Using this approach:
From 2002 to 2009, for the month of February, Guilford County’s rate of children in custody steadily decreased from 573 to 396, a 31 percent decline .
This approach would require a change in attitude by our state’s child welfare agency. To quote, again:
Kevin Kelley, section chief for the state’s child welfare services, attributes Guilford County’s decline to a change in perspective on child foster care. Rather than take a child from the home as a first response, caseworkers approach parents and family to get them involved in fixing the home first.
Examples of “fixing the home” given were parenting workshops, determined location of relative families to avoid ripping children away to stranger foster care, which often causes major regression, loss of milestones, reactive attachment disorder [RAD] and other mental health issues in children.
Another focus has been a strong fatherhood program, something that appears to be totally missing in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, even statutes treat fatherhood as invisible See: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws… G.L.c.119 Sec. 23B should speak of services for the parents of children born out of wedlock or in foster care – not mothers only as the current statute does.
The North Carolina fatherhood program actively involves fathers in parenting not just hunts them down for $$$; that would be a major change in our state. Yet all the research available indicates that all children do better when both their progenitors are involved. See, for example, the following links:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/re… Not so coincidentally, the study profiled here is from North Carolina’s Chapel Hill University.
http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/… [Rather a large but interesting book] Lots more is available, but the point is that our species evolved with input from both genders, and our child welfare system focuses on only one gender at peril to children.
We can do better – and save money at the same time. Hard times, if they lead to supporting family stabilization, kinship connections, and fatherhood will have improved the lives of children at risk.
Here is the whole article that started me thinking and led to this post: