Foster Care, Hamilton and America’s Devolving Compact with Vulnerable People

On February 9, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the most significant reform to foster care since the federal government got into that business.

This fundamental re-ordering of the government’s role in child welfare extends far beyond the 437,000 children living in foster care today. A 2017 study found that one in three U.S. children will be investigated as victims of child maltreatment by the time they turn 18. That means millions of American children will have the experience of a child abuse investigator coming into their home, questioning whether or not their parents are fit to care for them. This is no niche concern.

Despite the sweeping implications, the debate since the Family First Prevention Services Act was passed has largely been confined to the narrow world of child welfare policy. But, the development portends something much larger: a historic moment in American governance. At a time of ballooning federal deficits and Congressional leaders’ calls for reining in costly “entitlement” programs like Medicaid and Social Security, Family First quietly but significantly expanded the scope of the federal child welfare entitlement, which currently supports only foster care placements and adoptions.

Read the full article: 

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/analysis/foster-care-and-americas-compact-vulnerable-people/31809

 

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