Only 58% of foster teens live with a family, compared with 95% of kids 12 and under, according to recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. And now the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, which became law last year, has put states under increasing pressure to find foster families for teens.
Beginning in October, the federal government will no longer pay for a child of any age to stay in a group home longer than two weeks, with certain exceptions. They include teens who are pregnant or parenting and children in round-the-clock residential treatment programs for mental health, drug addiction or behavioral issues.
Some states have made great strides in placing teens with families. The ones that have not face a daunting challenge.