Social workers can now check if foster parents have criminal pasts

In response to a series of scandals involving mistreatment of children under state supervision, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed into law new rules giving county social workers access to the criminal histories of foster parents and employees at foster care contractors before abused and neglected children are placed in their care.

The legislation, SB 1136, comes in response to Times reports documenting instances when children were harmed and taxpayer money was allegedly misspent by people with criminal backgrounds who had been granted special waivers from the state to receive foster children.

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