Cindy Rodriguez is the Urban Policy reporter for New York Public Radio.
Number of NYC Foster Children Living in Congregate Care Declining
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
New York, NY –
The city's been trying to place fewer foster kids in institutions, and their efforts appear to be working.
A report by the Center for New York City Affairs shows the number of kids sent to residential treatment centers and group homes went down from about 3,900 in 2004 to about 2,600 in March of this year.
While many experts agree kids are better off living in private homes with foster families, there's concern it might be harder for kids in foster homes to get the mental health services they need. The report's co-author Andrew White says community clinics often have long waiting lists.
WHITE: The city and state have to step up and increase support for these foster parents. It just has to happen otherwise many of these foster parents aren't going to stay with it and work with these kids.
REPORTER: White says research shows that 50 to 70 percent of foster kids are dealing with serious emotional problems.
A spokeswoman at ACS says the agency takes mental health concerns very seriously and is constantly working to link teens to all available city and state programs.