2021 State of Child Welfare: Navigating the Uncertainty of the Pandemic to Strengthen the System [Pennsylvania].
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.
Annual Report State Resource
Published: December 2021
Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
200 North Third Street 13th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Tel: 717-236-5680 800-257-2030
This 12th annual report provides a 5-year analysis of how Pennsylvania is faring with practices around child safety, placement, and permanency and includes county-level data and statewide and geographic trends. Additionally, racial disparity and disproportionality across the child population in the child welfare system is analyzed. The report begins with policy recommendations that call for a continued investment in a robust prevention services system that aims to mitigate non-abuse factors, keep families and communities together, and reduce the amount of time formal child welfare intervention is necessary; increase opportunities for children to be placed with kin; increase supports for transition age youth; increase data sets required from county agencies; develop forums to obtain the lived experiences of children and youth involved with the child welfare system; and invest in the child welfare workforce. Priorities for Pennsylvania’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families are then discussed, and an update is provided on federal activities. The structure of Pennsylvania’s child welfare system is explained and ways to support Pennsylvania’s child welfare workforce and implement data and policy solutions are discussed. Links are provided for statewide geographic and county-specific data tables. The data indicate: there were 32,919 child abuse and neglect reports in 2020, 14% of reports were substantiated, and 6.2% were reports involving children with another substantiated incidence of abuse and/or neglect; 21,689 children were served in the foster care system in 2020, with 83.3% served in family settings and 40.8% in kinship care; there were 1,746 children (24%) who reentered foster care in 2020; and of the 8,712 children who existed foster care in 2020, 50.8% were reunited with their families and 23.5% were adopted.
COVID-19; DISASTER PLANNING; DISASTER RESPONSE; STATE DISASTER PLANS; CHILD WELFARE SERVICES; CHILD WELFARE WORKERS; STAFF RETENTION; RACIAL DISPARITY; DISPROPORTIONALITY; FOSTER CARE; INDEPENDENT LIVING; PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION; PENNSYLVANIA