Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 23, 2018 


The Mueller probe lands another cooperating witness. Also on the rundown: The GAO gives a green light for CHIP cuts; and hurricane experts say – don’t let down guard down.

Daily Newscasts

MA Lags in “Family Placement” for Kids in Child Welfare

A new report says 17 percent of out-of-home placements in Massachusetts are in group home type settings, compared with 14 percent, which is the average nationwide.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons
A new report says 17 percent of out-of-home placements in Massachusetts are in group home type settings, compared with 14 percent, which is the average nationwide. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
May 19, 2015

BOSTON - A new report says Massachusetts is trailing other states when it comes to family placement of children in the child-welfare system.

The report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds 17 percent of children in out-of-home placements are ending up in group homes and other institutions compared with the national average of 14 percent.

Noah Berger, president with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, says there is significant room for improvement when it comes to kinship care.

"When a child needs to be taken out of their home, it can often be an advantage for that child to be placed with a grandparent or an aunt," says Berger. "Massachusetts is doing more of that but we still lag behind the national average in terms of how many kids get to those kin placements."

Berger says nationwide about 25 percent of out-of-home placements are with kin, while only 23 percent of kids in the Commonwealth end up being placed with an aunt, grandparent or other family member.

Berger says currently the vast majority of child protection money in Massachusetts goes to assist children who are placed in foster care and he says this new report suggests there is a potential for better outcomes if the state can provide additional help to children who are living with kin.

"We certainly need to spend resources on supporting foster families," he says. "But also should be making sure if you could help a family stabilize and provide some good life for the child in the original home, that may be even better."

The report, "Every Kid Needs a Family," finds one in seven children who have been removed from their homes nationwide are living in group home-type settings. It recommends more investment in programs that support families as well as cutting red tape to make it easier to place children with appropriate extended relatives.

The report is online at www.aecf.org.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA