Thousands of children are trapped in foster care because their parents don’t have adequate housing. That is the REAL Foster Care housing crisis. Yes, there is a disconnect between the number of foster parents and the number of foster children. But that’s not because we have too few foster parents. It’s because we have too many foster children. The REAL foster care housing crisis is part of the biggest problem in American child welfare – the confusion of poverty with “neglect” and the racial bias that goes with it.
Medina County Texas Sheriff Randy Brown had some harsh criticisms of Texas Child Protection Services (CPS) this past week after they arrested a 58-year old man for sexually abusing 5 former foster care children. The man, Miguel Briseno, had at various times taken care of up to 12 girls at one time, and a total of 180 girls had passed through his care. Sheriff Brown told the San Antonio Express: "It's not a question about whether there are more, it's just about how many." "Those girls were taken from some environment and then you have some jackass like him abusing these girls that already have troubles," Brown said. "I'm aggravated at the whole system. I'm aggravated at the company that placed these girls. It was a money-making deal, the way they were running those girls through there like livestock. It wasn't about making a better world for them. They were making a profit off them."
Report: The Corruption and Sadistic Culture Within Child Protective Services is a Threat to Every Family in America
The Huffington Post has released a report on Child Protective Services (CPS) by Child Advocate and contributor Patricia Mitchell, founder of Patricia's Children, Inc. The report is filled with documented data that is important for all families to know, due to the threat that CPS poses to literally every family in America. Some of the data in the report will come as no surprise to the families impacted by medical kidnapping. While children and parents are being destroyed behind closed agency and courtroom doors, the majority of the public remains blissfully ignorant of the reality, much like the citizens in Eastern Europe were unaware of the atrocities happening to their fellow citizens in the concentration camps under the Nazi regime. This is information that needs to be shared with friends and neighbors, politicians, media, and policy makers, and it needs to provide a catalyst for change. We simply cannot maintain this trajectory and survive as a culture. The cost - our children - is simply too high. The report concludes: "Currently, billions of dollars are used to support the barbaric treatment of our most vulnerable citizens. Ending the daily corruption and sadistic culture within Child Protective Services is the civilized thing to do." We agree.
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. One of them had grown up in the foster care system since age 3, and told that he and his siblings had been abandoned by their mother because she didn't care. After he aged out of the system at age 18, he found out he had been lied to, as he was reunited with his mother and siblings. He was never abused in his home. The other young man grew up being abused in his home, 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. 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. Why?
Oregon's child welfare agency has agreed to pay $7 million to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of two children who were nearly starved to death by foster parents the state approved for them. The Yamhill County foster parents who for years withheld food from the two preschoolers and subjected them to other abuse, John and Danielle Yates, are each serving 2 ½ years in prison. According to the lawsuit, caseworkers and their supervisors ignored complaints and obvious problems during the 2 1/2 years the children lived with the couple. A state review of the case found that a caseworker saw the emaciated children less than a month before doctors at Randall Children's Hospital determined they suffered from chronic starvation. But the caseworker did nothing. At Randall, the lawsuit says, doctors found the children resembled victims of a famine: their ribs visible, their bellies protruding and their brain development severely affected.
Landmark Federal Lawsuit Charges Missouri With Failure to Protect Foster Kids from Powerful Psychotropic Medications
Watchdogs Children’s Rights, National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) and Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics have today filed a landmark, civil rights complaint against Jennifer Tidball, Acting State Director of the Missouri Department of Social Services and Tim Decker, Director of the Children’s Division of DSS, on behalf of all minor children and youth who are or will be placed in Missouri’s foster care custody. The first class action lawsuit to shine a federal spotlight solely on the overuse of psychotropic medications among vulnerable, at risk populations – such as Missouri’s 13,000 children in foster care – the complaint alleges longstanding, dangerous, unlawful and deliberately indifferent practices by the defendants.
A Florida couple is accused of hundreds of sex crimes involving 11 young children in Alabama, authorities said. The charges leveled against Daniel W. Spurgeon and Jenise R. Spurgeon stem from allegations of abuse sustained by their foster and adopted children when they lived in Alabama years ago, Florence police said. The allegations have been under investigation since Florida authorities contacted Florence police last July about crimes that occurred in Cape Coral. The Florida investigation led police to believe children in Alabama also may have been abused, said Florence police Sgt. Brad Holmes. Daniel Spurgeon is charged with 115 counts of first-degree sex abuse, 122 counts of child abuse, four counts of first-degree sodomy, four counts of sexual torture, three counts of domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation, six counts of first-degree rape, 115 counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes, six counts of incest and 11 counts of first-degree human trafficking. Jenise Spurgeon is charged with 100 counts of child abuse, one count of domestic violence by strangulation of suffocation, 11 counts of first-degree human trafficking, 100 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and 100 counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published a study comparing "mental and physical health outcomes of children placed in foster care to outcomes of children not placed in foster care." The study claims to be the first of its kind looking specifically at these health outcomes. Similar to other past studies looking at outcomes comparing foster children to those not placed in foster care, the results of this new study were predictable: "We find that children in foster care are in poor mental and physical health relative to children in the general population, children across specific family types, and children in economically disadvantaged families... Children in foster care are a vulnerable population in poor health, partially as a result of their early life circumstances."
When 6 year old Samuel Mitchell had difficulties in school stemming from a brain injury at birth, his mother sought help. Eventually, Child Protective Services of Colorado decided that they could do a better job of caring for Samuel, and they seized him from his family and locked him away in a facility where they turned him into a medical guinea pig. He spent years being heavily drugged, and when his mother and the ACLU investigated and exposed some of the corruption, there was retaliation. Lisa lost her son's childhood to a state that profited from years of drugging him. Her son's Guardian ad Litem (GAL) once told Samuel: "You're worth a lot of money." But now, Lisa has gained access to years of records and is blowing the whistle on the state, revealing a corrupt drugs-for-profit system that capitalizes on children seized by CPS and put into the foster care system.
Currently there are over 415,000 children in foster care in the U.S. today, according to the 2014 Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). What if you accepted that foster care was not a decision made “in the best interest of the child” but rather a financial decision made in the best interest of the state? What if you realized that the majority (75%) of children being removed from their home and placed into foster care was not due to imminent danger of abuse, but rather due to poverty, and are now being abused by the foster care system? What if you acknowledged that many of the foster homes these children are being placed into was worse than the one from which they had been removed? What if you learned about some of the stories of children who were abused in foster care, children who suffered emotional trauma of being “kidnapped” from their home, forced to take psychotropic drugs for the resulting emotional traumas they endured, physically, emotionally and sexually abused, or even used in sex-trafficking rings? What would you do with this information?