LOIS HENRY: Signs of improvement at child services office. A lot fewer children found themselves stuck in Kern County's child welfare system in 2012 compared to 2011.


In 2011 Child Protective Services workers took 838 children away from their parents for suspected abuse or neglect. In 2012, that number was cut by nearly half, to 466. And I'm willing to bet 2013 will see either similar numbers or a further decline. That's because CPS is, apparently, now following the law, which mandates social workers must have a warrant before yanking kids out of homes. Unless social workers have reason to believe a child is in imminent danger of being physically harmed or killed, they have to get a warrant. That's not a new law. It's been that way all along.


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