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The number of children who are homeless or in foster care has risen dramatically during the past two decades. Poverty, substance abuse, lack of education and employment, and the failure of the social “safety net” to catch all those in need of support and financial assistance are root causes of this increase. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, popularly know as the “welfare reform” act, will likely have a powerful impact on levels of child poverty in the future and place even greater numbers of children at risk for becoming homeless or entering foster care over the next decade. Recent studies provide increased understanding of the health care and educational needs of children who are homeless or in foster care.