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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 Missouri.

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 Missouri was:

Round 1 (2004)

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 2 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Round 2 (2010)   

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 2 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 Missouri will not undergo Round 3 of the CFSR until FY 2017 (see CFSR Technical Bulletin #7 (March 2014)).

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

Child Welfare Litigation*

  • E.C. v. Sherman
    Children’s Rights filed this class action in August 2005, together with a broad coalition of Missouri advocates, when a new Missouri law threatened to cut off critical adoption subsidies for special needs foster children. The Complaint asserted that the law, known as Senate Bill 539, violated the rights of children under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (as amended), and the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit claimed that the law would eliminate adoption assistance subsidies for thousands of special needs children in foster care, and retroactively cut off adoption assistance subsidies to thousands of children already adopted who had contracts with the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) promising those subsidies until they turned 18.
  • G.L. v. Sherman
    In 1977, Children’s Rights joined Legal Aid of Western Missouri and local advocates in a class action to reform the grossly inadequate child welfare system in Jackson County, Missouri.  The Federal Complaint charged the Missouri Division of Family Services (DFS) with many failures, including endangering the lives of children in state custody by failing to properly investigate and monitor foster homes.  At the time the lawsuit was filed, children in foster care in Jackson County experienced very high rates of abuse and neglect, while living in foster homes that were often unsafe, unsanitary and poorly supervised.

*litigation summary taken from information provided by the website of Children's Rights

Child Welfare In the News**

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


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Children's Advocacy Institute
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