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McCaskill Says Adoption Program Is Mismanaged

October 27, 2005
By: Tim Walker
State Capital Bureau

State Auditor Claire McCaskill is accusing Missouri's adoption program of incompetence and mismanagement.

Tim Walker has more from Jefferson City.

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McCaskill says the Department of Social Services is not working hard enough to keep track of children in the system.

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"Surely there is someone on the earth at this time, in this country, that has the technical expertise to fix this database, so that the safety of the children can not be compromised by a very weak beuricratic excuse."

But Gary Sherman, Director of the Department of Social Services, says the accusations are not true.

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"I think the system is functioning well now and we have a new database in place at this particular time and a new set of technology."

Reporting from the state Capital, I'm Tim Walker.

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An audit of Missouri's adoption program criticizes the Department of Social Services' system of tracking children.

Tim Walker has more from Jefferson City.

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State Auditor Claire McCaskill was highly critical of the Department of Social Services' handling of children in state custody.

McCaskill says the Department's database is inaccurate and needs to be overhauled.

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"Technology shouldn't ever be used as an excuse. If they can't get it right on this system they need to go back to a paper system."

Gary Sherman, Director of the Department of Social Services, says the department is doing what it can.

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"These are complicated databases and so it is wrapped in a larger set of technology and pieces of it are already in place. And that's the way you put in these large changes when you're doing data on a whole state."

The Department of Social Services says it plans to fix its databases by February 2007.

Reporting from the state Capital, I'm Tim Walker

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State Auditor Claire McCaskill says the state is not doing a good enough job finding permanent homes for foster children.

Tim Walker has more from Jefferson City.

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McCaskill released an audit critical of the Department of Social Services' handling of children in state custody.

McCaskill says the audit found numerous errors and omissions in the state's adoption and foster case database.

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"It is uncomprehensible to me. I cannot comprehend why we cannot find help fixing the most important database we have in state government."

Department of Social Services Director Gary Sherman, says the database is complicated but the system is working well.

Reporting from the state Capital, I'm Tim Walker.

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A newly released audit points out shortcomings in Missouri's

adoption program.

Tim Walker has more from Jefferson City.

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State Auditor Claire McCaskill says the Department of Social Services is failing in its efforts to update adoption and foster case records.

McCaskill accused the department of incompetence and mismanagement.

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"What is said over and over again is we don't know how many children we have in our care. Our database is inaccurate. We aren't even sure what case loads we have."

The Department of Social Services placed over thirteen hundred children in permanent care last year. But these number down from the previous two years.

Reporting from the state Capital, I'm Tim Walker.