Thursday, April 17, 2008

Another Foster Care Tragedy

Yesterday’s New York Times story about Oklahoma’s foster care system was really sad. I think the story demonstrates how devastating foster care is for our children when it’s ill-funded and poorly structured. The story profiles Sasha Gray who went through an astonishing 42 placements during her 12 year stay in foster care. Many of these placements seem to be the result of poor management from the state child welfare office which included incredibly high case loads and a lack of qualified foster families. Multiple placements are traumatic for children and rob them of the sense of normalcy and stability that is so needed during childhood.

We have to make sure that children have all the possible options for permanency open to them if they are in foster care. Congress needs to pass legislation to enact federal subsidized guardianship to allow children to exit foster care into the safe, loving homes of grandparents and other relatives.