Children are placed in foster care due to abuse or neglect as determined by the juvenile court. Foster care is intended to be a temporary out of home placement while families get the services they need to ensure their children will be safe.
If, after a period of time mandated under the Adoptions and Safe Families Act, children cannot be safely reunited with their parents or other relatives, a more permanent arrangement may have to be made. This can include an independent living goal for a child over the age of 16 or adoption. Social workers are assigned to work with children and their families to help them achieve the best possible outcomes.
Children in foster care are placed in local and state licensed resource parent (foster and adoptive) homes, group homes, or residential facilities depending on the needs of the child. Children can remain in foster care until their 21st birthday depending on their special needs and educational attainment.