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Foster Care Rules Left Out Family, Tragedy Followed Children


Boy's death raises issue of `kinship care' as alternative to placing neglected youngsters with strangers

Los Angeles Times

In March, [Betty Moore] tried for the first time to get assistance for [Robert Brown].

The baby had been suffering from various infections and Moore could not afford to take him to the doctor.

The Los Angeles County Department of Children's Services referred her to the Department of Public Social Services, which administers welfare payments.

There, Moore was told that if she could provide a birth certificate for Robert, she could receive welfare payments and Medi-Cal coverage for his doctor visits.

Moore sent for a copy of the birth certificate. It never came.

Records show that a Department of Children's Services social worker attempted to contact welfare authorities to help Moore get the certificate.

The call was never returned, and there is no indication in the records that the social worker followed up.

Considering Robert's bad health, and Moore's inability to get financial aid, the Department of Children's Services recommended that the boy be placed in a foster home.

A social worker told Moore the agency had "no choice."

[This is an excerpt of the original article]

1991 Nov 30