Rate of kids coming into foster care rising in Florida
From the News Service of Florida:
TALLAHASSEE - More children are coming into Florida's foster-care system after a sweeping child-welfare reform law went into effect 19 months ago, but officials say the state is trying to focus on what's best for kids in difficult situations.
"You write laws to respond to the issues of the day, and those change at least annually," said state Sen. Nancy Detert, a Venice Republican and sponsor of a number of foster-care reforms. "So our focus in today's world is the best interests of the child in every way - safety, quality of life, the best location - and that's all we can do."
Last month, according to the state Department of Children and Families, there were 22,635 children in what's known as out-of-home care - or 5.53 per 1,000 children in the general population. In June 2014, the month before the law took effect, there were 19,299 kids in foster care, or 4.76 per 1,000.
The 2014 law was nearly a year in the making, during which media reports on the deaths of youngsters already "known" to the Department of Children and Families roiled the public and galvanized lawmakers to plug what they saw as holes in the child-welfare system.