The trauma and harm to families and communities caused by intrusive child welfare system interventions is well documented by multiple sources – to the degree that many argue the system can be more accurately viewed as the family policing system, family regulation system, or foster care industrial complex. In our paper It Is Not a Broken System, It Is a System That Needs to be Broken, we outline research that shows that the act of forcible separation of children from their parents is a source of significant and lifelong trauma. As we summarized in the article, “trauma associated with separation has been shown to result in cognitive delays, depression, increased aggression, behavioral problems, poor educational achievement, and other harmful outcomes.” Youth and parents who have experienced child welfare services regularly testify to the harm of separation and the failures of and trauma created by both short- and long-term involvement with the foster care system. Advocates and those working to reform child welfare from both within the system and without, regularly document this harm. It is within the context of this knowledge and understanding and our many years of concerted reform efforts that we have launched the upEND movement, an emerging collaborative aimed at creating a society in which the forcible separation of children from their families is no longer an acceptable solution when help is needed. This movement seeks to protect the health of children, which requires us to center our work around keeping them with their families and communities.
Parents in Boston Sue to Get Visitation Rights Back for their Children that were Cut Off Because of the Plandemic
All across the nation parents have been cut off from their children who are in Foster Care, due to the State reactions to the Plandemic. This is a very serious issue, since study after study has proven throughout the years that children are in far more danger in Foster Care than they are in their homes with their parents, even when that is a "troubled home." The Foster Care system is the #1 pipeline for child sex trafficking, for example, and far more child sex abuse happens in Foster Care, than it does anywhere else. Parents in Boston have decided to take action, and are suing Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Marylou Sudders, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and Linda Spears, the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, for refusing them to have access to their children and the ability to be reunified with them. Elizabeth Brico, writing for the publication Prism, documents how poor minority families are suffering the most during the current family visitation restrictions happening nationwide due to the Plandemic response, as contact is only allowed digitally, making it more difficult for those with limited technology access. She writes: Technology is the New Mechanism of Inequality.
Family Court Shutdown due to Coronavirus Could Cause Termination of Parental Rights for Countless Families
Federal laws require states to initiate termination of parental rights when a child has been in foster care for 15 of the last 22 months. With family courts shutting down across the country due to the Coronavirus outbreak, delaying reunification and adjudication hearings, could families face termination of their parental rights without due process? CPS must have a signed order by a judge in order to remove a child from their home, unless the agency feels a child is in imminent danger, at which time the agency can proceed with an “emergency removal." The agency must then seek the approval of a judge on the following business day. At that time, the family is likely assigned an attorney or has already sought legal counsel to contest the removal and petition the court to return the child home. With the potential spread of COVID-19, family courts have closed or reduced caseloads. According to the report by Kramer, regarding a statement from the New York State Office of Court Administration, judges are holding hearings by phone and video, only on “essential/emergency” matters. The administration did not respond to the author's request for further comments on their story. Kramer states, according to attorneys who represent parents, judges are continuing to hear petitions from the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) seeking to remove children from their homes and place them in foster care, but they are not willing to hear motions by parents seeking to return children home.
When most Americans think of foster care, they think of children waiting years in homes or institutions to return to their families or to be placed for adoption. But every year, an average of nearly 17,000 children are removed from their families’ custody and placed in foster care only to be reunited within 10 days, according to a Marshall Project analysis of federal Department of Health and Human Services records dating back a decade. Every state allows certain officials—such as police officers, child-services workers or hospital staff—to take a child from her parents without a court order if they believe the child faces imminent danger of physical harm. But this analysis shows that thousands of children taken from their homes without court approval are quickly returned to their families after child-services officials review the evidence. The data was analyzed with assistance from the nonprofit organization Fostering Court Improvement, which maintains a database of federal child-welfare records. “Short stays,” as they are called by child-welfare experts, appear to happen most often in high-poverty areas where law enforcement officials are the only group authorized by state law to remove children without a court order. In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, recorded a higher rate of short-term removals than any other major area in the country, followed by counties that include Santa Fe, Akron and New Orleans.
Government Funded Study Confirms Kids do Worse in Foster Care than Those Who Have Never Been in Foster Care
Another major study confirms what many other studies have found, and what we have published here at Health Impact News over the past several years many times: The Foster Care System is a huge failure that harms children, and children who never enter the Foster Care System do much better. The most recent study was funded by you, the American taxpayer, and conducted by the CDC: "Demographic, Health Care, and Fertility-related Characteristics of Adults Aged 18–44 Who Have Ever Been in Foster Care: United States, 2011–2017." The study analyzed 6 years of interviews spanning September 2011 through September 2017, and included 11,527 male and 14,439 female respondents aged 18–44. Some of the results of the study: Among women who had been in foster care, one-half had given birth to a child by age 20; that compared with one-quarter of women who had never been in foster care. Two-thirds of women who had been in foster care received some form of public assistance, compared with one-third of other women. Just over half of men who had been in foster care received public assistance, more than double the rate for other men. About 25% of men and 21% of women who had been in foster care did not have a high school or GED diploma, more than double the figure for other adults. Lower percentages of men and women who were ever in foster care had a bachelor’s degree or higher (4.8% for men and 9.1% for women) compared with those who had never been in foster care (31.1% and 36.2%, respectively).
$10M Lawsuit Filed in New York Against Motels that Allegedly Allowed Child Sex Trafficking of Foster Children
Andrew Denney and Gabrielle Fonrouge of the New York Post have reported on a $10 million lawsuit filed recently alleging that a 10-year-old foster girl was raped, tortured and beaten as she was sold for sex at two New York motels while staff turned a blind eye to what was happening. The young girl was trafficked through motels, according to the lawsuit, with the full knowledge of the motel staff who did nothing to try and stop this kind of sex trafficking of children. According to the NY Post article, 45% of all sexual exploitation in New York City happens in hotels. To understand the scope and depth of this problem of foster care children being sexually trafficked, go to an Internet search engine and search for law firms that specialize in representing foster care children who are sexually trafficked. You will have plenty to choose from. It is apparently a tragic booming business for attorneys. Here are a few:
More horrible news this week highlighting the fact that the U.S. Foster Care system is America's #1 pipeline for child sex trafficking. From WCVB5 in Boston: "After 5 Investigates uncovered years of physical, mental and sexual abuse in a state licensed foster home, the state launched a review and the Worcester County district attorney opened an investigation in a case that has been hidden for decades. In the latest case, John Williams told investigators that when he was a young foster child, he was neglected by his foster parents -- forced to sit naked with another foster child -- and was fondled by Blouin, who put his hands in his underwear and touched him on multiple occasions. Williams and his younger brother, Nathan, told 5 Investigates they were beaten, put in dog cages for hours and tortured by Blouin's wife, who is a registered nurse, and her boyfriend, who moved into the home after her husband's conviction in the earlier cases." In Providence, Rhode Island, a man was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison followed by a lifetime of probation for repeatedly recording himself raping an unconscious child. The man was caught with one of the largest collections of child pornography ever seized by law enforcement in Rhode Island, which consisted of more than 36,000 images and 960 videos.
Pedophiles Continue to be Licensed as Foster Parents in the U.S. to Meet the Demand for Child Sex Slaves
It has been well-documented and frequently reported here at Health Impact News that the United States Foster Care system is the nation's #1 pipeline for child sex trafficking. Attorney Michael Dolce from the law-firm Cohen Milstein, who speaks from experience from representing children abused in foster care, wrote an opinion piece published by Newsweek in 2018 stating that the nation’s foster care system is set up to sexually traffic children. Dolce said: "Here’s the ugly truth: most Americans who are victims of sex trafficking come from our nation’s own foster care system. It’s a deeply broken system that leaves thousands vulnerable to pimps as children and grooms them for the illegal sex trade as young adults. We have failed our children by not fixing the systemic failures that have allowed this to happen for decades." In 2018 an independent candidate running for office in Virginia, Nathan Larson, admitted to being a pedophile. He encouraged other pedophiles to use the foster care system to adopt children as "sex toys." A recent State Department report on Human Trafficking confirmed that the United States is the top destination in the world for sex trafficking, and Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking, stated: "We have a major issue here in the United States. The United States is the No. 1 consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society. We’re also driving the demand with our own people, with our own kids. So there are tremendous numbers of kids, a multitude of kids that are being sold as sex slaves today in America. These are American kids, American-born, 50 percent to 60 percent of them coming out of the foster care industry." Here are some recent local news reports of arrests of licensed foster parents accused of sexually abusing children in the past 30 days which is probably only a fraction of the actual number of foster parents sexually trafficking children, and shows that this problem is only getting worse, not better.
Proposed New Bill Would Double Federal Funding for Foster Care – More Opportunities for Child Sex Trafficking?
Attorney Michael Dolce, who represents children in foster care, has referred to U.S. foster care as a system set up to sex traffic American Children at the taxpayer's expense. A new proposed bill would double the funding for the U.S. foster care system. Richard Wexler, writing for Youth Today, states: "The bill would more than double the amount of money the federal government forks over to states for foster care reimbursement each year. Even worse, this bill would remove the only small brake from what is less a runaway train than a lumbering foster care steamroller that crushes better alternatives for children." As we have stated numerous times here at Health Impact News, we agree with the late Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer that the current system of Child "Protection" Services and foster care is too corrupt to be reformed, and needs to be abolished. Allowing states to collect more federal funds for foster care is moving in the wrong direction, and could lead to an increase in child sex trafficking.
A new study conducted by Martin Guggenheim, from the NYU School of Law School, shows that children seized by Child Protection Services spend much less time in Foster Care if the parents are provided with high-quality legal representation, with no compromise in child safety. This means that many children in Foster Care today would not even need to be there if their parents had proper legal representation to fight the massive billion dollar foster care and adoption system, which for the most part has nothing to do with child safety. Richard Wexler, writing for the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform blog, notes that this is one of several studies showing that most children do far better when left with their biological families, even troubled families, than those children taken out of troubled homes and put into foster care. Taking the truth of what these studies conclude, that children are better off left in homes even when those homes are not perfect, with the fact that the child welfare system is so corrupt that some state legislatures have had to actually pass laws enforcing that child social service agencies stop lying and falsifying records in order to take children away from their families, such as a recently proposed bill in Texas, we come to the same conclusion that the late Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer did, that the system is too corrupt and too powerful to reform.