Children whose families are investigated for abuse or neglect are likely to do better in life if they stay with their families than if they go into foster care. Studies show that children from troubled homes who stayed with their families were less likely to become juvenile delinquents or teen mothers and more likely to hold jobs as young adults. Children placed in foster care have arrest, conviction, and imprisonment rates as adults that are three times higher than those of children who remained in troubled homes. These facts are not even in dispute. So why does the current foster care system still exist, when it is clearly destroying the lives of so many children?
Current laws in the United States that give legal authority to social workers and law enforcement to remove children from their families and place them into foster care often use the term "in the best interest of children." This sounds like a noble reason to take children away from their families, but what do measured outcomes of such actions really instruct us about the definition of "the best interest of children"? Are children truly better off in foster care than they would be if they had stayed with their natural parents who are accused of some "abuse" or "neglect"? Let's take a look at some statistics to find the answer to that question.
Fox 8 points out in their investigation that North Carolina rejects funding that would put children permanently with relatives instead of in foster homes. Grandparents who are able and willing to care for their grandchildren, for example, are routinely rejected by the State. Why? Melissa Painter of Fox 8 points out that in North Carolina more than 10,000 children are in foster care under the care of the State. This brings in more than $198 million of funding to take care of these children. Federal laws actually require States to give preference to placing children with relatives. There is even federal funding available to place the children with relatives in "permanent legal guardianships." But North Carolina (and many other states) do not follow this practice, because children put up for adoption bring in more federal funding. Instead of giving federal funds that can be designated for relatives in guardianships, they keep the funds for themselves to administer the foster care and adoption system. In short, a child put into the foster care system on the path to adoption, brings in more money to the State, and employs more people to "administer" these children.
The federal court in Nevada has approved a $2.075 million settlement for seven former foster children who claimed they were injured while in Clark County’s child welfare system, the National Center for Youth Law announced. “The track record for the county is not good,” said Bill Grimm, a senior attorney at the Oakland, Calif.,-based National Center for Youth Law, which filed the lawsuit and lobbies for the protection and care of foster children. The suit cited concerns with numerous aspects of the county’s child welfare system, including the use of psychotropic medications on children, reported physical and sexual abuse in foster homes, and the adequacy of Child Protective Services investigations.
A recent BuzzFeed News investigation into the nation’s largest for-profit foster care company revealed deaths, sex abuse, and serious lapses in the training and oversight of foster parents. The investigation into National Mentor Holdings found instances of long-term sex abuse in Maryland by Mentor foster fathers, widespread problems with Mentor documented by the state of Texas, and at least six deaths of children in the custody of Mentor since 2005. Mentor trades on the New York Stock Exchange as Civitas Solutions Inc., which reported $1.2 billion in revenue last year.
Crystal Bentley, 23, entered the Texas foster care system when she was 2 and wouldn’t leave it until she aged out at 18. In the intervening years, as she was shuffled from place to place, she was repeatedly beaten and sexually abused — sometimes by the adults entrusted with her care, sometimes by their biological children, sometimes by other foster kids or her own relatives, Bentley testified in federal court Wednesday. A rotating cast of Child Protective Services caseworkers who were supposed to watch out for her safety often didn’t show up for monthly visits, she said. When they did visit, it was usually for a cursory handful of minutes during which they failed to detect what was happening to her. “I would hint that something was going on, but when they asked me if I was being sexually abused, it was always right there in front of my abusers,” Bentley testified. “What could I say?” Bentley’s testimony Wednesday came on the third day of a trial in a class-action lawsuit brought by Children’s Rights, a New York-based advocacy group on behalf of 12,000 children in long-term state care in Texas.
KPHO CBS5 in Arizona reported that there are so many children being removed from homes and put into foster care in Arizona, that there is a severe shortage of foster homes, and that babies and children are being "housed" in social services' office buildings.
Kim Baldonado of NBC news in Los Angeles reported this week that several foster care kids have come out into the open to testify about abuses allegedly committed in California's foster care program. In a press conference, former foster care children who are now young adults testified to horrendous abuses including: being tortured by "specially-made tools," and being "abused verbally, physically and sexually."
California’s Crisis: 1 Out of Every 4 Children in California’s Foster Care Prescribed Powerful Psychiatric Drugs
We have previously documented how one incentive for hospitals and social workers to medically kidnap children is because they can bill all drugs and medical care to medicaid, with virtually no accountability for children who are wards of the state and in the foster care system. Carlos Morales, a former CPS investigator now turned whistle-blower, states that foster kids are 3 times more likely to be put on psychotropic drugs than children left with their parents. Now, a new report from the Bay Area News organization shows that 1 out of every 4 adolescents in California foster care system is being drugged, 3 times the rate for adolescents nationwide.