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Sacramento County CPS Office Used To House Children

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California's Health and Human Services Agency has cited Sacramento County's Child Protective Services Department with violating the law.

The state says the county is using a business office as a residence to house children they can't place.

The violations were handed down in February 2016, and the state has followed up each month since as the county seeks a solution to rising numbers of foster children in the county.

The state citation reads in part that the state has determined children are residing in the CPS centralized placement services unit, an administrative space on Auburn Boulevard that is not a licensed care facility.

The county and state are working on solutions, but in 15 months since the violation was handed down, hundreds of children have continued to stay more than one night at the office, sometimes sleeping in the lobby.

"It's not benefiting kids at all," one 17-year-old foster child said " If anything it's destroying them. 'Cause I know it destroyed me at one point."

"It's just really cycled out of control," Sacramento's Children's Law Center Director Brenda Dabney said.

Dabney helps represent foster children in court.

"It's very concerning because of the kinds of trauma that our clients are experiencing when they're coming to that location," Dabney said.

Sacramento County CPS issued a statement reading in part:

"Sacramento County has seen a decrease in the number of appropriate and available county foster homes…" and "...youth sometimes refuse to go to placements that are located for them and instead stay at the intake lobby."

CPS is asking community members to step forward if they are interested in serving as a consistent and caring adult to foster children living in Sacramento. Anyone interested in becoming a resource parent can call 916-875-5543 to find out more information.

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