the Challenge and the Opportunity
Nationally, we aren’t making enough progress for children who experience abuse and neglect, and in some cases we are losing ground. The number of children in foster care has increased every year since 2012, and now stands at more than 440,000. Children are spending more time in foster care, and over a third are experiencing two or more placement moves while they are in care—a statistic that has not budged since 2012. A smaller percentage of children are being reunited with their parents, and the number waiting to be adopted (including 70,000 whose parents’ rights have been terminated) has increased every year since 2012. Approximately 20,000 young people turn 18 in foster care without ever achieving permanency.
The good news is that this cycle can be reversed. There is a better way, a way that allows leaders to focus on long-term, high-impact change so that children achieve better results.
Improvement that endures takes years, not months. We won’t leave after plans are drawn up, but will support leaders in implementing and sustaining change over a minimum of five years.
What success looks like
By taking a strategic, long-term approach to reform, we believe states can break the cycle of crisis-driven management and dramatically improve outcomes for children and families. We will consider our work successful when three things are true for a participating state:
- Significantly more children in the system are safely in families, as measured by system outcomes such as permanency and re-entry rates and child outcomes such as physical health, mental health and education;
- All older youth in the system have a pathway to transition successfully, as measured by outcomes such as housing stability, criminal involvement, economic well-being, and employment for youth who have aged out of care;
- Systems are functioning more efficiently and effectively, as evidenced by things like cost savings reinvested into the system, stronger relationships across stakeholders, and smarter financing and contracting.
Our goal is to transform child welfare systems across the country and give children their best chance at long-term success.
How you can be part of this effort
New Allies represents an exciting approach to driving lasting improvement in child welfare systems, and we are eager to share this opportunity with others who have a commitment to improving outcomes for children and families. If you are interested in getting involved, there are a number of ways you can support New Allies:
- Philanthropic contribution: A major portion of the cost of our work comes from philanthropic investments from individuals and foundations committed to deep change in our nation’s child welfare systems.
- State/local support: New Allies’ approach includes local stakeholders who can provide the support and influence necessary to drive and sustain change. For each state partner, we are looking for local philanthropists, advocates, providers and business leaders to help build buy-in, secure resources and create accountability
- Thought partnership: As we continue to refine the New Allies approach, we are eager for thought partners to advance our thinking and provide feedback on our ideas.
- Content area expertise: We recognize that launching New Allies will require expertise in a range of areas. Given this, we are looking to build out a bench of advisors with content area expertise.
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