As Teenagers Leave Group Homes, a Challenge Placing Those Who Remain

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New York Times

Eight months into New York City’s initiative to move hundreds of troubled youth from group homes into foster care, experts worry that the system will soon lack enough qualified foster parents and adequate support services to continue. City officials planned to reduce the number of institutionalized foster youth from about 2,500 to as few as 1,500 by June 2009 to help the youths achieve permanent placements more quickly.

As their numbers dwindle, the youths left behind tend to have more physical, behavioral, emotional, psychological and learning problems, complicating their placements. In response, the city’s Administration for Children’s Services has created nearly 1,000 new foster homes that provide extra counseling services, crisis-management support and more training for parents, while foster care agencies have tailored their recruiting pitches to play up the benefits of fostering a teen. June 8,