Friday, December 22, 2006

Kentucky State Auditor releases a performance audit on KY foster care

Auditor to report on adoption, foster care practices today -
Quick-trigger removals alleged
Honeycutt-Spears, Valarie. Lexington Herald-Leader, Dec, 14, 2006, pg. C4.

Kentucky State Auditor Crit Luallen will release an audit today of the state's process of adoption from foster care, state officials said.

Luallen will release what her office is calling a "performance audit" at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services' blue ribbon panel meeting on adoption at 1:30 p.m. today in Room 171 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued a news release saying the audit would offer "general recommendations" for improving the adoption process.

The panel, chaired by Cabinet for Health and Family Services Commissioner Mark D. Birdwhistell, is wrapping up its review of complaints first levied in January by Louisville-based child-advocacy groups Kentucky Youth Advocates and the National Institute on Children, Youth and Families.

The January report said some state social workers alleged that the cabinet inappropriately removes children from their homes and, encouraged by federal law, expedites state adoptions.

Jeff DeRouen, the state auditor's director of communications and deputy general counsel, said yesterday he could not provide details of the auditor's report before today.

The 12-member adoption panel's goal is to review the process and practices that lead to the termination of parental rights and adoption of children in the state's child welfare system and to identify opportunities for improvement.

The group is working toward possible legislation for the 2007 General Assembly.

Kentucky's Office of Inspector General also has been investigating complaints about the process, but it has yet to release its report.


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