1st Edition

The Systematic Mistreatment of Children in the Foster Care System Through the Cracks

By Lois Weinberg Copyright 2007
    354 Pages
    by Routledge

    356 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Systematic Mistreatment of Children in the Foster Care System tells the stories of 10 children in the foster care system from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and the efforts by advocates to find them permanent places to live, appropriate schooling, and other essentials they need to survive. The children’s case studies highlight the difficulties in placing and maintaining them in healthy living situations with supportive educational, mental health, and other services. The book shows how children fall-sometimes over and over again-through the "deep cracks" that exist within and between the various agencies of the multi-agency system of care that was designed to help them.

    Appropriate placement and services for children in foster care typically requires the coordination and collaboration of several agencies, including the juvenile court, child protective services (CPS), school districts, and departments of mental health (DMH). The Systematic Mistreatment of Children in the Foster Care System shows how these agencies frequently fail to meet their legal obligations to children in the system and what can be done to address these failures-and the outcomes they produce.

    The Systematic Mistreatment of Children in the Foster Care System includes:

  • an introduction to the child protective services system
  • the general route by which children in the United States are removed from their parents’ custody because or abuse and neglect
  • the major components of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the problems in getting foster children’s educational needs met
  • the difficulties in securing stable out-of-home placements
  • strategies for stabilizing home placements
  • problems in funding for out-of-home placements
  • strategies for advocating the removal of children from inadequate out-of-home placements
  • legislation and practices for bringing about needed policy changes
  • and much more
  • Equally valuable as a professional tool and as a classroom resource, The Systematic Mistreatment of Children in the Foster Care System includes introductions to specific issues presented in each chapter; case studies that illuminate the issues presented; subsections for each case study chapter entitled "Prevention," "Intervention," "Advocacy Considerations," and "What Had Gone Wrong;" boxed items highlighting practical strategies, laws, and other relevant information; and a conclusion and summary of each chapter.

    Preface.Acknowledgments.Chapter 1. The Child Protective System. Chapter 2. The Educational System. Chapter 3. Sharon: Preventing Placement in a State Psychiatric Hospital. Chapter 4. John: Struggling to Stabilize Placement with a Parent. Chapter 5. James: Stabilizing Placement with Relatives. Chapter 6. Silvia and Carlos: Placing Siblings Together in a Foster Home. Chapter 7. Robert: Living at the County Emergency Shelter. Chapter 8. Debra: Supplementing the Appropriate Program. Chapter 9. Patty: Funding a Unique Program. Chapter 10. Anthony: Advocating for Foster Home Placement. Chapter 11. David: Working with a Court-Appointed Special Advocate to Reunite. Chapter 12. Directions for Change. Notes. References. Index.


    Lois A. Weinberg, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Special Education and Counseling at California State University in Los Angeles, where she coordinates the CSULA-UCLA joint doctoral program in special education. Prior to joining CSULA in 2002, Dr. Weinberg was the Education Specialist at a nonprofit law office serving poor and low-income individuals with disabilities, where she provided advocacy for students in special education proceedings with a focus on children in the foster care system. She was also a Lecturer at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

    Dr. Weinberg co-directed the Education Initiative Project, a collaborative project in Los Angeles County designed to reduce educational barriers for foster children. With a grant from the Stuart Foundation, she works to help California counties improve the education of children in foster care. She has published numerous articles and made presentations across the country on the education of children in foster care, policy issues and services for children with emotional and behavioral disorders, and other policy issues in special education.