If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now: The Business of Foster Care

Emerich Thoma

ABSTRACT: Current trends in the provision of child protection services are examined. Federal fiscal incentives favoring child removal and foster care placement over the provision of services are reviewed. Efforts at reform are likely to remain unsuccessful so long as existing bureaucratic and fiscal structures are maintained.

Introduction
Los Angeles: The State Threatens a Takeover
Anatomy of a Reform Effort
The State Takes Over
The Rescue Crusade
Making Matters Worse
The Transformation of a Once-Helping Institution
How Safe the Service?
Sexual Abuse
Systemwide Abuses
Speaking Out
Needless Suffering
The Confusion of Poverty With Neglect
Reliability of Foster Care Placement Decision Making
Predicting the Future and the Codification of Poverty
Averting Unnecessary Placements
Beyond the Numbers
Why Children Aren't Adopted
Termination of Parental Rights
Foster Care Outcomes
Voices of the Children
Conclusions
References

About the Author:

Emerich Thoma is a security consultant and free lance writer. He has devoted the last four years to researching issues related to child welfare. He resides in Virginia with his wife and two children, and can be reached at P.O. Box 366, Lacey Spring, VA 22852.
    

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