Foster Care and Adoption: An Uneasy Non-Alliance

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One of the great and largely unknown tragedies in America is the current state of the foster care system. It is tragic first of all when a child is so maltreated within his own family that he must be removed from his home and placed with someone other than his parents or guardians. However, of even greater concern is that the foster care system itself has become a tragedy. Of course, certain states do better than others, so it is difficult to generalize, but no state is without horror stories.

Katelyn Frazier, age 3, of Alexandria, Virginia, was killed in December of 2000 after being fatally injured two days after Christmas by “blunt impact head trauma,” according to the coroner’s report. By then she had been back and forth among 5 foster homes and her biological mother for much of her short life. Three months before her death, she had been sent back the home shared by her birth mother, Pennee Frazier, and Ms. Frazier’s boyfriend, Asher Levin. Her mother had a history of substance abuse and there were reports that she was living in squalid conditions before her death. Child welfare caseworkers visited the mother’s apartment numerous times in the months leading up to her death, and a babysitter even reported suspected abuse to local authorities. Yet caseworkers made no attempt to remove her from her mother. The case is currently under investigation by local police. [Read more here …]

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