Dozens Of CPS Caseworkers Caught Lying, Falsifying Documents When Child Protective Services received a complaint that a Harris County father had choked his teenage daughter, caseworker Michelle Robinson said she hurried to the house, conducted a thorough investigation, determined there … Continue reading
In 2007, the late Sen. Nancy Schaefer presented a riveting and compelling report to the state of Georgia. “The corrupt business of child protective services” detailed corruption in the state’s Department of Family and Children Services.
Her investigation uncovered many cases of abuse, not only in Georgia’s child protective services, but also in other states across the nation, prompting her to write that nationwide the entire system has become corrupt and broken beyond repair. And that parents and families should be warned of the dangers.
Schaefer discussed the Adoption and Safe Families Act, set in motion first by Walter Mondale and in 1997 by Bill Clinton. The law offered cash bonuses to the states for every child adopted out of foster care with the intent of addressing concerns that many children were remaining in foster care for extended periods, or subjected to multiple placements. Foster care parents who adopted their foster care children were also entitled to a check.
But instead of helping children, the legislation, according to Schaefer, created a profitable empire built on intentionally separating parents from their children. Families mostly affected were poor and imperfect families that were still providing loving homes to their children. Yet they lost their children to the foster care system.
Findings reveal that foster care children are disproportionately children of color — especially black and Native American.
Schaefer acknowledged that some home environments demanded the removal of children from them. However, hundreds of her cases revealed that rarely were decisions based on the needs of the family and child. She observed that the corrupt system could not be trusted.
Schaefer advocated for these children and their families until her death in 2010, ruled a murder-suicide by her husband. However, her colleagues, who were also working on exposing corruption in the government institution, questioned the official findings.
During January, we are observing “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.” It is a time to recommit ourselves to doing everything possible to eradicate human trafficking, help those who have been victimized, and protect children who are at risk of being trafficked.
The “Foster Care and Human Trafficking: A state-by-state evaluation” study, released in 2017, reported that victims of sex trafficking come from our nation’s own foster care system. Also, the 2019 State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report findings noted that the foster care system breeds human trafficking.
In 2018, the Epoch Times reported multiple cases of alleged child sex abuse just in the Contra Costa County foster care system.
One solution implemented to help reverse some of the major damage caused by the Adoption and Safe Families Act is the Family First Prevention Services Act that took effect last Oct. 1.
States must now determine opportunities within the law, keeping at the forefront what is best for the children and their families.
However, in a billion-dollar industry, like human trafficking, the work of holding Child Protective Services accountable and responsible still requires boots on the ground like Sen. Schaefer. She shined the light on cruel injustices against the most vulnerable of our society.
Many of these children are still being abused in foster care. Others have been trafficked and are missing. Yet many of them have not been reported because their foster parents want to continue collecting the check.
Adoption websites post children’s photographs with personal information, opening the door to that child’s next abuser. Parents are fighting for their parental rights while watching their children adopted out from under them.
Schaefer’s closing remarks in her report remains valid in 2020: “Children deserve better. Families deserve better. It’s time to pull back the curtain and set our children and families free.”
— The Vacaville author is a social issues advocate. E-mail: email@example.com