Mississippi's foster care system is in trouble - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi's foster care system is in trouble

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi's foster care system is in jeopardy of a federal takeover. Now, the state is trying to take steps to right the wrongs.

"The system is going to fail the children if they don't step up," said foster parent Torchisa Hall.

Hall became a foster parent in May. Since that time, she's had four kids pass through her home. All but one arrived with little to no background information from the Department of Human Services.

"I tried to make contact with the state to find out," she explained. "Y'all brought them here. You dropped them off. Who are they? Up until today was when I found out who they were and they've been out of my home since the first of January."

The latest court monitor report details the systems failures, including the death of one Mississippi child while in foster care.

Hall said it's been her experience that there's a lack of evaluations and information from caseworkers.

"I have never received any medical records at all," noted Hall. "For none of the children."

Governor Phil Bryant appointed Supreme Court justice David Chandler in December to head the Division of Family and Children Services. Now, he wants to make that a separate state agency that would report directly to him.

"And what you get is more time and effort and oversight in that division," described the Governor. 

Bryant said around $35 million is needed to help the system but the legislature only committed to $3 million last year.

"We're asking the legislature for additional funding," said Bryant. "Now these are going to be tight budget years. But if we do not fund foster children in this state, the federal court's going to step in and tell us to do that."

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