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New report says foster care system is failing Hillsborough County teens

Posted at 7:13 PM, Feb 11, 2020

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- According to a study from the University of Miami, the foster care system is failing Hillsborough County children.

Robert Latham, a law school professor from the University of Miami, went through the data with community leaders at Hillsborough County's Children's Board meeting Tuesday morning. He said 49 of the county's highest-risk teens in the foster system are bounced around from home to home 10 times more than the typical teen.

"The number of those children being adopted out of the system was zero. That was very concerning to me," said Rebecca Kapusta, Vice President of Communities care for Eckerd Connects.

Hillsborough County has two big problems, according to the report: 1) It has the highest concentration of highly unstable children in the state and 2) The highest concentration of foster parents who kick the kids out of their house.

The county is working help those kids. Parris said they are placing more kids with their family members. Also, the county just opened an assessment center at the sheriff's office.

It's a one-stop shop with all the resources to reduce the number of kids getting thrown into the foster care system.

"The county really stepped up with the assessment center," said Parris. "We're pleased with that movement."

However, everyone at Tuesday's meeting agrees more needs to be done.