EVIDENCE IS IN: CHILDREN ARE BETTER OFF AT HOME

Children who stay in troubled families fare better than those put into foster care. Those who:

Were arrested at least once:
• Stayed with family: 14%
• Went to foster care: 44%

Became teen mothers:
• Stayed with family: 33%
• Went to foster care: 56%

Held a job at least 3 months:
• Stayed with family: 33%
• Went to foster care: 20%

Source: Study by Joseph Doyle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

After reading this article I couldn’t help but feel frustrated with the current child welfare system. In large part because as a student in the School of Social Work, at the University of Southern California, it has been instilled in me ad nauseam that in order for an agency or organization to receive government funding they must use “evidence-based” practices; yet, DCFS (a government agency) continues to use old, non-innovative practices, that aren’t supported by evidence. In the study discussed in the article researchers compared the impact on children of foster care verses similarly maltreated children with their families and found in measure after measure that children are better off with their families. To my surprise, the study also found that both maltreated children whose families were connected to services and resources and maltreated children whose families were not connected to services and resources were better off than children who had been in foster care. Doesn’t it seem like it is time for some sweeping changes in the child welfare system? Or is it just me? Should government agencies be held to the same standards as Community-Based Organizations when it comes to using “evidence-based” practices? Please share your thoughts on the topic. Well once again, we look forward to sharing more with you later, til next time thank you for your support and interest in our film.