2012

RANKING
Which State Child Welfare Systems Are Right for Kids?

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

Published by the Foundation for Government Accountability

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RANKING
Which State Child Welfare Systems Are Right for Kids? 2012

Tarren Bragdon Chief Executive Officer

G O VE R N M E N T
ACCOUNTABILITY

FOU NDAT ION FOR

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2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

R I G H T

F O R

K I D S

R A N K I N G

2012
CONTeNTS
Executive Summary ................................................................................................. 6 . Doing Right For Kids – Good Social Policy, Good Economic Policy .................... 7 . Five Key Findings From The 2012 Right For Kids Ranking ....................................... 8 . The Best And Worst – Which States Are Right For Kids? ......................................... 9 What If All States Performed Like The Top 10 Right For Kids States? ................... 10 2012 Right For Kids Ranking ................................................................................... 11 2006 vs. 2012 Right For Kids Ranking ..................................................................... 12 Sub Rankings – The Best And Worst States For Each Of The 11 Outcome Areas .... 13 Outcome 1- Reduce Abuse .................................................................................. 14 Outcome 2 - Reduce Abuse In Foster Care ....................................................... 15 . Outcome 3 - Permanent Families, Safe Homes ................................................... 16 Outcome 4 - Return Home Quickly And Safely ................................................... 17 Outcome 5 - Forever Families ASAP .................................................................... 18 Outcome 6 - Here Today . . . And Tomorrow ....................................................... 19 Outcome 7 - Hope And Homes For Teens ........................................................... 20 . Outcome 8 - Fostering A Good Education .......................................................... 21 Outcome 9 - Fewer Foster Kids ............................................................................. 22 Outcome 10 - Rapid Response ............................................................................. 23 Outcome 11 - More Forever Families ................................................................... 24 . Ranking Methodology ........................................................................................... 25 Detailed Outcomes Summary Table .................................................................... 26 Spending Versus Performance - Is Money The Answer? ..................................... 28 Foster Care Spending Per State ............................................................................ 29 Strengths And Limitations ...................................................................................... 30 New Opportunities For States And Kids ................................................................ 31 About The Foundation For Government Accountability .................................... 32 About The Author – Tarren Bragdon ..................................................................... 33 References ............................................................................................................. 34

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

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ExECUTIVE SUMMARY

Each state’s child welfare system typically operates out of the public eye unless a tragedy, often the death a child, pulls the system from the shadows to the front page. It should not be this way. Protecting children from abuse and neglect is a fundamental responsibility of a civil society. Yet, the average American, and even most policymakers and members of the media, has little understanding of how their state’s child welfare system performs. The annual RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING provides the hard facts about how well states are serving vulnerable kids. The RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING and the companion RightForKids.org Web site answers basic questions like:
• Which states are doing the best job overall in serving children who are abused and neglected?

And more focused questions like:
• Which states are best serving teenagers in foster care by helping them move on to permanency and stability?

The 2012 RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING shows which states are best and worst at this tough but critical job, using a methodology that scores all states in 11 key outcome areas and 41 different data measures. This comprehensive list is the first of its kind. The five major findings from this year’s RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING are:
1. Only 11 states have a 24-hour rapid response to investigate claims of abuse or neglect. 2. Only 12 states visit the vast majority of foster kids monthly. 3. Only 9 states quickly and safely return foster children home to their biological families when possible. 4. Only 9 states ensure short and stable stays in foster care as general practice. 5. Only 11 states help find forever families ASAP for a large share of foster children.

Americans, most importantly abused and neglected kids, pay a significant price as a result of some states doing a much worse job than others. What if all states performed at the level of the Top 10 Right for Kids States? If that happened:
1. There would be 72,000 fewer kids in foster care (17% fewer). 2. There would be almost 19,000 more adoptions from foster care each year (36% more).

Helping kids is not just good social policy. It is good economic policy as well. Child abuse and neglect costs more than $100 billion every year in direct ($33 billion) and indirect ($71 billion) costs. This annual ranking is a reality check on how well each state is serving the most vulnerable children, and celebrates top performing states overall and in specific outcome areas. These bright spots can lead by example, and highlight successful public policies, funding structures, and leadership to best serve kids. Understanding why a state ranks where it does is the first step toward positive, pro-active reforms. Learn more about how your state performs by reading this report and state specific profiles at RightForKids.org

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2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

D O I N G R I G H T F O R K I D S – G O O D S O C I A L P O L I C Y , GOOD ECONOMIC POLICY

It happens. Children in America die from abuse and neglect. It happens 1,770 times a year–almost five times every day.1 When these tragedies occur questions are asked and fingers are pointed. The state’s child welfare system becomes front page news. Such tragedies rightly force the media, policymakers and the public to ask tough questions about how well a state’s child welfare system protects kids, reduces abuse, supports families, and moves abused kids to safe and permanent families and ultimately toward a better life. A child should not have to die to force these questions. Policymakers, child advocates, the media and the public have a right to know:
• Which states are doing the best job overall in serving children who are abused and neglected? • Which states are quickest to investigate allegations of abuse? • Which states are best at reducing the amount of time children spend in foster care? • Which states have increased the number of children moving from foster care to adoptive families? • Which states are best at supporting foster children safely returning back to their biological families? • Which states are best at serving teenagers in care by helping them move on to permanency and stability? • Which states are reducing the number of foster homes that kids in foster care are placed into? • Which states are reducing the rate of child abuse and neglect?

Simply put, a top performing child welfare system should respond quickly to allegations of abuse, ensure that kids who are abused are transitioned to a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible (whether through successful reunification or adoption), guarantee that children in out-of-home placements are in safe and supportive home-like settings (foster care or kinship care) with as few placements as possible, and reduce the overall incidence of abuse and, subsequently, the number of children in need of foster care. The Foundation for Government Accountability publishes the RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING to comprehensively and holistically rate the child welfare systems of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This annual ranking is the first of its kind. It measures each state’s job performance in serving the most vulnerable kids, and identifies the leader states we can look to for inspiration and advice. Helping kids is not just good social policy. It is good economic policy as well. Child abuse and neglect costs more than $100 billion every year in direct ($33 billion) and indirect ($71 billion) costs.2 According to numerous studies, abused and neglected children are more likely to experience the following during their lifetime: poor physical health, poor emotional health, social difficulties, cognitive dysfunction, high-risk health behaviors, and behavioral problems. The direct costs of child abuse and neglect are more obvious: hospitalization from abuse ($6.6 billion), mental health services ($1 billion), child welfare services ($25.4 billion), and law enforcement ($33 million). But there are also several indirect costs of child abuse and neglect: special education ($2.4 billion), juvenile delinquency ($7.2 billion), mental health and health care ($67 million), adult criminal justice spending ($28 billion), and lost productivity ($33 billion). This total cost is eight times greater than the total $12.6 billion reported state and federal Title IV-E spending for Foster Care ($8.4 billion) and Adoption Assistance ($4.1 billion) in fiscal year 2010.3 What is immeasurable is the cost to the life of the abused child. As a society, we need to reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect and improve outcomes in state child welfare systems–not because it is good fiscal policy, but first and foremost because it is the right and just thing to do in a civil society.

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

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F I V E K E Y F I N D I N G S F R O M T H E 2 0 1 2 R I G H T FOR KIDS RANKING

1. Only 11 states have a 24-hour rapid response to investigate claims of abuse or neglect.
The average time between receiving a report of abuse or neglect and launching an investigation is less than 24 hours in the following 11 states: Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Wyoming. Unbelievably, 13 states take longer than 120 hours (5 days) to respond. For a vulnerable child, this could mean another five days of abuse because of bureaucratic delay. It could also mean the difference between life and death.

2. Only 12 states visit the vast majority of foster kids monthly.
Caseworker visits are critical to ensure the safety of the child in foster care and to support the foster parents serving the child. 12 states prioritize foster family accountability and safety with monthly visits to at least 85% of foster children. They are: Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.

3. Only 9 states quickly and safely return foster children home to their biological families when possible.
• Just 13 states, on average, reunify foster children with their biological families within 12 months. Too many states take too long to reunify, even though reunification is in the best interest of the children. In these states kids languish in foster care likely longer than they need. • 38 states, on average, have fewer than 15% (about 1 in 7) of reunified foster children re-enter foster care within 12 months (presumably because of continued abuse and neglect). Most reunifications are successful. • Only 9 states accomplish both – fewer than 12 months on average to reunify with an 85%+ success rate. These states are: Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming.

4. Only 9 states ensure short and stable stays in foster care as a general practice.
• Only 14 states have children remain in foster care 12 months or less, on average. • 27 states have 85% or more of children in foster care less than 12 months and in a maximum of two different foster homes (or placements). Such moves can be traumatic for the child, often forcing a change of school and leaving friends and community support. • Only 9 states accomplish both–have foster children remain in care a year or less and ensure they do not experience the trauma of multiple moves. These states are: Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

5. Only 11 states help find forever families ASAP for a large share of foster children.
• When a foster child is successfully adopted into a forever family, he or she has often been in the child welfare system a long time. Just 28 states, on average, take less than 30 months to move a child from an abusive biological home through the foster care system and into a safe, permanent adoptive family. This means just over half the states take less than two and one half years to move a child from abuse and uncertainty to safety and stability. Only four states accomplish this in less than 24 months: Colorado, Iowa, Utah, and Vermont. • Just 18 states, in 2010, had 15% of foster children (about 1 in 7) adopted. • Only 11 states accomplish both–less than 30 months on average to move a foster child to an adoptive home, and a large number of adoptions as a share of the number of kids in foster care. These states are: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Maine, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.

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2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

T H E B E S T A N D W O R S T – W H I C H S T A T E S A R E RIGHT FOR KIDS?

Which states are the leaders and which fall short when it comes to helping children who are abused or neglected? Below is the listing of the 10 Best and 10 Worst states for kids. Look closely at the list. There is no apparent size, geography, relative wealth, or ethnic profile of a top performing state. The list is diverse. What matters is not the physical characteristics of a state, but how states act and what programs and policies they have. Any state can be a top performer. That’s good news for policymakers and great news for kids who are abused and neglected.

TOP 10 Right FOR KIDS STATeS
(with score, out of 110 points)
1. Idaho (78.9) 2. New Hampshire (73.6) 3. North Carolina (73.1) 4. Florida (70.9) 5. New Jersey (70.7) 6. Arizona (70.3) 7. Colorado (69.6) 8. North Dakota (68.9) 9. Hawaii (68.2) 10. Tennessee (66.7)

BOTTOm 10 WRong FOR KIDS STATeS
(with score, out of 110 points)
42. South Carolina (55.3) 43. Mississippi (55.3) 44. Nebraska (53.5) 45. New York (53.4) 46. Montana (52.6) 47. South Dakota (51) 48. Illinois (50) 49. Oregon (48.9) 50. Massachusetts (42.3) 51. District of Columbia (40.9)

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

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W H A T I F A L L S T A T E S P E R F O R M E D L I K E T H E T O P 10 RIGHT FOR KIDS STATES?

The notion of all states having a high-performing child welfare system is not policy utopia. In fact, as data in this report and on RightForKids.org shows, over a relatively short period of time states can and do dramatically improve or worsen their performance in protecting and serving kids who are abused and neglected. So what would it mean if all states were to perform as well as the Top 10 Right For Kids States? What if the rest of the states had, on average, the same outcomes as the Top 10 states?
1. There would be 72,000 fewer kids in foster care (17% fewer) 2. There would be almost 19,000 more adoptions from foster care each year (36% more)

The RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING matters. Child advocates, families, voters, policymakers and the media must encourage states to reform their child welfare systems and develop a child welfare safety net that serves abused and neglected kids well. When this happens, a compassionate and premier child welfare network across the country will be the reality, not just an ideal.

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2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

2 0 1 2 R I G H T F O R K I D S RANKING

The 2012 RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING is based on the most recent data available–mostly from 2010–and factors a state’s change in performance over time, from 2007 to 2010.

2012 RANKINGS - AlPHABeTICAl
STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
58.8 56.6 70.3 57.8 56.4 69.6 57.9 57.3 40.9 70.9 66.1 68.2 78.9 50 62.9 64.6 61.4 33 40 6 37 41 7 36 38 51 4 12 9 1 48 24 15 30

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
62.9 61.5 62.7 58.4 42.3 63.1 63.4 55.3 62.4 52.6 53.5 61.8 73.6 70.7 64.4 53.4 73.1 23 29 25 34 50 22 21 43 26 46 44 28 2 5 18 45 3

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
68.9 65.8 60.1 48.9 64.5 58 55.3 51 66.7 58.9 63.9 56.9 62.1 64.1 65.4 64.5 66.5 8 13 31 49 16 35 42 47 10 32 20 39 27 19 14 17 11

2012 RANKINGS - BeST TO WORST
STATe
Idaho New Hampshire North Carolina Florida New Jersey Arizona Colorado North Dakota Hawaii Tennessee Wyoming Georgia Ohio West Virginia Iowa Pennsylvania Wisconsin

SCORe RANK
78.9 73.6 73.1 70.9 70.7 70.3 69.6 68.9 68.2 66.7 66.5 66.1 65.8 65.4 64.6 64.5 64.5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

STATe
New Mexico Washington Utah Minnesota Michigan Kentucky Indiana Maine Missouri Virginia Nevada Louisiana Kansas Oklahoma Texas Alabama Maryland

SCORe RANK
64.4 64.1 63.9 63.4 63.1 62.9 62.9 62.7 62.4 62.1 61.8 61.5 61.4 60.1 58.9 58.8 58.4 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

STATe
Rhode Island Connecticut Arkansas Delaware Vermont Alaska California South Carolina Mississippi Nebraska New York Montana South Dakota Illinois Oregon Massachusetts District of Columbia

SCORe RANK
58 57.9 57.8 57.3 56.9 56.6 56.4 55.3 55.3 53.5 53.4 52.6 51 50 48.9 42.3 40.9 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

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2 0 0 6 V S . 2 0 1 2 R I G H T FOR KIDS RANKING
To best understand how state performance changed over time (in this case four years), a calculation of the 2006 Ranking is provided for comparison with the 2012 RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING. The 2006 Ranking also measures how a state’s performance changed from 2003 to 2006. What is most telling about the 2006 Rankings compared to the 2012 Rankings is how much states moved. From the 2006 to the 2012 Rankings, 19 states moved more than 10 places (up or down). In fact, 14 states moved at least 15 places. What does this mean? States can and do significantly change how well they serve abused and neglected kids in a very short amount of time. A child welfare system is not an immovable bureaucracy. It is a dynamic system and its performance can quickly and dramatically change. On the other hand, this also indicates that top performing states must be vigilant and pro-active to preserve their good standing. In fact, only Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, and North Carolina were Top 10 States in both 2012 and 2006. Other states saw dramatic improvement, including Florida (+12 places), Georgia (+18), Iowa (+23), Maryland (+17), Michigan (+18), New Jersey (+26), North Dakota (+28), and West Virginia (+23). Some states performed poorly in 2006 and still performed poorly years later, like the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Oregon. Performance between 2006 and 2012 plummeted in Alabama (-28 places), California (-14), Delaware (-34, the largest drop), Mississippi (-17), Missouri (-19), Montana (-27), and Utah (-19). RightForKids.org shows which outcome areas drove a state’s change in performance, and provides state specific overviews of all key data points.

2012 STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

2006 SCORe
68.6 53.2 66.5 57.2 59 70.3 60.1 69.4 52.2 63.1 57.5 72.3 68.2 51.4 64.2 55.4 56.6 63.3 58.8 55.4 43.8 53.6 55.3 64.9 59.8 67.8 62.2 54.6 61.8 64.4 57.3 62.5 55.8 67.1 55.7 64.4 49.6 49.5 61.3 54.4 56.5 54.8 62.2 58.8 72.5 48.4 61.6 61.1 55.5 59.9 65.1

SCORe
58.8 56.6 70.3 57.8 56.4 69.6 57.9 57.3 40.9 70.9 66.1 68.2 78.9 50 62.9 64.6 61.4 62.9 61.5 62.7 58.4 42.3 63.1 63.4 55.3 62.4 52.6 53.5 61.8 73.6 70.7 64.4 53.4 73.1 68.9 65.8 60.1 48.9 64.5 58 55.3 51 66.7 58.9 63.9 56.9 62.1 64.1 65.4 64.5 66.5

RANK
33 40 6 37 41 7 36 38 51 4 12 9 1 48 24 15 30 23 29 25 34 50 22 21 43 26 46 44 28 2 5 18 45 3 8 13 31 49 16 35 42 47 10 32 20 39 27 19 14 17 11

RANK
5 45 9 32 27 3 24 4 46 16 30 2 6 47 14 38 33 15 28 39 51 44 40 11 26 7 19 42 20 12 31 17 35 8 36 12 48 49 22 43 34 41 18 29 1 50 21 23 37 25 10

mOveD 2006 TO 2012
-28 5 3 -5 -14 -4 -12 -34 -5 12 18 -7 5 -1 -10 23 3 -8 -1 14 17 -6 18 -10 -17 -19 -27 -2 -8 10 26 -1 -10 5 28 -1 17 0 6 8 -8 -6 8 -3 -19 11 -6 4 23 8 -1

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2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

SUB RANKINGS – THE BEST AND WORST STATES FOR EACH OF THE 11 OUTCOME AREAS

Families, policymakers, the media, and the public need to understand which states are leading in each specific outcome area. Each outcome area was specifically chosen as part of the assessment of states’ child welfare systems because they were either identified by the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) as being a core area of child welfare system performance or identified by relevant research as being core to a well-performing child welfare system. The sub rankings for each outcome area show those top performers that may have policy or program strategies worthy of replication in other, lower performing states. The RightForKids.org Web site allows users to see the entire sub rankings for each outcome area. These sub rankings are helpful to child advocates and policymakers to guide where reforms should be targeted and what outcome measures should be monitored as such reforms are implemented. The following section provides information on each of the 11 outcome areas, and each state’s score and rank for each of the outcome areas. The highest possible score for each outcome area is 10 points.

Outcome 1 – Reduce Abuse Outcome 2 – Reduce Abuse in Foster Care Outcome 3 – Permanent Families, Safe Homes Outcome 4 – Return Home Quickly and Safely Outcome 5 – Forever Families ASAP Outcome 6 – Here Today… and Tomorrow Outcome 7 – Hope and Homes for Teens Outcome 8 – Fostering A Good education Outcome 9 – Fewer Foster Kids Outcome 10 – Rapid Response Outcome 11 – more Forever Families

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

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OUTCOME 1 REDUCE ABUSE
meASuRING SuCCeSS
• Which states do the best job at stopping the cycle of abuse and neglect, as evidenced by children not repeatedly entering the child welfare system for persistent abuse and neglect? • Which states achieve the ultimate outcome of reducing the rate of abuse and neglect overall?

The ultimate goal of a well-functioning child welfare system is to reduce the chance of a child being abused once or repeatedly. In fact, the most recent Fourth Federal National Incidence Study on Child Maltreatment (NIS 4) “highlight[s] an important and potentially meaningful drop in the rate of violence toward children. The trend overall suggests that comprehensive prevention strategies, high-quality clinical interventions, and holding those who harm children accountable for their actions have the capacity to keep children safe.” Sadly, even with this drop the rates of maltreatment are still above their reported levels in 1986 and 1980.4

DID yOu KNOW…
• 31 states reduced the rate of confirmed abuse or neglect victims from 2007 to 2010. Sadly, in the other 20 states the confirmed rate of abuse and neglect increased.

Key ReSulTS
• Percent of children without a recurrence of maltreatment (abuse or neglect) within 6 months (2010 data) • Rate of maltreatment victims per 100,000 children (2010) • Change in the rate of maltreatment victims per 100,000 children from 2007 to 2010

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
6.6 3.8 6.4 2.8 5.3 5.5 3.9 5.8 2.9 4.1 8.2 7 6.9 5 3.3 3.1 7.5 18 43 19 49 30 29 42 26 48 41 1 12 14 34 45 47 4

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
4.2 6 5.1 4.9 5.3 2.8 6.8 4.6 7.3 6.9 3.7 5.8 7.1 5.7 4.2 1.4 6.3 38 23 32 35 30 49 16 37 5 14 44 26 8 28 38 51 21

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
7.1 4.8 7.1 5.1 7.3 3.3 5.9 6 7.9 6.4 4.2 7.3 7 5.8 7.7 6.7 7 8 36 8 32 7 45 24 22 2 19 38 5 12 25 3 17 11

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2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

OUTCOME 2 R E D U C E A B U S E I N F O S T E R C A R E
meASuRING SuCCeSS
• Which states protect kids from being abused or neglected while in a foster home? • Which states ensure children’s safety while in foster care by conducting monthly in-home visits with almost all foster children? • Which states have a short average length of stay for children in foster care before returning them home or to an adoptive family?

If a child must be removed from his or her biological home, states must ensure that child is not abused again in a foster home by the foster parents, by other children in the home or by some other person within that home. States can do that by visiting children monthly, at the foster home, to ensure the foster family is providing a safe and nurturing environment, and to provide support to hard working foster parents.

DID yOu KNOW…

• In 9 states, less than half of all foster children are visited each month. These states are: Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee (did not report at all), and Vermont. • Foster children in the District of Columbia and Illinois spend the longest time in foster care–a median of 30 and 29 months, respectively. These kids spend more time in foster care then they will spend at school for first grade, second grade and third grade combined.

Foster care should be a temporary transition, not a destination. By reducing the average amount of time a child remains in foster care, the state can reduce the chance that child will be abused while in the system. Shorter stays and accountability through monthly visits protect kids.

Key ReSulTS
• Percent of children maltreated while in foster care (2010 data) • Percent of children in foster care receiving monthly visits (2010) • Percent of children in foster care receiving home visits (2010) • Median length of stay in foster care (months) for children in foster care on September 30, 2010

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
7.7 6.2 8.4 7.4 7.3 8.1 7.1 7.6 6.4 9 7.1 6 9 6 8.7 7.7 8.7 30 46 13 35 36 23 37 31 44 2 37 47 2 47 8 28 8

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
8.4 8.8 8.2 7 6.6 7.4 8.2 7.5 8.6 8.4 7.9 7.1 8.4 8.4 9 5.1 8.1 13 6 19 40 43 34 19 33 10 13 26 37 13 13 2 50 23

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
7.9 8.4 8 6.7 9 5.6 7.7 8.8 5 8.5 9.3 6.2 6.9 7.5 8.5 8.2 8.2 27 13 25 42 2 49 28 6 51 11 1 45 41 32 11 19 19

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

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OUTCOME 3 P E R M A N E N T F A M I L I E S , SAFE HOMES
meASuRING SuCCeSS
• Which states help kids move to a permanent home before they turn 18? • Which states help young children live in a family-like setting while in foster care, such as a foster home, rather than at group homes or a state institution?

A child who has been removed from an abusive or neglectful home should ideally be in a family-like setting—a foster family. Young children in particular should be in foster care over group homes or institutions, whenever possible. A child in foster care should transition to a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible.

DID yOu KNOW…
• South Carolina and Minnesota place young children in institutions and groups homes at three times the national average. On the positive side, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Oregon, and Washington placed kids in group settings at less than one-third the national average.

Key ReSulTS
• Of all children in foster care for 24 months or longer on the first day of the year, what percentage were discharged to a permanent home prior to their 18th birthday and by the end of the year? (Federal Composite Outcome 3.1, 2010 data) • Of all children discharged from foster care during 2010 and who were legally free for adoption at the time of discharge (i.e., there was a parental rights termination date reported to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) and Families for both mother and father), what percentage were discharged to a permanent home prior to their 18th birthday? (Federal Composite Outcome 3.2, 2010) • Of all children who entered care during the 2010 fiscal year and were age 12 or younger at time of this placement, what percentage were in group homes or institutions? (2010)

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
7 8.2 7.5 5.1 6.3 6.7 3.1 5.8 5.2 6.7 6.9 5.1 8.2 6.8 7.5 6.9 6 18 3 12 37 27 25 49 32 35 23 19 37 3 22 12 21 31

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
5 7.7 5.5 5.2 5.1 7.6 2.6 5.1 6.9 3.7 7.6 7.1 7.8 8.5 6.6 6.3 7.1 41 8 33 35 37 10 51 37 19 47 10 16 7 1 26 27 16

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
6.1 4.9 4.1 7.4 8.3 4.4 3.3 2.7 7.8 4.7 6.1 6.7 5.5 7.7 8 7.2 4.9 29 42 46 14 2 45 48 50 6 44 29 23 33 8 5 15 43

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2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

OUTCOME 4 R E T U R N H O M E Q U I C K L Y AND SAFELY
meASuRING SuCCeSS
• Which states quickly return children to their biological families whenever possible and appropriate? • Which states are successful in these reunifications as evidenced by children not reentering foster care because of recurring abuse and neglect in their biological home?

Whenever safe, possible and appropriate, children should transition back to their biological home as quickly as possible. Obviously, the biological parent(s) must successfully address the cause of the maltreatment that forced their child into foster care in the first place.

DID yOu KNOW…
• Reunifying families is tough work, but some states do it quickly and well. Arkansas, Idaho, and Kentucky seemed to have figured it out. New York and Vermont have work to do.

Key ReSulTS
• Time to reunification-median length of stay (2010 data) • Of all children discharged from foster care to reunification during the year who had been in care for 8 days or longer, what percentage were reunified in less than 12 months from the date of the latest removal from home? (Includes trial home visit adjustment, Federal Composite Measure 1.1, 2010) • Of all children discharged from foster care to reunification during the year who had been in care for 8 days or longer, what was the median length of stay (months) from the date of the latest removal from home until the date of discharge to reunification? (Includes trial home visit adjustment, Federal Composite Measure 1.2, 2010) • Of all children discharged from foster care to reunification in the 12-month period prior to the year shown, what percentage reentered care in less than 12 months from the date of discharge? (Federal Composite Measure 1.4, 2010)

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
5.4 5.6 5.2 8.8 5.1 6.8 5 6.2 3.8 6.3 6.2 6.4 7.3 1.8 6.6 6.4 6.1 34 29 38 1 39 8 41 20 48 18 20 16 3 51 10 14 22

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
7.4 6 4.8 4.3 5.7 5 6.7 7.1 5.6 4.7 5.6 6.6 5.3 5.8 5.4 3.1 5.7 2 23 43 47 28 41 9 4 29 44 29 10 36 25 35 50 27

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
6.5 6.3 5.1 5.9 4.4 4.7 6.4 6.9 7.1 5.8 7 3.6 5.6 6.4 5.5 5.3 6.5 12 18 39 24 46 44 16 7 4 25 6 49 29 14 33 36 12

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

17

OUTCOME 5 F O R E V E R F A M I L I E S A S A P
DID yOu KNOW… meASuRING SuCCeSS
• Which states quickly move children freed for adoption into forever families (ideally within 12 months)? • Which states have a majority of children removed from an abusive home transition to an adoptive family within 24 months, ensuring no more than 2 years in foster care before getting a new, safe forever family? • Which states move children to adoption after they have been languishing in foster care for at least 17 months?

• Four states take an average of at least 40 months to move a child from an abusive home to an adoptive family. These states are Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Washington, DC. For perspective, the Civil War was just under 48 months. Only one state, Utah, moves children to a forever family in less than 18 months.

When transitioning back to their biological family or a relative is not possible, children should move quickly to a safe, appropriate adoptive family as quickly as possible. Studies show that an adoptive family, not foster care, is the favorable home environment. Compared to children in foster care, adopted children are more likely to be living with a married mother and father (71% compared to 56%); three times more likely to be financially secure; and more likely to live in a safe neighborhood. In addition, children in adopted families require less taxpayer support than children in foster care or similar children living in single-parent families.5

Key ReSulTS
• Portion of children moved to adoption: Less than 12 months to adoption (2010 data) Less than 24 months to adoption (2010) Less than 36 months to adoption (2010) Less than 48 months to adoption (2010) 48 or more months to adoption (2010) • Of all children discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption during the year, what percentage were discharged in less than 24 months from the date of the latest removal from home? (Federal Composite Measure 2.1, 2010) • Of all children discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption during the year, what was the median length of stay in care (in months) from the date of latest removal from the home to the date of discharge to adoption? (Federal Composite Measure 2.2, 2010) • Of all children in foster care on the first day of the year who were in care for 17 continuous months or longer (and who, by the last day of the year, were not discharged from foster care with a discharge reason of reunification, living with relative, or guardianship), what percentage were discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption by the last day of the year? (Federal Composite Measure 2.3, 2010) • Of all children in foster care on the first day of the year who were in care for 17 continuous months or longer, and who were not legally free for adoption

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states
prior to that day (i.e., there was not a parental rights termination date reported to AFCARS for both mother and father), what percentage became legally free for adoption during the first 6 months of the year? (Federal Composite Measure 2.4, 2010) • Of all children who became legally free for adoption in the 12-month period prior to the year shown (i.e., there was a parental rights termination date reported to AFCARS for both mother and father), what percentage were discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption in less than 12 months from the date of becoming legally free? (Federal Composite Measure 2.5, 2010)

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
2.1 3.7 5.4 4.9 3.1 4.5 3.4 3.6 1.6 5 3.1 3.6 4.9 0.8 3.8 5.1 3.6 46 21 2 8 37 11 32 23 48 7 38 26 8 50 18 5 23

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
3.2 3.3 4 1.3 2.1 3.5 3.3 3.6 4.5 2.7 4 2.5 3.9 3.5 4.4 0.7 4.1 35 34 15 49 46 27 33 23 10 41 15 44 17 29 12 51 14

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
5.2 3.2 3.5 2.4 3.7 4.1 2.5 2.9 5.1 3.5 8 5 2.5 3 3.5 3.8 3.7 3 35 27 45 21 13 43 40 4 29 1 6 42 39 29 19 20

18

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

OUTCOME 6 H E R E T O D A Y . . . AND TOMORROW
meASuRING SuCCeSS
• Which states ensure children in foster care have a stable environment as evidenced by just one or two moves (typically one or two foster homes, maximum)? • Which states ensure children in foster care have a stable environment even if they remain in foster care for a year or more or even more than two years?

DID yOu KNOW…
• The longer a child remains in foster care, the more likely he or she will bounce from one foster home to another. While only one in six kids in foster care for less than a year live in at least three different foster homes (could include group homes or institutions), that rate increases to four in six kids for those in foster care more than two years.

When not with his or her own family, a child suffering from abuse or neglect should not be further traumatized by multiple moves from one new setting to another. Studies show that “Frequent moves may result in children losing contact with siblings, other family members, friends and adults in their community who may have been involved in their lives, such as neighbors, coaches, religious leaders and others. This further places the children at risk of emotional and behavioral problems and other negative outcomes.”6

Key ReSulTS
• Of all children served in foster care during the year who were in care for at least 8 days but less than 12 months, what percentage had two or fewer placement settings? (Federal Composite Measure 4.1, 2010 data) • Of all children served in foster care during the year who were in care for at least 12 months, what percentage had two or fewer placement settings? (Federal Composite Measure 4.2, 2010) • Of all children served in foster care during the year who were in care for at least 24 months, what percentage had two or fewer placement settings? (Federal Composite Measure 4.3, 2010)

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
3.1 8.8 7.4 1.5 5.6 6.6 6.5 5.4 3.6 5.7 2.1 7.6 6.6 7.2 7.4 5.5 4.5 44 3 11 49 29 20 23 32 42 28 45 9 21 16 11 30 36

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
6.3 3.2 7.2 8.8 2.1 8.1 5.4 4.4 4 6.3 5.1 5.5 6.6 8.4 4.4 9 9.5 26 43 16 3 45 7 32 37 40 26 34 30 21 6 38 2 1

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
6.4 8.6 1.1 7 7.3 7 1.9 4.3 4.9 4 1.8 0.8 7.3 7.5 7.3 7.9 6.4 24 5 50 18 14 18 47 39 35 40 48 51 14 10 13 8 24

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

19

OUTCOME 7 H O P E A N D H O M E S FOR TEENS
meASuRING SuCCeSS
• Which states do not give up on teenagers but instead help them move to a safe, permanent home? • Which states prevent teens from ever getting into foster care by moving them into a permanent home quickly when they enter foster care as a pre-teen? • Which states help teenagers in foster care find adoptive families?

DID yOu KNOW…
• Some states are leaders in moving teenage foster kids to adoptive homes: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Sadly, even these states, on average, helped just 11 out of every 1,000 teenage foster children find an adoptive family in 2010.

States have a particular responsibility to ensure that teenage foster children successfully move to permanent homes and not just run out the clock on the foster care system. These teenagers who “age out of the system” struggle academically, struggle to hold jobs, more heavily rely on public assistance, are at higher risk for mental and physical health problems and have higher rates of incarceration.7

Key ReSulTS
• Of all children who, during the year shown, either 1) were discharged from foster care prior to age 18 with a discharge reason of emancipation, or 2) reached their 18th birthday while in foster care, what percentage were in foster care for 3 years or longer? (Federal Composite Measure 3.3, 2010 data) • Rate of teenagers in foster care per 100,000 children (2010) • Change in rate of teenagers in foster care per 100,000 children from 2007 to 2010 (2010 data) • Rate of teenage adoptions from foster care per 1,000 foster teens (2010) • Change in rate of teenage adoptions from foster care per 1,000 foster teens from 2007 to 2010 (2010)

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
6.6 4 4.5 4.6 4.3 4.9 4.1 6 3.7 4.7 5 5.4 4.8 3.8 3.8 5.3 4.9 1 38 25 23 31 13 36 3 47 18 10 6 17 45 43 8 13

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
5 4.7 3.8 4.1 4.6 4.5 4.8 4 4 3.1 4.5 3.9 4 4 4.3 4.3 4.5 10 21 45 35 23 25 16 37 38 51 25 42 38 41 31 30 25

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
4.9 4.2 4.5 3.2 5.5 5.6 4.2 3.5 4.7 3.8 4.6 5 5.1 3.6 5.4 4.7 6.3 13 33 25 50 5 4 33 49 18 43 22 10 9 48 6 18 2

20

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

OUTCOME 8 F O S T E R I N G A G O O D EDUCATION
meASuRING SuCCeSS
• States do not uniformly report on a foster child’s educational outcomes. However, the literature shows that having a foster child live in a stable home (not bouncing to different foster homes and, often, different schools), as well as ultimately moving that child into a safe, permanent home are key indicators of academic success.

DID yOu KNOW…
• Quickly and safely moving children back with their biological families or on to adoptive homes requires skills, focus and persistence by all parties involved. The top five states that successfully and quickly do both, in rank order, are Arkansas, Colorado, Utah, Minnesota, and Tennessee.

• Which states provide stable homes for children in foster care, ensuring they have the best chance to succeed academically? • Which states help foster children quickly move to a safe permanent home, either through returning to their biological families (in less than 12 months) or to adoptive families (in less than 24 months)?

Although foster children’s education outcomes are not directly tracked by the federal government, studies show that fewer home placements and achieving permanency are both key indicators of future academic success.8 Academic success is critical to better employment, income and quality of life indicators.

Key ReSulTS
• Indicator of greater academic success–fewer placements Score for Outcome 6 – Here Today… And Tomorrow (2010 data) • Indicator of likely academic success–permanency through adoption or reunification Of all children who entered foster care for the first time in the 6-month period just prior to the year shown, and who remained in care for 8 days or longer, what percentage were discharged from foster care to reunification in less than 12 months from the date of the latest removal from home? (Includes trial home visit adjustment, Federal Composite Measure 1.3, 2010) Of all children discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption during the year, what percentage were discharged in less than 24 months from the date of the latest removal from home? (Federal Composite Measure 2.1, 2010)

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
3 6.1 5.8 4.2 4.9 6.9 5.3 4.6 2.3 5.1 2.9 6.4 6.3 3.8 5.9 5.9 3.9 47 11 17 37 30 2 24 33 50 28 48 4 8 42 16 15 40

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
5.4 3.7 5.3 5.3 3.1 5.4 6 4.7 3.9 4.5 4.8 4.4 5.4 6.6 4.1 6.1 6.3 21 43 24 26 46 21 13 32 41 34 31 36 21 3 38 11 5

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
5.5 7 1.7 5.5 6 6.2 3.6 4.5 5.7 3.5 4.1 2.6 5 5.2 6.3 6.3 6.3 19 1 51 19 13 10 44 34 18 45 39 49 29 27 5 9 5

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

21

OUTCOME 9 FEWER FOSTER KIDS
meASuRING SuCCeSS
• Which states do the best job overall of reducing the number of children in foster care? • Which states have the lowest share of children in foster care at any given time?

A natural outcome of a well-functioning child welfare system is fewer kids being abused, kids who remain in the system a shorter time before returning home or moving to a new adoptive family, and, subsequently, fewer children in foster care overall. In fact, from 2000 to 2009, the total number of children in foster care dropped 22%.9

Key ReSulTS
• Rate of children in foster care per 100,000 children (2010 data) • Change in the rate children in foster care per 100,000 children from 2007 to 2010 (2010)

DID yOu KNOW…
• The seven states with the largest drop in the number of children in foster care from 2007 to 2010: Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Some of these states have a high rate of children in foster care, but they are rapidly moving in the right direction. • The top five states that reduced the number of children in foster care over time AND had a low number of kids in foster care in 2010 are: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii and Oklahoma.

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
5.5 3.9 4.5 4.8 6.2 5.8 6.3 7.8 1.8 7 7.8 7.8 6.5 4.9 3.2 5.7 4.8 31 49 43 38 18 24 14 2 51 5 3 3 10 37 50 30 38

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
5.1 6.3 6.1 6.4 5.5 5.7 6.6 4.8 5.1 4.3 4.2 4.8 6.5 5.9 6.7 5.4 6.3 35 14 19 13 31 25 8 38 35 44 46 38 10 22 7 33 14

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
5.3 6 8.1 4.1 6.5 6.3 6 4.8 5.9 5.7 5.7 6.6 7 4.2 4.3 5.7 5.7 34 20 1 48 10 14 20 38 22 25 25 8 5 46 44 25 25

22

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

OUTCOME 10 RAPID RESPONSE
meASuRING SuCCeSS
• Which states rapidly respond to and investigate allegations of abuse or neglect?

To reduce the risk of further abuse or neglect, states must respond to allegations of child abuse as quickly as possible. For a child being abused or neglected, a slow response could mean permanent injury or even death.

Key ReSulTS
• How long it takes the state to respond to an allegation of abuse - Time to Investigation - Mean (average, 2010 data) • How long it takes the state to respond to an allegation of abuse - Time to Investigation - Median (midpoint, 24-hour range, 2010 data)

DID yOu KNOW…
• The average time between receiving a report of abuse or neglect and launching an investigation is less than 24 hours in 11 states: Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Wyoming. • 13 states take longer than 120 hours (5 days) to respond. For an abused or neglected child, this could mean another five days living in an abusive home because of bureaucratic delay. It could also mean the difference between life and death.

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
8.5 0 8.3 7.5 5.5 9.7 8.5 2.3 8.9 9.8 9.6 6.3 8.4 9 9.6 10 8.3 21 48 26 29 41 6 21 46 17 4 9 38 24 16 9 1 26

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
9.4 5.8 7.3 7 0 8.3 8.6 7.1 9.6 6.4 4 8.9 9.7 9.7 7.3 10 8.6 13 40 31 36 48 26 19 35 9 37 45 17 6 6 31 1 19

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
9.2 9.6 7.2 0 0 8.5 9.4 4.7 10 7.3 6.1 7.5 5.5 8.4 1.7 5.3 9.8 15 9 34 48 48 21 13 44 1 31 39 29 41 24 47 43 4

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

23

OUTCOME 11 MORE FOREVER FAMILIES
meASuRING SuCCeSS
• Which states do the best job at moving children in foster care to adoption? • Which states have most dramatically increased the rate of adoptions from foster care from 2007 to 2010?

When not appropriate or possible for a child to remain with his or her biological family, that child deserves a safe, permanent and loving adoptive family.

Key ReSulTS
• Rate of adoptions from foster care per 100 foster children (2010 data) • Change in the rate of adoptions from children in foster care per 100 foster children from 2007 to 2010

DID yOu KNOW…
• Just five states had at least one in five foster children move to a forever family: Arizona, Idaho, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. • Nine states had a dramatic improvement in the rate of adoptions from foster care from 2007 to 2010, increasing at least 5 percentage points: Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. • Montana and Tennessee had a steep drop in the rate of adoptions from 2007 to 2010.

Top 10 states Bottom 10 states

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas

SCORe RANK
3.3 6.3 6.9 6.2 2.8 4.1 4.7 2.2 0.7 7.5 7.2 6.6 10 0.9 3.1 3 3.1 32 13 9 14 37 28 24 42 51 5 6 10 1 50 34 35 33

STATe
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina

SCORe RANK
3.5 6 5.4 4.1 2.2 4.8 4.4 2.4 2.9 1.6 2.1 5.2 8.9 4.2 8 2 6.6 30 15 18 28 42 21 25 40 36 48 44 19 3 27 4 45 10

STATe
North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

SCORe RANK
4.8 2.8 9.7 1.6 6.5 2.3 4.4 1.9 2.6 5.7 7 5.6 4.7 4.8 7.2 3.4 1.7 21 37 2 48 12 41 25 46 39 16 8 17 23 20 7 31 47

24

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

R A N K I N G METHODOLOGY

The federal ACF makes comprehensive data available in its Child Welfare Outcomes Report Data.10 ACF uses data provided by the states through the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). The RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING has 11 major outcome categories, with 41 data measures and a total of 110 possible points. Each outcome category has a total possible score of 10 points. The state with the best score for a particular data measure (either the highest or lowest value, depending on what is preferred) was awarded the maximum number of points. The state with the worst score for a particular data measure is awarded zero points. All other states are prorated between this minimum and maximum score. Not only were data measures calculated for 2010, the most recent year available, but whenever possible and practical, states were also awarded points based on whether they improved their performance for key data measures over the past four years. Some states did not report for a particular data outcome in 2010 (or 2006 for the 2006 Rankings). In these cases, the most recently reported year was used (2009 or 2008, and 2005 and 2004 for the 2006 Rankings). If a state did not report on a particular outcome for three years, it received zero points for that data outcome for that year. This approach to calculating scores has two distinct advantages. It rewards states that move in the right direction (but may still need to make significant improvement) and penalizes states that move in the wrong direction (regardless of their performance in 2010).

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

25

DETAILED OUTCOMES SUMMARY TABLE
WHAT’S POSITIve OuTCOme NumBeR
Outcome 1

SHORT TITle
Reduce Abuse

DeSCRIPTION
Reduce recurrence of child abuse and/ or neglect & reduce number of victims of maltreatment

DATA meASuRe Total
Percent of children without a recurrence of maltreatment (abuse or neglect) within 6 months

yeAR
2010

(higher or lower score)

(10 pts each outcome)

WeIGHT

lARGeST vAlue
98.8

lOWeST vAlue
87.7

110
Higher 3.34

Rate of maltreatment victims per 100,000 children “Change in the rate of maltreatment victims per 100,000 children from 2007 to 2010 (how many fewer (-)/more (+)) Outcome 2 Reduce Abuse in Foster Care Reduce the incidence of child abuse and/or neglect in foster care Percent of children maltreated while in foster care

2010 2010 2010

Lower Lower Lower

3.33 3.33 2

2464 374 2.33

134 -762 0.0

Percent of children in foster care receiving home visits Percent of children in foster care receiving monthly visits Median length of stay in foster care for children in foster care on September 30, 2010 Outcome 3 Permanent Families, Safe Homes Increase permanency for children in foster care & reduce placement of young children in group homes or institutions Of all children in foster care for 24 months or longer on the first day of the year, what percentage were discharged to a permanent home prior to their 18th birthday and by the end of the year? (Federal Composite Outcome 3.1)

2010 2010 2010 2010

Higher Higher Lower Higher

2 3 3 3.34

96 100 29.6 49.2

0 0 8.6 13.5

Of all children discharged from foster care during 2010, and who were legally free for adoption at the time of discharge (i.e., there was a parental rights termination date reported to AFCARS for both mother and father), what percentage were discharged to a permanent home prior to their 18th birthday? (Federal Composite Outcome 3.2) Of all children who entered care during the fiscal year and were age 12 or younger at time of this placement, what percentage were in group homes or institutions? Outcome 4 Return Home Quickly and Safely Reduce time in foster care to reunification without increasing reentry Time to reunification - median length of stay

2010

Higher

3.33

100

80.9

2009 2010

Lower Lower

3.33 2.5

19.5 29.6

1 8.6

Of all children discharged from foster care to reunification during the year who had been in care for 8 days or longer, what percentage were reunified in less than 12 months from the date of the latest removal from home? (Includes trial home visit adjustment, Federal Composite Measure 1.1) Of all children discharged from foster care to reunification during the year who had been in care for 8 days or longer, what was the median length of stay (in months) from the date of the latest removal from home until the date of discharge to reunification? (Includes trial home visit adjustment, Federal Composite Measure 1.2) Of all children discharged from foster care to reunification in the 12-month period prior to the year shown, what percentage reentered care in less than 12 months from the date of discharge? (Federal Composite Measure 1.4) Outcome 5 Forever Families ASAP Reduce time between foster care and adoption Portion of children moved to adoption in… Less than 12 months to adoption

2010

Higher

2.5

91.3

45.5

2010

Lower

2.5

13.9

1.7

2010

Lower

2.5

25.7

2

2010

Higher

3

32.8

0.8

Less than 24 months to adoption Less than 36 months to adoption Less than 48 months to adoption 48 or more months to adoption Of all children discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption during the year, what percentage were discharged in less than 24 months from the date of the latest removal from home? (Federal Composite Measure 2.1) Of all children discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption during the year, what was the median length of stay in care (in months) from the date of latest removal from the home to the date of discharge to adoption? (Federal Composite Measure 2.2) Of all children in foster care on the first day of the year who were in care for 17 continuous months or longer (and who, by the last day of the year, were not discharged from foster care with a discharge reason of reunification, living with relative, or guardianship), what percentage were discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption by the last day of the year? (Federal Composite Measure 2.3)

2010 2010 2010 2010 2010

Higher Higher Higher Lower Higher

0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 1

86.1 93.9 97.7 45.8 86.1

7 29.4 54.3 2.2 6.9

2010

Lower

1

45.6

14.4

2010

Higher

1

46.4

13

26

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

WHAT’S POSITIve OuTCOme NumBeR SHORT TITle DeSCRIPTION DATA meASuRe
Of all children in foster care on the first day of the year who were in care for 17 continuous months or longer, and who were not legally free for adoption prior to that day (i.e., there was not a parental rights termination date reported to AFCARS for both mother and father), what percentage became legally free for adoption during the first 6 months of the year? (Federal Composite Measure 2.4) Of all children who became legally free for adoption in the 12-month period prior to the year shown (i.e., there was a parental rights termination date reported to AFCARS for both mother and father), what percentage were discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption in less than 12 months from the date of becoming legally free? (Federal Composite Measure 2.5) Outcome 6 Here Today… And Tomorrow Increase placement stability Of all children served in foster care during the year who were in care for at least 8 days but less than 12 months, what percentage had two or fewer placement settings? (Federal Composite Measure 4.1)

yeAR
2010

(higher or lower score) Higher

(10 pts each outcome) 1

WeIGHT

lARGeST vAlue
30.8

lOWeST vAlue
2

2010

Higher

1

85.5

25.5

2010

Higher

3.33

92.1

69.5

Of all children served in foster care during the year who were in care for at least 12 months, what percentage had two or fewer placement settings? (Federal Composite Measure 4.2) Of all children served in foster care during the year who were in care for at least 24 months, what percentage had two or fewer placement settings? (Federal Composite Measure 4.3) Outcome 7 Hope and Homes for Teens Achieve timely permanency for teenagers Of all children who, during the year shown, either 1) were discharged from foster care prior to age 18 with a discharge reason of emancipation, or 2) reached their 18th birthday while in foster care, what percentage were in foster care for 3 years or longer? (Federal Composite Measure 3.3) Rate of teenagers in foster care per 100,000 children Change in the rate of teenagers in foster care per 100,000 children from 2007 to 2010 (how many fewer (-)/more (+)) Rate of teenage adoptions from foster care per 1,000 foster teens Change in rate of teenage adoptions from foster care per 1,000 foster teens from 2007 to 2010

2010 2010 2010

Higher Higher Lower

3.33 3.34 2

76.3 47.5 67.4

44.4 14.9 13.4

2010 2010 2010 2010

Lower Lower Higher Higher

2 2 2 2

951 8 26.63 15.26

78 -183 1 -72.33

Outcome 8

Foster A Good education

Achieve better education outcomes for those in foster care

Score for Outcome 6 - Increase placement stability

2010

Higher

5

9.5

0.8

Of all children who entered foster care for the first time in the 6-month period just prior to the year shown, and who remained in care for 8 days or longer, what percentage were discharged from foster care to reunification in less than 12 months from the date of the latest removal from home? (Includes trial home visit adjustment, Federal Composite Measure 1.3) Of all children discharged from foster care to a finalized adoption during the year, what percentage were discharged in less than 24 months from the date of the latest removal from home? (Federal Composite Measure 2.1) Outcome 9 Outcome 10 Fewer Foster Kids Rapid Response Reduce number of kids in foster care Respond timely to allegations of abuse or neglect Rate of children in foster care per 100,000 children Change in the rate children in foster care per 100,000 children from 2007 to 2010 How long does it takes the state to respond to an allegation of abuse - Time to Investigation - Mean (average) How long does it takes the state to respond to an allegation of abuse - Time to Investigation - Median (midpoint, 24-hour range) Outcome 11 more Forever Families Increase number of Rate of adoptions from foster care per 100 foster children adoptions Change in the rate of adoptions from children in foster care per 100 foster children from 2007 to 2010

2010

Higher

2.5

62.3

16.6

2010

Higher

2.5

86.1

6.9

2010 2010 2010

Lower Lower Lower

5 5 5

1814 96 340.7

273 -457 0

2010 2010

Lower Higher

5 5

6.5 21.04

0.5 5.41

2010

Higher

5

10.63

-3.53

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

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S P E N D I N G V E R S U S P E R F O R M A N C E - I S MONEY THE ANSWER?

In Fiscal Year 2010, states spent $8.5 billion in Title IV-E Foster Care computable spending. The chart below shows how much IV-E funding each state spends, on average, per foster child served, compared to their 2012 RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING. The table that follows also shows how many foster children on average each state serves each month, and how much IV-E funding they spend per foster child and for every child in their state (a type of per capita measure). As you can see from the chart and table, the Top 10 Right For Kids states are not the biggest spenders. States need to focus on how resources are spent on kids, not just how much is spent. This $8.5 billion in Title IV-E Foster Care computable spending does not include all of a state’s spending on child welfare, but it is the most recent data available as directly tracked by the federal government.

COmPARISON OF STATe FOSTeR CARe SPeNDING PeR FOSTeR CHIlD AND RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING
Foster Care Spending per Foster Child Served $10,000 $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000 $60,000 $70,000 $80,000 $90,000

$0
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10 20 30 40 50 60
Sources: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Foundation for Government Accountability

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

F O S T E R C A R E S P E N D I N G PER STATE
TOTAl TITle Iv-e FOSTeR CARe SPeNDING (STATe & FeDeRAl) Fy 2010
$59,221,886 $26,534,451 $115,956,294 $66,196,383 $2,652,407,968 $119,495,100 $115,154,827 $7,688,485 $55,665,215 $226,283,102 $141,738,038 $33,531,455 $16,118,419 $356,365,966 $153,216,642 $41,139,949 $48,303,420 $71,297,559 $87,030,084 $32,102,888 $138,690,054 $115,093,269 $170,219,209 $80,004,778 $22,908,983 $98,758,261 $20,501,826 $34,299,051 $65,623,203 $32,271,908 $180,389,422 $43,415,528 $811,825,153 $137,503,745 $19,239,015 $326,940,245 $58,305,534 $178,872,235 $465,507,864 $24,877,811 $64,583,331 $11,170,128 $76,206,643 $435,996,825 $35,677,005 $17,003,829 $105,301,558 $174,239,042 $47,542,862 $94,593,284 $4,494,513

STATe
Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Dist of Col Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

CHIlD POPulATION 2009
1,128,864 183,546 1,732,019 709,968 9,435,682 1,227,763 807,985 206,993 114,036 4,057,773 2,583,792 290,361 419,190 3,177,377 1,589,365 713,155 704,951 1,014,323 1,123,386 271,176 1,351,935 1,433,002 2,349,892 1,260,797 767,742 1,431,338 219,828 451,641 681,033 289,071 2,045,848 510,238 4,424,083 2,277,967 143,971 2,714,341 918,849 872,811 2,775,132 226,825 1,080,732 199,616 1,493,252 6,895,969 868,824 126,275 1,847,182 1,569,592 386,449 1,310,250 132,025

AveRAGe mONTHly NumBeR OF FOSTeR CHIlDReN 2010
2,097 655 4,403 1,789 33,188 2,041 1,670 201 902 6,127 2,755 473 963 13,292 3,087 1,471 1,245 2,921 2,562 957 2,145 2,191 4,165 1,800 999 3,166 627 1,369 2,083 436 4,226 1,092 12,724 3,197 375 7,446 3,308 3,190 14,690 592 1,174 590 2,981 11,971 902 528 2,870 4,159 1,012 2,151 120

SPeNDING PeR FOSTeR CHIlD 2010
$28,241 $40,511 $26,336 $37,002 $79,921 $58,547 $68,955 $38,251 $61,713 $36,932 $51,448 $70,891 $16,738 $26,811 $49,633 $27,967 $38,798 $24,409 $33,970 $33,545 $64,657 $52,530 $40,869 $44,447 $22,932 $31,193 $32,698 $25,054 $31,504 $74,018 $42,686 $39,758 $63,803 $43,010 $51,304 $43,908 $17,626 $56,073 $31,689 $42,023 $55,011 $18,932 $25,564 $36,421 $39,553 $32,204 $36,690 $41,894 $46,979 $43,976 $37,454

SPeNDING FOR eveRy CHIlD lIvING IN THe STATe (PeR CHIlD CAPITA) 2010
$52 $145 $67 $93 $281 $97 $143 $37 $488 $56 $55 $115 $38 $112 $96 $58 $69 $70 $77 $118 $103 $80 $72 $63 $30 $69 $93 $76 $96 $112 $88 $85 $184 $60 $134 $120 $63 $205 $168 $110 $60 $56 $51 $63 $41 $135 $57 $111 $123 $72 $34

RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING 2012
32 40 6 37 41 7 35 38 51 4 12 9 1 48 24 17 30 23 29 25 33 50 22 21 43 26 46 45 28 2 4 18 44 3 8 13 31 49 16 36 42 47 10 34 20 39 27 19 14 15 11

GRAND TOTAl TOTAlS FOR TOP 10 RANKeD STATeS

74,548,215 13,977,215

$8,517,504,245 $956,995,103

181,078 25,222

$47,038 $37,943

$114 $68

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

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S T R E N G T H S A N D LIMITATIONS

Anytime one attempts to holistically measure and rank states’ performance in any policy area there are limitations to such an approach. Each state’s child welfare system is different. Some states have different definitions of what constitutes abuse or neglect. Other states have different mandatory reporters–individuals who by profession and their interactions with children are required to report suspected abuse or neglect. But using such differences as an excuse for not measuring the states and ranking their performance is a disservice to children. All states have to uniformly report to the federal government on their child welfare system, providing a standard definition and as standardized data as possible regarding system performance. Such uniform reporting and data is not available for many policy areas, but is for child welfare. In addition, a major strength of the RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING is that it uses 11 major outcome areas to comprehensively measure states, and provides sub rankings to better present and facilitate understanding of where, specifically, a state is doing well and where it needs improvement. Think of it like a report card in school. Maybe you score high in math but need help with reading comprehension (as evidenced by a low grade). You are still given an overall GPA, but the scoring by subject provides a roadmap of what to celebrate and protect and where to get a tutor. The same is true in policy. A limitation of the Rankings is that many data measures we would have liked to assess are not available. What about a child’s well-being while in foster care, or after being reunified with his or her family or being adopted into a new family? Policymakers and child welfare experts are still trying to determine how best to measure this. We want to know how kids in foster care are doing on basic educational outcomes–attending school, advancing to a new grade, graduating high school and completing higher education. Some states measure this, but most do not. The federal government does not require that states do so. In addition, we have no comprehensive picture of how the physical and mental health of a child in foster care is being attended to. More needs to be measured to best understand and ultimately improve how a state’s child welfare system serves kids. The RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING is not perfect, but it is much better than what is available now . . . nothing. It provides context to the dull statistics. That’s important, because these are not just numbers we are talking about, they are children, and they must not be ignored. The RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING will be an annual reality and accountability check to ensure that abused and neglected kids receive the attention, support and care they deserve from the public, the media, policymakers, and all those that serve and seek to protect them from future abuse and neglect.

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2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

N E W O P P O R T U N I T I E S F O R STATES AND KIDS

The 2012 RIGHT FOR KIDS RANKING will hopefully inspire states to learn from each other and improve child welfare system performance. Lower ranking states should communicate with states that rank high and explore proven reforms that are working to best serve kids. This is true for individual outcome areas as well. There is always room from improvement. For example, Idaho, the highest ranking state overall, might improve its performance in Outcome 10 (rapid response to investigate allegations of abuse, in which Idaho ranks 24th) by learning from New York, which ranks first in Outcome 10, despite ranking 45th overall. Poor fiscal policy often punishes states and policymakers for doing the right thing. In the case of child welfare, poor fiscal policies have undermined what is right for kids and for taxpayers. Title IV-E is the major federal funding source for state child welfare systems. It is a federal subsidy tied to the costs and number of kids in foster care (foster homes, group homes and institutions) and for related training and administrative costs for a state’s child welfare system.11 More kids in foster care can draw more federal Title IV-E funding. Conversely, fewer kids in foster care can mean a cut to federal Title IV-E funding to that state. Waivers give states the flexibility to set their federal funding at a specific level, regardless of a change in the number of children in foster care. The waiver also gives states the ability to use the funding for prevention, earlier intervention services, family support services and faster permanency planning and implementation. As we see in the Spending versus Performance chart on page 26, a state’s Right for Kids ranking depends more on how and where a state spends, not how much it spends. The freedom these waivers provide matters. From 1997 through 2006, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had the authority to grant Title IV-E waivers. Just 23 states actually applied for and received waivers during that entire decade.12 Federal waiver authority expired on March 31, 2006.13 That loss of the Title IV-E waiver opportunity meant a major tool for states to do right for kids was gone. As a recent Casey Family Services report noted, “In recent years, flexible funding waivers have been associated with large reductions in foster care populations in Florida, Ohio, Oregon and two counties in California: Alameda and Los Angeles.”14 Recognizing this, in 2011 Congress acted to give states the ability to request and receive Title IV-E waivers, with President Barack Obama signing the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act on September 30, 2011. The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act gives the federal government the ability to grant 10 Title IV-E waivers each year from 2012 through 2014, for a total of up to 30 state waivers. As of May 2012, only Florida and Washington had applied for these waivers. This opportunity for states only lasts another 27 months (July 2012 through September 2014).

According to an overview of the waiver process published by the Child Welfare League of America, a state must do the following to qualify for a waiver:
• “Increase permanence by reducing time in foster care, • Increase positive outcomes for children and families, or • Prevent maltreatment and re-entry into care.”

In addition, part of the waiver implementation plan must include at least two of the following policies, with at least one being newly implemented as a result of the waiver:
• “Establishing a bill of rights for children in care, • Implementing a health and mental health plan for children in care, • Covering kinship/subsidized guardianship with IV-E funding, extending IV-E foster care to 21, • Implementing a plan to reduce congregate care, increasing the placement of siblings together, • Implementing a plan to improve the recruitment and retention of quality foster families, • Establishing procedures to assist youth in transitioning out of care, • State plan inclusion of older youth guidance in their own transition plan, and • The establishment of one or more programs to prevent placement in care and provide permanency.”15

That is why the Right For Kids Ranking is so important. If policymakers, families and the media do not focus on how child welfare systems are actually performing then they will not have the political will to utilize every available tool, including Title IV-E waivers, to maximize the positive impact of child welfare reform.

2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

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A B O U T T H E F O U N D A T I O N F O R G O V E R N M E N T ACCOUNTABILITY

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) believes personal liberty and private enterprise are key to our economic future. To advance our shared vision, Foundation staff develops and promotes free market public policies that achieve limited, constitutional government and a robust economy that will be an engine for job creation across Florida. Governed by an independent Board of Directors, the Foundation for Government Accountability is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501c3 tax-exempt organization. Charitable donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. FGA relies on the generous support from individuals, corporations, and foundations that support our free market principles. The Foundation does not seek nor accept any government funding or perform contract work.

G O VE R N M E N T
ACCOUNTABILITY
The Foundation is located in Naples, Florida. For more information, visit www.FloridaFGA.org, call 239.244,8808 or e-mail info@FloridaFGA.org. Mailing address: 15275 Collier Boulevard, Suite 201-279, Naples, Florida 34119.

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2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

A B O U T T H E A U T H O R – TARREN BRAGDON

Tarren Bragdon is president and chief executive officer of the Foundation for Government Accountability, a research and advocacy organization committed to making Florida the most economically vibrant state in America. In 2008, Tarren was named chief executive officer of The Maine Heritage Policy Center, a free market think tank based in Portland, Maine. Under his leadership, the organization grew to become the largest state-based free market think tank on a per capita basis. In September 2010, he received the Thomas Roe Award, given annually by the State Policy Network to the individual with the greatest impact on the nation’s free market movement. From 1996 through 2000, Tarren served in the Maine House of Representatives. Elected at the age of 21, Tarren remains the youngest person ever elected to the Maine House. While in the House of Representatives, Tarren worked for three years in program development and licensing compliance for a private child welfare agency in Maine, helping to start their adoption program which focused exclusively on foster children in need of forever families. A nationally recognized expert on health policy issues with a specialty in Medicaid reform, Tarren has served as a health-policy analyst with the Manhattan Institute’s Empire Center for New Your State Policy. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee; state legislative committees in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, Illinois, and Maine; numerous national conferences; and the American Swiss Foundation in Switzerland. His work has been featured on Fox News’ Sean Hannity show, National Public Television’s NOW, in a Wall Street Journal editorial and multiple Wall Street Journal op-eds, and in the New York Post, Boston Globe, New York Times and on National Public Radio. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Maine and his Masters of Science of Business degree from Husson University in Bangor, Maine. Tarren and his wife Anna have four children; Wyatt, Waverly and the twins, Jude and Asher. He and his wife adopted all their children. In 2010, Tarren and Anna were recognized by U.S. Senator Susan Collins as Angels in Adoption on behalf of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. To contact Tarren, please e-mail tbragdon@floridafga.org

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REFERENCES

1

“Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities 2009: Statistics and Interventions.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. February 2011. Page 2. Available at: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/fatality.pdf (March 16, 2012) Wang, Ph.D., Ching-Tung & John Holton, Ph.D. “Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States.” Pew Charitable Trusts. September 2007. Page 2. Figures in 2007 dollars. Available at: http://member.preventchildabuse. org/site/DocServer/cost_analysis.pdf?docID=144 (March 16, 2012) Spreadsheets provided on February 29, 2012 by Sara Moomaw of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration of Child and Families, Office of Legislative Affairs and the Budget. Available upon request. Daro, Deborah. “Child Abuse Prevention: A Job Half Done.” Chapin Hall Issue Brief. Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. February 2010. Page 1. Available at: http://www.chapinhall.org/sites/default/files/publications/Child%20 Abuse_IB_F_02_25_10.pdf (March 16, 2012) Zill, Nicholas. “Adoption from Foster Care: Aiding Children While Saving Public Money.” Brookings Institution. May 2011. Page 4. Available at: http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2011/05_adoption_foster_care_zill.aspx (March 16, 2011). Williams-Mbengue, Nina. “Moving Children Out of Foster Care: The Legislative Role in Finding Permanent Homes for Children.” National Conference of State Legislatures. October 2008. Page 2. Available at: http://www.ncsl.org/documents/ cyf/movingchildrenoutofcare.pdf (March 16, 2012) “Improving Outcomes for Older Youth in Foster Care.” Casey Family Programs. 2008. Pages 3-4. Available at: http://www. casey.org/resources/publications/pdf/WhitePaper_ImprovingOutcomesOlderYouth_FR.pdf (March 16, 2012) “Education is the Lifeline for Youth in Foster Care.” National Working Group on Foster Care and Education. July 2011. Pages 2-3. Available at: http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/pdf/EducationalOutcomesFactSheet.pdf (March 16, 2012) “Data Snapshot on Foster Care Placement.” Annie E. Casey Foundation. May 2011. Page 1. Available at: http://www.aecf. org/~/media/Pubs/Initiatives/KIDS%20COUNT/D/DataSnapshotFosterCarePlcmnt/DataSnapshot_FinalWeb.pdf (March 16, 2012)

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10 “Child Welfare Outcomes Report Data.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration of Children and Families. Available at: http://cwoutcomes.acf.hhs.gov/data/tables.demo_stats (May 25, 2012) 11 “Overview of Title IV-E Foster Care Program.” Child Welfare League of America. Available at: http://www.cwla.org/ advocacy/overviewtitleIV-E.htm (May 25, 2012) 12 James Bell Associates. “Summary of the Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver Demonstrations.” March 2012. Page 1. Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb//programs_fund/cwwaiver/2012/summary_demo2012.pdf (May 25, 2012) 13 Houshyar, Shadi. “Title IV-E Waivers: Expanding and Modifying Child Welfare Demonstration Waivers to Promote Flexibility and Foster Innovation.” First Focus. March 9, 2011. Available at: http://www.firstfocus.net/library/reports/title-iv-e-waiversexpanding-and-modifying-child-welfare-demonstration-waivers-to-pr (May 25, 2012) 14 “The Need to Reauthorize and Expand Title IV-E Waivers.” Casey Family Services. May 2010. Page 3. Available at: http:// casey.org/resources/publications/pdf/NeedForWaivers.pdf (May 25, 2012) 15 “An Overview of Child Welfare Waivers.” Child Welfare League of America. March 2012. Pages 1-2. Available at: http:// www.cwla.org/advocacy/OverviewChildWelfareWaiversWebsite.pdf (May 25, 2012)

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2012 Right for Kids Ranking | Foundation for Government Accountability

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Published by the Foundation for Government Accountability www.FloridaFGA.org, | 239.244,8808 | e-mail info@FloridaFGA.org 15275 Collier Boulevard, Suite 201-279, Naples, Florida 34119

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