Casey Family Programs’ 2020 Strategy works to safely reduce the number of children in foster care

Nearly a half million children live in foster care. For those children who suffer from abuse or severe neglect, a foster home provides a safe haven. Yet, foster care is not always the best solution for vulnerable children. Since its founding in 1966, Casey Family Programs has invested more than $1.6 billion in programs and services to benefit children and families in the child welfare system. With its 2020 Strategy for America’s Children, the organization plans to invest at least $1 billion towards the effort of safely reducing the number of children in foster care.

Casey Family Programs has decades of front-line experience in foster care and are committed to helping states, counties and tribes implement effective child welfare practices. The organization provides nonpartisan research and technical expertise to child welfare system leaders, members of Congress and state legislators so they may craft laws and policies to better the lives of children in foster care, children at risk of entering the system and their families.

The act of removing children from their families and homes creates emotional distress and long-lasting traumas that should be avoided whenever possible. Casey Family Programs has learned that some vulnerable children can be better served by remaining safe at home while their parents receive the community services and support they need to raise a family successfully.

Casey Family Programs believes that the goal in child welfare should be to make sure that children who do not need to be in foster care are not in foster care. For those children already in foster care, Casey Family Programs works with the families to make their homes safe so children can be reunited with their parents. If that is not possible, they find other safe, loving and permanent families for them as quickly as possible.

The 2020 Strategy was designed to support the innovative efforts of child welfare agencies across the nation that strive to better serve vulnerable children and strengthen families. The strategy includes the following tactics:

  • Safe reduction: Safely reduce the number of children in foster care by 50 percent by 2020.
  • Reinvestment: Reinvest savings from reduction on strategies and practices that strengthen families and improve child welfare systems.
  • Well-being and self-sufficiency: Ensure that children in foster care, and adults who grew up in foster care, have equitable access to education, employment and mental health services

Casey Family Programs, an Alliance Partner, is the nation’s largest operating foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system. Founded in 1966, Casey Family Programs works to provide and improve -- and ultimately prevent the need for -- foster care in the United States. As champions for change, the organization is committed to its 2020 Strategy for America’s Children that aims to safely reduce the number of children in foster care and improve the lives of those who remain in care. The foundation, established by United Parcel Service founder Jim Casey, is based in Seattle.