Marie Cohen


No Excuse for Leaving Children to Suffer and Die in Abusive Homes

On August 30, the death of seven-year-old Adrian Jones after years of abuse was once again in the news as family members filed suit against the agencies and staff that failed him.


Don’t Expect Training to Solve Shortage of Quality Foster Homes

In “California Bill Aims to Create Better Foster Homes,” Holden Slattery reports on new legislation (AB 507) that would require social workers to help foster parents develop training plans tailored to the needs of the children in their homes.


Foster Care as Punishment? A Case of Biased Reporting by the New York Times

This op-ed has been taken down. For an explanation of our decision to remove it, please click here.


When Children Must Be Saved from Their Saviors

Back when cases involving missing children – many of them runaways from foster care – were making headlines in Washington, D.C., Marie Cohen rushed to try to shift responsibility from a failing foster care system.


Risk, Not Substantiation, Should Drive Services to Families

A new report from L.A.’s Office of Child Protection (OCP), as recently reported by Daniel Heimpel in The Chronicle, recommends revising current policy to enable the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) to offer services to families of children at high risk, even if they do not have a substantiated allegation of maltreatment.


From Denial to Desperation: Misrepresentations on Child Welfare and Race

In a column in The Chronicle earlier this month, Marie Cohen includes the following statement. Almost everything in it is untrue: Starting in the early 2000s, a group of wealthy foundations and allies called the Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare promoted the notion that a racist child welfare system is behind the disproportionate representation of African-American families in the child welfare system.  


    Richard Gelles Argues for a Child-Centered Approach to Child Welfare

    I was very excited to get my copy of Richard Gelles’ widely awaited new book, Out of Harm’s Way. Gelles is one of the giants of child welfare. He wrote the The Book of David, which raised awareness of the unintended consequences of the prevailing family preservation ideology and helped inspire passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.


    The Other Missing Children: Those Fleeing Abusive and Neglectful Homes

    Last week I wrote a column about the missing children who have run away from District of Columbia foster homes. Youth Services Insider estimated that foster youth account for about 10 percent of missing children reports and a larger fraction of the current pool of missing children in the District of Columbia.

    Marie K. Cohen


    Foster Care Quality: A Missing Piece of the Story of Missing Girls

    John Kelly’s article, The Foster Care Aspect of the D.C. Missing Girls Story, draws an important connection between recent uproar about missing girls in the District, many of whom turned out to be runaways, and the city’s foster care system.