Walker fails children and families, study shows

Few are more vulnerable than children who by no fault of their own are placed in the child welfare system. Our state and state’€™s counties have a moral, if not sensible, obligation to ensure the safety and health of these children. But with Scott Walker at the helms in Milwaukee County, a new study shows the good people that care for these children are ‘€œoverworked, under-trained and insufficiently supported.’€

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported a laundry list of alarming insights into the foster care system in Milwaukee County gathered from the study, which among other things showed:

* ‘€œThe  number of children per caseworker was 21.1.’€

* ‘€œThe time caseworkers can spend with clients is diluted by tasks such as paperwork, transportation and court appearances.’€

* ‘€œCaseworkers feel ill-prepared to make medical judgments about children and want more training in how to recognize when children have been mistreated.’€

* ‘€œAs of Dec. 31, there were 671 children in licensed, non-relative foster care. Another 186 children were with relatives in licensed foster care. Some 800 children were in non-licensed, court-ordered kinship care.’€

The study also found that “Many commented that there is no foster care ‘system’ in Milwaukee.”

And on this last point, I have to wonder if Scott Walker is actually proud of where he’€™s steered Milwaukee. On the one hand, he has succeeded in overseeing a good public program take a turn towards non-existence—or at least to the point where no one recognizes its existence. But on the other hand, thousands of vulnerable children and their caretakers are suffering the consequences of his conservative, anti-public goods agenda in Milwaukee County.

# # #

As A Project Of A Better Wisconsin Together, We're Fighting For A Wisconsin With Equal Economic Opportunity For All