Taken From The Atlanta Journal and Consistution Foster Kids Abused

.Metro Atlanta / State News 8:10 p.m. Sunday, January 24, 2010 Text size:
Decrease Increase Foster children experiencing ‘high’ rate of abuse and neglectShareThisPrint E-mail .By Craig Schneider

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Foster children in Fulton and DeKalb counties are experiencing a “high” rate of abuse and neglect while in state care, according to a report by federal monitors of these child welfare systems.

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.The report for the first six months of 2009 found that 25 of the 2,348 children in those foster care systems were abused or neglected while in the care of the state.

The report emphasized that the two child welfare systems, overseen by the state Division of Family and Children Services , have “no higher obligation” than to ensure the safety of these children, who were already abused or neglected in the homes from which they were removed.

Independent monitors James Dimas and Sarah Morrison were appointed by a federal judge to review the performance of the Fulton and DeKalb foster care systems after Georgia settled a lawsuit in 2005 that called for reforms. The lawsuit was filed by the advocacy group Children’s Rights Inc. , which reacted to the findings of the report released Friday.

“We are extremely concerned that children in the … foster care system are simply not safe, and that DFCS is not doing enough,” said Children’s Rights associate director Ira Lustbader.

Lustbader said Children’s Rights has formally notified DFCS that the agency is in violation of the consent decree that covers the lawsuit settlement. He said the advocacy group is prepared to request that the court order reforms unless the agency makes improvements. Children’s Rights officials are set to meet with DFCS officials Monday, Lustbader said.

DFCS spokeswoman Dena Smith said the agency has added staffing and resources to improve performance in these areas and “we should see improvement in the next report.”

In particular, she said DFCS is more closely monitoring an area of concern noted in the report — private agencies that contract with the state to provide foster care.

“The issue of child safety is first and foremost the concern” of DFCS, she said.

She also emphasized that the report pointed to areas in which the state has shown improvement, including meeting deadlines on investigations into the mistreatment of children in foster care and reuniting foster children with their families.

The consent decree orders that DFCS have a rate of abuse and neglect for children in the foster care system of no higher than 0.57 percent. The rate noted in the report is 1.06 percent. Lustbader said the defined rate is so low because there is little tolerance for such mistreatment of children in the state’s care. He also said the rate is considered a “tip of the iceberg” indicator, which often points to more abuses that are not reported.

The report said the “high maltreatment in care rate” may be caused by the agency’s relaxed monitoring of private agencies contracted by the state to provide foster care for children in the system. It pointed to a decrease in staffing in these areas due to attrition, and noted that the state did not replace those workers due to the budget crisis.

Normer Adams, executive director of the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children, a lobbying group for private foster homes, disagreed with the report’s assertions about relaxed oversight of those homes.

Adams said the state’s monitoring of those homes is so intense “it’s almost to the level of harassment.”


About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by Lulu.com October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
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One Response to Taken From The Atlanta Journal and Consistution Foster Kids Abused

  1. Pingback: Taken From The Atlanta Journal and Consistution Foster Kids Abused … Children Me

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