CHALLENGE FOR CHILDREN
In January 1997, the Division instituted the Challenge for Children Program. Challenge for Children used the Kellogg Foundation's Families for Kids principles to drive a paradigm shift in how child caring agencies view permanency for children.
Challenge for Children is a program that encourages each County Department of Social Services to challenge itself to reduce the number of children who linger in the foster care backlog. The foster care backlog is defined as children who have been in the foster care system for more than twelve months. In the first year of the Challenge for Children Program, sixty-seven (67) counties formally accepted the Challenge for Children. In January 2003, all 100 counties participated in the Challenge for Children for the first time. One hundred counties have participated in the Challenge for Children Program five of the last six years.
Children who need a foster care placement sometimes linger in the foster care system. Establishing permanency becomes more difficult the longer a child lingers in the system. The Challenge for Children Program helps agencies maintain a focus on permanency so that children will not "get lost" in the system. Since the Challenge for Children Program began, the Division has seen a major reduction in the length of time that children remain in foster care. In December 2007, 43% of the children who were in the foster care backlog in January 2007 had exited North Carolina's foster care system. Permanency for children is supported by adoption, kinship placement, guardianship and foremost by enabling children to remain in their own homes through the institution of services to assure a child's well being.
For additional information about North Carolina's Challenge for Children Program, you may email
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Page Modified 10/15/2012