Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
The Texas Tribune is running a series of articles this month highlighting the problems of child sex trafficking in Texas.
They point out how:
Eighty-six percent of runaway children in the United States suspected of being forced into sex work came from the child welfare system, according to a 2016 analysis of cases reported to the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children. Of the 79,000 child sex trafficking victims estimated to be in the state, the vast majority were in foster care or had previous contact with Child Protective Services, according to a recent University of Texas study.
We applaud the Texas Tribune for covering this issue.
However, as in most mainstream media reports on issues such as this one, the corruption in Child Protective Services is seldom, if ever, reported, or the fact that the majority of children taken from their homes are NOT for reasons of abuse, but for “neglect.” Children taken into custody by the state represent a significant source of income for those employed by the state for “child welfare.”
In a recent report from Connecticut, for example, we see that 90% of children entering the system are NOT for abuse, but “neglect.” This is generally true in every state, and “neglect” is such a broad category, that we have seen children taken away from parents for disagreeing with a doctor over the care of their children, allowing the children to run around outside barefoot, taking a child out of school to start homeschooling, having a dirty house, etc.
The Texas Tribune also reports:
Low-paid, overworked child welfare workers quit their jobs at alarming rates; one-third of investigative caseworkers leave each year.
This is a typical excuse given by the mainstream media as to why children in the system are being abused – not enough funding for social workers.
However, CPS whistleblowers tell us a different story. They talk about broad corruption within the agencies, and how good social workers never last, as they learn quickly it is not about helping the children, but protecting the agency and bringing in federal funding to support the system.
As we reported in an interview with Attorney Shawn McMillan by Tammi Stefano:
The good ones only last a year or two, and McMillan said that when he deposes social workers in a lawsuit, he can usually tell within the first 20 minutes which ones are new and will be gone in a year or two, and which ones are “lifers” who will stay in the system long term, and he states that this later group is “rotten to the core.”
When foster care couldn’t help this 16-year-old, she ran to a pimp
Jean became one of the roughly 12,000 Texas kids in long-term foster care, or “permanent managing conservatorship,” the state’s designation for children who cannot find lasting homes with relatives or adoptive parents and are unable to be reunited with their biological families.
It is a system where, as U.S. District Judge Janis Jack wrote in a 2015 legal opinion,
“rape, abuse, psychotropic medication and instability are the norm” and children often leave more damaged than when they arrive.
It is also a system from which many children enter the world of selling sex. Eighty-six percent of runaway children in the United States suspected of being forced into sex work came from the child welfare system, according to a 2016 analysis of cases reported to the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children. Of the 79,000 child sex trafficking victims estimated to be in the state, the vast majority were in foster care or had previous contact with Child Protective Services, according to a recent University of Texas study.
“It’s very easy for a trafficker to prey on those specific kids,” said Dixie Hairston, who leads anti-sex-trafficking efforts in North Texas for the nonprofit advocacy group Children At Risk. “Something is going wrong. These kids are not being kept safe.”
Read the full article at The Texas Tribune.
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