October 26, 2023
Senate Hold Hearing on Tragic Instances of Harm to Children in Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law hold the first in a series of hearings on “The Human Rights of Foster Care.”
WASHINGTON – At yesterday’s hearing on The Human Rights of Foster Care held by the bipartisan Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, two victims and two expert witnesses testified about the tragedies and mistreatment happening in the Georgia’s Division of Family & Child Services (DFCS). The system, designed to protect children and families, has repeatedly failed to prevent physical and sexual abuses of children in the system.
One of the victims testified about the 18 placements she was at in the five years she was in the foster care system. Out of those 18 placements, only two were established foster homes with the others being institutions and hotels. Another victim testified that DCFS ignored her parental rights and wishes when placing her two– year– old daughter after a wrongful arrest. The child was placed with her biological father, who was not involved in her life, and his live-in girlfriend who allegedly used methamphetamines. After six weeks in their care, the girl was murdered by the girlfriend by blunt force trauma to the back of the head.
The expert witnesses revealed details about the systematic failures within DCFS to protect children including not keeping children in school, keeping children in homes with their traffickers, keeping children in homes with abusive guardians, and more. When discussing the data of Georgia’s extensive failure to protect the most vulnerable population, the committee remained dedicated to investigating the gaps and mistreatment in the system.
Government Accountability Project Of Counsel, and attorney who represented the witnesses, David Seide, commented,
“Our clients revealed, in shocking detail, the systematic failures throughout the foster care system. They testified about many tragic instances of harm to children resulting from gross bureaucratic negligence. We applaud their courage to step forward and give evidence to the Senate. They are role models for all of us.”
Contact: Andrew Harman, Government Accountability Project Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.