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Welfare Kids Staying Longer In Foster Care

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CLEVELAND, Apr 26, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Researchers have found one result of welfare reform programs is U.S. children are being kept longer in foster care.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University also observed steady increases between 1995 and 2001 in the number of children with substantiated reports of abuse and neglect and in the number of children referred to foster care services. In May 1995, for example, 439 children in Cuyahoga County, encompassing the Cleveland metropolitan area, were found to be abused or neglected. There were 593 such children in June 2001.

When the researchers examined three groups of foster children -- one that entered before welfare reform and two that entered afterward -- they found an increasing proportion of children remained in foster care for more than one year.

In addition, the research shows family income is related to the speed with which children return home. For example, children whose mothers lost a significant amount of cash assistance after their children were placed in foster care went home more slowly than did children whose mothers did not. In addition, children whose mothers had higher incomes went home more quickly than did children whose mothers had lower incomes.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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