This Time Magazine investigation shows the dangers and horrors that foster children face as "wards of the state." The story examines multiple cases of social workers' criminal negligence, resulting in children' deaths or injuries. The author draws the conclusion that "the nation's foster care systems are in shambles," though they cost "at least $ 7 billion a year." The story reveals that "nobody even bothers to keep an accurate account, but in round numbers more than 7,500 children are tortured under what is technically government protection." The reporters' analysis shows that "the incidence of abuse and neglect is significantly higher among kids in foster care than in the general population," and that foster care systems "are often more dysfunctional that families from which children have been taken."