A legislative study says Virginia does a poor job of supervising local foster care systems and intervening when they don't deliver adequate services to children in their care.
The study says Virginia's 120 local foster care programs aren't good at recruiting foster parents, reuniting families or finding children permanent homes, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Monday. This has led to an increased reliance on costly and often unnecessary institutional care such as group homes, according to the study.
The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission study also found that case workers are overloaded and so don't ensure children get adequate medical or mental health treatment.
State Department of Social Services commissioner Duke Storen says local social services departments struggle with high stress and turnover, which undermines casework stability and quality.