Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Government

Second Department

Legal Studies

Reader 1

Ralph A. Rossum

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Rights Information

© 2014 Aja Brofferio

Abstract

The foster care system is responsible for taking care of society’s most vulnerable children and it is important that the system can be reformed as needed to meet the needs of these children. Institutional reform litigation is an ineffective method of improving the child welfare system and should no longer be relied upon. Although widely used institutional reform litigation is not efficient or effective in improving the foster care system. Litigation is unsuccessful in achieving reform because it does not embrace collaboration, cooperation, or communication but instead fosters a hostile environment in which the agencies under court mandate are expected to enact change. In 2006, two new organizations were established in California, the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care and the California Child Welfare Council. Both of these organizations created recommendations for improving foster care. Unlike institutional reform litigation, these two organizations worked collaboratively with various agencies and government branches in order to come up with recommendations that were feasible. These two organizations provide a method of reform that is less myopic and more supportive, allowing for meaningful improvements within California’s foster care system.

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