The Boston Globe recently published an article on the severe shortage of foster homes for children removed from their parents. According to the article, Massachusetts has one of the worst records nationally for placement instability, lagging behind all but three states. “In 2018 nearly a third of children in foster care in Massachusetts were moved three or more times during their first year in the system.” Indeed, “virtually every night, DCF response workers, with kids in their back seats, are crisscrossing Massachusetts, or camping out at a 24-hour McDonald’s as they await word of a foster family with space for another child.” “Many DCF offices have become de facto day-care centers, with toddlers crawling amid computers and paper clips.”
The article included quotes from CAFL’s Deputy Chief Counsel Mike Dsida, who stated, ““Foster care is warranted in some cases because of the risks children face in their homes. But there has to be more thought given to the harm that they suffer as a result of being removed from their homes and placed in an overtaxed foster care system.” He continued: “That doesn’t mean that children should be left home in risky situations, but many more of them could be maintained safely in their own homes if parents are provided better support.” In a follow up article, the Globe reported the reactions of several state legislators to the piece. Their responses include advocating for increased funding for family support and stabilization services and possibly refiling a bill that would require an independent review of cases anytime a child experiences more than two placements after entering foster care.
The April 6 article can be found here.
The April 9 article can be found here.