On February 28th, the National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council released a new statement: A Historic Opportunity to Reform the Child Welfare System: Youth & Alumni Priorities on Quality Residential Services with 6 priorities, echoing recommendations from the Council's 2016 Congregate Care Priorities and highlighting new opportunities presented by Family First - including Quality Residential Treatment Centers (QRTP) and moving towards a 21st Century Child Welfare System.
Priority 1: Ensure QRTPs are taking care of the needs of the “tough” kids, and not just those with the easiest to meet needs.
Priority 2: Ensure my entry into a QRTP intervention is fair and appropriate.
Priority 3: If it is determined a QRTP intervention is the best option, it should be within the young person’s community. If it can’t be, it is incumbent on child welfare professionals to ensure the young person has access to and is able to retain their community, family, and cultural connections.
Priority 4: Part of curbing the over-reliance of medication is to ensure informed consent and have an established and independent appeal process available to youth with a medication regimen (especially while the regimen is being considered regardless of whether the medication is over the counter or prescribed including off label use).
Priority 5: Systems should have standards and measures of well-being, and QRTP’s should be held accountable to meet these standards in a young person’s treatment plan.
Priority 6: Urgently address the vulnerabilities to sex-trafficking that are associated with placement in a QRTP .
This is the second of a series of recommendations under "A Historic Opportunity to Reform the Child Welfare System: Youth & Alumni Priorities." Upcoming recommendations include the topics of Supporting Successful Older Youth Transitions to Adulthood and Special Populations. Already released recommendations include: Preventing Unnecessary Removal of Children from their Families.