A coalition of police officers and prosecutors spoke out today (Thursday) against a proposal to cap federal funds sent to states to pay for foster care. Des Moines Police Chief William McCarthy says foster care homes are an important part of dealing with crime. He says some 16-hundred kids in Iowa have to be removed from their homes due to crimes committed by adults. He says if you have to remove kids, you have to put them someplace. He says foster care in Iowa is “very good.” He says foster care does wonderful things for the most vulnerable in our society. McCarthy spoke on behalf of a coalition called “Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.” He says the coalition’s research shows what happens when kids aren’t put in foster care and are left in bad situations. He says when they become adults they’re 27-percent more likely to commit crime. He says additionally, four-out-of-ten of these children who’re left in homes of that nature will engage in violent acts themselves prior to becoming an adult. McCarthy says it’s clear that cutting foster care will lead to more abuse and crime. He says, “It’s simply wrong we think to break trust with the children of this society that find themselves in that position. And we look for out legislators at the federal level to look out for the interests of these children.” Carroll County Attorney John Werden says the increase in meth labs in rural Iowa has exacerbated the problem. He says as someone who has gone out and executed search warrants and walked in homes and seen five gallon buckets of acid bubbling away making meth and smelling the caustic chemicals andthinking about the kids living the homes, “I can tell you law enforcement needs foster care as a law enforcement tool to protect these abused and neglected children.” Werden says cutting foster care is taking money away from the area where it helps the most. He says under the proposed new limits on foster care, “it will lead to children suffering.” He says foster care needs to be available for those neglected children. The “Fight Crime: Invest in Kids” coalition says it includes 90 police, sheriff or prosecutor’s offices in Iowa.
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