"Rewiring Child Welfare in Colorado" fr. Chronicle of Social Change

Ned Breslin

From the Chronicle of Social Change, August 6, 2019:

“Open any case history of a child at Tennyson Center for Children and your heart breaks.

The depth of trauma each child has experienced is significant. Unfinished journeys of children bouncing from hospitals to foster homes to residential placements with no real end in sight is infuriating. Permanency plans seem more focused on getting something – anything – in place rather than really establishing a sustainable pathway for successful permanency. Children who we hoped to finally be “out” of the system heartbreakingly return, as case histories retell with startling regularity.

But what troubles me the most are the missed opportunities along each child’s bumpy path prior to becoming child welfare involved; moments in time where alternatives could have been explored. Alternatives that could have led to better, less traumatic paths and healthier outcomes – often not only for the child but the family as a whole.

Paths that would have kept children out of Tennyson.

A collaborative is emerging in a host of Colorado counties that imagines new pathways for children and families, circumventing child welfare involvement. The collaborative dares to advance a comprehensive and audacious vision with practical field experience in which the recently passed Family First Prevention Services Act is just one critical component to leverage in support of fundamentally rewiring the way the sector finances child welfare…

A world that truly tackles maltreatment will never achieve its objectives until the real and perceived constraints surrounding ‘medical necessity’ and ‘imminent risk’ are reconsidered. That is precisely what our collaborative is undertaking in Colorado.”

Read the full article here.

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