From a pool of more than 300 applicants the state of Wisconsin selected 94 to become foot soldiers in the most ambitious effort in Wisconsin history to protect abused, neglected and abandoned children. It was long overdue. Milwaukee's child welfare system had become as dysfunctional as the families it was meant to serve. In 1993, when the ACLU filed a lawsuit charging that Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin failed to protect the health and safety of abused and neglected children in their care, few argued otherwise. But already there are ominous indications, too, that the state's idyllic model - if it is allowed to continue as is - may soon be as bad or worse than the dysfunctional system it replaced.
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