As a former foster child I understand the original intent and purpose for child protection services. I had been sexually abused by my step dad and reached out to the agency for help.
Yet what they did for me wasn’t to stop the perpetrator but to isolate me from my entire family that I dearly loved. Surrounded by strangers I withdrew into myself becoming even more isolated.
In foster care I had suffered horrific abuse. Even my so called psychiatrist inflicted emotional abuse that rocked me to my core. And my cries for help were ignored by the worker and child protection agency. So I finally ran away and remained homeless on the streets till I turned 18.
After that I just wanted to leave that whole life behind me. I wanted to heal. I wanted to become more then some number or statistic .
Years had passed I finished school, ran my own business and had children of my own. I found happiness, I was whole. By choice my past became a lesson of compassion for others rather then a bitterness in my heart.
When I first started researching on foster care and child protection I learned about Title IV-E. This is a federal incentive to place children in need in foster care. First I was angry then heart heart broken to discover all my suffering while a ward of state was because of this financial incentive.
At first I had thought the child protection agency was the main beneficiary of these benefits/incentives. But I was wrong.
In truth Every agency that wraps around the child protection industry actually profits off this incentive, this blood money. The courts, the big pharmaceutical, the therapist, the service providers even the rogue foster parents. (Dont get me wrong Not all foster parents are in it for the money) All of them have a stake in ensuring the Child Protection Agency continues to exist because the agency helps create the need for the service providers.
But what about the child protection agency? I couldn’t figure out what was in it for them. Constantly changing the definition a child abuse and neglect till simple situation somehow warrant child removal. I knew there had to be something I was missing.
And then I found it, shared to me by another admired advocate.
Purpose VS Power: Parens Patriae and Agency Self Interest.
Agencies that exist to serve also seek to exist. The purpose of state human service agencies to serve vulnerable populations such as abused and neglected children derives from the common law doctrine of parens patriae, embodying the inherent role of the state as parents of the country. The doctrine provides the foundation for the very existence of the agency that serves vulnerable children and underlines the core purpose of the agencies to promote and protect Child Welfare and best interest.
Yet along this foundational purpose, the parens patriae also provides power that is often elusive to public knowledge and oversight.
The agency exists as Guardians, with their interest assumed as both synonymous and intertwined with those of the children entrusted to their care.
The agency power exist with societal expectations and assumptions of purity of agency purpose, allowing for agency actions that often go on unquestion and hidden from public consideration.
To maintain their cloak of secrecy, the very agency created to fulfill the parens patriae obligations-to protect the rights of children- have systematically battled the children’s effort to claim those rights as their own. As foster children have struggled to enforce their state statutory rights, federal statutory rights, and constitutional rights, child welfare agencies have sought To block the children’s effort at every step.
Also, the agency created to protect the interest of children have now come to view their child beneficiaries as a source of revenue. As the agencies continue to face bleak budget outlook, anti-tax sentiment and the desire to cut state spending revenue maximization strategies has led to the conflict between the obligation to serve the interest of the child as the fiscal interest of agency self preservation and growth.
As I read along I felt an emptiness and my stomach turned. The reality in Discovering the agency had become a parasite, a self preserving industry who placed child protection last on the agenda was overwhelming. All the memories of everything I had gone through came rushing back and I went numb. I couldn’t even cry.
The years I longed for my family, the complete isolation from my brothers, mother, cousins, grandparents, the silent tears on my pillow in foster care, All so that myself and other children could maintain the growth and budget of the child protection agency.
It definitely explained so much. It explained why children were being overmedicated in foster care, sexual abuse and easily sex trafficked, it explained why the agency had grown, their definition of child abuse and neglect had expanded but the system itself hadn’t grown in its education to protect and create better outcomes for children. Children were only the afterthought.
When you look at the statistical outcome for foster children or the different pipelines, sex trafficked, homeless, prison and then listen to these billion dollar industries blame the child and the parents it can start to drive any sane person just a bit mad. There is a better way but many of the agencies have fought against reforms. Their cultural mentality within these agencies are actually jeopardizing children safety.
In many cases, not all, removing children from their families actually causes a greater vulnerability of these children. But the child protection agency is not willing to give up the power or the budget they’ve come accustomed to. So Without trying to battle the entire industry there is a way to change the incentives to better protect children. Children are best protected within their families.
Senator Ron Wyden introduces the families first proposal.
“This proposal is meant to address the lopsided structure of federal child welfare financing in which the vast majority of dollars are reserved for payments only when children are removed from their home,” Wyden said.
Sadly even if we get these changes implemented we still must remain ever vigilant to how the Child Protection Agency is allowed to define the uses of these services.
Taking away the funding for foster care stops nothing. Cps is a self protecting system. They will allow children to stay with families, even in dangerous situations, https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=878204045540463&id=164600783567463
They will allow children to stay with parents with learning disabilities and leading them on to believe they can keep their kids. All the while the new way of doing it is like voluntarily accepting services meaning they, the courts, do not have to prove jurisdiction. After 12 months there’s no need for trial because they have a year of evidence to use against parents. Families won’t stand a change. The agencies will no longer seek foster parents but have thousands of adoptive parents in the wait. It will be fast track adoptions.
Parents fearing for their children will commit suicide, family suicide.
Children in extreme situations will be murdered. Cps will use this as a means to solidify their right to power.
And then we will lose completely. It will be genocide of the families. But that’s what we are heading for now. So which is the lesser of two evils?
Currently the biggest obstacle we face is society’s belief that the system works. The years of false hopes and propaganda expressed by the agency “the children are now safe”, “foster care is a safety net” ,
“decisions were made in the child’s best interest”has distorted the truth in the public’s minds. Creating an almost impossible barrier for families and foster children to show what really happens after a caseworker knocks at the door and claims “I’m here to help”!
Secrets protect agency and not the children
Drugging foster children the agency
92% of foster kids prescribed antipsychotics get them for unaccepted uses
Data suggests that foster care does not benefit children – Kansas Exposed
Data suggests that foster care does not benefit children
How you can help reform child protection
How you can help reform child welfare
The Other Side of Fear: An Exploration and Reinvention of the United States Foster Care System
The harm in child removal
Feds Finally Putting Families First