Last month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to strengthen the child welfare system. The order identified several barriers that prevent foster kids from finding a permanent home. By laying out three specific goals, the order provides a clear plan on how this administration intends to aid youth trapped in the system.
“Every child deserves a family,” the order said. “Our States and communities have both a legal obligation, and the privilege, to care for our Nation’s most vulnerable children. The best foster care system is one that is not needed in the first place.”
As the order acknowledges, there are currently more than 400,000 children in foster care, with more than 124,000 awaiting adoption. Tragically, around 20,000 young people age out of the foster care system every year in the United States. This leaves these former foster youth vulnerable to homelessness or struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder.
In order to address these outcomes, the order focuses on three areas of action.
The first strategy involves encouraging partnerships between public, private, faith-based, and community organizations. This also includes a more robust data collection on children awaiting adoption and to increase the likelihood of sibling preservation. In an effort to expand the number of homes available to children, a target number of foster homes will be established.
Second, the order promises to increase educational tools for caregivers so they will be better equipped to support those in their care.
Lastly, the President has pledged to improve transparency to prevent a child from needlessly being taken from the home and placed into the system. All of these strategies were crafted to improve the practices of professionals and continuously safeguard the well-being of children.
“Children from all backgrounds have the potential to become successful and thriving adults,” The order states. “Yet without a committed, loving family that can provide encouragement, stability, and a lifelong connection, some children may never receive the support needed to realize that potential.”
Whether it be their own home or an adoptive one, Trump’s order is a step in the right direction for providing foster care children with better outcomes.
Today, @FLOTUS held a virtual roundtable to discuss the Trump Administration’s ongoing efforts to support safe, stable, and permanent families for children and youth in our foster care system! https://t.co/VDC6JY8F9Z
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 1, 2020