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OPINION
May 16, 2013
Re "County cuts off foster agency," May 14 Why has it taken Los Angeles County so long to pull the money plug on Teens Happy Home, a private foster-care organization that audits and a Times report have shown spends money questionably and has a record of abuse and neglect? The county should employ outsiders to audit all such foster-care contractors and to interview, randomly, all children to see how they are being treated. Until a system of regular auditing and accountability is adopted, the county risks have more foster-care contractors spending money wildly while neglecting the children.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
April 15, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Enormous public resources go to foster families and group homes, and those expenditures are appropriate because the county and state are the virtual guardians for thousands of abused and neglected children. As such, the state and the county are duty-bound to ensure that the children receive proper care and, despite any mistreatment at home and despite the turmoil of being sent to live with strangers, are put on a pathway toward a successful adulthood. But Los Angeles County also places thousands more abused or neglected children not with foster families or group homes but with their own grandparents and other relatives, and that's a good thing; numerous studies over many years show that such children do better in the long run than those in foster care - if those family members have the money to properly clothe and care for the children.
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OPINION
March 12, 2009
For years, thousands of California youths were abused or neglected twice over -- first by parents who couldn't or wouldn't provide basic care, then by governmental agencies that sent them to live with strangers instead of extended family, only to cut them off from all support on their 18th birthdays.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County officials proposed a budget Monday that would pump money into reforming some major problem areas, including the jail and foster care systems, and expanding staffing in medical facilities to manage the transition to federal healthcare reform. As part of a new $26-billion spending plan that builds on post-recession economic improvements, County Chief Executive William T Fujioka proposes adding more than 1,300 new positions to county government, including nurses, social workers and staff for the newly created Sheriff's Department inspector general.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has decided to delay action on the interim recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection until a final report is issued in April. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas signaled that he would continue to press to immediately begin a restructuring of the county system to protect children from abuse and neglect, but the four other supervisors said they were not prepared to join the effort until they can fully assess the commission's vision and the accompanying cost.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe
Thousands of California students in foster care are suffering from an "invisible achievement gap," with worse academic performance, a higher dropout rate and placement in more failing schools than their statewide peers, according to a study set for release Monday. The study , which provides the first detailed statewide look at foster youths and their academic challenges, was made possible by a new data-sharing agreement between the state education and social services agencies.
OPINION
May 5, 2013 | By Jessica Chandler
My sisters and I spent the majority of our adolescence as foster kids in Los Angeles County. We entered the system after my parents divorced. My mom, who was both poor and mentally ill, wasn't equipped to be a single parent to six young children. No one told us about the bad odds we faced. Teenage girls living in foster care are 21/2 times more likely than other girls to become pregnant by age 19. Information about sexual development, reproductive health and pregnancy prevention is not readily available, in part because none of the many individuals who interact with youths in foster care has specific responsibility for providing such education.
OPINION
October 24, 2013 | Meghan Daum
Born to a mother in prison, 15-year-old Davion Only has been in foster care all his life. Last month he walked into a church in St. Petersburg, Fla., and pleaded for a family of his own. "I'll take anyone," Davion said. "Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. " He had the congregation in tears. He also caught the attention of a Tampa Bay Times reporter, who told his story so compellingly, it became national news. On Monday, the boy appeared on multiple talk shows, including "The View," where his caseworker said there had been more than 10,000 calls from prospective parents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 2001
An orientation on Ventura County's foster care system will be held Thursday in Camarillo for adults interested in providing care to mistreated children. The session will begin at 7 p.m. at Holiday Inn Express, 4444 Central Ave. Homes for abused and neglected children are sorely needed, county officials say. For information, call 654-3456.
OPINION
December 22, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Much of California's foster care system is private, a result in part of a prevailing political philosophy in the 1980s that the private nonprofit sector could provide better service with better results at a lower cost than government. Over the years, counties referred more of the highest-need children to foster homes selected by and affiliated with private foster care agencies because, it was believed, those homes could provide a more intense level of care and oversight than traditional foster homes, which are individually licensed by the state and contracted directly by counties.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
County officials are exploring a plan to require more intensive training for foster parents and group home workers to help them recognize warning signs that children and teens under their care may be victims of sex trafficking. County supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe have pushed for a more aggressive response to the issue of minors being used in the sex trade. In November 2012, the supervisors created a task force focused on the issue of sex trafficking of youths in the foster care system.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | Sandy Banks
It's a story whose elements are all too familiar. It's easy to deem it another indictment of our failing child welfare system: A drug addict who has already lost six children to the foster care system is jailed after her two little boys wander into a liquor store alone, hungry and looking for food. The toddlers - 2 and 3 years old - are wearing soiled diapers and dirty clothes. It takes police two days to track down their mother whose rap sheet includes arrests for prostitution and theft.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
Los Angeles County supervisors agreed Tuesday to study the financial feasibility of recommendations made by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection reform. Their decision will allow staffers to determine the cost of the commission's interim proposals in time for a final report and more recommendations in April. In December, the commission released an interim report calling the county's child welfare system "dysfunctional" and in need of "fundamental change. " The commission began its work last summer to improve the county's child welfare system after the death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has decided to delay action on the interim recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection until a final report is issued in April. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas signaled that he would continue to press to immediately begin a restructuring of the county system to protect children from abuse and neglect, but the four other supervisors said they were not prepared to join the effort until they can fully assess the commission's vision and the accompanying cost.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 | By Garrett Therolf
Responding to recent high-profile deaths and injuries, a special county commission on child welfare is proposing a far-reaching overhaul of the Los Angeles County child protection service. The plans would impose greater oversight on private foster care agencies and improve coordination among the many agencies who deal with child welfare cases, officials said. In addition, representatives of the commission drafting reforms are calling on the county to establish a position of child welfare czar empowered to coordinate services between the Department of Children and Family Services and other county agencies involved in child abuse cases, including health services, social services and mental health.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2014 | By Seema Mehta and Abby Sewell
Last month's strike by Los Angeles County public employees, their first in more than a decade, was short-lived. But the effects are still being felt by some families entangled in the foster care system. Anthony Rogers flew to Los Angeles from North Carolina for a Dec. 13 custody hearing involving his 15-month-old grandson, who had been placed in protective care after his son had an altercation with the child's mother. Rogers and his wife had been in regular communication with social workers about caring for the child.
OPINION
December 22, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Much of California's foster care system is private, a result in part of a prevailing political philosophy in the 1980s that the private nonprofit sector could provide better service with better results at a lower cost than government. Over the years, counties referred more of the highest-need children to foster homes selected by and affiliated with private foster care agencies because, it was believed, those homes could provide a more intense level of care and oversight than traditional foster homes, which are individually licensed by the state and contracted directly by counties.
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