Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "child welfare" ...

  • A Tangled Web of Lies – the Southeastern Military Academy

    An investigation into abuse allegations at a private school uncover a lack of oversight of private schools in Florida and a system failing students and parents.
  • The Ghosts of the Orphanage

    As many as 5 million children passed through America’s orphanages in the 20th century alone. In other countries, national investigations have exposed at least some of what transpired in such institutions. But the dark secrets of orphanage life in the US had lain buried, like the dead children who haunt survivors’ dreams — until BuzzFeed News published Christine Kenneally’s unforgettable investigation.
  • Failure to Protect series

    In a four-day series, The Daily Sentinel examined the killings of three children who were known to the local child-welfare system, as part of a broader examination of the child welfare and foster care systems in the county. The purpose was to inform the public about how the children ended up living with the people who ultimately killed them or were accused of killing them, the warning signs, the fallout that resulted from the deaths, and identify possible changes to the system that could prevent future killings.
  • Philly's Invisible Youth

    In a major multimedia investigation for Al Jazeera America, Laura Rena Murray writes about the alarming increase of homeless youth in Philadelphia and the utter failure of the child welfare agency and the emergency shelter system to care for them. By 2011, one in 20 of the city’s public high school students identified as having been homeless. Between 2009 and 2013, that percentage increased by 73 percent. There are many reasons youth end up on the streets. Most are trying to escape violent homes. http://projects.aljazeera.com/2015/12/homeless-youth/resources.html
  • The Brief Life and Private Death of Alexandria Hill

    Squeezed by high caseloads and tight budgets, child welfare agencies across the country are increasingly turning to for-profit companies and cash-strapped non-profit agencies to recruit, screen, train, and monitor foster parents. This little-known but common policy has resulted in child deaths across the country, in part because private agencies have a financial incentive to ignore the sketchy backgrounds of foster parents or festering problems in their homes.
  • Innocents Lost

    The Herald explored how 477 children died of abuse or neglect over a six-year period after falling through Florida’s child welfare safety net, largely as a result of a misguided effort to reduce the number of foster children while simultaneously slashing services for troubled families. We have since continued the reporting into a seventh year and the number of dead is our searchable database is now 533..
  • CA Investigation: Family custody battle exposes flaws in child protection system

    As four children slept, their parents were murdered in an adjacent room of their Memphis home in April, launching a controversial custody dispute that remains pending on appeal. The child welfare worker and the guardian ad litem either didn't conduct thorough investigations of those seeking custody of the children or they failed to brief the magistrate during a hearing that was rushed to an end. The story provides a rare look at how quickly child custody disputes can be decided in dependency and neglect cases, which by state law are closed to the public and media. The newspaper also exposed exclusions in the state's Sex Offender Registry laws that allow offenders, even those classified as "violent," to live in homes with children if the offender's victim was an adult.
  • Fatal Care

    After a four-year battle with government, the Edmonton Journal won unprecedented access to death records for all of the children who died in provincial care between 1999 and 2013. Reporter Karen Kleiss cross-referenced nearly 2,000 pages of death records with court documents and fatality inquiry reports to build a database that revealed 145 children had died in care, more than triple the number reported by government. Kleiss analyzed the database for trends and, with Calgary Herald reporter Darcy Henton, searched the province for grieving families who had never before told their stories. In the wake of the series, the government pledged to create unprecedented transparency around child welfare deaths, overhaul the child death review system and reconsider a publication ban that prohibits families and media from sharing the names and images of these children with the public.
  • DCS Under Fire

    DCS Under Fire is a collection of stories representing WREG’s coverage of problems at the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Our team began an in-depth investigation into the child welfare agency more than a year ago. The very agency charged with protecting the state’s most vulnerable had kids dying on its watch. We exposed unexplained deaths, questionable actions by case workers as well as failed technology and policies. Our continuous coverage raised concerns from parents, advocates and lawmakers. Since the start of our investigation, and later a court battle for access to public records, DCS has overhauled its staff and changed a number of policies and procedures to better protect children in its care.
  • Faces of Failure

    More Illinois children are dying from abuse or neglect than at any time in the past 30 years. The Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ partnered to take a closer look at the circumstances of those children who are dying. We found that not only are more children dying, but more are dying even after Illinois’ child welfare department had investigated the family for abuse or neglect in the past year.