Foster Care

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

The New Hampshire Division of Children, Youth, and Families wants to hire 57 more child protection service workers over the next two years.

The budget request comes after a steady increase in the number of investigations the agency is handling, and the number of children it is placing in foster care.

In a presentation to the legislative Children’s Caucus on Wednesday, DCYF director Joe Ribsam said that in 2014 the agency handled around 9,000 investigations into potential child neglect and abuse; now it's handling over 12,000.

Transracial adoption, or adoption outside of one's own race or ethnic group, has continued to grow in the U.S. in the last fifity years. We talk with adoptees and a social worker about the adoptee experience, including living and growing up in a new culture, in a family of a different race, sometimes the other side of the world from their birthplace, and how families can engage in meaninful conversations about identity, culture, and race. 


HUD

New Hampshire will receive more than $500,000 to assist families at risk of entering the foster care system because of housing struggles. This marks a new source of funds for New Hampshire from the federal Housing and Urban Development's Family Unification Program.

The money will towards helping families who would otherwise be split up because they aren't able to afford adequate housing.

 

New Hampshire is getting nearly $600,000 in federal funding that will go toward helping reunite children in foster care with their families.

The $544,968 from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was awarded to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. They will spend the funding on 64 vouchers for families whose housing problems contributed to them being separated from their children. The funding's offered through HUD's Family Unification Program. Among those targeted are young people found to be at risk of homelessness.

Peter Biello

After spending two years as a foster parent, first-term state representative Sean Morrison is concerned about what he says is a lack of rights for foster families in the child protective services system.

The Epping Republican and his wife foster two children.

He is proposing legislation to create what he calls a foster parent bill of rights.

Michael Rabb; Vimeo

A crucial part of the troubled Division of Children Youth and Families, the state’s foster care system, faces serious problems of its own. A  shortage of families, a complicated and backlogged system , and a deficit of resources, all contribute to the problem of finding safe and stable homes for children. 


CREDIT DILOZ VIA FLICKR CC / HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/9LZEHD

The outgoing Director of the Division of Children, Youth and Families says public scrutiny of her agency’s shortcomings could provide opportunities to improve the state’s child safety network.

loveiswritten via Flickr Creative Commons

State officials say New Hampshire faces a critical shortage of foster families for a growing number of children.

About 1,000 kids will enter the public system this year, yet there are only 600 licensed foster homes, and many of those are not prepared to take in a child at this time.

Michelle Galligan with Child and Family Services in Manchester says the state is particularly struggling to find homes for sibling groups, sometimes with up to four children at a time. And the problem has gotten worse in recent years.

S P Photography / Flickr/CC

More children these days are living with Grandma and Grandpa, due to factors including incarceration, drug abuse, underemployment, and single parenthood.  We’ll find out how these grandparents become primary caregivers of their grandchildren, and the challenges they face, including housing, health, financial and legal issues.

GUESTS:

Word of Mouth 09.07.13

Sep 6, 2013
Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

Welcome to the Word of Mouth Saturday show where we take all our freshest content, pop it in the audio blender and pour out a refreshing glass of public radio awesome. On this week's show:

  • Hogwarts for orphans? Natasha Vargas-Cooper tells us about San Pasqual Academy, a new kind of group home that is trying to create a stable environment for teenage foster kids.
  • A Disney convention for die-hard fans. Move over Comic-con, Disney is trying to create the ultimate fan event. Jordan Zakarin covered this years D23 event in Anaheim for Buzzfeed.
  • Vietnam through the eyes of photographers. Curator Kurt Sundstrom stopped by the studio to tell us about the Currier Museum of Art's new exhibit, "Visual Dispatches from the Vietnam War."

Are Foster Kids Better Off Without Families?

Sep 5, 2013
loveiswritten via Flickr Creative Commons

Statistically speaking, American foster children face a steep uphill battle. A 2010 study showed nearly 25 percent of foster care children end up homeless at some point after exiting the system, and teen girls in foster care were more likely to become pregnant than to get adopted. One fledgling foster care experiment has done away with the foster family system in favor of a mutually supportive group-home. The San Pasqual Academy is a $14 million dollar nonprofit based in San Diego that houses 180 foster kids. Natasha Vargas-Cooper is a freelance journalist who wrote about San Pasqual for Pacific Standard.

Foster Care for Veterans

Jul 12, 2012
ONE/MILLION / Flickr

The Department of Veteran Affairs expects to spend $57 billion in 2013. A significant part of that budget pays for nursing home care for elderly vets. This month, Washington Monthly magazine is exploring American wealth. Editor John Gravois wrote about the V.A. program that follows the foster care model.

Stealing their future...

Jan 9, 2012
Photo by Theein via Flickr Creative Commons

Thousands of foster kids are released from the system at age 18 only to realize that they are thousands of dollars in fraudulent debt. It can take years for any target of identity theft to restore their credit, and even longer to recover a sense of security. Former foster kids without family support or the benefit of experience or access to resources can be especially challenged.