The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services
Is CPS Bad?
Is Foster Care Bad?
Let’s talk about Child Abuse and Child Protective Services.
In the last post, we learned that Child Protective Services (CPS) started their well-meaning and well-intention child abuse reporting laws in the early 1960’s. Overtime with increasing calls to state CPS agencies’ “hotlines,” the reporting took on a life of its own and went sideways. Statistics show that well over 50% of the calls throughout the last three decades end up as either false or unsubstantiated claims.
What was meant as a means to protect the people and give them a resource to innocently report any form of child abuse, has become a means to perpetuate multi-million dollar grants, financial support for the foster care system, financial support for all the ancillary systems (i.e., care givers, psychologists, social workers, foster care, therapists, doctors, etc.), seek revenge, desecrate families, and quite possibly become an industry that takes kids for cash (i.e., modern “Legal” government slavery).
Yes, I said it. CPS could definitely be taking or essentially legally kidnapping children for cash. Does that seem absurd? This system was intentionally set up for the good of children wasn’t it? And, the system must be monitored as such, right?
Have you heard about the Pennsylvania (i.e., Luzerne County juvenile court) “Kids for Cash” scandal?
Thousands of Pennsylvania children were brought before Judge Mark Ciavarella and, without warning and/or the chance to plead a defense, found themselves pronounced guilty, then shackled and sentenced to months of detention in jail.
Ultimately, these teenage children were trapped in the juvenile justice system for years, stealing from them of their entire high-school experience and teenage home life.
Judge Ciavarella, who sentenced around 3,000 children, was later sentenced to 28 years in prison for financial crimes related to his acceptance of $2.2 million as a finder’s fee for the construction of a for-profit penitentiary to house these so-called delinquents.
The scandal was called “Kids for Cash,” and it rocked the state of Pennsylvania in 2009 for the accusation that Ciavarella was happy to tear families apart in exchange for the payoff.
As absurd as this crime was, could there be a more insidious syndicate operating under federal and state umbrellas? Let us review some more information.
Is CPS Bad?
Every time CPS seizes a child, the agency gets money from the federal government. It is that simple.
Dr. Joseph Marcola, a New York Times bestselling author wrote:
“Did you know that the money funneled to state and CPS actually encourages them to accuse you of child abuse and even murder, and to take your children.”
“Horrendous as it sounds, it’s true: child abuse has become a business, a government industry of sorts, that pays states to legally abduct your children and put them up for adoption!”
In today’s America, child protection is governed by an in loco parentis, or “the state is the parent,” mindset. The It takes a Village ideology has put children, home-schoolers, teachers, and families at-risk. Per Dr. C. Henry Kempe, author of The Battered Child, children are state property. Kempe fought for “home health visitors” upon families to glean that pre-school children are in jeopardy. According to Kempe, natural parents were more dangerous to their children than strangers were, albeit, national statistics state the opposite. Not surprising, Hillary Clinton acclaimed Kempe in her book, and former President Clinton re-authorized the Mondale Act in 1996.
The Adoptions and SAFE Families Act of 1997 (ASFA), public law 105-89, was signed into law by former President Clinton. That act, and subsequent law alone expedites children out of foster homes into permanent homes much quicker. How does this work? Well, those parents who unfortunately find themselves immersed in a family or dependency court have a 1-year deadline to meet. In particular, parents whose children are adjudicated dependent in juvenile court (i.e., or Dependency / family court) have only one year to substantially comply with the governments case plan to reunify as a family.
If substantial compliance is not met at the time of the second six-month judicial review hearing, the children can be placed for adoption. Furthermore, CPS’s reasonable efforts attempts at family preservation are deemed moot if chronic abuse, sexual abuse, assault, or other aggravating factors were reasons for meting out same adjudications. Moreover, CPS can use a parent’s past (i.e. criminal or adjudication of dependency) against them in the future.
As such, CPS and the foster care system plays a rigged game while federal dollar keeps flowing.
Noteworthy, President Bill Clinton, offered cash “bonuses” to the states for every child they adopted out of foster care. To receive the “adoption incentive bonuses” the local child protective services simply needs more children. They must have merchandise (children) to sell. Some counties are known to give a $4,000 to $6,000 bonus for each child adopted out to strangers and an additional $2,000 for a “special needs” child. And there is more money. Money, that is stretched far and wide with never ending funding that will be addressed in another post. However, the late Senator Nancy Schaefer, a legislative advocate for CPS reform, sums it up well in her remark about a small ancillary sub-contractor to CPS, “In one county a private drug testing business was operating within the agency’s department that required many, many drug tests from parents and individuals for profit. It has already made over $100,000.”
Is Foster Care Bad?
The late Senator, Nancy Schaefer, of the 50th district in Georgia on November 2007 addressed her grave concerns of corruption in the CPS and foster care agencies. Senator Schaefer was the first to coin the phrase, “Legal Kidnapping.”
Legal Kidnapping refers to the children that are being taken from their homes, based on tips from anonymous telephone callers alleging abuse or neglect. Instead of being safely reunited with their families, many children languish for years in the foster care system. On a given day, the Children’s Rights Organization maintains that there are nearly 438,000 children in foster care in the United States. In 2016, over 687,000 children were in foster care. Senator Schaefer stated, “That according to the California Little Hoover Commission Report in 2003, 30% to 70% of the children in California group homes do not belong there and should not have been removed from their homes.”
Senator Schaefer exclaimed, “I believe Child Protective Services nationwide has become corrupt and that the entire system is broken beyond repair. I am convinced parents and families should be warned of the dangers.”
Ms. Schaefer further warned, “The Department of Child Protective Services has become a “protected empire” built on taking children and separating families. This is not to say that there are not those children who do need to be removed from wretched situations and need protection.”
Ms. Schaefer personally stated, “I had witnessed the “Gestapo” at work and I witnessed the deceitful conditions under which children were taken in the middle of the night, out of hospitals, off school buses, and out of homes.”
She further explained, “Having worked with probably 300 cases statewide, and now hundreds and hundreds across this nation and in nearly every state, I am convinced there is no responsibility and no accountability in Child Protective Services system.”
Senator Schaefer sadly stated, “I have witnessed such injustice and harm brought to so many families that I am not sure if I even believe reform of the system is possible! The system cannot be trusted. It does not serve the people. It obliterates families and children simply because it has the power to do so.”
“Children deserve better. Families deserve better. It’s time to pull back the curtain and set our children and families free.”
On November 16, 2006, the late Senator Schaefer addressed the state senate with her following conclusions and recommendations:
I have come to the conclusion:
- that parenting classes, anger management classes, counseling referrals, therapy classes and on and on are demanded of parents with no compassion by the system even while the parents are at work and while their children are separated from them. (sometimes parents are required to pay for the programs) This can take months or even years and it emotionally devastates both children and parents. Parents are victimized by “the system” that makes a profit for holding children longer and “bonuses” for not returning children to their parents;
- that caseworkers and social workers are very often guilty of fraud. They withhold and destroy evidence. They fabricate evidence and they seek to terminate parental rights unnecessarily. However, when charges are made against Child Protective Services, the charges are ignored;
- that all parents are capable of making mistakes and that making a mistake does not mean your children are to be removed from the home. Even if the home is not perfect, it is home; and that’s where a child is the safest and where he or she wants to be, with family;
- that the separation of families and the “snatching of children” is growing as a business because local governments have grown accustomed to having these taxpayer dollars to balance their ever-expanding budgets;
- that Child Protective Services and Juvenile Court can always hide behind a confidentiality clause in order to protect their decisions and keep the funds flowing. There should be open records and “court watches”! Look who is being paid! There are state employees, lawyers, court investigators, guardian ad litems, court personnel, and judges. There are psychologists, and psychiatrists, counselors, caseworkers, therapists, foster parents, adoptive parents, and on and on. All are looking to the children in state custody to provide job security. Parents do not realize that the social workers are the glue that hold “the system” together that funds the court, funds the court appointed attorneys, and the multiple other jobs including the “system’s” psychiatrists, therapists, their own attorneys and others.
- that The Adoption and the Safe Families Act, set in motion first in 1974 by Walter Mondale and later in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, offered cash “bonuses” to the states for every child they adopted out of foster care. In order to receive the “adoption incentive bonuses” local child protective services need more children. They must have merchandise (children) that sells and you must have plenty so the buyer can choose. Some counties are known to give a $4,000 to $6,000 bonus for each child adopted out to strangers and an additional $2,000 for a “special needs” child. Employees work to keep the federal dollars flowing;
- State Departments of Human Resources (DHR) and affiliates are given a baseline number of expected adoptions based on population. For every child DHS and CPS can get adopted, there is the bonus of $4,000 or maybe $6,000. But that is only the beginning figure in the formula in which each bonus is multiplied by the percentage that the State has managed to exceed its baseline adoption number. Therefore States and local communities work hard to reach their goals for increased numbers of adoptions for children in foster care.
- that there is double dipping. The funding continues as long as the child is out of the home. There is funding for foster care then when a child is placed with a new family, then “adoption bonus funds” are available. When a child is placed in a mental health facility and is on 16 drugs per day, like two children of a constituent of mine, more funds are involved and so is Medicaid;
- As you can see this program is ordered from the very top and run by Health and Human Resources. This is why victims of CPS get no help from their legislators. It explains why my bill, SB 415 suffered such defeat in the Judicial Committee, why I was cut off at every juncture. Legislators and Governors must remember who funds their paychecks.
- that there are no financial resources and no real drive to unite a family and help keep them together or provide effective care;
- that the incentive for social workers to return children to their parents quickly after taking them has disappeared and who in protective services will step up to the plate and say, “This must end! No one, because they are all in the system together and a system with no leader and no clear policies will always fail the children. Just look at the waste in government that is forced upon the tax payer;
- that the “Policy Manual” is considered “the last word” for CPS/DFCS. However, it is too long, too confusing, poorly written and does not take the law into consideration;
- that if the lives of children were improved by removing them from their homes, there might be a greater need for protective services, but today children are not safer. Children, of whom I am aware, have been raped and impregnated in foster care;
- It is a known fact that children are in much more danger in foster care than they are in their own home even though home may not be perfect;
- that some parents are even told if they want to see their children or grandchildren, they must divorce their spouse. Many, who are under privileged, feeling they have no option, will divorce and then just continue to live together. This is an anti-family policy, but parents will do anything to get their children home with them. However, when the parents cooperate with Child Protective Services, their behavior is interpreted as guilt when nothing could be further from the truth;
- Fathers, (non-custodial parents) I must add, are oftentimes treated as criminals without access to visit or even see their own children and have child support payments strangling the very life out of them;
- that the Foster Parents Bill of Rights does not stress that a foster parent is there temporarily to care for a child until the child can be returned home. Many foster parents today use the Foster Parent Bill of Rights as a means to hire a lawyer and seek to adopt the child placed in their care from the real parents, who are desperately trying to get their child home and out of the system. Recently in Atlanta, a young couple learning to be new parents and loving it, were told that because of an anonymous complaint, their daughter would be taken into custody by the State DFCS. The couple was devastated and then was required by DFCS to take parenting classes, alcohol counseling and psychological evaluations if they wanted to get their child back. All of the courses cost money for which most parents are required to pay. While in their anxiety and turmoil to get their child home, the baby was left for hours in a car to die in the heat in her car seat by a foster parent who forgot about the child. This should never have happened. It is tragic. In many cases after the parents have jumped through all the hoops, they still do not get their child. As long as the child is not returned, there is money for the agency, for foster parents, for adoptive parents, and for the State;
- that tax dollars are being used to keep this gigantic system afloat, yet the victims, parents, grandparents, guardians and especially the children, are charged for the system’s services;
- that grandparents have called from all over the State of Georgia and from other states trying to get custody of their grandchildren. CPS claims relatives are contacted, but there are many many cases that prove differently. Grandparents who lose their grandchildren to strangers have lost their own flesh and blood. The children lose their family heritage and grandparents, and parents too, lose all connections to their heirs;
- that The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1998 reported that six times as many children died in foster care than in the general public and that once removed to official “safety”, these children are far more likely to suffer abuse, including sexual molestation than in the general population. Think what that number is today ten years later!
- That according to the California Little Hoover Commission Report in 2003, 30% to 70% of the children in California group homes do not belong there and should not have been removed from their homes.
- Call for an independent audit of all State Child Protective Services (CPS) and for a Federal Congressional hearing on Child Protective Services nationwide.
- Activate immediate change. Every day that passes means more families and children are subject to being held hostage and their lives destroyed.
- Abolish the Federal and State financial incentives that have turned Child Protective Services into a business that separate families for money.
- Grant to parents their rights verbally and in writing.
- Mandate a search for family members to be given the opportunity to adopt their own relatives if children need to be removed permanently.
- Mandate a jury trial where every piece of evidence is presented before permanently removing a child from his or her parents. Open family court. Remove the secrecy. Allow the press and family members access. Give parents the opportunity in court to speak and be a part of their children’s future.
- Require a warrant or a positive emergency circumstance before removing children from their parents. (Judge Arthur G. Christean, Utah Bar Journal, January, 1997 reported that “except in emergency circumstances, including the need for immediate medical care, require warrants upon affidavits of probable cause before entry upon private property is permitted for the forcible removal of children from their parents.”)
- Uphold the laws when someone fabricates or presents false evidence. If a parent alleges fraud, hold a hearing with the right to discovery of all evidence made available to parents.
Unfortunately, Senator Nancy Schaefer died in 2010 under mysterious circumstances in a double homicide in her home. We at No Blue Line are continuing to voice her concerns and lobby for reform.
If this article has touched you in some way, please feel free to comment. We want to create a dialogue and gather any input that helps us in our pursuit of CPS and Foster Care Reform.
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