A History of Neglect: Issues Affecting Minority-Run Foster Care Agencies

November 7, 2007

News Worth Noting

November 14, 2007 — This month's New York Times three-part series on the struggles of minority-run foster care agencies in New York City found "a trail of scandals and disappointments, as well as a new commitment to better caring for the city's vulnerable black and Latino children."

The November 7 front page wrap-up provides thoughtful perspective and a platform for instant dialogue on the critical issues raised by these reports. The series included:

Ask About New York Foster Care— Expert Q&A
In the related City Room blog, writers Benjamin Weiser and Leslie Kaufman, along with a panel of experts, answered readers' thoughtful questions. Among the questions:

  • What is the foster care rate of minorities compared with white children?
  • Are any statistics kept on how foster care kids turn out?
  • Is there not a federal law that requires states to establish [a program of volunteer advocates for children in foster care]?
  • What is gained by minority-run agencies?
  • What happens to foster children when they are old enough to leave the system?

To that last point, Weiser writes, "One expert who has studied this issue is Mark Courtney, former director of the Chapin Hall Center For Children at the University of Chicago, and who is now at the University of Washington. 'The analogy I use,' he told me, 'is that any parent we know who said to their kid for their 18th birthday 'You're on your own,' I would consider an irresponsible parent.'"