increasing funding for ineffective systems, Andrew Brown, Director of the Center for Families and Children at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, writes about ways Texas is creating a “child welfare system more responsive to the needs of children by increasing the role of local private and non-profit charities in caring for children in foster care.”

2. Symposium: Philadelphia’s exclusion of faith-based foster agency departs from history and undermines interests of children The Supreme Court will hear Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, and decide whether Philadelphia may end Catholic Social Services’ 100-year-old foster-care ministry because the program operates according to its religious beliefs about marriage. James A. Campbell, Solicitor General of Nebraska, filed an amicus brief on behalf of Nebraska in support of the Catholic Social Services. This article includes a historical perspective on the dependent relationship government child welfare agencies have upon faith-related nonprofits.

3. Florida took thousands of kids from families, then failed to keep them safe. At every level, philosophy of care matters. News from Florida demonstrates how philosophy informs policy, and how policy creates outcomes. Unfortunately for children in Florida, the legislature pushed the state’s child welfare system to focus more on removing children than upon supporting families and preventing removal. Soon, Florida had more children in care and a significant shortage of placement options. Child welfare philosophy – whatever its legislated flavor – must always be supported by sufficient resources to meet the needs of children.

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