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Child Welfare Agency Out $7 Million for Botched Placement

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Danielle Yates

Danielle Yates
Credit: The Oregonian

by Hillary Borrud, The Oregonian

Oregon’s child welfare agency has agreed to pay $7 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of two children who were nearly starved to death by foster parents the state approved for them.

The settlement is among Oregon’s largest for wrongdoing by a state agency but short of the record, a $15 million settlement by the Department of Human Services in 2015. That lawsuit was filed on behalf of nine infants and toddlers abused by a Salem foster father.

The Yamhill County foster parents who for years withheld food from the two preschoolers and subjected them to other abuse, John and Danielle Yates, are each serving 2 ½ years in prison.

The children were 4 and 5 when they were found to weigh the same as they had when they were 1 and 2 — just 27 and 30 pounds. The sister and brother were placed in the Yateses’ home in May 2012, and medical records show their weights and heights began to drop as a percentile of what was normal for their age that same year. They were starved so severely by their foster parents that by 2014 their weights weren’t listed on growth charts for children their age.

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© 2017 Oregon Live LLC

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