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Child Protective Services Failure – A Tale of Two Boys Who Suffered Abuse

Union Station boys [1]

Photo source: Dee Prince.

by Terri LaPoint
Health Impact News

They are a microcosm of the failures of the Child Protective Services System – two young men whose stories clearly illustrate two sides of the same coin.

It was a chance encounter in the middle of Union Station in downtown Washington, D.C. As we talked with these young men, I realized that their stories were perfect demonstrations of why Dee Prince, Whitney Manning, and I joined hundreds of other parents and activists in our nation’s capitol for the Million Parent March events of September 17 – 19, 2017.

They, and hundreds of thousands of children with stories just like theirs, were why we were there. We don’t even know their names, but their stories broke our hearts.

The green Mohawk initially drew our attention. Dee, a schoolteacher by trade, asked if we could have our picture made with them to post on Facebook.

The young men graciously obliged, and we had an impromptu photo shoot in the lobby of the train station. They are musicians and are obviously comfortable with such requests from strangers they meet on their way. We chatted a bit, and laughed together.

The tone shifted when we told them why we were there. We said that we were participating in the Million Parent March because we were fighting for families and children who have been torn apart by the child protective services system, family courts, and foster care.

Million Parent March 2017 mall

Million Parent March, September 18, 2017. Source [2].

Grew Up in the Foster Care System

A sadness came over the African-American gentleman’s face, and he said softly that he was raised in the foster care system, and had been there since he was 3.

As an investigative journalist for the Health Impact News Medical Kidnap division, I have seen many patterns emerge from the stories I have researched. I told him that most of the former foster children with whom I have spoken were told that their parents didn’t love them and didn’t want them. Yet, I knew from working with their parents that nothing could be further from the truth, because they were fighting with everything within them to get their children back.

He nodded and said that he was told the same thing: that his parents didn’t love him and didn’t want him.

He said that, after he aged out of the system at age 18, he began searching for his real biological family. There were 3 siblings who, thankfully, were kept together in the foster care system (not all siblings are kept together).

They found her!

With a catch in his voice, he shared with me how his mother wept when they returned to her. I got the impression that this was an unexpected reaction, because those in the system had lied to him. They wanted him to believe that she had thrown him and his siblings away, but she hadn’t.

She loved them. She wanted them. And she hadn’t abused them.

I asked if they were still in relationship today, and he beamed! He flashed his beautiful smile and boasted, “Oh, yes!”

Abused, Yet No Intervention

His friend, who had been listening patiently through the entire conversation, then told me that his experience had been entirely different.

He was abused. He grew up being abused, and there were people who knew, who saw, yet did nothing. They left a scared, hurting little boy in a bad situation and didn’t intervene.

No social worker knocked on their door. No neighbor or community leader stepped in to say that it was not acceptable to abuse their child. No police arrested anyone for child abuse – which is a criminal act.

Why do Child Social Services Consistently Fail to Protect Children?

The contrast in their stories is riveting, yet it is something that I hear on almost a daily basis. The Child Protective System failed the children in both cases.

Almost every parent I have encountered in my work investigating the stories for Medical Kidnap has asked me the million dollar question, a question poignantly illustrated by these two incredibly precious young men:

Why were my children taken from us, when we’ve done nothing wrong and we love our kids, yet the child down the street is being beaten or molested, and every one knows and has reported it, but they are still with their parents?

It is a question I have been asked a thousand times, and here we were, face to face with the adult children of this precise situation.

Million Parent March 2017 with trafficking sign

Million Parent March – parents fighting for their families. Photo source – Jennifer Winn.

Their eyes asked that same question.

They are adults now, but in that moment, we could see the hurting little boys who must have cried out on their pillows a hundred times: WHY?

Why is this happening to me? Don’t they see? Why don’t they do something? Why am I in this situation? Doesn’t anybody care? [Yes, we do care!]

The answer took me almost a year of research to find, but since then, it has been confirmed by attorneys, activists, and former social workers. It is an answer that disgusts me to the core, yet it is the answer that we all must see, and the reason that hundreds gathered in our nation’s capital to expose.

The short answer is:

Money.

The longer answer is repulsive, and it must change:

The children who are truly abused, who are truly in need of intervention are, like our green-haired friend, considered to be “damaged goods” who are “unadoptable.”

The children who come from loving, albeit imperfect, homes where they are wanted and cherished, are considered to be “adoptable.”

See:

The U.S. Foster Care System: Modern Day Slavery and Child Trafficking [3]

Child Kidnapping and Trafficking: A Lucrative U.S. Business Funded by Taxpayers Called “Foster Care” [4]

Adoption and Safe Families Act

Adoption, and the federal money for the states that goes with it, is the end game.

The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA), signed into law by Bill Clinton who was handed the bill from a Republican-led majority in Congress led by Newt Gingrich, provides the opportunity for a great deal of corruption as the states take children from their homes to secure the unlimited flow of federal dollars to their state coffers. One of the major funding streams is Title IV-E funding, which comes out of Social Security funds, and the way that the states access these funds is by taking children.

In documents filed on behalf of a family in Tennessee whose child was stolen and adopted out to strangers, attorney Connie Reguli spells out how the funding works (Source [5]):

Title IV-E funds are an unlimited source of funds for the child welfare state agency that are termed as a “use it or lose it” funding scheme. So long as states expend the monies granted to them, they are eligible to receive the same or more money for the following year.

However, these funds are only allocated for the financial support of the foster care system. A child can only qualify as a commodity in this funding scheme if the child is removed from the home by a State agency and placed in the foster care system. The funds are NOT available for family preservation or protecting the family unit prior to removal. Nor are they available to provide resources after the child has been returned to the parent.

The State of Tennessee [and many other states] is dependent upon securing Title IV-E funds to maintain its annual operating budget and the continued employment of its staff. Therefore, the State must keep the flow of children into the foster care system to continue to receive their federal funding benefits.

The end result creates a “quota” of children that must be removed from the care and custody of their parents. …

In addition, the State of Tennessee [and all other states] receives a bonus in the minimum amount of $4,000 (four thousand dollars) for each child they adopt out after terminating the rights of the parent. [Funds provided under the Clintons’ Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.]

This financial incentive is authorized under Section 473A of the Social Security Act and provides motivation for the agency to terminate the rights of parents instead of complying with the public policy of Tennessee which is to reunify the child with the parents.

80% of Allegations Unsubstantiated

Federal data shows that at least 80% of the allegations used against parents to secure these funds are unfounded and unsubstantiated. Yet children are still taken from their homes and put into the system, and many are adopted out to strangers.

Of the remaining 20% that are substantiated, many of those are substantiated (or “found guilty”) based on lies and no actual evidence.

Child Abuse data table 80 not substantiated 2015 Child Abuse gov report

See report here [6], page 18.

Innocent children are caught in the crossfire. 600,000 American children are in the foster care system, and every service and hoop their parents have to jump through in the effort to get them back releases more federal funding streams to the state.

There are adoption bonuses paid to the states for adopting the children out. The laws of most states are written in such a way that the adoption bonuses do not happen when a relative adopts them, only when they are adopted by strangers.

Additionally, there are other children who truly are in need of intervention, whose parents have committed the crime of child abuse but are never arrested. They are victims as well.

Two young men in a train station, failed by the system – they are a microcosm of why the system must change. Their lives matter.

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