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Foster care and identity theft: kids credit scores decimated before they can even age out

Alright, so it being “National Adoption Awareness Month,” the adoption  industry wants to utilize kids in Foster Care as a ‘justification’ to do their month long adoption marketing spree, often centered on infant adoption or inter-country adoption.

Fine, you wanna talk foster kids?

Let’s talk about some of the realities foster kids face, such as having their credit scores decimated before they can even turn 18 and age out onto the streets.

This piece is out of Wisconsin, but the problem is nationwide, with several states just staring to pass laws in an attempt to begin to tackle the problem.


12 News Discovers Foster Children Targets Of Identity Thieves: 2 Sisters Find They Can’t Get Credit

WISN 12 News discovered their credit has been ruined by those who are supposed to protect them.

Wisconsin officials don’t know how widespread the problem is because they’ve never checked.

In print, 18-year-old Jazmin Holt owns a house and a car. In real life, she can’t get a credit card.

Again, this is a direct  result of people who legally had access to their information. The girls had no ability to protect their own interests or their information as it was gathered as a result of them being in the foster care system.

Now adults, Jazmin and Lakeitha are trying to make their own ways. Jazmin’s trying to raise her baby, Ilyya.

“I have a We Energies bill that’s about $3,000. I don’t have the foggiest idea how I got that. I can’t even get the lights in my house I just moved into in my name,” Jazmin Holt said.

And Lakeitha Holt put her college plans on hold. It’s hard to get student loans with a bankruptcy on her record.

“These are kids that are wards of the state for all intents and purposes. We are supposed to protect them,” state Sen. Lena Taylor said.

Wisconsin doesn’t track identity theft problem among foster kids. Taylor said she’s pressed the issue with Wisconsin’s Department of Children and Families but has seen no move to protect foster kids’ credit.

“We have a responsibility, for at least the children who are the wards of the state, to at least check and to do something,” Taylor said.

Be sure to also see the Web Extra: State Sen. Lena Taylor Talks About Foster Children Finding Their Credit Destroyed.

It’s a betrayal of some of the most vulnerable, and by and large, most bureaucrats and politicians seem to feel it’s simply not their problem, not that these kids have anywhere else to turn.

For nearly two months, 12 News has tried to interview the man who oversees the state’s foster care system, but DCF Secretary Reggie Bicha declined to take questions.

Everyone tosses around the buzz word “accountability” but when it comes to this system genuinely being made accountable to the kids themselves?

Forget it.

As foster kids have always known, when it comes to the system being responsive to them?

More often than not it’s a policy of yoyo, “you’re on your own.”

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