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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201018 Find in a Library
Title: Report of the Investigation of the Child Welfare System in Greene County, Missouri
Author(s): Richard C. Dunn; Frank Conley
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Missouri Governor's Cmtte for Children and Youth
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Sale Source: Missouri Governor's Cmtte for Children and Youth
Broadway State Office Building
Jefferson City, MO 65101
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report summarizes the findings of an investigation into the child welfare system in Greene County, MO.
Abstract: Governor Bob Holden initiated this investigation following the death of a 2-year old who was residing in a foster home in Willard, MO. The child welfare system includes the juvenile courts, juvenile officers, social workers in the Department of Social Services’ Division of Family Services (DFS), guardian ad litems, foster parents, law enforcement officers, and others in the community who come into contact with the child welfare system. The report first summarizes comments from interviews and public hearings regarding the child welfare system in Greene County. Results from the interviews and public hearings suggest that the public lacks confidence in the child welfare system. Comments about the lack of sensitivity of the DFS and lack of accountability and consistency within the DFS were common. The report next summarizes the main findings concerning the child welfare system’s failure. These findings include low morale within the system, a lack of available child advocates, a lack of family reunification efforts on the part of the DFS, and excessive workloads for social workers. The report concludes that the child welfare system in Greene County, MO, has broken down and is ineffective. Immediate attention is called for in order to repair the system and avoid greater breakdowns in services. Recommendations include the creation of an Office of Ombudsman, the creation of a citizen review panel, a review of the policies and procedures of the system, and a reduction of caseloads to no more than 25 cases per social worker, among others.
Main Term(s): Child protection services; Investigations
Index Term(s): Child placement services; Child welfare; Childcare worker casework; Children at risk; Missouri
Note: Downloaded June 26, 2003.
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