A new report is highly critical of Virginia’s foster care system. A state audit commission spoke with state lawmakers Monday, telling them both the state and local departments need reform.
The report from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission says sometimes children are put at risk because local caseworkers don’t follow requirements. It says children don’t always get required health screenings and caseworkers don’t always conduct monthly visits. It says local departments aren’t placing children with relatives often enough, the state isn’t doing enough to increase the number of foster families and there’s too much reliance on group homes and residential treatment centers.
The commission also concluded that caseworkers are overworked, handling more than the widely accepted standard number of cases. It says that the state department isn’t effectively supervising the foster care system and isn’t fixing problems with poor performance.
The Henry-Martinsville Department of Social Services is closed today to the public because of an agency-wide staff meeting.