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This article explores the plight of “short stayers” and argues that juvenile courts are failing to use two tools—the federal reasonable efforts requirement and the early appointment of parents’ counsel—to prevent the unnecessary entry of children into foster care. The article also argues that states should give parents and children the right to an expedited appeal of removal decisions to ensure removal standards are properly applied. Finally, this article argues that the federal government must acknowledge the problem of short stayers by utilizing data related to children who may unnecessarily enter foster care in the Child and Family Services Review, the accountability process used to assess state compliance with federal child welfare requirements. But before exploring these issues, the article first describes the trauma children experience when they are separated from their parents and details how federal and state laws are designed to prevent child welfare agencies from unnecessarily inflicting this trauma on children and their families.