In 2013, 6,516 Wisconsin kids were exposed to abuse, neglect, or adverse experiences in their own families and placed in out-of-home care. Foster care policy provides policymakers with an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable members. Placement in foster care can be the turning point for an upward trajectory or for a downward spiral. Foster kids, through no fault of their own, are at high risk for psychological and behavioral problems; these problems decrease the odds that foster youth will be reunified with their parents and increase the odds of longer foster stays and more placement changes. Policymakers across the country have seized this opportunity to provide foster youth with stable environments and supportive adult relationships. This seminar features three researchers who have devoted their careers to placing foster kids on a positive path to becoming productive workers and contributing citizens. These researchers discuss programs and approaches that 18 states have adopted to help foster kids succeed.
Appreciation is expressed to Linda L. Davis, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Phyllis M. Northway for their support of this seminar. The Family Impact Seminars are an initiative of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor’s Office and School of Human Ecology, with financial support from Phyllis M. Northway.