The Future of Foster Care: New Science to Address Old Problems


Approximately 6% of youth in U.S. experience foster care in their lifetime. Decades of studies have detailed the poor outcomes these children face, in terms of health, education, behavior, and social functioning. Scholars and policy-makers have identified a litany of reform targets, from school instability to the use of congregate care and yet, many of the core concerns about the foster care system appear intractable – every week, news stories emerge about foster children who have died, been trafficked, been moved dozens of times, exited foster care to homelessness, or been returned to unsafe families. Research has largely found that foster care produces outcomes similar to simply leaving children with abusive or neglectful parents. Why, after dozens of policy changes and a myriad of research studies, has so little changed for the hundreds of thousands of children in foster care each year?

The Future of Foster Care conference will focus on identifying and addressing the barriers to meaningful change and innovative policy and practice solutions to the foster care system’s most pressing challenges. Leaders from government, academia, and the non-profit sector will meet for a two day event during which speakers will elucidate key challenges and detail solutions that are currently being tested in real-world settings.

Continuing Education Units will be awarded for attendance at all sessions; 12 for psychologists and 11 for social workers. If you are a foster family needing licensing hours - a certificate will be provided for 11 hours and at the discretion of your licensing agency may be able to be used towards your needed hours.

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