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letters | not ready to declare success over foster care

Stewards still need to do much more for children

RE “FOSTER care to adoption: A federal success story” (Editorial, Oct. 25): While it is true that the number of children in foster care has decreased nationwide between 2002 and 2013, reports of child abuse or neglect have risen 6 percent during that same period. In terms of adoption, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, the number of adoptions has decreased between 2007 and 2012 and the time children have spent waiting for a home has increased from 22 months to almost 24 months.

The most tragic statistic, which the states rarely reveal, is the rate of placement instability — placement in three or more homes. This is the pain-compounding problematic feature of the foster care system. Children experience loss of homes and schools, frequent turnover of agency staff, and the exacerbation of their internalized trauma.

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These kids need more from their new legal guardians, the state.

Deborah Raptopoulos


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