Critics of the state’s troubled foster care system say it has shown improvement under Gov. Phil Bredesen, but they worry a new administration could cause the agency to lose its way along the path to reform.
A decade ago, a federal class-action lawsuit revealed harrowing stories of child abuse and neglect at the hands of a state system meant to protect some of Tennessee’s most vulnerable young people.
One boy ate his drug-addict mother’s cocaine after the state returned him to her custody, even though she had never gone to drug abuse counseling. Another was forced to live in an overcrowded shelter with older kids accused of violent crimes. And a girl was shuffled among 15 foster homes during a single year of state supervision.
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By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
Educate Yourself -- Learn the Facts
It May Just Save a Child's Life!!