PA Pandemic Toll on Children Shows Progress, Racial Disparity and Recommendations

PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE – The 13th annual Pennsylvania State of Child Welfare report is out. Children advocates said the 2021 pandemic numbers showed some progress and highlighted ongoing areas of concern.

One major plus: The number of children and youth placed with family or trusted caregivers was the highest in five years, reaching more than 45%.

Rachael Miller, policy director for Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, which publishes the report, said it also provides policy recommendations for support and community engagement to keep children with families.

“Placement with relatives or kin is critically important to a child’s well-being and trauma reduction, and we need to work harder and more collaboratively to ensure that children have the opportunity to be placed with kin,” Miller contended. “Every child has the right to be raised by someone they know, trust and have a relationship with, and tangible solutions exist to modifying practices that hinder that.”

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