Monday, August 8, 2022

NCCPR in the Philadelphia Inquirer: Philly doesn’t have too few foster homes. It has too many foster kids.

The city can make smarter choices that will reduce the number of kids placed in foster care, which will reduce strain on the system — and save kids from having to sleep in conference rooms. 

We’ve all heard the adage that goes: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” A classic example of that adage is Philadelphia’s approach to the welfare of its children. 

In 2016, Philadelphia closed its only juvenile psychiatric residential treatment facility — Wordsworth — after a 17-year-old died in a fight with staff. The city opened another in 2020, but that facility soon lost its license due to “multiple child right violations,” according to the state. Now, the city is asking providers to bid for a contract to create another facility. 

So, the plan is to build an institution to replace the abusive institution that replaced another abusive institution. Meanwhile, because Philadelphia still is taking too many children from their homes, there are not enough foster homes, so the children are held in conference rooms. 

There are better answers. … 

Read the full column in The Philadelphia Inquirer