PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 

Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

Daily Newscasts

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