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 children" ...

  • The Smallest Victims

    KTVU journalists set out to find out if the deaths of two California children could have been prevented by the child welfare workers assigned to protect them. The investigation uncovered that there is no accountability or transparency in the child welfare system and called for changes. KTVU had to sue to obtain information about the State Department of Social Services' "contact with children who have died or been seriously injured while under its supervision"; several months after the report aired, pressure from child advocates and the California legislature pressured the department to make that information available to the public.
  • Kids, Antidepressants, and Money

    This series uncovered how Texas was medicating foster children with powerful and sometimes dangerous psychotropic drugs. In many cases, these drugs were not necessary and over-prescribed. The children were being systematically medicated due to the mandated use of a program that was designed by "expert consultants" who were also paid consultants for the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Fostering Frustration

    This story about foster children is a three part series. Reporters found that children in foster homes in the suburbs of Chicago moved from one foster home to another at a rate that was higher than their counterparts in other parts of the city as well as the state average. This story looks at the foster care system from the eyes of the children.
  • Fostering Failure

    This three-month investigation employed hidden cameras, undercover aids, extensive reporting and interviews to expose a network of "special schools" that thousands of foster children are sent to in California every year. Many of these so-called schools are set up in converted motels and run down strip malls. There are seldom any credentialed teachers in the classrooms; few textbooks and the students are basically warehoused without receiving an education. At the same time, theses schools receive $25,000 to $45,000 per year per student from the state. Compare this to the $6,500 that public schools receive for the each kid. Thousands of foster children graduate without ever having written a book report, term paper or even read a book. Many experts the news team consulted believe this is a big reason one out of every four of the homeless in California are former foster children.
  • Foster Care

    These stories are the result of a several year long investigation which found that as many as half of Los Angeles County's foster children were needlessly placed into the system. Furthermore, the system is sometime more dangerous than their original home. These placements are encouraged by financial incentives in state and federal laws, which allow counties to receive up to $150,000 for placing and keeping a child in foster care. Children in LA County's foster care systems are six to seven times for likely to be mistreated and three times more likely to be killed than children outside of the system.
  • Losing Wait

    The Riverfront Times reports on foster children in St. Louis. "Thousands of St. Louis children are stuck for years in foster care before they get permanent homes. The Feds are demanding the wait be shorter. But for the city, that's easier said than done."
  • 34,000 Kids Trying to Catch a Break

    A caseworker in New York's Administration for Child Services (ACS) gives a first-person account of the bureaucracy involved in caring for state wards, which includes foster children and orphans alike. He writes of overworked caseworkers, stunning courtroom dramas, and more.
  • How Michigan loses, fails its foster children

    The Detroit Free Press series looks at "how the state lost track of 302 abused and neglected kids." It also reports about foster kids who runaway only to be exploited by the strangers they meet, missing kids and the complex Juvenile Justice system.
  • In A Child's Best Interest

    MSNBC reports on child welfare hearings in three Indiana juvenile courts. "Specifically, these hearings involve children who are the victims of abuse, neglect, or at-risk situations. The program focuses on one of the more desperate corners of modern life and penetrates the world of the juvenile justice system, which, by law, is closed to the public and media. Our cameras expose stories of sexual abuse and capture how the courts handle these young victims. We also reveal excruciating, personal experiences as children are placed in residential treatment facilities. Lastly, we document the incompetence of a state child welfare system that allowed a teenage girl to go through two-dozen foster homes during her 14 years in the system."
  • The Crisis of Foster Care

    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."