START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
Jun 13, 2006

State bonuses for getting kids adopted quickly could have put them at risk

By Lea Thompson
Chief consumer correspondent
NBC News
Updated: 2 hours, 53 minutes ago


COVINGTON, Ky. - Almost 10 years ago, Congress passed a law that gives states bonuses if they can get children languishing in foster care adopted quickly.

It sounds like a great idea, but now some child welfare experts say those bonuses have turned into nothing more than bounties that are putting some children at risk.

When Kentucky Child Welfare Supervisor Pat Moore learned two children were about to be adopted into a home with a convicted felon, she went to her bosses.  “They wanted me to shut up and get the adoptions completed. Period. No questions asked,” Moore says.  The adoptions would have flown through, she says, if she hadn't blown the whistle.

Tom Beiting was the court-appointed guardian. “It's outrageous,” he says. “I believe they were going for the numbers — to get their numbers up.”

But why would a state pressure welfare workers to force adoptions?

One reason may be money. States can earn federal bonuses for keeping adoption numbers high, and in Kentucky workers can even get extra vacation.

“It was illegal what was happening,” Moore says. “And nobody was doing anything. What they did every year is they set a quota based on the previous year's number of adoptions.”

An NBC News computer analysis shows adoptions have risen dramatically nationwide — in Kentucky they've tripled in six years — while those federal bonuses have grown to more than $1 million.

But the number of kids returned to their parents has dropped sharply.  States don't get bonuses for that.

“If you receive money for doing one thing, and you receive nothing from doing the other, it's not much of a choice after a while,” Beiting says.

Critics say the promise of federal money is pushing kids into dangerous adoptions — a charge Tom Emberton, Kentucky's child welfare chief, denies.

“I am comfortable with the oversight that we have in place to ensure that our decisions are appropriate," Emberton says.

Wade Horn runs the federal government's child welfare system and says any quotas are inappropriate. “No state should ever make a decision about a permanency option for a child based on finances," he said.

“These are human beings,” Moore says. “They're not statistics. They're not numbers. They're lives.”

Moore says she was forced out for speaking out — a claim the state denies.  She is suing the state, which, at last count, had more than 2,000 kids up for adoption.


© 2006 MSNBC Interactive
Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Tuesday June 13, 2006, 8:35 pm
Tags: [add/edit tags]

Group Discussions
Comments
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:

Author

,

'S SHARES
Apr
4
(5 comments  |  discussions )
I am leaving C2. Please - no questions. I will email my friends with the reasons why. Thanks
Apr
2
(2 comments  |  discussions )
Love Suckers- John DickersonRomance swindlers are leaving Valley seniors with empty wallets and broken hearts. That is, when they leave them alive. Walter Nellis knows how to identify and attack an enemy target. The 82-year-old snowbird piloted bomber...
Mar
15
(1 comments  |  discussions )
You Can Help Catch Internet Con Artists And See Them Arrested on National TV !!!CUFF is working with the media to turn the tables on Internet con artists who blatantly defraud online sweethearts & auction site customers because they believe t...
Mar
8
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Please read and note the below for a friend of mine. Thanks, KansasHi friends, I just posted a news release regarding one of my next five koala books coming out soon on the Care2.com (C2NN) network here: http://www.care2.com/news /member/883712391...


SHARES FROM 'S NETWORK
No shares


MORE MEMBER BLOGS
Mar 31
Blog: How to Extend the Life of your TRIAD Boilers by Kayleigh L.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nHow to Extend the Life of your TRIAD Boilers \\r\\n \\r\\nCorlis Engine Review\\r\\nEvery user desires to prolong the life of a unit. TRIAD assists their clients in achieving this important objective by informing them of ways they can avoid problems... more
Feb 27
Blog: Dr Oz Weight Loss - The 100% Natural And Very Efficient Diet Pill by Debra S.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nYes, Dr. Oz called Garcinia Cambogia Extract (HCA) the Holy Grail of Weight Loss. He went on to say, “Anytime I see a scientist get this excited about something like Garcinia Cambogia Extract and when I looked through some of this research and... more
Blog: My Favorite Websites by krysta I.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nIFAW: www.ifaw.org\\r\\nOCEANA www.oceana.org\\r\\nPETA: www.peta.org\\r\\nEARTH 911: www.earth911.org\\r\\nANI MALs ASIA: www.animalsasia.org\\r\\n \\r\\n\\r\\n\\n more
Feb 21
Blog: testing one two three by Geoff M.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — hello world more
Blog: Garcinia Cambogia Reviews From Actual People Garcinia Pure Extract Is A Huge Success February 20 by Dany M.
(0 comments  |  0 discussions ) — \\nGarcinia Cambogia Reviews From Actual People Garcinia Pure Extract Is A Huge Success February 20\\r\\nGarcinia Cambogia System The Dr. Oz Lose Weight Quick Process Without Having Side Effects\\r\\nHe went on to say, “At any time I see a researcher... more
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.