Mississippi admits failure in reforming foster care

Marcia Robinson Lowry, executive director of A Better Childhood, said Tuesday that Gov. Phil Bryant has agreed to hire an executive director of the Department of Family and Children’s Services, waive state salary requirements for the director and for members of a senior management team, according to the proposed agreement, which hasn’t been approved yet by Lee.

However, Bryant’s spokeswoman Nicole Webb said no formal agreement has been filed, only a draft agreement. She said Judge Lee could take action on the draft agreement at at any time or he could also choose to bring the parties in for further discussion.

Bryant said in a statement: “My intent is to improve conditions for children who find themselves in foster care in Mississippi. These children must be protected, and that is why I have advocated the creation of a Children’s Cabinet. I’ll be the first to admit that Mississippi can and will do better, and I became personally involved in this issue several months ago. I intend to see this resolved to the benefit of these children and the state.”