Challenges Facing Florida's Community-Based Child Welfare System
Protecting Florida’s abused, abandoned, neglected, and at-risk youth is an issue near and dear to the hearts of many Floridians, and the state’s community-based child welfare system is responsible for the care and well-being of many of these children and adolescents. Currently, there are more than 22,000 children in foster care across the state of Florida, many of whom arrive in foster care as victims of abuse and/or neglect. Sadly, that number that continues to grow. In this study, Florida TaxWatch evaluates the two primary issues contributing to, and subsequently worsened by this demand—workforce instability and increasing need for services.
The study also reviews:
- additional factors contributing to these issues;
- the societal and economic impacts of these issues;
- the strategies used by other states to address these issues; and
- the value these other strategies have for Florida.
The study concludes by recommending that the state examine options that improve service accessibility and availability and enhance workforce stability.