Michigan is making an effort to keep foster kids in family settings, with a 9% improvement over a 10 year period, according to a new report. Michigan is home to almost 12,000 foster children, and researchers from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found the percentage being placed with families increased from 80% in 2007 to 89% in 2017. Rob Geen with the Casey Foundation tells us while the overall trend is positive, the numbers are still stubbornly low for teens and children of color.
“While I’m talking about a 10-year trend to show a fairly significant increase in placing kids in families, we’re seeing much greater gains for white children than we are for African-American children. So, there’s more that we can do for African-American children that we need to work on.”
The report recommends continuing to prioritize family placements over group settings because children in a stable, family setting are more likely to finish school and get jobs, and less likely to become early parents. Last year, President Donald Trump signed the Family First Prevention Services Act, which set limits on funding for group homes, giving agencies more incentive to place children in foster families or with relatives.