Cumberland County — Children and Youth Services was recently selected to participate in the second phase of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Court’s permanency initiative, according to Director Wendy Hoverter.
The county joins 13 other counties in this statewide effort to improve outcomes for children placed in substitute care.
“With enhanced judicial oversight and strength-based, family-led practices, our overriding goals are to keep children safely in their homes, return others to their homes, and when staying or returning home is not possible, quickly find the best alternative permanent home for every child,” state Supreme Court Justice Max Baer, a former administrative judge of family court in Allegheny County, said in a press release issued by Cumberland County.
Baer is guiding the efforts on behalf of the Supreme Court.
The permanency initiative focuses on three practice areas: family finding, family group decision-making and family development credentials.
The high court expects the initiative will reduce the number of children adjudicated as dependents and in court-ordered placement; reduce the time children spend in the foster care system; reduce the number who re-enter care; and reduce the dependency case load on the courts.
Other outcomes may include reducing the cost of children in care, the need for residential and institutional placements and increase child placement stability, according to the release.
Reporter’s Notebook, The Sentinel