Foster Care

Preserve Families and Reduce Entries into Foster Care

Shrinking the foster care system, eliminating unnecessary removals of children from their families and promoting family reunification. 

We engage in litigation, policy advocacy and other partnerships that focus on shrinking the foster care system and transferring power and resources back to families and communities.

Challenging discrimination in the foster care system

Throughout American history, the separation of children from their families has been a tool of white supremacy, from the sale of enslaved children to the use of government boarding schools to forcibly remove Native American children. Unsurprisingly, racism is evident and active in today’s foster care system: families of color, particularly Black and Native American families, are the most likely to be impacted by the child welfare system, from report and investigation through child removal and termination of parental rights. The foster care system also disproportionately impacts children and families based on other characteristics, such as class, gender and sexuality,  disability, language, criminal history, and immigration status. NCYL aims to stop foster care systems from targeting families based on these and other identities.

Reunifying families

Our work seeks to ensure that children and families affected by the foster care system receive effective, accessible reunification services.

Preventing removals by ensuring families have the resources they need

Too often, the foster care system removes children from families and homes that could be made safe just by providing material resources, such as housing, food, or child care. Instead of providing these resources to a family, the foster care system subjects the family and child to unnecessary and traumatic separation. NCYL works to fight this practice and to reallocate power back to children and youth, their families, and their communities.