Q: When child welfare makes a mistake–missing “red flags” in a case, is it political or lack of money?

We write in chapter 5 of Anna, Age Eight about the challenges that our current child welfare system faces. It is very complicated. When you have a government agency, politics will always be a part of the process, leading to solutions or creating more problems. It depends on elected officials and those serving them in the various government agencies.

As for money, that is also a constant challenge when talking about funding a child welfare system. For example, for decades we have known that child protective services workers stop being effective after reaching a certain number of cases (and level of overall workload). But some systems ask (or tell) workers to take on twice the level of recommended cases. This is a staffing and money issue and one for each state governor to take on with his or her state lawmakers.  Until we finally get state lawmakers to address child welfare work overload, we will have kids at risk for falling through the cracks. And this can result in child fatalities.