Every Placement Should Be Safe

All things considered, kinship care, adoption, and informal family arrangements are preferable to “stranger foster care”.  But all placements should be vetted to ensure children are safe and able to develop normally.

Justis Burland was handed off to family acquaintances with only a cursory court review, and it led to torture and death.


The Minnesota/Oregon Hart parents adopted a second set of children after they had been investigated for abusing the first – then killed them all.  Caseworker comments also hint that they may not have been monitored closely because they were white.

Preference should be given to arrangements that keep children connected to family and community, and regulations should be modified to accommodate alternatives to traditional foster care.  But all placements should meet comparable standards for child safety and well-being.


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Rich Gehrman1 Comment