They say it takes a village to raise a child. Apparently this doesn’t hold true for LA.
Public records show that from the end of May to the beginning of July, social workers failed to place over 600 children in homes and instead sent them to LA County holding centers. At times, these children would spend multiple nights in these rooms with up to 29 other foster kids.
The LA Times reports that the kids in question were often the difficult ones to place in homes: infants, siblings, the mentally ill, or those inflicted with ailments. Stays in these holding centers surpassed the state-sanctioned 24 hour limit in over 117 cases.
The County has experienced a surge in reports alleging child abuse after the world caught wind of the tragic case of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, who was tortured and killed by his mother and her boyfriend. The social workers in charge of the Palmdale-area case were criticized for failing to pick up on numerous and clear warning signs.
While the Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services states that they “are making progress,” several problems impede the department’s ability to fully address the problem, including the County’s lack of a real-time database of home vacancies and declining number of available foster parents.
The Department of Children and Family Services will face fines imposed by state officials unless they can come up with a working solution in an expedient manner.
For more on the problem and how the County hopes to address it, read the full article at The LA Times.