Because Relationships Matter: Improving Opportunities and Outcomes for Youth in Foster Care.
Joseph, Edie. Feder, Kenneth.
Connecticut Voices for Children.
Published: December 2014
This paper examines best practices for facilitating each relationship, uses data and other evidence to compare Connecticut’s current practice to best practice, and offers recommendations for improvement. Section III describes relationships with the potential for permanency, including adult family relationships, siblings, and mentors. Section IV examines temporary relationships that can help support permanency, including attorneys and social workers. Finally, Section V explores systemic barriers to permanency for youth in care. Connecticut engages in many best practices that facilitate the development of permanent relationships for children; however, a review of national literature shows that much more could be done to cultivate strong relationships and promote positive outcomes for children and youth in foster care. Furthermore, DCF is hamstrung in its efforts to cultivate permanent relationships because of persistent cuts to the agency’s budget. We conclude that both policy and practice improvements and increased investment are needed to help all Connecticut children in foster care achieve permanence. (Author abstract)
foster children; foster adolescents; agency practice; promising practices; permanency; barriers; family relationships; sibling relationships; mentors; comparative analysis; outcomes; Connecticut; sibling visits