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Fixing the foster care system

July 23, 2006

Re "Accord Hikes Foster Care Budget," July 18

As a former ward of the state, I am overjoyed at the attention and resources headed to California's foster care system. At 28, having been out of the system just over 10 years and made something of myself, I hope that other youths coming through the current broken system won't have to endure what I did and see some of the things that I saw.

Although it is true that we need more social workers, what the system really needs is a better screening process for foster parents and more supervision over group homes, which often neglect and further abuse the children they are supposed to be protecting.

JASMYNE CANNICK

Los Angeles

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Assemblywoman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) points out that foster children who appeared before the Legislature "do not feel that there is an adult who is not paid that cares about them."

Community members can change that by volunteering as a court-appointed special advocate to speak up for abused and neglected children and show them the love they often so deeply need.

BRYAN BORYS

Executive Director

CASA of Los Angeles

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Re "Father, Child Sue Foster Care Unit," July 17

This father and daughter were abused by the system created to protect their rights.

Every person who failed them should be fired immediately, and the Board of Supervisors should pay the father and his daughter $100 for each day the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services failed them over 10 years. And that will not right the wrong done to these people.

Next, the supervisors should demolish the department and start over, putting retired social worker Peggy Crist in charge.

No explanation is acceptable for the gross negligence displayed by so many in this tragic case. County residents deserve better than this failed system.

PAUL PERENCEVIC

Long Beach

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