Readers React

Putting L.A. County's efforts on child protection into words

To the editor: I was very happy to see that The Times approved of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' recent action to create a new mission statement prioritizing child safety, the first among several dozen recommendations for reform put forward by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection. ("Mission statement could help L.A. County focus on child protection," Editorial, Feb. 5)

Provided your readers went far enough into the piece, past your (fun) tongue-in-cheek introduction, they saw your point that it's a potentially important way to focus attention and resources on this important goal.

The Times rightly points out, citing education rhetoric in the state Constitution, that words without deeds are meaningless. So I want The Times to know that my colleagues and I welcome the paper's further scrutiny, comment and constructive suggestions to make these new county marching orders as effective as possible in protecting our kids.

Thanks for the boost.

Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles

The writer serves on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

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To the editor: It seems L.A. County wants a mission statement to help focus its efforts on the welfare of children.

In my 15-year involvement with the L.A. County foster care system, the refrain I heard was that the decisions it would make were driven by what was "in the best interests of the children." Whenever the social workers could not explain a decision, their default response, even if it made no sense, was that "it's in the best interest of the children."

I heard it so often I would refer to it as the "BIOC."

So I offer this up as a mission statement to help motivate changes in L.A. County child welfare. Oh, wait, it hasn't worked yet.

Kathleen Boss, La Crescenta

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