by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
Our nation’s Child Welfare system is corrupt, and there are few now who do not recognize the problems. American children in foster care are being abused. And that abuse is far greater than if the children had been left with their families in troubled homes. (See: Foster Care Children are Worse Off than Children in Troubled Homes .)
Where there is disagreement is in how to fix the Child Welfare problem. The current Child Welfare system is rife with corruption, as billions of dollars in federal aid cannot be collected by states unless they put children into the Child Welfare system.
Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon understands there is a problem, but his solution is to spend more federal taxpayer money, not less. Responding to a BuzzFeed investigative report  that found “deaths, sex abuse, and blunders in screening, training, and overseeing foster parents at the nation’s largest for-profit foster care company,” Senator Wyden sent a letter to all 50 governors in the United States addressing the issue.
As a result, Senator Wyden is now proposing to spend more federal money on foster care in a supposed attempt to protect foster children. Is this really the correct solution? Will more government oversight and spending solve the current problems in the foster care system?
If you were to put that question before the many tens of thousands of parents in this country who have had their children taken away from them by social services like CPS, they would give you a resounding “NO!” as a reply.
If lawmakers are truly concerned about the incredible abuse of children in today’s foster care system, perhaps they should start interviewing the parents of these children who are taken out of homes, in many cases homes where they are loved by their parents, and are then put into abusive foster care centers or homes.
More government and more federal funding is NOT the answer: it is the problem.
Getting Back to Our Constitution and the Rule of Law
In the United States of America today in 2015, a suspected murderer, rapist, or terrorist has more rights afforded to them than parents accused of child abuse. An anonymous phone call or complaint from a neighbor is all that is needed for a social worker to enlist the help of local law enforcement to come into a home and remove children, with no warrant (citing “imminent danger”) and no formal charges filed against the parents.
This gross abuse of the fundamental Constitutional rights of parents and children who are citizens of the United States is where the real problem begins. Without addressing that problem first, and the State-sponsored child kidnapping and trafficking happening all across the United States every single day, then no federal funding or oversight of the Child Welfare system will produce any meaningful change. In fact, it will probably make the situation even worse as states fight to get more federal funding to run their programs.
Training Law Enforcement to Follow the Constitution and Due Process of Law
When it comes to parents and their children, why is law enforcement today so quick to abandon the Constitution and due process of the law? Most would argue, “because the children need to be protected.”
Are we so naive as to think the founders of the Constitution and legal scholars over the years did not consider cases where children were in danger within their home, so that in modern times we have to give great authority to social workers to take on this task, and abandon the principles of the Constitution and Bill of Rights?
Consider the case of alleged abuse in other cases where children are not involved.
For example, if there were a complaint by a woman against an alleged “abusive” husband or partner; who would be removed from the home by law enforcement if an investigation warranted it? Would the alleged victim, in this case the woman making the complaint, be the one removed from the home?
Of course not! The person the complaint was filed against would be removed, all the while having their Constitutional rights protected, by arresting them, reading their Miranda rights, and bringing them before a judge to face the charges. The alleged victim would remain in the home, while the alleged abuser would be incarcerated and enter the criminal justice system. That is the legal process.
But this due process of law is not followed with social services and local law enforcement when they remove children from their homes. In these cases, which we are reading increasingly in the news every day, the alleged victims are removed from the home (the children), while the alleged abusers (the parents) are left in the home, and in most cases with no criminal charges filed.
This is a clear violation of the Constitution and a family’s civil rights. But it happens every day because states receive federal funds for children placed in the custody of the State.
If you are learning about this issue for the first time, and find it hard to believe that this actually happens in the United States of America, watch this video captured by parents in a home in the Sacramento area of California, where police and CPS restrained the father outside, and then forced their way into the home (without a warrant issued by a judge) to remove an infant child from the mother’s own arms, simply because they had left a hospital without a doctor’s approval (who wanted to perform immediate heart surgery), and took him to a different hospital for a second opinion:
In the unedited video above, the entire incident of Child Protective Services and the Sacramento Police using force to take away Anna and Alex Nikolayev’s baby is recorded. Anna and Alex had received poor care for their baby at a local hospital, and when the hospital wanted to do heart surgery on their infant, they wanted a second opinion and took the baby to a different hospital.
The first hospital did not approve of this, and did not discharge the child. Therefore, they called Child Protection Services. The parents, meanwhile, had taken the baby to a second hospital, where the child was discharged that night by a physician, since there was no immediate danger, and the surgery was not imminent.
But, the next day, Child Protection Services and the Sacramento Police showed up at the parents home to take away their baby. The husband was outside at the time, and he was forced to the ground so that the police could enter the home by force. The mother, seeing what was happening outside, set up the camera to record the whole incident (see video above.)
The social workers would not even tell the mother where they were taking the baby. The police took the baby out of the mother’s arms by force, and only after the social workers had already left with the baby did they allow the mother to show the police the hospital documents showing that their baby was properly discharged by a physician from the second hospital. The police did not seem to care what the facts were at all, and gave full authority to CPS to remove the child. (Full story here .)
The fact that the due process of law is not being followed, and that the Constitutional rights of families are clearly being violated in situations where social services removes children from the custody of their parents against their will, and against the will of the parents, is a fact that cannot be denied.
So why is it happening?
There are multiple reasons why this is happening, but they are very easy to understand.
First, when the due process of the law is followed to arrest someone, hold them in confinement, bring them before a judge to press charges, and then follow the judicial process of bringing about a “speedy trial,” all of these actions are a burden to the state. In other words, it costs money.
When someone is arrested on suspicion of murder, rape, assault, robbery, and other serious crimes that are a threat to the public, those arrested enter into the criminal justice system, and have rights that are protected under our Constitution to ensure they are not victimized by the over-reach of government abuse.
Unfortunately, these alleged criminals are afforded more rights than parents are today, who have their children removed from their home or custody with no arrest and no trial.
One of the reasons why this is happening so frequently in the United States today is because once the children are taken into State custody, they become an asset to the State. What this means is that all the child’s expenses are now paid via federal funds, including medical costs via Medicaid. The longer a child remains in State custody, the more funds that state can collect.
Adding more federal funds and programs to “fix” the system is obviously NOT the solution, but the problem.
If lawmakers want to address the real problems here, it begins with training law enforcement to uphold the Constitutional rights of parents and children in their district, and not to simply obey CPS every time they want them to remove a child from their home. Citizens can begin doing this themselves, by getting together and petitioning their County Sheriff, who is an elected official.
For more information see:
What Should Replace the Federal Foster Care System?
Admitting that federal funds are a part of the cause of the problem with the current abuses in the Child Welfare system is the first step. Much was made of the fact that the business featured in the BuzzFeed story was a “for profit” business. But this is not a significant point. The bigger problem is who is the client of this “for-profit” foster care business? The U.S. government! The government provided the funding for this business to exist in the first place, and then they (through the States) did not do a good job ensuring that the vendor they hired was doing their job properly. Without federal funding, this problem would not exist in the first place.
So the question then becomes, what is the solution if federal funding were to cease for Child Welfare?
The answer is that the problem would be dealt with at the local level, in a community by community case. Instead of sending so many billions of dollars to the federal government to encourage state-sponsored kidnappings that hundreds of thousands of people across the nation are benefiting and profiting from, keep that money at home in the communities and let community leaders, who will have greater oversight and accountability, handle the problem. This can be either local government officials, or private leaders, such as heads of non-profits, or a combination of both. Without federal funding, non-profits with tax exempt status would be in a better position to deal with abused children, as they would be dependent on tax-deductible contributions from business leaders and members of their community.
This would actually encourage MORE people to get involved with the children who are truly victims and need to be protected from criminal parents. First, without the federal funding incentive, there would be far fewer children taken from homes, if local law enforcement followed the Constitution and due process of law, and removed criminal parents from homes instead of alleged victims – the innocent children. If a parent is incarcerated, with no other parent or family member available to handle the victims, then the children can be placed into legitimate local programs or foster homes. Good foster parents, those who truly care for children and are not just in the system to profit from it, would actually have more opportunities to minister to children at the local level in such a situation.
Lawmakers Need to Hear Your Voice!
Senator Wyden, although with good intentions no doubt, wants to add more federal funds to oversee the nations corrupt Child Welfare system. You can read the details of his proposals, and there is an opportunity to respond by email until June 12th here: Wyden Bill Would Provide New Funding To Child Welfare 
Tell Senator Wyden that the problem is federal funding, and that more federal funding will not solve the problem! You can use your own words, or draft a message something like this:
Dear Senator Wyden,
Thank you for addressing the horrendous problems in the Child Welfare system. However, the solution to these problems and abuses is not more federal funding or oversight. Federal funds and the creation of the federal child welfare system created these problems to begin with. Social workers and local law enforcement are often taking innocent children away from loving parents. Even though many of these parents may not be perfect, studies such as the Joseph Doyle MIT reports clearly show that foster children suffer far more abuse than children left in troubled homes.
In the United States today, a suspected murderer, rapist, or terrorist has more rights afforded to them than parents accused of child abuse. An anonymous phone call or complaint from a neighbor is all that is needed for a social worker to enlist the help of local law enforcement to come into a home and remove children, with no warrant (citing “imminent danger”) and no formal charges filed against the parents.
This gross abuse of the fundamental Constitutional rights of parents and children who are citizens of the United States is where the real problem begins. Without addressing that problem first, and the State-sponsored child kidnapping and trafficking happening all across the United States every single day, then no federal funding or oversight of the foster care system will produce any meaningful change. In fact, it will probably make the situation even worse as states fight to get more federal funding to run their programs.
Please support abolishing the current system, and allowing tax breaks for local communities to deal with the situation in a more economical and far more effective manner. I oppose increasing more federal funding for Child Welfare.
If you are a victim of Child Welfare abuse, then add your own personal story in your communication to Senator Wyden.
If you are reading this after June 12th, you can still contact Senator Wyden here: Contact Ron Wyden 
Then contact your own State Senators (if you do not live in Oregon) and encourage them to work with Senator Wyden and others concerned about Child Welfare, and let them know just how corrupt the current system is, and that the only solution is to de-fund it, and replace it at the community level that is not corrupted by federal funding.
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