County Leaders Propose Reforms To Lift Veil On Child-Abuse Deaths In L.A. Foster Care System

Following a report about how county officials have restricted information about child-abuse related deaths in the foster-care system, county supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe have proposed a series of reforms, including a centralized office charged with overseeing the release of such data, for the Department of Children and Family Services.

The proposal also includes developing a process to streamline and clarify death information in cases involving county-ward children, and coordinating with law enforcers to ensure they don't unnecessarily block public information.

The supervisors would like to see a timetable for reforms recommended in the report. And they want to hear back from county staff on progress regarding these matters in 30 days. The full Board of Supervisors will vote on the proposal.

Monday's report from the county Office of Independent Review found that child services didn't always release information when a child under its purview died at the hands of abuse.

The report stated that "there may be either conscious or unconscious incentives for child protective service officials to adopt a narrow" view of what documents need to be released under state law.


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