National study of protective, preventive and reunification services delivered to children and their families

Department of Health and Human Services


This report  presents the findings of the 1994 National Study of Protective, Preventive and Reunification Services Delivered to Children and Their Families (1994 National Study). The issues pertaining to the delivery of protective, preventive, and reunification services which must be addressed in the 1990's are complex and inter-related. Five major findings and their implications about the state of the child welfare system are: 1) Between 1977 and 1994 there has been a dramatic decline in the number of children receiving child welfare services.  2) The intent of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, and other federal policies to shift child welfare from a foster care system to an in-home family based system has not been realized. 3) Despite provisions in Pub.L. 96-272 to conduct an inventory of children in foster care longer than six months and to hold administrative and dispositional hearings, foster care drift remains a problem. 4) Minority children, and in particular African-American children, are more likely to be in foster care placement than receive in-home services, even when they have the same problems and characteristics as white children. 5) Kinship care does not explain the dramatically longer stays in foster care for African-American and Hispanic children compared to white children.

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