A recent audit of foster homes in Kentucky revealed that the state had placed a number of foster children in homes with registered sex offenders. Government auditors simply compared lists of addresses for foster homes with those of registered sex offenders and found a number of matches.
The Kentucky government failed to act on information that was publically available. By failing to run a simple search before placing foster children in homes, the Kentucky government has placed children in harm’s way and may have potentially violated the same laws it is expected to enforce. According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes, section 600.020(1)(f), “‘Abused or neglected child’ means a child whose health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm when…[the] person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child [c]reates or allows to be created a risk that an act of sexual abuse…will be committed upon the child.” One of the main reasons that stringent restrictions and registration requirements exist for sex offenders is that the government has already determined that there is a risk that the offender may commit an act of sexual abuse again and seeks to notify the public of this fact. Consequently, pursuant to current law, the Kentucky government may arguably be liable for abusing or neglecting these children by placing them in homes with known sex offenders.
This disturbing finding shows that our governments are not always consistent in applying the same law to themselves as they are to parents, and also shows that even arguably good governments are a poor substitute for good parents.
“Any time the state is charged with the placement and protection of our most vulnerable citizens, in this case children, every step possible should be taken to guarantee they are secure,”
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