AirTalk for December 23, 2013

California’s private foster care system is more dangerous than the public system

Courtesy LA County DCFS

The living room area at the Children's Welcome Center operated by L.A. County's Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Small children wait here to be placed in foster homes

The nation’s largest private foster care system, begun 27 years ago here in California, is a $400 million dollar a year industry.

15,000 children are now a part of that system, and in LA County itself, 5 of 6 kids that aren’t placed with relatives go into the private care system.

An analysis by the Los Angeles Times shows that over a 3-year period, children are a third more likely to be abused in private foster care, and over a 5-year period, 4 children have died in private care, while none in public.

Who should be responsible for this massive oversight in child care? How is the government responding to this appalling situation, and how did we get here in the first place?

Guests:


Philip Browning, head of Department of Children and Family Services for LA County

Jill Duerr Berrick, PhD, co-director of the Center for Child and Youth Policy at UC Berkeley


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