Series uncovers implications of foster care placements without oversight

The Imprint, a publication of Fostering Media Connections, teamed up with local reporters across the country for a yearlong series on the hidden foster care system, which allows the removal of children from their homes, but places them with relatives or family friends who are not subject to court oversight and don’t often get support from the child welfare system. These cases do not require evidence presented to a judge that a child is being abused or neglected, warranting their removal from home. Under these informal arrangements, there are no lawyers to advise parents of their rights at a time of crisis. With support from the Fund, The Imprint’s series takes hidden foster care out of the shadows. The series covers the due process problems, the consequences for relative caregivers when they aren’t supported by child welfare systems, and how the lines have blurred between hidden foster care and attempts to help parents before they become involved with CPS.