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Report: Children in foster care increases

foster care (MGN)

A new report finds the number of children in foster care is increasing in Nebraska.

The state Foster Care Review Office said there was a 5.1 percent increase in children ending up in out-of-home care between June 2016 to July 2017.

The main cause, they found, was substance abuse and neglect.

Some areas, like western Nebraska, had a 22.5 percent increase during last year’s fiscal year, according to the report.

The average number of children in foster care daily in June was 4,123.

They said 40.7 percent of children in state care are below the age of five.

The independent state agency said children often stay in foster care due to system barriers, which include: timeliness issues, a failure to provide the necessary services, children needing time to complete trauma services, and pending termination of parental rights hearings.

“It is especially concerning that 111 very young children (age 0-5) have had four or more placements,” the agency said.

They said national research has found children experiencing four or more placements are likely to be permanently damaged by the instability and trauma of broken attachments.

According to the report, 40 percent of school-aged children being placed in out-of-home care had to switch schools within six-months of case file review.

They say this can, “greatly impact a child’s ability to maintain and improve academically.”

To view this full report, click here

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