Board Forms Panel to Study Foster Care System

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday formed a blue-ribbon commission to examine the county's troubled foster care system.

Comparing the body to the Christopher Commission, which examined the Los Angeles Police Department after the 1992 riots, supervisors said it was urgent that the body get to work in light of the recent deaths of three foster children.

"The dysfunctional foster care system demands attention," said Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who introduced the motion with Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

The 11-person panel will include representatives from the state Department of Social Services and the county's probation and mental health departments as well as a member of a child advocacy group to be selected by the interim director of the Department of Children and Family Services. Each supervisor will appoint a member.

Parents whose children are in the foster system said a citizen's commission with the power to implement policy must be convened, and booed the blue-ribbon panel's makeup.

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