Report finds MN foster care faulty

Over the past few years, Minnesota’s social support services for foster children have been heavily criticized. Recent records show that among the more than 11,000 foster children in the state, thousands do not receive the adequate care that they desperately need.

Some of the problems the children encounter include being returned to foster care quickly after encountering problems with their foster parents, receiving inadequate health care and being shuttled between foster homes. Instead of social services intervening and helping these children, 25 percent of foster children who go back to live with their families end up back in foster care within a year — a number that is considerably higher than the 10 percent federal standard.

Allowing children to be surrounded by drug abuse and violence, typical of homes where these kids usually grow up, is unacceptable. It’s equally unacceptable, however, to continue this cycle by taking them from their homes and forcing them to live in equally mediocre conditions.

Gov. Mark Dayton recognizes this and has proposed changes provided by his child protection task force appointed earlier last year. The proposals include finding stable homes, changing financial incentives for adoptive parents and focusing on finding and correcting other problems prevalent in the current system.

We find this recent report deplorable but are optimistic that Dayton’s task force will help rectify the situation. Already placed in unfortunate circumstances, these children should not have to put up with a failing support system.