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Toddler's death prompts LA County to cancel contract with foster care agency

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday canceled its contract with the private foster care agency that oversaw a home where a woman allegedly beat a little girl to death.

Before the Board of Supervisors took their vote, United Care executive director Craig Woods said his foster care agency had a “stellar record.” Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky disagreed.

The supervisor pointed out that the household where the two-year-old girl died — a home Woods’ agency monitored — included convicted criminals and pit bulls.

"From A-Z, there were a series of violations," Yaroslavsky told KPCC.

United Care oversaw 88 homes with more than 200 foster children. It had been cited previously when foster parents hit or choked children.

Woods, said Yaroslavsky, should have kept closer watch over his homes.

The same might be said of the Board of Supervisors’ and its Department of Children and Family Services. It’s struggled to fix a foster care system plagued with problems.

"That's a fair chastising," Yaroslavsky said. "But we are getting to the bottom of it now and are trying to get ahead of the curve."

Yaroslavsky said the county is working with state officials to review records at each of the other 57 private agencies that provide foster care services to the county.