When children fall through Massachusetts’ safety net, you hear about it. A legislative committee was recently formed in response to several high profile tragedies involving children under the watch of the Department of Social Services.. But there are still 11-thousand other children who were taken from their biological parents because of abuse or neglect. Since the 1990s, the number of foster families willing to take care of these children has dwindled. And the state has one of the nation’s lowest rates of adoption — about 900 children a year.
Every year, about 700 adolescents in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services simply age out of the system at 18 — having never been adopted. Studies have found a high percentage of them will end up homeless, unemployed, or mentally unstable. This second of a two-part series on the foster care system continues as child advocates speak out about what can be done to help these lost teens. WFCR’s Karen Brown reports.