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Foster care is a form of government-sanctioned child abuse that createsan environment where children are thrown out onto the streets when they turn18 with no support systems
County to try to preserve families, reduce abuse
BY TROY ANDERSON, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 04/17/2007 09:33:05 PM PDT
Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday gave final approval to an
innovative plan - first proposed by former Department of Children and
Family Services Director David Sanders - to reform the child-protective
The plan will give the DCFS the flexibility to use $13 million a year on
services to help keep families together.
The plan comes as Casey Family Programs, a national foundation where
Sanders is now an executive vice president, has set a goal to reduce the
nation's foster-care population from 500,000 now to 250,000 by 2020.
"Los Angeles County has significantly reduced its foster-care population
in recent years," Sanders said. "I hope it continues to decline. The
idea of using federal dollars to pay for services for children in their
own homes is a national model. If it can work in Los Angeles County,
then it's a model we would really like to see supported nationwide."
The supervisors also voted to ask Sanders to provide the county with
free consulting services on the plan. Under the proposal, the DCFS will
use some federal funds that now can only be spent on foster care on a
variety of services to help keep children remain safely with their own
Sanders will assist with the plan beginning July 1 and design strategies
to help various county departments work more closely together to provide
an array of counseling, parenting classes, substance abuse and mental
health services to troubled families.
In recent years, the DCFS has made numerous reforms, reducing the number
of children in foster homes from nearly 33,000 in 2000 to 20,500 last year.
"Foster care is a form of government-sanctioned child abuse that creates
an environment where children are thrown out onto the streets when they
turn 18 with no support systems," Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said.
"But thanks to David Sanders and our efforts here in Los Angeles County,
we are working to change that."
Figures to be released today show the number of child-abuse homicides
rose to 33 in 2005 from 30 the previous year, which had been a record
low. The number of child-abuse reports also rose, up 1 percent, to 156,831.
Some child-welfare experts have been critical of the two-year delay in
county and state officials working out details of the plan with the
federal government. They were concerned about the safety of children,
noting that the DCFS had sent thousands of children home without the
ability to use funds to provide their families with services.
But Deanne Tilton Durfee, executive director of the Inter-Agency Council
on Child Abuse and Neglect, said she's not that concerned, noting that
child-abuse homicides are still near record lows and child-abuse reports
have remained static in recent years.
The number of child-abuse homicides in the county in 2005 was the
second-lowest since the agency first began collecting the data in 1982.
Also, the number of children killed in foster care dropped from two in
2004 to one in 2005. A total of 15 children committed suicide in 2005,
up from 13 in 2004, which was also a record low.
CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CIVIL RIGHTS ON A
DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NSA/CIA
BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF
REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES
TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEIR
"FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...
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