The race for two seats on the Board of Supervisors has yielded a flood of campaign pledges, but no area of Los Angeles County government has attracted more calls for change than the sometimes failing safety net for abused and neglected children.
The most widely known contenders, Sheila Kuehl, Bobby Shriver and Hilda Solis, would invest millions of dollars in new initiatives. And in separate interviews, each endorsed a proposal to create a child protection czar to coordinate services.
They agree that social workers are overloaded with cases, but reject any imperative to further reduce the number of children in foster care.
Instead, they would place more emphasis on improving training and resources for those who must decide when to take custody of a child to ensure that they reach the right decision — whatever it may be. Breakdowns in the process have recently led to children being abused or even killed while supposedly being watched by social workers.
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