PNS Daily Newscast - October 23, 2019 

A top US diplomat testifies that millions in military aid was held up over Trump demand for "Biden probe." Also on our rundown, a hearing today targets Big Oil and "climate denial."

2020Talks - October 23, 2019 

Facebook says it blocked four networks of social media accounts to prevent election interference; and Julin Castro announces he might not have enough cash on hand to keep the campaign going.

Daily Newscasts

Foster Care Report Highlights Importance of Family

May 31, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. - A new Kids Count snapshot of foster care in the U.S. shows a slight decline in the overall number of children in care, but it also shows that the older a child is, the less likely he or she is to be placed in what's considered the best scenario for success later in life.

Laura Speer is an associate director at The Annie E. Casey Foundation, which released the new data. They found teens are ending up in non-relative foster homes, group homes or institutions too often in Virginia, and that puts them at a disadvantage as they are about to "age out" of the system...

"It's kind of a double jeopardy, because they are going to be leaving foster care soon, and if they're in a group home, they're less likely to have that permanent family connection that they need."

Speer says youth without that family connection are more likely to have behavioral, emotional and physical problems as young adults.

Some 6 percent of the almost 6,000 children in foster care in Virginia live with relatives. Speer says that's well below the national average of 24 percent. She calls that kind of kin care ideal for most kids.

"So they can maintain relationships with their siblings, go to the same school. Often, they can keep their friends, and so it's much less disruptive to them, and just better for them overall."

About 424,000 children are in foster care nationwide, whether that be with relatives, non-relatives, or in institutions and group homes.

The number has declined by more than 100,000 in 10 years. Speer says that's due, in part, to a focus on helping families stay together by assisting with housing, income, and therapy.

Data Snapshot is at

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - VA