On Meet Some Of The Children Who Died In Los Angeles Because The City's Child Protection System Is Broken

@Natasha Vargas-Cooper Yes, debate here in SF too. The passing of ASFA helped the goal move from reunification to permanency, where in theory reunification and adoption options are worked toward concurrently and it is not entirely about trying to get the parent back with the child. But I have sat through some hearings where the judge has tracked the progress of a parent's effort to reunify with a child and has been so thrilled to be able to legally reunify them when the parent has done everything right to gain back custody. I have seen a judge cross the courtroom and hug a mother who has worked tirelessly within the system to get her child back, gone to every class, remained clean, and seen how proud that judge was of that mother. But my impression is that this is the exception, not the rule.

Everyone involved in my kid's case had no interest in reunification after a while, because the mother had no interest. This is a really powerful article and hurts to read. The foster care system is so broken, but these are really horrific cases. I am curious how many (if any) of these children had CASAs?

One last thing: During my training, one of the facilitators said that in looking to reunify a parent with a child, the goal is not to bring an F parent up to an A, or even B- parent. It's to bring the parent up to at least a D-, where the parent is basically passing, but not much more. The cases you write about are when kids were placed back in situations with F parents, and the tragedy that can result. But many D- parents get their kids back and remain ... D- parents, and the situations aren't great. It is a tough problem with no easy answer.

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 8:13 pm 0

On Meet Some Of The Children Who Died In Los Angeles Because The City's Child Protection System Is Broken

@largemarge: I've been a CASA in the Bay Area for four years now, starting when my child had just turned 13. (Reunification services were terminated because of the mother's lack of follow-through and continual drug use.) It was the best decision for all involved. You will find it difficult and also very rewarding!

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 7:26 pm 1