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New York-based Children’s Rights claims that Georgia is failing abused and neglected children. The Department of Human Services has been under a consent decree since 2005 that came out of a class action lawsuit in 2002 claiming the division was mismanaged and overburdened.

I find it hard to accept that abused and neglected children in our advanced nation, find it so hard to receive adequate help to get a fair start in life.

With budget cuts throughout the nation, states that were already underfunding, under-supporting & doing poorly for children in child protection service before this economic collapse are beginning to see these unhappy results. Growing caseloads in juvenile and criminal courts, more preteen pregnancies, and unhappier communities.

Report says problems persist with Ga. foster care
By ERRIN HAINES – Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA — A national child advocacy group monitoring the state’s foster care system is planning to meet with the agency to discuss allegations of continued abuse and neglect.
New York-based Children’s Rights claims in a new report that the state has relaxed monitoring and enforcement of private agencies contracted to provide homes for foster children and that abuse and neglect have risen among Atlanta’s foster children.

Child safety has always been the agency’s priority, said Dena Smith, spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, which includes the Division of Family and Children’s Services.
“We’ve done great things in the sense of keeping children safe,” Smith said on Friday. “Even this report says that we’ve done better than ever.”

The division has been under a consent decree since 2005. The agreement stems from a 2002 class action lawsuit in which Children’s Rights claimed that Georgia’s child protection agencies were overburdened and mismanaged. The group alleged that children languished for months in dangerous shelters, and others lived in dirty and overcrowded conditions.

Under the terms of the decree, DFCS agreed to independent monitoring and periodic progress reports.
Friday’s report covers the first six months of 2009 and was issued by independent monitors appointed by the court to track the state Division of Family and Children’s Services’ progress under the terms of the settlement.

It is the seventh report issued to date.

Related to the report’s findings, Children’s Rights also sent a letter dated Jan. 19 to Department of Human Services counsel Brenda Woodard requesting a meeting to discuss the group’s concerns.

While the report points out that some case managers still have far too many children under their watch and that the agency is taking too long to place children in permanent homes, the agency has made improvements in case manager visits to children in foster care and visits among siblings in foster care.

The report also accuses the state of relaxed monitoring and enforcement of private agencies contracted to provide homes for foster children. Smith said more resources have been directed to monitoring those providers and that DFCS is meeting regularly with those agencies.

“This will reflect in a positive way in our next reporting period,” Smith said.


  1. If you think the problems are limited to the foster care children, you are sadly mistaken! Children in the state of Georgia are ignored in divorce situations, domestic violence situatioons, sex abuse situations, and any given living arrangement you can think of! Quite simply, Georgia has absolutely no care or consern when it comes to children.The children here have no voice, and are not believed when they cry out for help.My 3 grandsons have cried out to their school counselors for two years. DFACS has been called to the school on many occasions by the counselors, only to see that department close the case every time after speaking to their father-who was the reason for their trips into the counselors office. The boys have been sexually abused, forced to drink beer, been cut all over their bodies with the same knife their dad uses to cut himself with, been paddled with a board containing nails,been forced to call their stepmother vile names, been taken on wild, drunken rides with their dad in the wee hours of the morning to stalk their stepmother, and many other horrid things.It has become a nightmare for our family, and we face the children’s pleadings daily for us to make it stop. My daughter faces contempt charges and incarceration for refusing visitation trying to protect them.The guardian ad litem will not order the psychological evals necessary to prove our case, so we are forced to pay for them ourselves-1800 badly needed dollars that we need for the legal fees. Meanwhile, the children wake up in the night screaming, one of them has begun to sleepwalk, one is failing in school.
    Forced visitation is occuring as I write this- done at the county courthouse for the first time yesterday with a guardian ad litem over-seeing the two hour visit. The children were taken back to a room with her, crying and begging not to be made to see their dad. She asked them what their problems were with their dad, and they told her. She told them what they were saying wasn’t true, and that they were to straighten up and treat their daddy nice or the judge was going to send them to juvie hall! They then were taken to another room, where their abuser dad waited, forced to hug him, and left alone with him for fifteen minutes-even though the judge’s order stated the supervisor appointed by our side was to be there at all times. When their aunt-supervisor started knocking at the door, security was called and she was told to sit down or face consequences. She was allowed to go in fifteen minutes later. When the gal was called on her actions by my daughter, she basically told her she would run the visitation as she saw fit, and that she had the authority to do so. She also told them that they needed to get over it, that the children’s father WOULD see them, they WOULD go to his house this weekend for a nine hour visitation-the order says supervised visitation-and no one was going to get in the way of his rights. To date, no psychological evaluations have been done on either father OR children. The guardian chooses to ignore the documented sessions with the school counselors, the family violence and stalking charges he was found guilty of, the reports by DFACS- who alludes to the fact that the children may be in danger while in their father’s care, and the testimony of the children themselves. The children say he threatened to kill them and their mother if they ever told what goes on in their home while they are with him. Where is the justice and the protection for the children? They teach in the schools it’s okay to tell, then call the children liars when they do. Their father has played the poor innocent dad who loves his kids and who has been denied his rights to see them. His complaints are being heard load and clear. The children are rebuked and treated as liars. The press ignores the story. I have to ask at this point- will my grandsons be another statistic here in this great state of Ga. that will be swept under the rug by the powers that be- even the local media? How many children will be sacrificed on Georgia soil before we get the court systems to realize that maybe the kids aren’t lying after all? I fear for my grandchildren’s lives. I fear for my daughter because she would do anything to protect her children. I fear also for all the other children in this state who are going or will be going through this same thing.
    No, it’s not just the foster children this state treat badly. It’s ALL the children.
    Thanks for listening.
    Robin Scott

  2. First of all i would like to start off by saying that i am sorry to hear of children being forced to endure such horrific abuse. Secondly, i am very sad and angry to hear how DFACS has mishandled the complaints, the pleas and the cries of the children because children deserve to feel safe at all times. Although these boys do seek help it appears that their cries are being ignored by people who they regard as trustworthy, reliable and protectors however each time the children are ignored the more the children may build up mistrust and the lack of respect for authoritative figures especially individuals from the human service profession.I would recommend that you and your daughter seek a higher authority such as the children bureau website. This organization may provide some resolutions to prevent your grandsons from becoming a part of Georgia stats on abused and neglected children.


    Loren Cousin

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