The Arkansas Times has spent more than a year documenting shortcomings in the Arkansas child welfare system — short of foster homes and case workers, among others. But, again, we have Mississippi to thank for apparently being even worse.
The New York Times today notes that 19 states, not including Arkansas, face lawsuits over child welfare systems, but Mississippi “leads” the pack.
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More than a decade later, after a 2008 settlement and an admission by the state in July that it had never complied with the requirements, Mississippi is now trying to avoid becoming the first state to have its child welfare system put in receivership and an outside group hired to run it.
And at a time when 19 states are facing systemwide lawsuits that claim high rates of abuse and neglect of children and serious foster home shortages, Mississippi has become a case study in just how long and egregiously a state system meant to protect children can continue with substandard care that is out of compliance with a court order.