"The State cannot say how many foster children die each year, even though a state law that took effect in 2004 requires counties to release the names, dates of birth, and dates of death for these children. The new law is not being followed by all. There's no way to get more information without going to the courts. It's extraordinarily difficult for the public to learn who in the system is dying and why. There is absolutely no reason why an advocacy group, a newspaper, an elected official, or any other concerned member of the public should have to go to court to find out what happened when a foster youth dies. The Department of Social Services keeps all names confidential. Imagine -- our state's most vulnerable children, betrayed by a state system that was supposed to protect them -- and we have no idea who they are."
As a member of the State's "Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee," known as the "Sunshine Committee," along with most committee members I have advocated for public accountability that can ONLY come with public scrutiny. And, of course, without openness we can not have review. This is not a difficult concept except when there are those in government who fight against openness. They actually believe they are superior and should be making all the calls when it comes to children. They fight to keep the system closed. They want their significant powers in tact. In America, this is more than misplaced judgement.