Local State of Foster Care

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

In an ABC News/Time magazine poll 53 percent say the system runs well, but only a mere 8 percent say it runs very well. And nearly half, 47 percent, believe their state system is not doing enough to identify at-risk children.

Mike Pierce says: "I never had a case where the kid did not want to go back home. Where they did not miss their mom and dad tremendously."

In the thirteen years Pierce has been a social services worker... he has seen some awful cases. He says the ones depicted in Thursday night's episode of Primetime are pretty standard.

Pierce says: "Abuse, neglect issues. You know, you'll find physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse occasionally. And then the neglect would be educational or environmental neglect where the house isn't really clean."

State foster care programs provide temporary shelter for about half a million children who've been removed from their homes for lack of adequate care. Kimberly Bland is responsible for putting children in foster homes after they've been removed from their parents care.

Bland says: "Some of the important things I do for my position is do the recruitment in people who are interested in becoming foster and adoptive parents. And putting them through the training process. The certification and the paperwork."

Bland says she agrees with some of the points made in the Primetime special and believes there are some faults in the foster care system.

Bland says: "Yes and not. I think there's many times when the system has failed kids. I've seen it firsthand. But then there's like today, there's been many times when the system has been there for them. So I do see both."

The two biggest issues when it comes to foster care, locally, seem to be finding homes for older children and finding enough homes for the growing number of children who have to be placed in foster care.

Kentucky officials have created a new way to address possible faults in the state's adoption system. A web-based service will allow social workers to report directly to officials with the Cabinet For Health and Family Services if they see an injustice in the adoption process.

The announcement came from the Department For Community Based Services as the cabinet faces allegations that children have been wrongly stripped from their families to help Kentucky satisfy an adoption increase quota from the federal government.

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