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DCF Highlighted in "Families over Facilities" Report

ChildrensRightsLogoConnecticut is viewed as a national champion for the manner in which children reside in a family setting. Currently, over 94% of children in out of home placement live with a family - a stark contrast to the position the Agency was in 10 years ago. 

In January of 2011, Connecticut had 4,900 youth in care of which 30% were in congregate care. Our system also showed 200 youth in in congregate care were less than 12 years of age. This prompted system transformation across Connecticut between the Department of Children and families and our community partners over the past decade. 

With intentional emphasis on reducing the number of children overall entering care, increasing kinship care and providing in-home supports to foster parents and kin providers, the numbers markedly dropped. Embedded in the efforts were targeted recruitment strategies and child and family team meetings to ensure a holistic approach to what a child and family may need to be successful. 

These efforts reflect the core values that children are best served in families and congregate care should be utilized only for those circumstances where a youth is best served in a short-term treatment facility with the goal of returning to a family setting.   

In April 2021, statistics showed 3,480 youth in care with less than 6% of children in congregate care and only 14 youth who were less than 12 years of age placed into a non-family setting. 

This transformation has led to our work being highlighted in a report entitled, "Families over Facilities" written by Children's Rights. 

Please see the full report here: https://www.childrensrights.org/familiesoverfacilitiesreport/

Champion"This position piece is consistent with the value CT DCF has held over the last decade. We are delighted to continue to join these thought-partners in elevating this important message.  In Connecticut, stakeholders across the state, recognize congregate settings are temporary, treatment focused entities with the goal of strengthening families," stated Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes. 

"The ToolKit developed by Children's Rights and other subject matter experts, lifts up an infrastructure to reinforce the full-service array continuum that supports keeping children safe in the context of families with an emphasis on equity," she further added. 

"We are honored to continue keeping the needs of children in families in the context of communities at the center of our work."

We proud of our work and for the public/private partnerships developed over the years to improve the lives of Connecticut's children. 

Thank you, Children's Rights, for highlighting not just the Department of Children and Families but the efforts of our community partner networks who have collaborated with us on this journey.!