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The Latest: Fed agency says it lost track of migrant kids

By The Associated PressApril 26, 2018
FILE - In this June 18, 2014, file photo, boys wait in line to make a phone call as they are joined by hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children that are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz. The Associated Press has learned that a Senate subcommittee has found that the government risks placing migrant children in the custody of human traffickers because federal agencies have delayed crucial reforms needed to keep the children safe. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)
FILE - In this June 18, 2014, file photo, boys wait in line to make a phone call as they are joined by hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children that are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz. The Associated Press has learned that a Senate subcommittee has found that the government risks placing migrant children in the custody of human traffickers because federal agencies have delayed crucial reforms needed to keep the children safe. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)

The Latest on a Senate subcommittee’s review of the unaccompanied children program. (all times local):

2 p.m.

A Senate subcommittee has found that federal officials lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children last year after a government agency placed the minors in the custody of adult sponsors in communities nationwide.

The Health and Human Services Department says it uses its limited funds to track the safety of at-risk children, and could not determine where 1,475 missing minors had gone.

The Health and Human Services Department came under fire two years ago for rolling back child welfare policies meant to protect unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America. An Associated Press investigation found that more than two dozen were placed in homes where they were sexually assaulted, starved or forced to work.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations says federal agencies need to take full responsibility for the children’s care.

12:05 a.m.

A Senate subcommittee has found that the government risks placing migrant children in the custody of human traffickers because federal agencies have delayed crucial reforms.

Federal officials came under fire two years ago for rolling back child welfare policies meant to protect unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America. An Associated Press investigation found that more than two dozen were placed in homes where they were sexually assaulted, starved or forced to work.

The subcommittee says agencies have yet to take full responsibility for their care.

The Health and Human Services Department has used limited funding to boost outreach to at-risk children. But advocates say it’s hard to gauge the total number of minors who may face dangerous conditions.

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