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CAI Holds Congressional Briefing to Unveil New Report:

Shame on U.S.
Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave
Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm
January 27, 2015

The federal government's dereliction allows states to fall short on meeting minimum child welfare standards. Below is information specific to Maryland.

CFSR Results Summary: In its Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, HHS determines whether each state is in substantial conformity with 7 specific outcomes (pertaining to the areas of safety, permanency and family and child well-being) and 7 systemic factors (relating to the quality of services delivered to children and families and the outcomes they experience).  In the first two rounds of the CFSR, HHS has concluded that Maryland was:

Round 1 (2004)

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 4 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Round 2 (2010)   

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 5 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Although federal law mandates that any state found not to be operating in substantial conformity during an initial or subsequent review must begin a full review within two years after approval of the state's program improvement plan, HHS has announced that Maryland will not undergo Round 3 of the CFSR until FY 2018 (see CFSR Technical Bulletin #7 (March 2014)).

Documents from the U.S. Health & Human Services Children's Bureau

Child Welfare Litigation*

  • L.J. v. Massinga
    Plaintiffs filed this civil rights action against Maryland’s Department of Human Services (DHS) on behalf of approximately 2,500 Baltimore foster children, seeking injunctive relief for class members and damages for the five named plaintiffs. Plaintiffs based their allegations of widespread, systemic abuses in the Baltimore foster care system in part on a random study that reviewed 149 cases, concluding that 25% of children were likely to have been mistreated in foster care.  The study, with other evidence, documented major systemic problems, including inappropriate placement of children; low foster care payments; an insufficient number of homes combined with a lack of recruitment efforts; inadequate health care; failure to train foster parents and caseworkers; infrequent caseworker visits; and failure to provide services to children placed with relatives.

*litigation summary taken from information provided by the website of the National Center for Youth Law

Child Welfare In the News**

  • State regulators say Anne Arundel group home where boy died violated rules (Baltimore Sun - November 15, 2014) Maryland health regulators say they found serious violations at the group home for disabled foster children where a 10-year-old Baltimore boy died in July - including conflicting records on his care, and miscommunication between staff and the emergency responders and medical personnel who labored to save him - but nothing that contributed to his death.
  • State placed disabled children with nurses untrained in their needs (Baltimore Sun - November 29, 2014) The disabled foster children removed from a troubled Laurel-area group home this summer were placed by Maryland regulators in facilities whose their nurses lacked training for their complex medical needs, inspection records show.

**news summaries taken from daily newsfeed service of HHS' Child Welfare Information Gateway


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Children's Advocacy Institute
University of San Diego School of Law
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