The Systematic Mistreatment of Children in the Foster Care System: Through the Cracks

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Overview

Find out why children fall through the cracks in the foster care system—and what you can do to help

The Systematic Mistreatment of Children in the Foster Care System tells the stories of 10 children in the foster care system from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and the efforts by advocates to find them permanent places to live, appropriate schooling, and other essentials they need to survive. The children's case studies highlight the difficulties in placing and maintaining them in healthy living situations with supportive educational, mental health, and other services. The book shows how children fall-sometimes over and over again-through the "deep cracks" that exist within and between the various agencies of the multi-agency system of care that was designed to help them.

Appropriate placement and services for children in foster care typically requires the coordination and collaboration of several agencies, including the juvenile court, child protective services (CPS), school districts, and departments of mental health (DMH). The Systematic Mistreatment of Children in the Foster Care System shows how these agencies frequently fail to meet their legal obligations to children in the system and what can be done to address these failures-and the outcomes they produce.

The Systematic Mistreatment of Children in the Foster Care System includes:

• An introduction to the child protective services system
• The general route by which children in the United States are removed from their parents' custody because or abuse and neglect
• The major components of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the problems in getting foster children's educational needs met
• The difficulties in securing stable out-of-home placements
• Strategies for stabilizing home placements
• Problems in funding for out-of-home placements
• Strategies for advocating the removal of children from inadequate out-of-home placements
• Legislation and practices for bringing about needed policy changes
• And much more

Equally valuable as a professional tool and as a classroom resource, The Systematic Mistreatment of Children in the Foster Care System includes introductions to specific issues presented in each chapter; case studies that illuminate the issues presented; subsections for each case study chapter entitled "Prevention," "Intervention," "Advocacy Considerations," and "What Had Gone Wrong;" boxed items highlighting practical strategies, laws, and other relevant information; and a conclusion and summary of each chapter.
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What People Are Saying

Alice Bussiere
ZEROES IN ON THE MANY HEARTBREAKING WAYS THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM CAN FAIL CHILDREN IN THE GREATEST NEED. . . . OFFERS HOPE FOR IMPROVEMENT BY DESCRIBING INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS, PROMISING PRACTICES, AND DIRECTIONS FOR CHANGE. . . . Will help policy makers, administrators, and the general public understand how and why foster care creates rather than solves problems for too many children and their families. . . . OF PARTICULAR INTEREST TO ATTORNEYS, COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATES (CASAS), AND OTHER ADVOCATES looking for guidance on how to navigate the court, child welfare, education, mental health, and other systems that affect children in foster care. (Alice Bussiere, Staff Attorney, Youth Law Center)
Tom Parrish
COMPELLING AND A MUCH NEEDED CONTRIBUTION to a topic sorely in need of greater public scrutiny and discussion. . . . Provides a vivid account of how poorly far too many children are served through the Foster Care System. . . . PROVIDES COMPELLING CASE STUDY EXAMPLES of what happens to children in foster care and PROPOSES SOUND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REFORM. (Tom Parrish, American Institutes for Research, Palo Alto CA )
Mary A. Falvey
A poignant account of the enormous difficulties and challenges facing children in the foster care system. . . . AN IMPORTANT 'WAKE UP' CALL TO ALL about the desperate situation that children and youth find themselves in when the system acts as their parents. . . . AN ESSENTIAL AND REQUIRED READING for all in education, mental health, child advocacy, and those within the juvenile justice system. (Mary A. Falvey, PhD, Dean, Charter College of Education, CSULA, Los Angeles, CA)
Miryam J. Choca
INTELLIGENTLY STRUCTURED. . . . A VERY USEFUL PRIMER FOR NEW PRACTITIONERS IN CHILD WELFARE. (Miryam J. Choca, Director, California Strategies, Casey Family Programs, San Diego)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Lois A. Weinberg, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Division of Special Education and Counseling at California State University in Los Angeles, where she coordinates the CSULA-UCLA joint doctoral program in special education. She joined the faculty at CSULA in 2002 in the Mild to Moderate Disabilities Program. Prior to coming to CSULA, Dr. Weinberg was the Education Specialist at a nonprofit law office serving poor and low-income individuals with disabilities, where she provided advocacy for students in special education proceedings with a focus on children in the foster care system. She was also a Lecturer at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

Dr. Weinberg co-directed the Education Initiative Project, a collaborative project in Los Angeles County designed to reduce educational barriers for foster children. With a grant from the Stuart Foundation, she works to help California counties improve the education of children in foster care. She has published numerous articles and made presentations across the country on the education of children in foster care, policy issues and services for children with emotional and behavioral disorders, and other policy issues in special education. Recent articles by Dr. Weinberg have appeared in Child Abuse & Neglect, Children and Schools, Intervention in School & Clinic, Preventing School Failure, and the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. The Child Protective System
Reporting Abuse or Neglect
Investigation
The Petition
The Court
Court Proceedings
Role of the Attorney
Cracks in the Child Protective System
Summary
Chapter 2. The Educational System
Foster Children and Disabilities
Special Education
Mental Health Services
Conclusion
Summary
Chapter 3. Sharon: Preventing Placement in a State Psychiatric Hospital
Introduction
Case Study of Sharon
Conclusion
Summary
Chapter 4. John: Struggling to Stabilize Placement with a Parent
Introduction
Case Study of John
Conclusion
Summary
Chapter 5. James: Stabilizing Placement with Relatives
Introduction
Case Study of James
Conclusion
Summary
Chapter 6. Silvia and Carlos: Placing Siblings Together in a Foster Home
Introduction
Case Study of Silvia and Carlos
Conclusion
Summary
Chapter 7. Robert: Living at the County Emergency Shelter
Introduction
Case Study of Robert
Conclusion
Summary
Chapter 8. Debra: Supplementing the Appropriate Program
Introduction
Case Study of Debra
Conclusion
Summary
Chapter 9. Patty: Funding a Unique Program
Introduction
Case Study of Patty
Conclusion
Summary
Chapter 10. Anthony: Advocating for Foster Home Placement
Introduction
Case Study of Anthony
Conclusion
Summary
Chapter 11. David: Working with a Court-Appointed Special Advocate to Reunite Separated Siblings
Introduction
Case Study of David
Conclusion
Summary
Chapter 12. Directions for Change
Creating Stable Home Placements
Improving School Outcomes
Improving Mental Health Outcomes
Creating Stable Transition to Adulthood
Conclusion
Summary
Notes
References
Index
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