The Maui News - The number of children put into foster care in Hawai'i has dropped by more than 50 percent because of a new approach being used by social workers.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported this week that the number of children taken into state custody has dropped from 2,515 in 2003 to 1,042 in the fiscal year that ended in June. The Department of Human Services credits its "differential response system" in which social workers identify which children are at low risk to be harmed and can remain with their families. Those at high risk are put into foster care. The data show that the number of children removed from their homes because of drug abuse by their parents dropped from 34 percent in 2004, 2005 and 2006 to 20 percent in the 2011 fiscal year.