Richard Wexler

United Nations Committee Suggests the U.S. Change or Repeal Major Child Welfare Policies


State Takeover of Foster Care Services in Two Florida Counties Cuts Family Separations

The number of family separations has been dramatically reduced in two Florida counties since the state took over foster care services from a private contractor


In Aftermath of Latest Child Death, L.A. Contends with Potential Foster Care Panic

In mid-July, Bobby Cagle, the director of Los Angeles County’s $2.8-billion child welfare system, visited the high desert communities of Palmdale and Lancaster, both reeling from the latest child death to strike the county.

Youth Services Insider
Administration for Children's Services


In New York, A Pointed Debate over Predictive Analytics and Child Welfare

Crunching numbers to help predict human behavior is common practice in insurance, banking, and public policy. We are always looking for the perfect algorithm to help improve decision-making. But when those decisions involve the fate of families, and the potential removal of kids from their parents, data-driven predictions become the subject of intense debate.

Lawrence Booker


Bill Aims to Prevent Adoptive Parents from Abusing Subsidy Program

Lawrence Booker had been living apart from his adoptive family for around two years when he learned that his adoptive mother might still be receiving money for his care — money that could have gone a long way toward helping him instead.


Mandated Reporters: Protection Does Not Weaken Accountability

Dear Chronicle of Social Change, Dr. Franne Sippel and I are licensed professionals who have dedicated our careers to serving vulnerable children and their families. In the course of our work on the front lines, we have observed gaps in protection from liability for mandatory reporters.

Youth Services Insider


It’s How You Use Predictions that Matters

In his November 15 column, Chronicle Senior Editor John Kelly contested Richard Wexler’s argument that the failure of number crunchers to predict the results of the recent election casts doubt on the potential of the new predictive analytics tools to identify which children will be maltreated in the future.


    Richard Wexler: Family First Act Institutionalizes Institutions, Sets Up Prevention to Fail

    Now that there finally is a bill, it is clear who has the greatest reason to oppose the so-called Family First Prevention Services Act: environmentalists. That’s because of how many forests will be destroyed to provide the paper for all the new plans, reports and assorted other documents that the bill mandates as a substitute for real change.


    Dollars and Priorities: Preventing Child Abuse

    Finally, something they can agree on. Over the past five months we have been publishing columns focused on the big issues with how the federal government pays for child welfare. In the course of that coverage our two primary columnists – Richard Wexler, a staunch advocate for keeping families together and largely dismantling the foster care system, and Sean Hughes, who is more inclined to boost funding to foster care while also supporting families – have strongly disagreed over what the data tells us and what we should do differently.


    Child Welfare’s Principal-Agent Problem: An Open Letter

    Dear Daniel Heimpel, Sean Hughes and Richard Wexler, Your three-way exchange of views in The Imprint (May 4, 2016) may benefit from consideration in a larger context. The larger context is what economists and lawyers call the “principal-agent problem.”