Legislative Strategies for the Safe Reduction of C

Legislative Strategies to Safely Reduce the Number of Children in Foster Care

July 2010

Young childrenCurrently, close to 500,000 children are in foster care. The number of children in care can be safely reduced by implementing a variety of prevention, permanency planning and family support strategies.  State lawmakers can play a critical role by leading efforts to safely reduce the foster care population and by fostering the collaborations that are needed to achieve this goal.  This report outlines ways state legislation can promote safe reduction of the population of children in foster care and ensure that children have the permanent families they need and deserve. It draws on the creative work being undertaken by state lawmakers across the country.

Federal law provides a framework for developing policies, strategies and practices at the state level.  The recently enacted Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 provides new opportunities to effectively and safely reduce the number of children in foster care.  State lawmakers can draw on these opportunities and on evidence-based and promising practices in child welfare that have been shown to effectively meet the safety, permanency and well-being needs of children and youth and their families.

Read the full report in PDF format here (41 pages).

Share this: 
We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.

NCSL Member Toolbox


7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800


444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069

Copyright 2015 by National Conference of State Legislatures