"Children were aging out of the foster care system without the necessary supports," says Valerie Cuffee, chief of the division. "They didn't have families. They didn't have any connections to family or any adults."
Over the past five years, the county has cut the number of children who are sent away by half.
"The alternative is for them to stay in the community, stay in their homes and stay in school," she says.
Aside from having better outcomes, Cuffee says, providing community-based support creates less of a financial burden on the county.