Extra Extra : Social services

In Virginia, thousands of day-care providers receive no oversight

Day-care providers existing on the unregulated side of Virginia’s two-pronged child-care industry operate largely in an environment short on rules. By keeping their operations to five children or less, providers avoid licensing and regulations, training requirements, inspections and background checks.

The result: Of the at least 60 children who’ve died in Virginia child-care homes since 2004, 43 were in unregulated establishments.

Read the full story from The Washington Post here.

Reports to child protection agencies overlooked in Minnesota

A flawed system of investigating suspected child abuse and neglect has contributed to a disturbing statistic in Minnesota. Since 2005, 54 children have died from maltreatment despite reports to child protection agencies indicating that the kids could be in danger, according to a special report from the Star Tribune.

The story follows the case of Eric Dean, who died at age 4 after various daycare workers and others had filed a combined 15 reports of suspected abuse, only one of which was shared with local authorities.

7 children lived in filth despite child welfare visits

The Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare did not consider a home so filthy it had to be condemned an imminent threat to the seven children living inside, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found.

The deplorable conditions prompted the district attorney’s office to charge a 26-year-old woman already on probation for child abuse with multiple counts of child neglect.

The family was already well-known by child protective services, according to court documents. Still, caseworkers did not raise any red flags about the conditions of their home, which included floors covered in excrement and walls crawling with bugs.

Fifty-nine 911 calls this year to sex offender group homes

Police have been called to two residential facilities housing sex offenders nearly 60 times since the beginning of the year, according to a report by WIVB in Buffalo, New York. Twice police reported sex offenders missing from the homes. Neighbors and officials are concerned about the number of calls as well as the close proximity to a children’s playground.

Sex offenders were relocated to the community after a secure facility was shuttered.

Extra Extra Monday: Peace Corps medical care, homeless students in the suburbs, license plate cameras

Trail of medical missteps in a Peace Corps death | The New York Times

A Peace Corps spokeswoman called Nick Castle’s death, from a gastrointestinal illness, “a tragic experience.” To examine its own conduct, the agency took the unusual step of engaging an outside American expert, whose report concluded that despite medical missteps by a Peace Corps doctor who missed signs of serious illness, Mr. Castle’s death could not have been prevented.

But the story of his death — pieced together from interviews and confidential reports and documents, including his autopsy — raises serious questions about Peace Corps medical care and ...

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Extra Extra Monday: ATF stings, voter fraud and the new subprime bubble

Investigation: ATF drug stings targeted minorities | USA TODAY

The nation's top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Investigations highlight problems at homeless shelters, group homes, jails

Reporting Rape, and Wishing She Hadn’t | The New York Times

A New York Times examination of the case, based in part on hundreds of pages of disciplinary proceedings — usually confidential under federal privacy laws — offers a rare look inside one school’s adjudication of a rape complaint amid a roiling national debate over how best to stop sexual assaults on campuses.

Whatever precisely happened that September night, the internal records, along with interviews with students, sexual-assault experts and college officials, depict a school ill prepared to evaluate an allegation so serious that, if proved in a court of law ...

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Audit: Welfare benefits going to dead people

Two years after a series of hidden camera reports which documented widespread fraud in Washington’s welfare programs, KING 5 has been following up to see if fraud investigators have shut off the spigot of misspent public money.  Their report uncovered confidential documents showing that thousands of Washington welfare recipients don’t meet one basic requirement – they’re no longer alive.

Read KING 5's full investigation here.

Elderly, mentally ill and children trapped in broken court system

Thousands of Ohio’s most vulnerable residents are trapped in a system that was created to protect them but instead allows unscrupulous guardians to rob them of their freedom, dignity and money. Even judges who oversee the system acknowledge that it is broken, that it has ripped apart families, rendered the mentally ill voiceless, and left some elderly Ohioans dying penniless in nursing homes, a yearlong Columbus Dispatch investigation found.

Children under guardianship are all but forgotten. Adults without an estate are virtually ignored. And those who aren’t really mentally incompetent find it nearly impossible to end a guardianship ...

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Minnesota misses chances to save abused kids' lives

Seven children died last year from abuse or neglect despite prior knowledge by Minnesota child protection agencies that their lives were at risk, records provided to the Star Tribune show.

That total is the highest in the state’s records, which go back to 2005. The Department of Human Services said it will study each case to probe whether county social workers missed chances to savethe child, but an initial review has found that some counties could have done more.

Read the full story from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune here.