Foster care is an imperfect system, often criticized for its failures, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and poverty and racial bias, leading to the harmful and unnecessary removal of children from their homes, disproportionately from homes of poor families of color.
Nevertheless, foster care can be a lifesaving intervention as a system of last resort that we depend on to ensure the safety of the most endangered children. As we face the third drug epidemic in recent decades that threatens to overwhelm some state foster care systems, we have an opportunity to learn from the crack epidemic of the 1980s.
Many of today’s legitimate complaints and general frustration about a foster care system that continues to allow more than 23,000 children to age out without safety, family or a home, can be traced to the system failures that emerged during the crack cocaine epidemic.
[For more on this story by Jennifer Rodriguez, Ron Haskins, and Jeremy Kohomban, go to https://chronicleofsocialchang...repeat-history/30035]