Tuesday, July 31, 2007
By : Scott Wasserman
If you love a child in need of care, you should take note of a new study on the long term results of foster care.
Many foster families provide excellent care. Nonetheless, a new study concludes that children on the margins of needing intervention tend to have better outcomes when they remain at home, especially for older children. Children who are removed from their homes face higher delinquency rates, teen birth rates and lower earnings.
These results add credence to recent efforts to keep children in their own families. Even when their families are marginal, their children fare better in their own home instead of in foster homes.
Over 2 million children are investigated for abuse and neglect in the United States each year. About half of those are found to have been abused. Approximately 10 percent of the abused children are removed from their families.
Currently over 500,000 children reside in foster homes. About 60 percent of those return home; 15 percent are adopted; and the remainder age out of the system when they turn 18. The average amount of time spent in foster care is about two years.
Abused children are three times more likely to die in childhood, with about 1,400 child deaths each year attributed to child abuse. Children withdrawn from their families are more likely to commit crimes, drop out of school, join welfare, abuse drugs and alcohol, and become homeless.
Nearly 20 percent of young prison inmates and 28 percent of homeless individuals spent some of their youth in the foster system. Of children who turn 18 years old while in the system, two thirds of the boys and half of the girls had a history of delinquency.
Federal and state laws encourage preserving children in their own families. Before removing a child from a family home, the state must prove that reasonable efforts to prevent the removal were tried and failed. They also must prove that leaving the child in the family's home would be contrary to the child's welfare.
However, in practice many children are removed from their family homes anyway.
The research by MIT economics professor Joseph J. Doyle studied 15,000 children who had been reported for abuse and neglect. The study did not include children who were subject to drug use or severe physical or sexual abuse. Those children would have required removal from their families regardless of its trauma. For the remainder of the children, the ones who stayed in their own families did better in their adult lives than the children placed in foster care.
We help our clients recover their children from foster care by lobbying the social service agencies before we get to court. We have found that intense out of court advocacy succeeds better than courtroom tactics alone. Combining sophisticated advocacy both in and out of court helps children avoid the long term negatives associated with the child welfare system.
We have also found success in preventing foster care in the first place by using guardianships and other private actions.
If you need to rescue a child from foster care, you need to act promptly. Contact an attorney licensed in the court that has jurisdiction over custody of your child.
Copyright 2007 Scott Wasserman
Scott Wasserman is a graduate of Harvard Law School with more than 22 years of legal experience. His law practice focuses entirely on the rights of children and the adults who love them. He may be reached through his web site at www.yourchild1st.com
An article from the Seattle Times.
It has become my duty to exploit stuff like this. Needs to be done to prove my point. CPS is not only corrupt but stupid and irrisponsible as well. The system needs to be changed. It needs to be fixed. It needs to protect and provide.
And you people need to open your eyes. This is the sort of thing that happens when CPS gets involved. http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6861915
Too many children are ending up dead or worse just like little Danielle Holt,
And always remember, If you can't afford thousands for a good lawyer, this could easily be your kid.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Perhaps Drug Rehab Slipped Her Mind?
by Rod MacTaggart
An Australian member of parliament has called for the children of drug addicts to be permanently removed from their parents and offered for adoption. Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop wants to see adoption, rather than fostering, used to separate children from parents who are battling addiction. Excuse me, but has the honorable member completely forgotten about successful drug rehab programs?
Ms. Bishop, who is currently chairing an Australian parliamentary inquiry into the impact of illicit drug use on families, told the Australian Broadcasting Company's Four Corners program that the current system is skewed towards the interests of drug-using parents, and not their children. She said there are hundreds of parents who are desperate to adopt children and give them love and good homes, but “there is this ‘biology first’ principle.”
By ignoring that successful drug rehab can keep a family together, and tossing “this biology first principle” on the trash heap, Ms. Bishop nullifies both the proven breakthroughs in the science of drug rehab, as well as one of the most primal urges of human history and experience – the urge for one’s own biological parents, and children.
Ms. Bishop’s detractors have been quick to speak up. Brisbane Youth Service spokeswoman Amanda Davies said there is no evidence that all people that use drugs are unable to parent their children. And Queensland Council of Social Service president Karyn Walsh said there is strong evidence that forced removals cause children long-term harm. “You can't just go removing children simply because their parents have a drug addiction,” she said. “Children need to know their parents, and not all parents who have a drug addiction are bad parents, or incapable of parenting.”
Victorian Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary put it best when he said, “There is nothing in my experience worse than a child who’s sentenced to be without their parents for the rest of their lives. Children are better off with families in the long run.”
And let’s not forget the ultimate solution: if the parents do a successful drug rehab program that gets down to the bottom of why they’re taking drugs and resolves those issues, they won’t be addicts.
successful drug rehab program
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
By Ed Bagley
Apparently the news is in on the contentious issue of whether children are better left at home or put in foster care.
The largest study on the subject (15,000+ kids from 1990 to 2002) says children whose families are investigated for abuse or neglect are likely to do better in life if they stay with their families than if they go into foster care.
The USA Today (7-3-07) reported that kids who stayed with their families were less likely to become juvenile delinquents or teen mothers and more likely to hold jobs as young adults, according to the study by Joseph Doyle, who studies social policy as an economics professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management.
A sampling of the study results showed:
Only 14% of young adults were arrested at least once when staying at home and 44% were arrested when going to foster care.
Only 33% became teen mothers when staying at home and 56% became mothers when going to foster care.
At least 33% held a job for at least 3 months when staying at home and only 20% held a job for at least 3 months when going to foster care.
"The size of the effects surprised me, because all the children come from tough families," Doyle said. The National Science Foundation funded the study.
Studies, including those by Mark Courtney while at the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall Center, show that the 500,000 children in U. S. foster care are more likely than other kids to drop out of school, commit crimes, abuse drugs and become teen parents.
I personally know two foster children who became very successful in life as adults.
I have never cared for the foster care program because I believe far too many foster parents are in it for the money and not for the tremendous responsibility they accept. I believe adoption sends a much different message than being a foster parent.
Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley
Ed Bagley is the Author of Ed Bagley's Blog which he Publishes with Original Articles on Current and Past Events, including Analysis and Commentary on Lessons in Life, Movies, Sports, Internet Marketing, Jobs and Careers that are intended to Delight, Inform, Educate and Motivate Readers. Visit Ed at . . .
Friday, July 06, 2007
By : Bryan Nash
Criminal background check of greater depth will now be required of new Minnesota foster parents and of those renewing their licenses. One of the requisites includes fingerprints to be entered into a national database and will be submitted for a larger amount of criminal background checks. The new proposal was a $1.2 million-a-year overhaul helping to catch applicants slipping through cracks in the system.
Background check in Minnesota will be done at a state level, which will hopefully prevent sexual offenders preying on society’s most vulnerable children through exploiting blind spots in the system. In Wisconsin we see similar changes and the changes comply with a national shift with new federal standards.
A good example of excluding foster parents with a criminal record by performing criminal background checks is foster parent Perry Wayne Pfitzer. He was charged with sexually abusing his two foster daughters, ages 4 and 6, last summer in his home. Had a proper criminal background check been performed, records would have revealed that he had a 1982 conviction of indecent exposure “involving a minor” in a Blaine department store.
However, one of the problems involved in Pfitzer’s background check was that his misdemeanor was so old that it didn’t show up on his record. This is because Minnesota laws make it hard to not grant a license on a misdemeanor so old.
Anoka County’s director of community social services and mental health states that this will clearly give greater breadth to the background checks. He states that the proposal was meant to catch the blind spots and there are definitely blind spots.
The proposed bill, under the changes proposed by Tim Pawlenty, Gov. of Minnesota, would do criminal background check not only in the area of residence for the applicant, however, in the surrounding areas as well. Minnesota laws currently do not check in surrounding areas and state wide. Also, new applicants for foster care and those renewing license will be required to undergo fingerprint checks which would be compared to a national database.
The deeper check routine may in fact help catch molesters slipping through the cracks of the foster care system. An estimated $1.3 million dollars will be spent for Minnesota’s system overhaul. As the assistant commissioner for operations in Minnesota’s Department of Human Services puts it “it’s just simply a better way to do it.”
Bryan Nash Background Check