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PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 


Winter Storm Avery takes lives puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown we continue our reporting on a first-of-its-kind report calls for better policies for children living in foster care; plus got gratitude this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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Report: Foster Parents Need a Voice

Minnesota has seen a jump in the number of children coming into the foster care system. (V. Carter)
Minnesota has seen a jump in the number of children coming into the foster care system. (V. Carter)
November 28, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota has seen a sharp increase in the number of children coming into foster care, with nearly 7,000 children entering the system within the past year.

A new report highlights the connection between foster families and getting those children back at home with their parents.

According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation's report "A Movement to Transform Foster Parenting," foster parents need a bigger voice.

Child welfare consultant Denise Goodman says the first line of therapy and healing is in the foster home. She says often the role foster parents play is underestimated by state, federal and private agencies involved with placing the children.

"There is a perception that foster parents are simply paid volunteers, which is kind of an oxymoron,” she states. “Foster parents have stepped up to do a very important job, and they do know the children the best."

The report calls for states to ensure high quality foster care, help foster parents form strong relationships with the children, and identify and recruit more foster families.

Wendylee Raun, an adoption and recruitment coordinator at MN ADOPT, says foster parents nurture children while they're separated from their families, and can continue to do so when they go back home. She says because foster parents play such a crucial role, there needs to more training.

"Parenting as a foster parent is very different from parenting children born to you, and so is adoptive parenting because there's an underlying system of trauma that needs to be addressed in a way that's healing for the children," she stresses.

Raun says there also should be more training at the judiciary level because foster parents' voices aren't being heard in court.

"In Minnesota, we have 87 counties and 87 different ways of doing things,” she relates. “So, depending on what the judiciary is like in that particular county, you may get a judge that always will favor the birth family, or you will get a judge that will really look at the situation on an individual basis."

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MN