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Half of foster parents are criminals

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Agency: Half of foster parents criminals

Posted: 03/30/2010 07:23:59 PM PDT
Updated: 03/30/2010 07:40:32 PM PDT

County officials plan to examine how many people have qualified to become foster parents in Los Angeles despite criminal backgrounds, after the head of a troubled nonprofit agency claimed Tuesday the figure could be up to half.

Members of the Board of Supervisors remained skeptical but asked county officials to look into the issue.

The statements came during a hearing in which the supervisors voted to terminate a contract with United Care, Inc. following the death of a 2-year-old girl in a South Los Angeles foster home under the nonprofit’s oversight.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky asked United Care’s executive director Craig J. Woods if he knew the child’s foster mother had a criminal background.

He said he did, but she had been cleared and licensed by the state, like many foster parents.

“The state has an exemption process where it has a criteria that if the particular crime was not of a violent or drug-related nature, then many of our foster parents are exempted,” Woods said. “And I would estimate that to be as many as a third to half of foster parents fostering today under state licensing exemptions.”

In response, Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Neil Zanville said DCFS Director Trish Ploehn contacted the state Department of Social Services’ Community Care Licensing Division to find out what percentage of foster parents have some sort of criminal background.

“I don’t know that half of

our foster care parents are criminals,” Supervisor Gloria Molina said. “I disagree with that and I’m going to look into that because I think you’re wrong.”The dust-up follows the death of Viola Vanclief, a girl who died as a result of “blunt force trauma” in a death listed as a homicide, Coroner’s Office Lt. Fred Corral said.

The girl was a foster child in the care of a South Los Angeles couple, Kiana Barker, 30, and her boyfriend, James Julian, 38. The couple were arrested on suspicion of beating the girl to death, apparently with a hammer, but they were released when prosecutors referred the case back to police for additional investigation.

After the girl’s death, Barker told investigators that the toddler had been trapped in a bed frame and that she accidentally struck the child with a hammer while trying to free her.

The death was the most recent in a string of highly-publicized ones in recent years. Last year, 17 children died from abuse or neglect after DCFS had investigated earlier complaints of mistreatment. The figure, an increase from 2008’s total of 14 deaths, includes both open and closed investigations.

In a prepared statement, Ploehn said DCFS reviewed United Care’s records and placed a “Do Not Use” designation on the agency.

Meanwhile, Ploehn said DCFS is going to assess the other 57 foster family agencies in the county that oversee 2,500 foster homes with 5,800 foster children.

“Children’s social workers will investigate the homes, utilizing a special tool to assess safety criteria; interviewing all children and adults residing in the homes, assessing the home itself and reviewing the agency’s records ensuring all adults have criminal background clearances and all other safety criteria are met,” Ploehn said.

The Auditor-Controller’s Office will assist DCFS by providing two investigators to review FFA records. DCFS and the County Counsel’s Office have requested the involvement of the state Community Care Licensing Division, which licenses foster parents.

City News Service contributed to this story.

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Written by dawneworswick

January 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Even if they have no criminal history, foster homes are allowed to abuse, neglect & threaten children. I was told by a Saginaw, MI police officer that criminal acts by CPS or foster homes are civil, not criminal acts!
    My child had a religious belief not to take mdicines or eat meat. (CPS confuses agnostic with not having any religious beliefs).
    She was served only bacon at breakfast. When she reminded the foster people she was vegetarian the reply was “Eat it or starve.” Not only abuse & neglect, but child endangement to a diabetic that needs carbohydrates at all meals.
    My daughter still had effects from strep throat that caused her to be hospitalized & kidnapped by CPS. The foster home made a diagnosis that she had allergies. Without consulting the doctors about what to do, she was given an allergy medicine. (Randomly giving any medication to a diabetic can severely affect the diabetic condition & should NEVER be administered without consulting a doctor.) Again, when her beliefs were mentioned, she was told to take it or CPS would prolong her stay & possibly revoke parental rights. She took it & became ill. She mentioned not feeling well & was told to “Shut up & go to bed. We’re tired of your whining ass.” When I learned f this, I was told by a Saginaw County CPS moderator “We don’t care about religious beliefs. If the doctor prescribes medication, we will shove them down your daughter’s throat if we have to.” I also learned after my daughter was rescued that CPS had plans to pute her on medications for ADHD, Bi Polar & depression, none of which she was diagnosed having & the medications could have endangered her diabetic conditon. Let alone her belief not to take medications. This also was not a life & death matter, so she & I had a LEGAL right to refuse these medications; or so I thought. CPS told me the foster home can give her any medication they want & don’t have to have my permission! I learned that doctors routinely prescribed medications at CPS’ bidding without a diagnosis.
    The day she was kidnapped, she was given one insulin pen by Dr Morales from Covenant Hospital. The pen was for adults & did not come in 1/2 unit increments that children need; but the doctor argued with my daughter about it. When my daughter proved it was the wrong pen, the doctor left angry! The pen also only had enough insulin for 5-6 days. Again the doctor argued that it should last much longer. She also adjusted the insulin dosages without a reason. After 5 days, the pen ran out! When my daughter told the foster home, she was told to wait until the next day. CHILD ENDANGERMENT & MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE! The next day at the visit, my daughter told me her blood sugar was 387, way too high. I told her to take insulin, but was informed she was out. We were told by CPS we could not discuss the medical condition; it was inappropriate conversation. I told CPS she needed insulin immediately. CPS told me they had to follow protocol & had to apply for medicaid & get approval. It could have taken 2-3 days. Enough time for a diabetic to go into a coma & die. But according to CPS, the doctor & Medicaid, insulin is an incidental medication! (This is what CPS falslely accused me of- not having enough insulin. When CPS does it & endangers a child, it is not medical neglect!) She got her insulin after being out for 17 1/2 hours. Her blood sugar was 543. She told CPS & the foster home that she needed to go to the hospital. THEY REFUSED! But again, refusing to take a dangerously ill child to the hospital is not negligence or child endangerment!
    The Monday after being kidnapped my daughter & the foster caregiver had to go to the clinic to teach the lady how to deal with the diabetes. After an hour & a half, the nurses told my daughter she apparently was on her own! The clinic also told them to go to the emergency room, as something was not quite right. My daughter was not told why, as it was confidential. They never went to the ER; they got into the vehicle & went back to the foster home. Again, this is acceptable for CPS & foster homes!
    I was told by a person at the Administration for Children & Families (ACF), supposedly the federal agency within HHS that oversees CPS, that children die in foster care all the time. That is supposed to comfort me because my daughter almost died because of incompetence by CPS & the foster system.
    The Governor & Attorney General of Michigan both told me through their staffs that neither can take action, even if they are aware that CPS is committing criminal conduct!
    I was also told by ACF & CPS that even though it is illegal to take a child without evidence or a signed court order (signed by a judge, not the judge’s clerk), that CPS can do it “Because we can.” CPS is never under any obligation to prove anything they claim!
    Even though abuse & neglect are criminal acts, parents are rarely ever charged with a crime. The child is taken, possibly parental right’s revoked; all without evidence or due process. CPS tells you after your child is kidnapped that all evidence has been turned over to the prosecutor to review criminal charges. Even though CPS, the court, law enforcement & the DA all know CPS’ files will end up for possible criminal charges; at no time are Miranda Rights read to the parents! ILLEGAL!!

    Harold Wilson

    September 2, 2013 at 7:56 pm


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