Child Welfare Reform
Why Reform is needed in Child Welfare
Nobody can say that there are not children who need to be protected from abuse or neglect. There are. Nobody wants to see a child being abused or hurt by the people who are supposed to love and care for them but it happens. When that is the case we need a system that steps in to help not only the child but the whole family. Every reasonable effort needs to be made to help keep that child safe in their family. If the child can not stay with the parents, they need to be with a grandparent or an aunt or uncle who loves them. For some odd reason, the general mentality of the masses who haven't experienced child welfare is that the best way to protect a child is to take them from their homes and throw them into foster care. In most cases however it's not.
Unfortunately the whole Child Welfare system is a mess. It's fraught with incompetence, lies and corruption. There are good and bad CPS workers and for the parents it's the luck of the draw. Reform of the system is desperately needed so that kids who need the protection get it and the kids who don't are left alone. The foster care system needs reform because it's overwhelmed, so many children so few quality homes. Kids are abused, drugged or come out so damaged that they have no chance for a normal life.
It's not just the CPS agency either. Many of the Non-Governmental Agencies (NGO's) and private service providers are in on it too. Without the kids in the system, many of these NGO's would have no reason to exist so they fight to keep their meal tickets. A private foster care agency or group home needs kids so that they can stay in business. Lawyers need cases to run their businesses and often delay things in an effort to run up the billable hours. Shrinks diagnose kids with various disorders because once their labeled, they qualify for more services. With so many private and government agencies involved, each taking their own little slice of a huge pie that is often based on the number of kids in their care, it's a wonder that anyone gets a fair shot at all.
And quite frankly, foster care is absolutely the worst situation for a child to grow up in. Kids are bounced from home to home. They are abused at much higher rates in care than out and more likely to be molested in foster home than with their biological families. Too many kids come out of it all messed up. Only about half even graduate high school and if they never go home or never get adopted they can end up on the street at the ripe old age of 18 to 21 depending on what state they're in. Occasionally you see the foster care success story in the news but those are rare while the rest are swept under the rug. For the most part it is because they are taking too many kids without enough quality homes to place them in.
So we need to fix this mess. We need a system that is honest, follows the law and doesn't overstep it's boundries. We need a system that takes care of the kids, and does everything to help them stay safe in their homes. The question is, how do we achieve this?