D.C.'s Child Services Agency Shows Marked Improvement | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

D.C.'s Child Services Agency Shows Marked Improvement

Play associated audio

The District of Columbia's Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) is making progress after a 20-year-long legal battle over the treatment of children in the system, according to a court monitor.

The agency, which handles social workers, adoptions and foster care, among other things, has been under court supervision now for about 20 years, stemming from a long running lawsuit over how the agency is run.  

The news means that Marcia Lowry, who runs the group that sued CFSA, has some rare praise for the agency.

"They've done better with regard to visiting children, with regard to training of workers, putting children in non-institutional placement," says Lowry, who heads up Children's Rights. Lowry is praising the agency for the progress made over the last six months, including "organizational efforts that we as plaintiffs counsel haven't seen for a long time." 

The woman Lowry credits for this is CFSA's new director, Brenda Donald.

"I do think we're in a good position," Donald says.

The agency has reduced the numbers of kids in foster care, keeping them within their families whenever possible, and is focusing on trauma and mental health services more, according to Donald. 

"We're completely overhauling our placement services so that we do a much better job identifying what a child's needs are and then matching that child's needs with the best placement services," Donald says.

The lawsuit is far from over, but this is the first time in many years that all parties involved can point to progress. 

NPR

WWI Diaries Of Poet Siegfried Sassoon Go Public For First Time

Nearly a dozen notebooks and journals by the author, who fought in the British Army during the war, are being released to coincide with the centenary of the start of the conflict.
NPR

Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget

A Canadian scholar was unimpressed with the cookbooks available for people on food stamps in the U.S. So she decided to come up with her own set of tips and recipes for eating well on $4 a day.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Defense Zeroes In On Star Witness' Credibility

Defense attorney William Burck is focusing on inconsistencies in what Jonnie Williams told investigators as well as his stock dealings.
NPR

Simmering Online Debate Shows Emoji Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

A report from a local Philadelphia TV station is re-igniting a debate and getting people all up in arms. (Or should we say, up in hands?)

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.