Notes From the Field, Spring 2016

For decades, thousands of young people in Texas’ unique system of permanent foster care have suffered in a severely broken system where overwhelming caseloads, too few foster homes and poor oversight are the norm. But the tides are turning. The state’s failing system was thrust into the national spotlight earlier this year, following a federal judge’s scathing ruling on a case brought by CR, stating that children “almost uniformly leave state custody more damaged than when they entered.”

In our cover story, “Hope for Texas’ Forgotten Children,” you’ll hear from several youth who experienced Texas foster care firsthand. Samantha was moved through about 13 placements, all hours from her mother and community, and had roughly seven caseworkers. Another former foster youth, Patricia, describes her attempts to report sexual abuse in a foster home: “My caseworker at the time, she handed me a number and said, ‘if anything ever happens, call.’ I tried to call, I tried to report it…and then nothing ever happened.”

Also in this issue, we talk to Christy Irons. A member of CR’s Advisory Council, she says why she and her husband have stepped up to parent kids in need. “We, the human race, are offering little more to these kids than our inactive horror. So many adults are capable of helping but don’t.” Check out CR Insider for the full Q&A.

We’ll also give details on a “massive turnaround” in Tennessee, renewed optimism in Michigan, and recap from the moving Today Show segment that profiled CR’s work and touched viewers with compelling interviews from several former foster youth.

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