Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Death Rate in Foster Care

Is a child is four times more likely to die in the Texas foster care system than outside it?

Yes, according to Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, when she released data last Friday on foster care deaths, poisonings, rapes and pregnancies, saying, "Many children are in more abusive situations now than they were before the state intervened."

-Between 2003 and 2005, the number of children in foster care increased 24%.

-Meanwhile, the number of deaths in foster care between 2003-2005 increased 60%. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, 30 children died in foster care in 2003, 38 in 2004 and 48 children died in foster care in 2005.

Strayhorn alleged that the Health and Human Services Commission and the governor tried to block her attempts to gather more information about children in foster care.

Strayhorn began her investigation in 2004 after releasing a report on the foster care system called "Forgotten Children." It was at that time that she noticed that an alarming number of poisonings, rapes and pregnancies were taking place within the Texas foster care system.

In 2004:
- 100 Texas foster children were treated for poisoning due to medications they had received while in foster care.
- 63 Texas foster children received medical treatment because of rape occurring within the foster care system.
- 142 Texas foster children gave birth while in foster care.

Death in foster care:
- Two young men died at the Star Ranch residential treatment facility near Kerrville.
- A 12-year-old died last December after being restrained by a staffer
- A foster child drowned in a creek during a May outing.

"The state is supposed to be protecting our forgotten children, but in all too many cases these children are taken from one abusive situation and placed in another abusive situation," said Strayhorn.

Representatives from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights Texas, Justice for Children and Judicial Watch are calling on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to release additional foster care data.

Sources
-Hughes, Polly Ross. Comptroller reports foster care abuse; Data show deaths increasing but agency calls comparison unfair. Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX, June 24, 2006: pg. 1.

-MacLaggan, Corrie. Strayhorn: Foster care in crisis. Auston American Statesman, Austin TX: June 24, 2006: p. B1.

-Moritz, John. Strayhorn seeks changes in foster care. Star Telegram Austin Bureau.

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Comments:
Trying to tell me something?
Lol
 
Do you have any thoughts for the reasons for this?
 
It's cuz all us texans are a bunch of coyboy hat wearin, snuff dippin hillbillies and we all support Dubya.
It's a vast right winged conspiracy.
 
I can believe that.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Well, I live in Texas and I am not like that.

Would it help my cause at least a little bit if I told you I like the Dixie Chicks?

*sniff, sniff*
 
Holy crap. :::bangs head on desk:::
 
Danielle,

The fact that you live in Texas and the FCAA (Foster Care Alumni of America) is planning to establish a statewide chapter there is what gives me a measure of hope!

In my personal opinion, the foster children in Texas need:

1.) Protection and caring, attentive supervision.

2.) Guidance and support

3.) A voice and/or someone to speak out for them

4.) Regulation regarding the medications being prescribed to them.

Lisa
 
Thanks, Lisa, I am glad you believe in me so much.

Tell me more about the medication issue. When I worked with abused kids for four years in arizona, yeah, they were pretty drugged.

thanks.
 
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