Child Welfare

Child Welfare

Every child has the right to grow up in a home where he or she feels safe and part of a loving and nurturing family. Unfortunately, there were more than 44,000 reports of child abuse and neglect in Pennsylvania in 2016 and more than 25,000 Pennsylvania children lived in foster care in 2017.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children is working to implement effective public policy changes that better protect children from abuse and neglect, improve the lives of children in foster care and help ensure a “forever family” for every child.

Child Welfare Policy Goals

  • Take steps to align child welfare funding with desired child and family outcomes.
  • Strengthen the response to reports of child abuse and neglect and the services and supports children and families receive to reduce instances of child maltreatment.
  • Ensure that all children in foster care receive services and supports that increase their well-being while in placement and increase their chances of becoming part of a permanent family.
  • Improve the education outcomes of children involved with the child welfare system.

Child Welfare Publications

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Childhood Begins at Home Coalition

Childhood Begins at Home is a statewide campaign designed to help policymakers and the public understand the value of evidence-based home visiting and effective ways to support parents. In addition to Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, campaign partners include Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Maternity Care Coalition, Pennsylvania Head Start Association, Pennsylvania Nurse-Family Partnership, Pennsylvania Parents as Teachers and Trying Together. Campaign partners are encouraging state and federal lawmakers to continue to build on the strong investments they have made in evidence-based home visiting and increase investments to serve many more Pennsylvania children and families who would benefit.

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Child Welfare Fast Facts:

  • About 1 in 6 foster care placements in Pennsylvania last year involved group homes or institutions – settings typically referred to as “congregate care.”
  • The use of congregate care in Pennsylvania has been especially prevalent among foster youth in the 13-20 age range, with more than 40 percent of these foster youth being placed in a congregate care setting on any given day in 2015.
  • More than 680 youth “aged out” of foster care at age 18 or older into uncertain circumstances.
  • The majority of children in foster care on any given day are less than nine years old.
  • Far too often the permanency goal of Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) results in youth leaving foster care without a permanent family to rely on – more than 76 percent of the time.
  • For the third year in a row, the number of children entering foster care has outpaced the number exiting foster care.