Sunday, January 14, 2007

State investigators find abuse of power and absence of oversight

Investigators: Problems in foster care program
Cincinatti Post, Jan. 12, 2007.

FRANKFORT - State investigators found numerous problems in the state's foster care program in the Elizabethtown area and will alert prosecutors to possible criminal conduct, according to an inspector general's report released Thursday.

Investigators found that some regional managers for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services abused their power in removing children from their biological parents, failed to follow standard operating procedures, and retaliated against staffers who complained about the problems.

To prevent such problems in the future, investigators recommended opening court proceedings that deal with terminating parental rights, implementing inspection teams to make unannounced visits to child welfare offices across the state, and reviewing every case that includes a recommendation for termination of parental rights.

Health and Family Services Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell said he has reviewed the report and is prepared to act on it.

"I find it troubling, but not entirely surprising," he said in a statement.

Investigators said they found a culture that thrived on the power of controlling families by removing children from their biological parents and terminating their parental rights.

The Lincoln Trail office in Elizabethtown was allowed to operate autonomously by accepting, rejecting or altering standard operating procedures at will, investigators said in the report. Regional managers, according to the report, were able to act at their sole discretion, free from any meaningful oversight.


Blogger karen said...

There is still no oversite for Ky daughter and son in law are facing court...told no attorney for them until the day of court,closed hearing,they may get to speak with attorney briefly before the proceedings!!!!!They have done nothing wrong!!!!!!!!What kind of court system is this!Are we still in America!?School is constantly questioning their kids...looking for anything to say they are unfit...Is there anyone out there who can help them????!!!!

2:31 AM  

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