Plenty of aspects of the foster care and social service departments are flawed. We have heard horrific stories of abuse, mismanagement, neglect and more. But, the latest problem is the complicated issue of placing foster children or approving adoptions for couples who are not the same race as the child.
The agencies are supposed to adhere to the federal Multi-Ethnic Placement Act that states that “agencies can no longer routinely assume that placing children with parents of the same race is in the best interests of a child,” according to News Channel 3 in Virginia. This is a notice to child welfare agencies that if they are caught discriminating there will be legal repercussions.
A couple in Norfolk, Virginia, Ben and Sarah FitzPatrick were threatened by their local child welfare agency that they may lose custody of their black foster child. It appears that the couple rustled some feathers in the department when they reported negligence on the agency’s behalf for the death of a foster child. They had the child with them, but the agency decided for an undisclosed reason to move the child. The family the child was taken to “abused the child to death.”
After they went to the News Channel 3 with their story, a social worker wanted to meet with them about the interview they gave, so they were told. They then came to their home and said that it would probably be in the child’s best interest to be placed with a black family.
Discrimination is discrimination, plain and simple. That is not right and the department should have been exposed for their negligence that resulted in a child’s death. The FitzPatricks said there were signs that the agency missed when placing the child with the abusive family. (When you see the couple, you will surely understand.)
Check out the report from News Channel 3.