This is what the conservative idea of limited government looks like:
The state agency charged with protecting children from abuse has neglected its own policies in thousands of cases, according to a new audit, heightening concerns among child welfare advocates who fear the Department of Children and Family Services has been stretched too thin to fulfill its function.
The audit, released Monday by the Legislative Auditor’s Office, offered a rare window into a tight-lipped agency that has suffered a series of budget cuts in recent years and has been the target of frequent criticism in the wake of high-profile child deaths.
Years of tax cuts, budget cuts, and staff cuts have led to a level of dysfunction in Louisiana state government that puts the lives of its most vulnerable citizens at risk. This is the predictable result of an ideology that insists, contrary to all evidence, that the government governs best that governs least.
In one instance, officials needed 117 days to respond to a case of a father who sexually molested his son after previously being accused of raping his daughter. The department attributed the sluggish response to a failure to reassign the case after a worker resigned.Since Bobby Jindal took office, Louisiana has increased by $1.5 billion the amount of tax incentives used to lure business to the state. That’s nearly five percent of the entire annual budget. The state spends $200 million a year just on a tax credit for TV and movie producers. How many child protection case workers could that money pay for?
“This should scare everybody,” said Joy Bruce, executive director of CASA New Orleans, an advocacy group for abused children, adding that the audit’s findings were not surprising given the level of resources the state allocates to child protection services.
“People shouldn’t be calling for somebody’s head,” she said. “They should be calling for a sea change in how we prioritize children.”
But then, as any Republican will tell you, abused children don’t create jobs.