Legislative committees are expected this week to review state foster care issues. After four deaths and a battering on DHS’ watch this year, it’s overdue. Perhaps legislators will get the accounting Gov. Mike Beebe has refused so far to give the public about the operation of the state Human Services Department. Perhaps legislators will hear why he ordered a reform of the agency and why, for the most part, the same people are in charge of an agency so troubled it needed the secret overhaul.
(PS: Even if two of the four deaths are not believed related to direct abuse or neglect, as the linked article suggests, explanations are still necessary about the course of illnesses and treatment that the two children received while in the state’s care. “No punches/no foul” should not be the acceptable standard when the state serves as guardian.)