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Children ages 3 and younger are the most likely victims of child maltreatment. (2008 report)

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A Nation in Crisis

Posted: September 1, 2003
Nancee Crowell, CA/NV State Director of NFPCAR - responds to an article written by Craig Schneider with the AJC in Atlanta, expressing her outrage at the treatment of parents by Child Protection Agencies.

Dear Mr. Schneider,

Georgia Child Protective Services is not unique in its handling of child protection issues. It is a national tragedy as untrained, uneducated "wanna be" social caseworkers strive to line their pockets and budgets with huge amounts of federal funding.

The majority of these workers are poorly trained and/or grossly uneducated in the proper ways of handling a situation. They drag their feet when a suspected abuse is reported. They find excuse after excuse to ignore the report or not take their responsibility to make their required monthly visits to the foster children already in the system. Then they make up words to document their inaccurate case reports in order to cover their backside if they are ever called to account.

Families Targeted

They target and attack unsuspecting good families and spend their time uselessly on cases that should never come to the front. And then they scream and moan and groan that they are understaffed and/or overworked. Their main answer to everything is to "give them more money" so they can do their job.

Caseworkers receive only a minimal 6-weeks of training before they are thrown into the pit to ruin people's lives.

And it is "us" the unsuspecting taxpayer who foots the ultimate bill. Well, I submit to you that it isn't "more money" that is needed...It's accountability and the inability to hide behind the doors of "confidentiality" and "immunity". Until that happens this system will continue to run amuck and ride roughshod over honest, unsuspecting American families.

McCarthy Act of 1974

It used to be that they targeted only poor families and took their children and adopted them out but since the McCarthy Act of 1974 the work of Child Protection workers has taken them to new heights. They now target anyone who can line their pockets with the almighty "gold coin", as each case they involve themselves in brings in [additional] federal funds. [More info]

By their own admission in a documentary that was produced and aired by PBS television earlier this year, caseworkers receive only a minimal 6-weeks of training before they are thrown into the pit to ruin people's lives. The majority of this training is in useless, time-consuming paperwork...not in how to deal effectively and honestly with families who need help.

By their own admission these newly educated workers come into this job with only the book learning that they have received in school and absolutely no "hands-on" practical experience, and that is only if they have a higher education than high school.

They come into this job with unrealistic dreams and ideas and often leave the profession early on with broken dreams and totally disillusioned. It is not to say that there are not "good" social workers out there that are truly dedicated to helping those children in need, but too often their efforts are thwarted by this corrupt, inefficient system and they are either forced to "shut up" and follow the program or they are forced to leave the system, broken and disillusioned.

To the average everyday person it appears that Child Protective Services is "doing its job" but nothing is further from the truth. Nationally children continue to die. Nationally families are targeted and destroyed.

Nationally people who care about these children are targeted and drug through the mud...names and reputations ruined...jobs and incomes lost...families torn apart and totally devastated. They are ruined professionally, personally and financially. And why does this happen?, you may ask.

It's all because these people dare to stand up and "fight" for what they know is right. I know this to be true because we were one of the thousands upon thousands of American families who were targeted by unscrupulous Child Protection workers and ruined professionally, personally and financially by their dishonesty, unaccountability and lies..

This is all done in "the best interest of the child" so these caseworkers and supervisors say! But to those who have faced firsthand the criminal injustices of the Child Protective System these horrors remain forever embedded in their memory.

It used to be that CPS targeted the biological family but over these past three decades the injustices and cruelty has extended itself to relative caretakers, grandparents, foster parents and adoptive parents.

It is all done for the sake of the "almighty dollar", as CPS receives federal funds for every child that is held in the foster care system. It is reported that agencies receive from between $2000 to $6000 per child/per month for holding these children captive.

False Allegations

Not only that, they receive funds every time they remove a child on an "emergency basis". In these instances they make the claim that the child(ren) is in "eminent danger," which is usually not the case. What is happening is that these workers see an easy way to make a buck and they waste their time chasing ridiculous stories and fabricating allegations to cover their backsides.

The truth is that they receive additional federal funds for every child that they adopt out of the system and every time they move a child from one home to another claiming "eminent danger."

In addition they receive funds every time they report an individual to the State Abuse Registry, whether the allegations have been proven or not. In the Child Protection System individuals are deemed guilty until "they" can prove themselves innocent.

Child Protective Services regularly bounces children from one foster home to another in order to get this extra funding. They regularly close their eyes to those children who are in true need of removal for the "easy buck" that can be made by fabricating stories and targeting the "easy ones to prove with their lies." CPS workers fabricate, lie and destroy.

In plain language it is called "job security."

California Investigation

Here in California it is no different than anywhere else in this country. In each county in California we have Grand Juries and over the past few years county by county...Kern, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Inyo, Lassen, and San Diego, to name just a few... have been successful in getting their local Grand Jury to investigate their Child Protective System.

Unfortunately, with the corruption that lies within the present Judicial system, very few of the recommendations made by these Grand Juries are ever realized. It is up to the DA to follow through and prosecute and press for change and reform but in most cases, these "legal eagles" are not going to "bite the hand that feeds them." So it is there that the voices of truth are silenced.

History has proven that Child Protective agencies close their eyes to what is truly happening and continue to operate with a definite lack of accountability.

Our small county of Inyo was successful this past year [2003] in this endeavor and our local CPS agency has been found to be ineffective, under trained and highly "out of compliance." Their denials of wrongdoing fall on deaf ears when trying to convince someone who knows the "inside story" but they persist in making their claims of "innocence."

Of course the next question is..."What will be done?" but I think we all know the answer to this question.

History has proven that Child Protective agencies close their eyes to what is truly happening and continue to operate with a definite lack of accountability and under the umbrella of "immunity" and "confidentiality." They talk a "good" game but they play a dirty one. And the unsuspecting American family is made to suffer the consequences.

In California there is a congressional inquiry scheduled for January, 2004. People from all over the USA will be attending to testify and tell their stories of abuse by this broken system. Perhaps you should take the time to attend this Congressional Inquiry and learn what is really happening because your state is is just as guilty of Child Protection Services mismanagement and harassment as any other state in this Union.

To find out more about this Congressional Inquiry you can contact Laura Koepke of Government Watch.

The public needs to be told the truth and someone needs to take this ball and run with it. Open your eyes to what is really happening, not only in Georgia, but nationally. This corruption and unaccountability has gotten way out of hand and it needs to be brought under control before there is no longer a family unit.

History has shown that the way to destroy a country is to destroy its family unit and America is well on its way to destruction if it continues to close its eyes to what is really happening through the Department of Human Services Child Protective Services.

More children will die unnecessarily before this system is through with its antics. Despite their claims of "purity" and "goodness", they spend more time defending their corrupt, inefficient actions than they do helping the children who truly need them and the needy families who could benefit from the services they were originally designed to provide. They have clearly overstepped their bounds and need to be "rung in" if this national tragedy is ever to be changed or corrected.

Regards,

Nancee Crowell
California/Nevada State Director for NFPCAR
CEO, Foster Parent Survival Enterprises
Founder/Director, Families-4-Justice
Field Representative for Foster Parent Legal Solutions
Author...The Dark Side Of Fostering - A Foster Parent Survival Guide
Former Foster Parent