Marcus: One Year Later

(ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, OH) -- It was a year ago that most of the Tri-state first heard the name Marcus Fiesel.

The 3-year-old's horrible murder led to sweeping changes in local foster care, but how much still needs to be done?

A year ago Julif's Park was a buzzing command center as thousands searched for a little boy none of them knew was already dead.  As FOX19's Chris Shaw reports, Marcus' legacy still affects every local foster child.

"There's a whole list of things that are different today, than they were a year ago," said Mike Fox of Butler County Children's Services.

Local agencies are doing tougher background checks on foster parents, more random home visits and they know instantly when a parent has been arrested.

Hamilton county has taken kids away from foster parents who have records and butler county will soon have a police officer on staff, watching for parents who are arrested in the county.

But local agencies are running into a wall getting that same information from a state-wide data base. They say it's the most important thing that should change, but hasn't."

"Had we had that system in place when they answered that domestic violence call for marcus fiesel, he would be alive today. Now knowing that, learning that from this experience, why in the world are we still trying to get the state to do this?" said Fox.

Right now, the state is busy trying to shut down Lifeway For Youth.

The agency that placed Marcus with the Carrolls was cited for 147 violations in January, but still has its license, and is still placing Ohio children.

Case loads are another problem.

In Hamilton County, the average worker has 25 cases. In Butler County, it's as high as 28.

But the national standard is 13 to 18.

The area is also still woefully short on qualified parents.

Sherrie Mathis runs a support organization for foster families.

"There needs to be positive influences and positive imput into what foster parents are doing," she said.

One year later, much has changed, but much has stayed the same.