Sacramento County has been identified by the federal government as one of 10 counties in the nation that significantly reduced the total number of children placed in foster care between 2002 to 2012.
During that period, foster care placements in the U.S. were reduced by 23.7 percent.
The Federal Department of Health and Human Services report, Recent Demographic Trends in Foster Care, pointed out that the number black children placed in foster care also significantly declined.
Sacramento County’s decrease of 2,656 placements made the top 10 list for half of the national decline among black children.
The HHS report suggested a possible connection between policies emphasizing permanent placements and preservation of families and these reductions.
Sherri Z. Heller, director of the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services, thinks those strategies have been effective in Sacramento County.
“Our Child Protective Services Agency made organizational, practice and programming changes with the intention of providing support to families who need it, so that they can safely stay together,” she said in a news release. “We’re proud that the impact is being recognized nationally, and we’re grateful to our staff and the community partners we work with ... that keep children safe without taking them away from their parents.”