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New child welfare rules aim to keep siblings together, help foster parents



New child welfare practices have updated protections for children, families and staff and have allowed more than three-quarters of foster children to be placed with their siblings, according to a report to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors this week.

The report described how the San Diego County child welfare system adopted 88 recommendations by an advisory body aimed at reaching better outcomes for foster children and those who care for them.

The new protocols bolstered support for caregivers by providing 24-hour phone or mobile support and offering “Kinship Navigator services” to provide information and resources to relatives caring for children in their families. And it boosted support for staff by adding three psychologists to address “secondary traumatic stress” experienced at work, and adopting tools for better workload management and staffing levels.

“Now, three years later, I am very happy we have reached this important milestone in the transformation of the department, but our work is not done,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher. “We must continue to strive for excellence, because the children and families of San Diego County depend on it.”

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