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Foster care

Picture of Kristin Gourlay

Social workers at Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families say they have too many cases to really make a difference in children’s lives. The agency is already facing criticism for other problems, including one of the nation’s highest percentages of foster children in group homes.

Picture of Kristin Gourlay

Children who experience abuse or neglect–or even the stress of poverty—can have serious health problems later in life. That’s one of many challenges for children in Rhode Island’s child welfare system.

Picture of ChrisAnna Mink

Earlier this year, an expert panel called for the closure of L.A. County's Welcome Centers for kids awaiting foster placements. But the real problems have more to do with a lack of foster homes and chronic underinvestment in programs that can keep kids from needing foster care in the first place.

Picture of ChrisAnna Mink

Three-and-a-half-year-old Dylan was tiny, feisty and freckled with tousled blond hair. His mom brought him to the pediatric clinic because he had tried to smother his 2-week-old sister. She didn’t know what to do with him, and frankly neither did we. It was 5 p.m. and the clinic was closing.

Picture of Raheem Hosseini

Sacramento County is suddenly flush with millions to spend on the area's neediest kids after federal entitlement program is rejiggered.

Picture of Brian Rinker

Matt, 14, Terrick, 12, and Joseph, 11 pretended to go to church that day in 2006, but in secret they had planned to run away and never come back. No more living with an angry grandmother who drank. No more beatings with the belt.

Picture of Ryan White

For children who've suffered trauma and abuse, positive relationships can be elusive. In L.A., an innovative children's center and an alternative all-girls high school are helping kids and teens forge trusting relationships and meaningful narratives out of a traumatic past.

Picture of Ryan White

The Los Angeles Times took an impressive deep dive into the problems plaguing California’s foster care system, detailing the extent to which perverse incentives and a lack of monitoring among private agencies overseeing foster homes has led to disturbing patterns of child abuse.

Picture of Stephanie Woodard

My latest story, Rough Justice in Indian Child Welfare, provides a rare and shocking behind-the-scenes look at what can happen to Native children once they end up in the foster-care system, in this case in South Dakota.

Picture of Elaine Korry

Young women who grow up in foster care are much more likely to become pregnant in their teens -- nearly half will have at least one pregnancy before they age out of the system at 19.  

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