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)
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.
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.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 1989 |
A scarcity of homes, a lack of adequate training for foster parents and "potentially excessive caseloads" for children's social workers have strained Los Angeles County's foster-care system, according to a county grand jury report released Monday. The study, which was forwarded to the Board of Supervisors, urged county officials to step up the recruitment and training of foster parents and to reduce the blizzard of paper work facing caseworkers. In a prepared statement accompanying the report, grand jury Foreman Robert Leland said Monday that the audit was triggered by a concern for the welfare of the abused, neglected, abandoned or exploited children in the foster care program.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 1989 |
Los Angeles County's chief administrative officer Tuesday blocked a move to open a special care center for severely mentally disturbed and abused teen-agers who are now kept with less-troubled children at MacLaren Children's Center. The action by Richard B. Dixon drew an angry response from Supervisor Pete Schabarum, who has been pushing for the intensive care facility since 1985. Accusing Dixon of bureaucratic delays, he said, "You've done a good job in giving me a lot of bull in this matter."