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Alameda County Foster Care Reforms Working

Foster care reforms in California’s Alameda County are working and the county has drastically reduced the number of children in foster care and caseloads for social workers, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal.

California in 2004 applied for a federal program that would give local authorities flexiblity to create programs to reduce the number of children in foster care. Only Alameda County and Los Angeles County opted to take part in the initiative.

The county used the federal funds to hire 50 social workers, opened a new community center as well as a cafe to give job experience to foster children. The county will also offer a job placement program for children aging out of the foster care system.

The number of children in foster care dropped to 1,500 from 5,000 in 2007, mainly because the county is working harder to place children in the homes of other family members such as cousins. The caseload for social workers dropped to 15 cases each from 50, the article said.

To learn more about how social workers help children in foster care visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Adoptions and Foster Care Web pages by clicking here.

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