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.
The majority of children recruited into the child sex-trafficking slave trade come through foster care, where state "Child Protection" child welfare agencies place children who have been removed from their homes. It is estimated that the revenue generated through illegal child sex trafficking far exceeds revenue from illegal drugs and guns. The problems of foster care being used to traffick children into the sex trade have been well documented. A recent report out of WJAC in Pennsylvania, for example, reports that 60% of sex, human trafficking victims were once involved in the foster care system. We reported with horror last year that a Virginia man, Nathan Larson, was running for political office in the U.S. Congress in spite of the fact that he publicly admitted he was a pedophile. In online forums with other pedophiles, he encouraged pedophiles to adopt children out of foster care as their "sex toys." In a 2014 interview published in The Guardian, former British Health Minister and former Child Protection Manager Lord Warner stated that "Children's homes" were a "supply line" for paedophiles among the powerful elite. Robert David Steele, a former CIA officer, and Chief Counsel of The International Tribunal’s Judicial Commission into Child Sex Trafficking, stated: "I have been outraged for some time by the clear and present danger to society of pedopredation (pedophilia or paedophilia). I recognize now that child torture, child murder, and child organ harvesting is an ‘accepted’ practice at the highest levels of government, the NGO and multinational corporate sector, as well as throughout academic institutions and civil society. This scourge persists because it is allowed to exist by the complicit authorities."
A year ago this month (January 2018) attorney Michael Dolce wrote an opinion piece published in Newsweek titled: WE HAVE SET UP A SYSTEM TO SEX TRAFFIC AMERICAN CHILDREN. Attorney Dolce speaks from experience from representing children abused in foster care. He wrote: "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." A year later, has anything changed? If you monitor news reports about abuses in foster care, apparently not. Even local corporate-sponsored "mainstream" news organizations are now reporting on many of the abuses happening in foster care. Large-scale studies have been done comparing children in foster care with children left in troubled homes, even with parents who have issues like drug-abuse, and the results are clear: children left in troubled homes do far better than children put into the foster care system. So we have identified the problem, but so far no one seems willing to implement the only solution possible: abolish federal government-funded child welfare. The system is broken and beyond repair.
Study: Children from Poor Parents, Even if they have a Drug Problem, do Worse if Put into Foster Care
The Lancet recently published a new study which shows that preschool children taken from their homes are twice as likely when they become young adults to have psychological problems and criminal convictions than those left in their own homes. Unlike previous studies, this long term, population-based study matched the children in foster care with children from families with similar sociological and economic demographics. As horrific as the outcomes are for children who are taken from their parents and placed into foster care, many policy makers, legislators, and our friends and neighbors continue to assert that foster care is necessary to protect children from abuse and harm. Billions of dollars are poured into the system, but the evidence consistently shows that the foster care system is not helping children. The majority of children, in the U.S. are taken for “neglect” – an ambiguous term that can be interpreted to include dirty dishes in the sink, playing outside in the yard, or simply being poor. Only 17% of the allegations against parents are “substantiated” or “founded” according to the 2016 Child Maltreatment Report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is hardly the first study to look at outcomes comparing children in foster care and children left in "troubled" homes. There have been numerous other studies, and they all come to the same conclusion: children left in troubled homes with their families do far better than children put into foster care. How much more evidence do we have to see before we finally wake up as a society and recognize that the way we are doing things that we thought was helping is not actually helping? There are almost half a million American children in foster care at any given time. Many more have been in the system at some point during their childhood. At what cost to our children?