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Foster care

Picture of Roxanna Asgarian
Child welfare agencies use a shadow system to remove kids from their parents’ care. Nobody knows how many children are placed this way or what happens to them in new homes.
Picture of Alison Graham
The Virginia Department of Social Services has seen a 50% drop in calls to the child abuse and neglect hotline since mid-March, but social workers are concerned that an increase in domestic violence and child abuse may be going unreported.
Picture of Jeremy Loudenback
Federal offficials are concerned families could be penalized unfairly.
Picture of Jeremy Loudenback
Are parents whose children are being removed from their homes following allegations of abuse and neglect being billed for the cost of foster care and family reunification services? The signs suggest yes.
Picture of Alison Graham
The Office of the Children’s Ombudsman will investigate complaints concerning the Virginia Department of Social Services and will have a heavy focus on foster care and child-placing decisions.
Picture of Marisa Kwiatkowski
Ashley wanted the abuse to stop. But Butch, her adoptive father, was always around.
Picture of Marisa Kwiatkowski
I met Ashley for the first time in March 2015 at a Noodles & Company in Indianapolis. Her adoptive father Craig Peterson had arranged the meeting. He initially reached out to me about an article I'd written, then shared bits of Ashley's story.
Picture of Marisa Kwiatkowski
Ashley stepped out of Sandy’s red-and-white van. The 10-year-old didn’t say a word, didn’t glance back at Sandy, her adoptive mother. And she refused to meet the hazel eyes of the man waiting in front of her.
Picture of Marisa Kwiatkowski
This is Part 2 of a five-part series was produced as a project for the 2017 National Fellowship. Other stories in this series include:
Picture of Marisa Kwiatkowski
Ashley would be exploited, abused and, ultimately, abandoned by people who said they cared about her. And her invisible wounds would persist for decades.

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