Also, many children have unjustly been removed from homes and placed in far worse environments. Child Protective Services has veered away from helping families to corruption and harming families. These mistakes have also led to the use of children to make money and an overall failure to protect our children. Many changes need to be made to make Child Protective Services a reliable, lawful and respectable organization again, In the past, child protection wasn’t a governmental function. The welfare of children was a family and or private matter.
The poor and needy children were separated from family and sent to institutions which ever run by private organizations. The focus of Child Protective Services later shifted from separation of family to keeping the family together. That is when the private organizations vanished and Child Protective Services began to favor government control. Government control of issues is not always a good thing, and as history has proved, mistakes are made When government intervenes. The Child Protective Services system today is by no means perfect. Because of these governmental mistakes, corruption is allowed to creep in.
In order to fix the problems associated With Child Protective Services, we have to take a deeper look at what is wrong with the system. While the main goal of Child Protective Services is to find and help abused or neglected children, we are finding out that only a small percentage are actually being abused. For many different reasons, some families are unjustly reported to Child Protective Services which can cause the family undue grief and stress. Individuals may file unnecessary, harmful reports because of custody battles, disgruntled neighbors, or divorced parents targeting one another out of spite.
There are also concerns of excessive abuse claims of poor and minority children, Some of these situations deal with improper housing and child care which gain more attention to Child Protective Services reporters. Being poor does not mean that you are not a good parent, nor does it mean that your children are not loved and should be removed from your home. Whatever the reason may be, the allegations of child abuse were substantiated only about one third of the time. So along with false reports of neglect and abuse, all of this unnecessarily adds to the number of cases coming into the system.
This s a problem because it not only harms families, hinders the Child Protective Services system to respond to more important, higher risk cases. The solutions to these problems should be treated with fair and firm consequences. First of all, making a false claim to authorities should be treated and prosecuted as a crime. The abuse allegations should be investigated by a police officer or detective Who has been trained to do this. The current Child Protective Services workers are not trained investigators. Also think that the police should investigate the person or persons reporting the abuse or neglect.
If the police find out that the reports were unfounded, with the intention to harm a family, the authorities should prosecute the reporter to the fullest extent of the law. These malicious reports to a government agency cause unnecessary wasted time, stress, and money. Another discrepancy in the system, and probably the number one reason that Child Protective Services is failing our children is the volume of Gases, There are not enough case workers to adequately accommodate the number of families involved in the Child Protective Services system.
Budget cuts in the economy coupled with the growing number of reported abuse cases, has been a contributing factor in the demise of the Child Protective Services system. Because of the shortage of case workers, Child Protective Services is missing and overlooking some very serious cases, Between 1976 and 1993, the number of children reported as abused or neglected, rose by more than 347% (Scene). How can the Child Protective Services case workers responsibly keep up with that kind of volume? It’s nearly impossible. Child Protective Services can not meet all of the family’s needs alone.
A government agency like Child Protective Services classically works alone without the involvement of the community. Therefore, it makes sense for the community to take an active role and collaborate With Child Protective Services to better serve the families in need. Think we should look at the schools for help. Counselors, psychologists, and schools social workers are tremendous assets to help neglected or abused children. Parents and children should be required to attend counseling sessions as first line of defense.
The schools should collaborate with Child Protective Services to find a solution as to what would be the best for the child and family. Because school personnel must be notified when child abuse is present, it only makes sense to involve the schools as part of the solution. So I think the school community involvement would be a beneficial solution to keep children in their home, This would be better than turning the case immediately over to Child Protective Services and possibly immediate removal of the child into foster care, Remember the saying, “Money is the root to all evil?
Well this is particularly true in the Child Protective Services system today. More families are torn apart, and children are placed n foster care, than ever before because of federal government subsidies. The Adoption and Safe Families Act was supposed to help and support families to stay together. Instead, monies were given to individuals for quick removal of children from their home into foster care This act also terminated parent’s rights quickly and encouraged speedy adoptions.
This act offered cash bonuses to individuals every time a child was adopted out of foster care, The federal government pays Child Protective Services six thousand dollars for having babies removed from their home and adopted quickly without any regard for he biological mother and father. This is outrageous! The more money paid out equals a higher rate Of children in foster care and adoptions. Placing children in foster care and quick adoptions are not always the best option.
In 1998, The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect reported that 6 times as many children died in foster care than in the general public, and that once removed to Official “safety’, these children were far more likely to suffer abuse, including sexual molestation, than in the general population (Martin). As long as the case workers keep moving a child from home to home, money is dispersed. Even some of the foster families are to blame.
Some foster families hand pick the child which will bring in the most money and end up adopting multiple children to bring in even more money, The first resolution for this problem would be to repeal the Safe Families Act. We have to stop paying money for children. Many loving homes are losing their children to an abusive system. Think it would be very difficult to repeal this law. I would start the repeal process at the state level. Would begin with local petitions, Once enough signatures were accumulated, would take them to our state government officials. Hopefully the initiative would be placed on the ballot for a vote from the public.
Once passed in California, the law could be taken to the Senate and Congress to become a nationwide law. Congress, along with the President’s approval, would have the ultimate decision regarding this law. Would do whatever needed to be done to repeal this act and end the financial incentives that separate families. Fifth Safe gamiest Act were repealed, our Child Protective Services system would no longer be underfeed and overloaded. The incentive money that was once used corruptly could now e used for services to help keep families together instead of tearing families apart.
Another problem in the Child Protective Services system is the fact that agents are not always truthful in their investigations and do not always follow correct procedures. Many case workers have used threats and intimidation to take children from their homes. They have even used these tactics to get parents to sign over their parental rights and have gone so far as to withhold evidence to make sure that the parental rights are terminated. Case workers are lying and cheating the system in the name of money.
Some parents are told if they want to see their children again, they must divorce their spouse (Martin), The parents, feeling desperate, will do anything to get their children back home. No one is policing the Child Protective Services case workers. Their word is the truth and no one questions it. Case workers can lie to a police officer or judge without any proof, and these statements can be entered into the court as factual evidence. The first thing would do to alleviate this problem is extensively train all Child Protective Services case workers on correct procedures and laws of the Constitution.
Then monitor the case workers to see if correct procedures are being followed. Another solution would be to video and audio tape all interviews. All contact between Child Protective Services and families/children need to be videotaped so there would be no discrepancies in what was said and done. If you treat the Child Protective Services investigations just like police investigations, many more children would be kept in the home. Fifth authorities found out that the case workers had lied or withheld evidence, they would be subject to a complete investigation by the police and prosecuted if found lilts.
As you can see, there are many problems associated with the current Child Protective Services system. Overall, it really can help a child in need Of a safe environment, but there still are many changes that need to be made. It will literally take an act Of Congress to repeal the Adoption and Safe gamiest Act. So realistically, I don’t see my solution taking place anytime soon. I think the rest Of the solutions are very realistic. It’s just a matter Of making new policies and following them. This may take some time and money, but in the long run, the hillier and families will benefit.