On October 1st, the National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council released a new statement: "A Historic Opportunity to Reform the Child Welfare System: Youth & Alumni Priorities on Preventing Unnecessary Removal of Children from their Families" with 5 priorities, echoing recommendations from the Council's 2017 Prevention Priority and highlighting new opportunities presented by Family First and moving towards a 21st Century Child Welfare System.
Priority 1: Substance misuse and mental health crises are tearing our families apart — treat them with the urgency and resources that they require.
Priority 2: Connect our families to services, even after we have been reunified with our family.
Priority 3: Don’t use our removal as a way to punish our parent(s).
Priority 4: Explore the multitude of reasons why youth are “aging out” of adoptions and look at how it can be prevented.
Priority 5: Engage with us during the investigation and when developing prevention services for my family.
This will be the first of a series of recommendations under "A Historic Opportunity to Reform the Child Welfare System: Youth & Alumni Priorities." Upcoming recommendations include the topics of Supporting Successful Older Youth Transitions to Adulthood, Quality Residential Care, and Special Populations.