Check Finds Foster Parent Arrest Records

A review of Hamilton County foster parent records following the death of Marcus Fiesel has resulted in a startling discovery.

The County has found that 27 of its licensed foster parents have been arrested, and that number was reached by checking only a portion of the foster parents' records.

"I'm not willing to keep this quiet. The public needs to know what's going on here", Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartman said. Hartman's office was called upon to do the records checks. The Clerk's Office is where court records are kept.

"Whatever system the job and family services has been using to monitor these people, is failed miserably", Hartman told FOX19. "I'm of the sneaking suspicion that many of these cases, the charges, were picked after these people were in the program, and the accurate monitoring was not occuring."
Before foster parents get a license, they are supposed to pass a background check. they are also required to report legal trouble that occurs once they receive their licenses, and the county is required to do yearly beckground checks.
A Hamilton County Job and Family Services spokesperson told FOX19 that they just got this information a few days ago, and they plan on investigating every case. One of their concerns is, when the crimes occurred. For instance, they don't think it's right to remove a child from a foster parent who was convicted of, say, writing a bad check ten years ago. They also want to assure everyone that none of these are emergency cases, and they don't see any reason to remove children right away.

The Hamilton County foster care program was not involved with the Marcus Fiesel case, although the agency that Butler County used to place Marcus with his foster parents Liz and David Carroll was among those used by Hamilton County. The Carrolls recenly have been sentenced to prison in Marcus Fiesel's death.

Hartman said "We haven't been doing a good enough job. And the Marcus Fiesel case teaches us, lets address these issues, reform our system, before we have a tragedy."

The reform Hartman wants is a computerized system that will track foster parents and immediately report when one of them is arrested. The idea was set to be discussed at Monday's meeting of the Hamilton County Commissioners meeting.

The numbers discovered in this investigaiton could rise. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the county has not yet been able to examine the records of the majority of foster children from the county, who are placed in foster homes by private agencies.