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 "foster care" ...

  • Twice Abandoned: How schools and child-welfare systems fail kids in foster care

    Foster kids graduate high school and go to college at a much lower rate than other groups of children. The federal government is trying to help these young people from falling behind, but many states aren’t doing their part. We look at how schools and child-welfare systems are each failing the foster youth in their care.
  • The Innocents: How U.S. Immigration Policy Punishes Migrant Children

    Federal immigration policies that separated children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border had real, traumatic consequences on the most vulnerable members of our society. This series of exclusive investigations identified “tender age shelters” warehousing babies and toddlers, exposed a Virginia shelter where migrant teenagers described horrific abuse and followed a Salvadoran mother who came close to losing her daughter to adoption, revealing the legal possibility that separated children could be permanently taken from their parents. AP also followed the money, highlighting the billion-dollar business in migrant child detention, a sector that has grown tenfold in the last decade. Just before year’s end, AP broke the news that the government was keeping most of the 14,000 migrant kids in its care in shelters with hundreds of others, despite expert warnings that mass institutionalization can cause life-long trauma. Based on deep source reporting and exclusive data, the story was the first to provide the number of children in every government-contracted detention center, shelter and foster care program dating back to 2017 - data the government had been withholding all year.
  • 12 News I-Team: Children At Risk

    12 News worked tirelessly to defend the public interest in an exclusive investigation, ’12 News- I-Team: Children At Risk’ which exposed a pattern of abuse affecting some of the most vulnerable members of our community, defenseless foster children. Through filing records requests, following up on anonymous tips, combing through legal documents, and mining dozens of sources, investigative reporter Bianca Buono uncovered the unthinkable: the Department of Child Services placed a six-year-old foster child directly into the home of a level three convicted sex offender.
  • 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.
  • Fostering Profits

    This BuzzFeed News investigative series exposes the widespread abuse of children and teenagers at National Mentor Holdings, the nation's leading firm in the lucrative but secretive industry of for-profit foster care, where state governments pay private companies to recruit, train, and hire foster parents, place children, and then even hire the social workers who are supposed to oversee and monitor the children's well-being.
  • Home Sweet Hustle

    For 15 years, the Portland nonprofit Give Us This Day occupied a unique place among foster-care agencies in the state of Oregon. Its four group homes served the most troubled, challenging kids in the state—children who had been sexually abused, starved, beaten and abandoned. It was the state’s only African-American-run foster care agency, a distinction that made it especially valuable to the state agency that manages housing for foster children, the Oregon Department of Human Services. The executive director of Give Us This Day, Mary Holden, was lauded as a human-rights champion. Give Us This Day was also unique in how leniently it was regulated by state officials. The state turned a blind eye to more than 1,000 police reports at foster homes run by Give Us This Day. It regularly paid large cash advances to the provider—something no other foster-care agency requested so regularly. And the Department of Human Services ignored years of allegations that Give Us This Day neglected children.
  • Fatal Foster Care: When newborns exposed to drugs in the womb are taken from their mothers, the results can be deadly

    Tighter drug laws in the United States increasingly mandate that newborns be stripped from drug-taking birth parents, and often placed in foster care. Even when the traces of drugs are minimal. But foster care is fraught with problems. Since 2000, at least 10 drug-exposed newborns have died in foster care — deaths identified in a New York City News Service analysis of court records, local news stories and interviews with family advocates across the nation. While a tiny fraction of the approximately 18,000 drug-exposed infants put into foster care over the same period, these tragedies show that foster care is not always a safer option for drug-exposed newborns. The number of foster care deaths is most likely larger since state officials often cite privacy laws barring them from disclosing details.
  • Failures in the Foster System

    Our two part investigative series first uncovered the story of a toddler nearly tortured to death in foster care, despite multiple reports to county social services. Our second report exposed major flaws in the County's response to child abuse reports systemwide. We revealed an estimated 7,000 calls to the emergency hotline were not being answered each year, resulting in abused and neglected children remaining in unsafe homes.
  • Lives on the Line

    Reporter Doug Donovan uncovered inadequate care and state oversight of group homes that care for the most vulnerable of citizens: disabled foster children. His investigation revealed that state contractor Lifeline Inc. had numerous problems that were unknown to regulators. After his initial story the state moved the children to another group home. However, Donovan revealed issues with the new provider, including employees who were dismissed for mistreating patients and who lacked specialized training.
  • Prescription Kids

    Foster children in Colorado are prescribed psychotropic drugs, including powerful anti-psychotics with harmful side effects, at five times the rate of other kids.