Target: Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles
Goal: Stop abuse of children in private foster care
Children living in private foster care homes were about a third more likely to be victims of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse than children in state-run foster care homes. Children in the private foster care system not only remain in the system longer than children in government system, but also move homes more frequently. Twenty-seven years ago, the private foster care system was started in the hopes that it would help defray costs and improve care for children. Now, it is both more expensive and more dangerous than its government-run counterpart.
According to an investigation by the LA Times, five out of six children in LA County who do not go to relatives are placed in private homes. Meanwhile, United Care, one of the largest private foster agencies, has admitted that as much as half of their recruited foster parents have recently committed crimes. Poor monitoring and minimal punishment by regulators contribute to instances of repeated abuse among foster care agencies.
Over the past five years, four children in foster homes run by private agencies have died because of abuse or neglect, as compared with zero children in government run homes. In one of the most horrific cases, Kiana Barker, a convicted thief, beat her two-year-old foster child Viola Vanclief to death after hours of drinking.
Please sign the petition below and demand protection for these children. Let’s not stand by as our children – already abused, neglected, and abandoned – are made to suffer even more.
Dear Mayor Garcetti,
I want to bring your attention to the rampant child abuse within Los Angeles County’s private foster care system. Foster care homes are meant to provide children with a safe environment to heal and recover from abuse or neglect. Yet, according to a Los Angeles Times investigation, a child going to a foster care home run by a private agency is three times more likely to fall victim to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse than children in state-run foster care homes.
Serious systematic dysfunctions are contributing to this statistic. When surveying potential foster parents, problems are often overlooked in the interest of placing children in homes.
I urge you to take leadership in protecting these children. Vigorous monitoring and stronger punishment for wrongdoing are crucial first steps in cutting back on abuse and ensuring the health and safety of children in our private foster care system. We need your help in preventing these children from further harm.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: zaxl4 via Flickr