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Re: “Walk on the child's side

There is no evidence from around the country that state-run child welfare systems are any better – or any worse – than county run systems. What we do know is that, on average, Colorado tears apart families at one of the highest rates in the nation – double the national average.

That did nothing to stop the tragedies that led the governor to do what politicians always do, create an OBRC (Obligatory Blue Ribbon Commission). In fact, the real reason for headline-making tragedies almost always is that child welfare systems are deluged with false reports and cases that are nothing like the horrors in this story. Far more common are cases in which family poverty is confused with “neglect.” Not only does this do enormous harm to the children needlessly taken, it also steals time from finding children in real danger.

El Paso County has done notably better than most – significantly reducing entries into foster care in the early part of the decade, making it a model for the nation. I don’t know if that record still is intact; if so then going to a statewide system could be harmful in El Paso County.

Richard Wexler
Executive Director
National Coalition for Child Protection Reform

Posted by NCCPR on 11/05/2009 at 6:21 AM

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