Please publish this letter I sent to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on behalf of foster care providers. Thank you.
Dear Board of Supervisors:
I am writing on behalf of a friend that has been providing foster care services through The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for 20+ years. Over the last year, the licensing/oversight of foster homes has changed from the state to DCFS. This change has adversely affected some foster care providers.
Under DCFS’s new oversight, foster care providers’ capacity to have children with medical problems (known as medical fragile that includes medical conditions and developmental disabilities) is limited. The new DCFS oversight system ONLY allows for one (1) medical, foster child per foster home, which is a shift from the practice when the state provided oversight for the foster home licensing. Under the state’s supervision, a home could have two (2) without a waiver and more than two (2) with a waiver. My friend at one time had four (4) medical, foster kids under the state-supervised system because she was granted two (2) waivers that ironically DCFS granted.
She currently has three (3), but the new DCFS supervision says she can only have one (1) medical foster child (the system is not trying to remove any kids, but it is not allowing her to take in any more medical, foster kids). There is a hold on her license = no new medical, foster kid placements in her home.
I understand there have been foster care issues in the news, but a blanket solutions are not an answer to problems. And to my knowledge, there have been no issues with multiple medical, foster kids in a home, well at least not in the news. DCFS needs to return to the practice of granting waivers when a foster care provider can provide for multiple medical foster kids.
My friend has received calls for medical placements, but DCFS is unwilling to grant the necessary waivers they previously granted. Good foster care providers should not be punished. It is unfortunate that a bad one was in recent news, but the good and long-tenured ones outnumber the bad. The good ones are considering not continuing as foster providers due to several punitive changes made.
The foster home and I both are in the 2nd District; however, I am including all the Supervisors in this email because it is a County issue. I did not include Director Bobby D. Cagle as today is his last day in the position, and I could not find an email for Chief Deputy Director Virginia Pryor.Overwhelmed