Report says foster children in increasing danger - - Jackson, MS

Report says foster children in increasing danger

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi's foster care system has gotten worse, according to a federal court monitor.  

A Better Childhood, the advocacy group leading a lawsuit against the state, says children are in increasing danger.

A new report cites the death of a baby within five days of entering foster care custody. The report also says there was no evidence that information on the foster mother's arrest, job loss and medications was considered before the home was licensed to take children.

Marcia Robinson Lowry, the Executive Director for A Better Childhood, talked with us Thursday night by phone.

Lowry said, "Right now we know from the monitor's report there are almost 700 children in foster care placement in facilities and homes that don't meet state licensure standards. Now the home in which this baby died was licensed but astonishingly the agency workers had never even visited the home in which the family was living.

She added, “The problem in the handling of that placement of the child and that oversight of that foster home are problems that are common to the system. So that family for example, foster family did not get training. It turns out that many other foster families are also not getting training."

The federal court monitor also found significant deficits in medical, mental health and dental care for children in the state's custody. The State will be back in federal court in May.

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