The Commission on Children’s Justice – which came into being following the death of two-year-old foster child Dominic James of Willard, in southwest Missouri – has held its first meeting in Jefferson City. Dick Dunn, the new Director of the State Health Department, conducted a probe of the problems with foster care in Greene County, says there was a breakdown of the social service delivery system in the James case. Caseworkers had voiced concerns about the foster care Dominic James was receiving, but those concerns were overruled by superiors. Senator Bill Foster of Poplar Bluff, a member of the Commission on Children’s Justice and chairman of a committee that looked into foster care, points to another foster concern. He says one of the major irritants is that foster children are prevented from bonding with foster parents. Foster says the state appears to fear the attachment with foster parents will drive a wedge between foster children and their natural parents.
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