‘Children as Currency’ By Patricia Mitchell {430 Words}

Children Protective Services and local communities are using Children as Currency, resulting in unintended consequences, severely abused children and death.

An anonymous caller (i.e., a scorned girlfriend, sour neighbor, spiteful partner, envious family member) phones in a complaint against a parent, without any evidence that the allegation is true – that’s all it can take for Child Protective Services (CPS) to remove children from their homes.1 Each year, thousands of children and parents fall prey to CPS’s fractured system, with only 6 percent of these children having been in legitimate danger.2 Seventy to 80 percent of foster homes do not deliver the basic needs and requirements to the vulnerable children they’ve take in.3 (According to the Fed. Government’s ‘Children’s Bureau’ 64 percent of foster children are abused, experts believe the real number is closer to 87 percent)

CPS protects the foster parents, keeping children in state custody for as long as possible, even after caseworkers and affiliates discover allegations against the parents were false.4 CPS staff members and affiliates themselves also register as foster parents, as it suits their financial interests.5 CPS supervisors admit their caseworkers are often “unequipped, over-worked, and have too many cases,” without the appropriate education and experience to work with the diversity of cultures that make up American families.6

This all began more than 30 years ago, following the enactment of a series of federal laws.7 The practically unlimited and under-regulated funds these overarching laws provide to each state’s CPS offices have led to unintended, yet dire, consequences. Many at the local levels have learned how to manipulate the system to accommodate their own deceptive desires. Each year, the foster care system releases somewhere between 29,000 to 200,000 eighteen-year-olds into greater society – they represent our country’s fastest-growing homeless population.8 (Note: some the children from foster care are released at 19, 20, and 21 up to 23, this is why the percentage of foster care children released into society drastically differs.)

From my research, my nineteen years of child advocacy experience, and as a parent-victim of CPS myself (my own daughter was unjustly taken from me), I have learned that Child Protective Services is too entangled with local communities and high-ranking agencies to sustain any meaningful reform.9 We should consider permanently shutting it down, reallocating federal funding toward constructing safe and healthy learning environments in the form of state-of-the-art orphanages, using the Montessori method’s and practices as an operational model. We desperately need closely monitored residential facilities and services that attract, recruit, and retain qualified professionals with Master Degree’s in Child Development willing to be trained from 3 to 6 months (with only compensation) who genuinely have children’s and families’ best interests at the front of their minds.

1 SEE: CPS Policy Manual. See: http://niemanreports.org/articles/child-welfare-reporting-things-sources-say-that-almost-always-arent-true/   i.e. AZ Senator Rick Murphy’s status with CPS http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/20130724rick-murphy-abuse-no-charges.html

2 AFSCAR Report /Children’s Bureau/ Child Welfare Gateway In these reports the charts read 39,000 (children) were in “high risk environments.” In the CPS industry this simply means endanger. Comparing the yearly number of children in foster care with the number of children in “high risk environments,” this comes out to only 6 percent of children in foster care were in dangerous environments

3  “foster parents with violent records regularly enter the cps system” http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2014/02/dcf_handbook_shocker_criminal_past_doesn_t_disqualify_foster  Gov. Children’s Bureau Website:  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2011

4 For example, a caseworker will assure prospective foster parents that CPS will not check in on them without calling first, most likely to further entice them into registering. However, this practice has had unintended consequences, attracting pedophiles and predators to become foster parents.

5 Typically foster children go for $600 to $1,200 a month, with “special needs” children coming in at $900 to $3,990 a month. .  http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Foster-Care-Payment-Rate-Report.pdf

6 Spoke in a speech heard by thousands by Retired CPS supervisor of 30 years Marilyn Rainwaters on Nov 12, Sister Giant Conference, Los Angeles ca. Also See: http://niemanreports.org/articles/child-welfare-reporting-things-sources-say-that-almost-always-arent-true/

7 First there was the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974 (CAPTA) (Public Law 93-247)

8 The Government statistics reports are designed to appear that the number of children “aging out” is significantly lower than the reality. They do this by separating the children into ethnic categories, population, ages and class categories.  For the past five years the number of children aging out of foster care has risen. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/foster.pdf http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/16/opinion/soronen-foster-children/

9 “The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services,” http://fightcps.com/pdf/TheCorruptBusinessOfChildProtectiveServices.pdf; Bill Bowen made a 30-minute documentary about CPS, “Innocence Destroyed,” that can be accessed at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=48YF1uEuCUA.

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