Report: State’s Number Of Foster Children Falls 14%

The state has reduced the number of children in foster care from 5,196 in late 2016 to 4,471 and reduced the caseload for foster care workers from 28 to 20, according to a new report released Wednesday (Oct. 24) by the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

The report, “Foundation for the Future,” says the 4,471 children currently in foster care is a 14% decline from two years ago. In 2016, the number was projected to grow to 5,800 by August 2017.

The report follows reforms enacted in the wake of a report in November 2016 by child welfare expert Paul Vincent that identified 10 needed reforms. Those goals were incorporated in what DHS called the first phase of the response and lasted until 2017. That year, a second report identified three areas of improvement for phase two: strengthening families so children can stay at home; improving the foster care system; and strengthening the Division of Children and Family Services, the agency that works with foster children.    MORE

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