We all know instinctively, and it is borne out in the research, that children do better with their families. Removal from home is a serious intervention into a child’s life, one of the most serious that our society allows. It should only happen for the most important reasons, to ensure a child is safe while the parent addresses whatever issue has put the family in crisis, whether that is housing, mental health, addiction, or some other challenge. In these desperate situations, extended family can step in and offer that warmth, familiarity, tradition and comfort that helps stabilize children’s lives and prevents unnecessary trauma to these vulnerable youth.
In order to increase stability for children and families, Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) should implement the following recommendations:
- Consider it an emergency placement any time a kinship caregiver comes forward or is identified as a placement resource.
- Empower caseworkers with tools they need to find family immediately.
- Support implementation of the ABA model licensing standards.
- Create a streamlined, simple process to request a waiver for a non-safety licensing requirement and encourage workers to request waivers.
Download our report for more information on expanding kinship care in Philadelphia.