Common Reasons Foster Agencies are Put on Heightened Monitoring - And How to Avoid It
Updated: Apr 20
In October 2021, a court ordered heightened monitoring at facilities with records of abuse or neglect as part of a long-running case against the Texas foster care system. In addition to the human resource issues created by the pandemic, the state claims that the increased monitoring choked the system, forcing centers down and reducing capacity.
Witnesses confirmed that a large number of foster care providers had left the system since heightened monitoring began, displacing around 1,300 beds. Some chose to leave rather than be subjected to new surveillance. Others were closed down by the HHSC.
There are several reasons why the court issued the order for strict surveillance and monitoring for foster agencies.
1. Group Setting
According to campaigners, more than 56,000 children in child protection systems live in group homes, and this figure is far too high. Many say that placing children in family settings from the outset increases their chances of success and that defaulting to group settings is a dangerous approach. Aside from not providing appropriate assistance for children in foster care, care facilities are also financially inefficient. Group placement is around seven to ten times more expensive per kid than a kid put with a family.
2. Lack of Proper Care and Support
When children, particularly teenagers, are placed in group homes, they are deprived of the opportunity to bond with a stable, adoptive family. Without those ties, children tend to age out of the institution in the absence of a supportive network. And the consequences of aging out of the system are disastrous for young people. One in five adolescents who age out of the program ends up homeless. Within two years of leaving foster care, one in every four will be engaged in the legal system. Furthermore, it is predicted that more than 40% of adolescents who drop out will not complete high school.
3. Childrens’ Care is Often Ignored
Many kids in the foster care system are frustrated because they believe their views are not being heard. Hence, their voice can sometimes be angry or impatient, causing adults to break off contact and leave a child's needs unmet just because they may not like how they're being addressed. However, anger is natural, especially when coping with a difficult foster care system and prior trauma. Because they are continually monitored, some children may become dissatisfied with the foster care system. Foster children's lives are frequently burdened by a slew of participants, including guardians, advocates, social workers, judges, and others.
4. Abusive System
According to a survey of foster children in Oregon and Washington state, approximately one-third reported being mistreated by a foster parent or another adult in a care home. Shocking stories concerning foster care neglect and abuse have come to light. However, studying the facts about abused and neglected foster children demonstrates the discrepancy between the truth and the system's promise.
Some children wind up staying longer than expected. There are several explanations for this. Age, fitness level, and temperament all play a role. In addition, the longer a kid is in a dangerous household, the more likely they are to be abused.
How to Avoid Heightened Monitoring?
When an operation is recognized as requiring more monitoring, a Facility Intervention Team Staffing (FITS) is assigned within 5 days. The intervention team consists of personnel from at least RCCL, DFPS CCI, DFPS Contracts, and CPS. If the evaluation shows occurrences that raise ongoing concerns about children's health and safety, the intervention team will devise a safety plan. They will effectively stop postings until all concerns about children's health and safety have been resolved. To avoid this, the agencies must:
● A kid grows best in a family or a family-like atmosphere, and every child has the right to grow up in such an environment.
● All choices, initiatives, and methods falling within the scope of the current guidelines must be taken on a case-by-case basis with the goal of guaranteeing the child's safety and protection and must be based on the child's best interests.
● All actions, projects, and methods coming under the purview of the current Guidelines must respect the child's right to be considered and have his or her opinions taken into consideration according to their maturing capacities.
● Understanding that every child has the right to grow up in a family setting, every effort should be made to reconnect the child with his blood relatives by reinforcing the biological family through a structured procedure.
While many of the difficulties confronting the foster care system are legislative and financial in nature, there are several ways agencies avoid heightened monitoring. Rock Solid Foundation can assist you in theses efforts to get you relieved from this heightened monitoring. We can assist in rebuilding programs, supporting agencies, and making a difference in how you grow your agency.