Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Couple who wanted to adopt Christopher L. Thomas Jr has hold on foster care license

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting this morning that the couple that tried to adopt Christopher L. Thomas Jr are now being investigated and their license is on hold. Christopher L. Thomas Jr was the 13-month-old child allegedly beaten to death by his aunt after being placed in her care by the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.

Darlene and Robert J. Logan became Christopher's foster parents in March, when he was initially removed from his biological mother's home. He remained in their care until he joined his sister at another temporary foster home in May. They were placed with Keith and her husband in June.

The Logans repeatedly asked their caseworker if they could adopt Christopher. Darlene Logan said her refusal to accept no for an answer irritated her caseworker, who ordered Darlene Logan to undergo a psychological evaluation.

An Aug. 18 evaluation signed by the caseworker states: "This worker explained the reasons why they were not able to adopt that child several times, and it seemed that Ms. Logan was not able to grasp the concepts explained to her. This worker and her supervisor became concerned because Ms. Logan would ask the same questions repeatedly. Ms. Logan's mental health came into question, as she did not seem to understand what was being explained to her."

Logan met with a psychologist four times. In his Oct. 23 report, the psychologist wrote, "This evaluation does not indicate that Darlene should not have a foster care license."

Despite the evaluation, the foster care license remains on hold pending an "evaluation" of the report. In addition, the agency is now pursuing repayment of $2,474.38 in alleged overpayments for care of another foster child, an amount disputed by the Logans.

The example of the Logans is certainly instructive to others who would tangle with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. Or, for that matter, anyone that would consider becoming a foster parent in Milwaukee County.

Too bad such diligence that has been shown in the agency's pursuit of the Logans was not evident in the agency's monitoring of the placement of a 13-month-old child.