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Foster care

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In states such as New Mexico, many kids are put into treatment foster care who should never be there. The programs, run by private companies, vary widely in quality and safety from state to state.
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Parental drug use is now responsible for one-third of the children in foster care. A reporting team will explore what happens to babies and parents caught in addiction's grip.
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Michigan has made successful family reunification a priority. The program is separate from the state’s child welfare and foster care system, and is considered a national leader.
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Fewer Arizona children are being removed from their families and the backlog of uninvestigated child abuse reports is down dramatically. But advocates warn that recent progress to overhaul Arizona’s child welfare system could easily be reversed.
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Since the Great Recession started more than a decade ago, many Arizona families have languished as the state, facing budget shortfalls, cut services again and again. Foster care placements have swelled.  
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More collaboration could help Arizona families avoid crises and keep children out of foster care, local service providers say.
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Arizona has the some of the strictest guidelines in the nation for welfare benefits. Tucson mother Jessala Grijalva can usually get what she needs for herself and her three children, but she’s found some surprising exceptions.
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Children in troubled families are often destined for troubled lives — unless they get help before their brains become “hard-wired for stress.”
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Fixing our foster care crisis” was made possible through major funding from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and additional support from the University of Southern California Annenberg Center's Fund for Journalism on Child Well-being. 

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