Los Angeles County’s foster care system should promptly shut down its last-resort facility for older youth with nowhere else to go and make significant new investments in the facility for younger youth, a special committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors has concluded.
The committee’s report was prompted by a Feb. 28 article in the Los Angeles Times that described an array of problems at the county’s Youth Welcome Center, including the recruitment of foster children for prostitution and workers who said the operation was spiraling out of control.
“The current situation is unacceptable for children already traumatized by abuse and neglect,” the report, which needs to be approved by the full Los Angeles County Commission on Children and Families before its recommendations are forwarded to the Board of Supervisors, stated, The Times reported in an article posted on its website Monday morning.
As the report was being drafted, the state was moving on a parallel track to require changes to the Youth Welcome Center for children 12 and older and the Children’s Welcome Center for younger youths, requiring the county to come up with solutions to care for this particularly challenging population, according to The Times.
The two centers, the only foster care facilities that turn no child away, are on the campus of Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Together they serve hundreds of children and teens each year as they wait to be placed in increasingly scarce foster homes.
—City News Service
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