February 22, 2003
Just eight children were bedded down this week in the gloomy, dormitory-style cubicles of MacLaren Children's Center. Even these last few severely troubled children in the county's de facto orphanage may soon get other homes. Good riddance to forbidding, often violence-plagued MacLaren. Now county officials need to make sure its former residents, and the thousands of other emotionally damaged children in foster care, get the psychiatric assistance, medication, tutoring and counseling they need.
October 24, 2002
Re "Troubled Home for Children May Close," Oct. 22: Instead of replacing Los Angeles County's MacLaren Children's Center in El Monte with a facility of a lower level of care (e.g., a group home) it should be upgraded and specialized into an intermediate-level-of-care facility, specifically for abused and neglected children who suffer from psychological and psychiatric illness. The length of stay should average one month, with placement in the community as the goal. This would avoid having these children stay in acute psychiatric hospitals (average length of stay, one week)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 2002 |
Los Angeles County is discussing the possibility of closing MacLaren Children's Center, its troubled shelter for abused and neglected children, and replacing it with a group home to settle a lawsuit alleging widespread violations of federal law in its treatment of mentally ill children, officials said Monday.
July 18, 2002 |
Los Angeles has a foster-care system driven by what is available, not what is needed. Children receive too few services too late. Thousands are shuttled to ineffective and expensive institutional care. They are poorly monitored, with no consistent, individualized care. Not surprisingly, many deteriorate in county care, populating our jails, homeless shelters and mental wards after they "age out" of a failed system. Many never overcome the effects of the abuse or neglect they have suffered.
October 28, 2001
"I've got to tell you, I do not sleep well at night." That's what Bryce Yokomizo, interim director at MacLaren Children's Center, told a committee of the county's Commission on Children and Families last week. Yokomizo, who's been on the job just three weeks now, told the oversight group that on weekends especially, when school's not in session at the El Monte facility and the 140 or so residents have fewer activities, he worries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 27, 2001
Re "Hard Place for Tough Kids," editorial, Oct. 15: Progress has been made at MacLaren Children's Center. MacLaren is now licensed as a "group home." The county now has far more control of the facility's youth population--by number and nature. MacLaren now has the ability to refuse placement of youth who should be properly placed in a secured community treatment facility or mental hospital. And the MacLaren staff is working with state-operated regional centers to require that they accept children needing special care as a result of a disability.