There is no question that there is an urgent need to strengthen our nation’s child welfare system in order to achieve better outcomes for children and families. For far too long, we have been operating under a model that does not allow us to meet the best needs of our children. Driven by outdated national policies that focus on investing resources after children have been removed from their families, now is the time to adopt a modern, comprehensive approach that helps us do a better job of helping families, much earlier. Every day that our country uses an outdated system, children, families and communities continue to lose.
We have long focused on treating the symptoms of child neglect and abuse, rather than addressing the root causes of what puts children at risk. As a result, we are not meeting the unique needs of all of our children and families. We must take immediate action to update our out-of-date system so it can serve as the symbol of hope it should be for struggling families.
As a nation, we must make a commitment to ensuring that every child has a safe and loving family and the best chance of success. Unfortunately, our current child welfare system is not allowing us to meet the unique needs of far too many children and families. The system is driven by outdated national policies that focus resources and energies at the deeper end of the system, once children have come into foster care. We know that we can do a better job of strengthening families and we should be. Strengthening the lives of our children and families benefits our entire community.