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 "family services" ...

  • 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.
  • Dying for Attention

    While Illinois’ overall homicide rates dropped by 26 percent from 2000 to 2011, The Chicago Reporter found that the number of children who were killed after the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services had investigated their cases for alleged abuse or neglect has remained stubbornly steady—except for a dip in 2010—during the same period.
  • Children At Risk

    After years of reform to Illinois' child welfare system, the violent deaths of two young boys whose families had been previously investigated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services led the Tribune to question whether the state had done enough to protect them. Reporters Christy Gutowski and Bill Ruthhart found the state was violating critical terms of a federal consent decree that set limits on caseloads for child abuse investigators and deadlines for case closures. Through limited public records, sources and confidential reports, the reporters detailed more than a dozen child abuse deaths that occurred after state welfare officials had been notified. They also investigated the state’s woeful child abuse hotline, probed the state’s failure to properly inspect child day care facilities and analyzed how the agency’s layoffs fell disproportionately on its most critical positions – investigators. Gutowski and Ruthhart also illustrated how proposed state budget cuts could force more children into foster care and revisited the legacy of two troubling child deaths in the 1990s that led to the federal consent decree. It was in their memories that this project was born.
  • Trafficked

    Youth Radio covered the issue of human trafficking into the sex trade, a problem prevalent in Oakland. Their coverage focused on the perspectives of the trafficked teenagers.The story "pieces together what life is like for girls who are kidnapped or ensnared by pimps -- and how law enforcement criminalizes juvenile victims, arresting them three times as often as the traffickers who exploit them."
  • Children In Crisis

    “Kentucky leads the nation in its rate of children who die from neglect or abuse”. Many people missed the warning signs of abuse and these include social workers, family members, health professionals, and day care workers. Another factor into the problem was budget cuts, which wear down a system meant to protect children.
  • "Innocents Betrayed"

    More than 250 children under the watch of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services died during the span of 19 months. The Times found that most of the deaths spurred little investigation even though many "involved faulty case management."
  • Day-care dangers; DCFS: Guilty until proven innocent; DCFS Declassified

    The series focused on how the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services protects children and found problems, including a state law with wording so flawed it couldn't work, major errors in investigating alleged child abuse that ended up accusing innocent parents and repeated errors in the investigation of a murdered boy.
  • Could You Have Saved Ricky?

    The author used the death of 7-year old foster child Ricky Holland as an example to highlight problems of abuse and mistreatment in the foster care system. The extremely detailed stories go into great depth about Ricky's time in foster care, the abuse heaped on him, his death, the police hunt launched after he was reported missing and the detective work that finally led police to arrest his foster parents.
  • Hidden Violations

    Illinois is the second to last state in "the rate at which it suspends or revokes teaching certificates." Often reports of misconduct are not acted upon or investigated. Its screening system is also flawed and "has repeatedly allowed convicted sex offenders and other violent felons to be certified to teach."
  • Juvenile System Under Fire

    This investigation found that the juvenille justice system in Wayne County, MI is wracked with "fraud, overpayments and cronyism." The county overpays contractors and even awarded millions of dollars in contracts to relatives of the county sheriff and Detroit mayor. The FBI is involved in monitoring the situation, and the investigation discusses its role in the system as well.