In The Courtroom

Brice-Family-2-2-RGBRhode Island, Massachusetts and Texas have failing child welfare systems in desperate need of top-to-bottom reform. Children’s Rights has filed suit in these states to ensure foster children are protected.

Systemic problems with Rhode Island‘s child welfare system are harming the approximately 3,000 children in its care. The state consistently ranks as one of the worst on the rate of neglect and abuse of children in foster care and placement of children in group homes and shelters. In 2010, nearly 10 percent of all Rhode Island kids who experienced abuse or neglect were maltreated again within 6 months. The system also fails to ensure children receive necessary medical, mental health and educational services.

Massachusetts fails to protect the approximately 7,500 children in its foster care system. The state ranks amongst the bottom 10 in the country when it comes to the rate of maltreatment of foster children, as well as the stability of their placements. In addition, kids in foster care are prescribed psychotropic medications roughly four times as often as those outside of foster care on Medicaid.

A child entering the Texas child welfare system has, at best, 18 months to be adopted or reunified with their birth family before entering a long term arrangement known as permanent foster care. More than 10,000 children were in this situation as of 2011, an increase of more than 2,000 over the prior decade. Far too many of these kids never return to their families or get adopted, and instead grow up in state custody, moving from place to place.

To help protect foster kids in TX, MA or RI, click on the link below, and designate the state you wish to reform in the ‘comments’ section.




Read additional articles in Notes from the Field, the Children’s Rights Newsletter: