Why So Many Foster Care Deaths?
In recent weeks an unnamed 3-year old girl was starved to death by these foster parents, six-year old Justin Burland was slowly tortured to death in an informal but court-approved placement, and infant Josephine was killed when her mother went to prison and left the baby in her cousin’s care.
Factors contributing to these deaths include that counties are not required to follow statewide standards for recruitment, training, and quality reviews of foster homes. Also, the state’s role is unclear regarding unlicensed kinship care and individual arrangements made by parents, like the ones that cost Josephine and Justin their lives.
We must develop statewide standards and a quality program for every licensed placement, and define an appropriate state role in placements that aren’t currently covered by foster care regulations.
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