January 16, 2007

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

Number of New Child Foster Care Cases Declined in FY 2006

Improvements made by the Alabama Department of Human Resources to serve families are being credited with a reduction in new child foster care cases. The number of new child foster care cases in Alabama decreased almost nine percent during Fiscal Year 2006.

"There were 3,005 new child foster care cases in FY 2006, compared to 3,315 in the previous year," said DHR Commissioner Dr. Page Walley. "We’ve put a greater emphasis on providing intensive, in-home services to families in crisis. Providing appropriate services helps keep families together while ensuring that the children are in a secure, nurturing environment" Commissioner Walley said.

He stressed the fact that, in some cases, children must be removed from the home in order to prevent or remedy abuse or neglect. “The children’s safety is the top priority,” Commissioner Walley said. "When removal is necessary, the children are placed in the least restrictive environment possible."

Of the 6,555 children who were in out-of-home care at the end of FY 2006, 76 percent were in a family environment including traditional foster family homes, therapeutic foster family homes and in the homes of relatives. The rest of the children were in group homes and other similar placements where they received appropriate services according to their needs.

" I commend Commissioner Walley and the staff at DHR for working hard to improve services," said Governor Bob Riley. " I also commend Alabama’s foster families. Every day, they make an incredible difference by providing safe and caring homes for children, and we are working to help them with this responsibility, including increasing compensation to provide for these children."  

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