PNS Daily Newscast - July 17, 2019 

The House votes to condemn President Trump’s attacks on women of color in Congress as racist. Also on our Wednesday rundown: A new report forecasts big losses for some states if the ACA is repealed. And a corporate call to flex muscle to close the gender pay gap.

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Foster Care Report Highlights Importance of Family

June 7, 2011

HELENA, Mont. - A new Kids Count data 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 in Montana, the less likely he or she is to be placed in what's considered the best scenario for success later in life.

Laura Speer, an associate director of The Annie E. Casey Foundation, says the data they released show placements in non-relative foster homes, group homes or institutions happen too often, and that puts teens 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."

Montana tracks along national averages when it comes to foster youth placements in group homes or institutions. Speer says the goal is to reduce that number each year because youth in those homes are more likely to have behavioral, emotional and physical problems as young adults.

She is calling for more focus on foster care with relatives, which she says is "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 1600 children are in foster care in Montana, whether that be with relatives, non-relatives, or in institutions and group homes.

That Data Snapshot is at

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT