AUSTIN—Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the policy perspectiveReducing Foster Care Trauma by Prioritizing the Use of Monitored Return.

“As child welfare practice increasingly recognizes the trauma of removing children from their families, the system must explore new, innovative approaches that prioritize protecting children from harm and reducing the number of unnecessary removals,” said Andrew Brown, director of the center for families and children at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

More attention today is being given to seeking new ways of reducing trauma to children by strengthening families. The goal of these innovations is to reduce instances of unnecessary removals, lessen the need for other removals through the use of family-based services, and more quickly achieve permanency—with a stated priority for family reunification—for children who have been removed.

“The importance of family reunification is linked to decades of research showing timely reunification generates the best outcomes for children and families,” said Charissa Huntzinger, policy analyst with the center for families and children at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Sadly, current child protective practices often remove children too quickly and must be re-evaluated to prioritize speedy reunification and minimize the trauma experienced by children who are separated from their families.”

Key Points

  • In Texas, removals of children by Child Protective Services has sharply increased since 2009, rising from 12,057 removals that year to nearly 20,000 removals in FY 2017.
  • Children who may have already experienced the trauma of maltreatment will experience further trauma when removed from the home.
  • Monitored returns allow the child to transition from substitute care to the parent while the parent completes their service plan, helping families reunify and protecting children against further trauma.

To read the full perspective, please visit: