Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Foster care; L.A. County: Putting a check on deaths in foster care - latimes.com

Foster care; L.A. County: Putting a check on deaths in foster care - latimes.com

A new L.A. County report on the deaths of children who come into contact with its foster care system is, in one sense, depressingly unsurprising. It highlights with startling precision the short, brutal lives that so many of this county's young people endure. Year after year, tens of thousands of children fall under the scrutiny of the Department of Children and Family Services — some glancingly or peripherally, others in more sustained ways — and 200 or so of those children die annually, victims of accidents, natural causes or, too often, suicide or murder.

The children who die follow certain patterns. They are more likely to be Latino or black than white. They are often infants — of the 175 who died in 2010, 47 did not live to their second birthday — or in their teenage years, when gangs exert their fatal force.

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