Adoptive Father Accused of Murder, Child Abuse
The Child Abuse Laws that Could Destroy Your Reputation
By Dr. Mercola
The ugly truth is that San Diego isn't the only community where false accusations of child abuse occur. Across the nation, the practice has become so blatant that some of the leading experts on child abuse and foster care have started to cry "foul."
About the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is the federal law on which almost all state and local legislation and funding for child protective services are based. Enacted in 1988, CAPTA directs the U.S. Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families to provide grants to communities for child abuse prevention programs.
As a federal mandate, CAPTA mandates states to implement child abuse laws on their own, so they can align themselves for the massive funding and grants that go along with the law.
In theory as the years went by, if the goal for this law - to reduce child abuse in this country - had been successful, then today we should need less funding for these programs, not more. Success also should have resulted in fewer children in foster care and even fewer being put up for adoption.
But in reality, the opposite happened. Instead of less children in foster care, the numbers went up for nine years after CAPTA was passed. And, layers and layers of state and federal government programs and agencies whose funding depends solely on child abuse occurring were created.
In 1999 foster care numbers started dropping - but only because of new laws that encouraged states to move children out of foster care and into adoptive homes.
Of course, that legislation came with funding too, giving CPS a new avenue for making more money and creating more jobs and more programs. The tragedy is what Van Doorn pointed out in his campaign: the financial incentives for rooting out child abuse actually encourage agencies to make false accusations against parents, and to tear families apart for something that did not occur.
How this Law Actually has Increased Child Abuse Reports
What happened in San Diego is not an anomaly, nor is it new. In 1991, the bi-partisan National Commission on Children had already figured out that children were being taken from their families "prematurely or unnecessarily" because federal formulas give states "a strong financial incentive" to do so rather than provide services to keep families together."1
As a result, the federal government and a number of states created legislation that was supposed to keep more families together. But as the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (NCCPR) reports, those efforts only disrupted more families, and encouraged more adoptions.
Again, the reason is financial: the new laws give "bounties to states of up to $8,000 or more per child for every adoption they finalize over a baseline number," NCCPR reports. And again, all the help goes to foster and adoptive parents. "About the only parents the federal government won't help indefinitely are birth parents," NCCPR found.
But the injustices don't stop there, because in order to get that money, states have to have children to take away and place - and therein lies the incentive to falsely accuse parents of harming their children and to forcibly remove children even when there is no evidence to do so.
Kim Hart, a trial strategist and facilitator who has been assisting attorneys in defending persons accused of child abuse for more than 18 years. They're investigating people who have never been charged, and calling them child abusers, and taking kids away, and they get paid to do it.
This mechanism is bigger than what most people know. It goes all the way back to the 1980s [It actually goes back much, much futher] with legislation that told states they had to develop registries with mandatory child abuse reporting."
The money that follows a child abuse accusation and subsequent placement of the so-called endangered children into foster care or adoption is the real catalyst for the epidemic of child abuse accusations, Hart said.
"And there is no incentive for any physician or anybody involved to be intellectually honest about this because the law also gives them immunity if they're wrong," she said.
"So what happens is that the minute CPS is involved - or the second the EMTs are called (for example, in sudden infant death or alleged shaken baby cases), parents are already labeled as child abusers."
How are States Spending this Extra Money?
According to NCCPR, in FY 2010 the federal government is expected to spend at least $7 more on foster care and $4 more on adoption for every $1 spent to prevent foster care or speed reunification. This is based on President Obama's $4.681 billion foster care budget for FY2010 - an increase of $21 million over FY2009. The number represents a decrease of 4,300 children a month in foster care.
But this decrease is based on "placement of children in more permanent settings." In other words, states are getting more money to take care of fewer children by placing more of them in adoptive homes.
The law also increases incentives for adoption by paying out $1,000 to $8,000 extra for certain types of children who are placed for adoption.
The twist is that states are not required to put this money back in to keeping families intact or even for preventing child abuse. Instead, by law, they can use it for non-child-related things, such as delivering meals to senior citizens or for transportation services, or a range of other home-based services!
In San Diego, Van Doorn couldn't get a direct answer when he demanded that city officials tell him where their $4,000 per adopted child was going. But a look at any state's budget - from Minnesota to Florida to Connecticut and back to California - can tell you that local governments and states are cutting back or flat-lining children's services and using these extra federal dollars to balance their budgets .
Not Enough Abused Children? Change the Definition of Child Abuse
This certainly is a convoluted way to stop child abuse, if for no other reason than it's a form of child abuse to tear families apart and take children away from parents who are accused of doing something they didn't do. It also doesn't explain one of the newer definitions of child abuse that came along after CAPTA was enacted, Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS).
Reliable statistics on SBS do not exist, but according to the National Shaken Baby Coalition (NSBC), as many as 1,500 babies a year are shaken by their parents, and either severely injured or killed.
While the numbers may not seem exceedingly large, they still add another arena in which CPS can seize children from their parents, and place them in adoptive homes - and claim the booty that the federal government gives them for doing this.
On the Backs of Children, an Industry Based on Child Abuse has Arisen
In San Diego, CPS proudly announced that due to their efforts, child abuse reports had gone down. But again, Van Doorn busted them - the numbers went down, he said, because the public had begun to catch on to the county's recent court cases they'd lost in conjunction with false child abuse allegations.
When you apply this same thinking to the national statistics, it makes you wonder how many other states and local municipalities are dealing with false allegations.
The truth is staggering, according to Hart, and is so prevalent that countless blogs have popped up addressing the problem, [This one included ! ] as well as entire websites devoted to helping people who've been falsely accused of child abuse.[Well done all of you! ]
Shaken Baby Syndrome - A Convenient Catch-All to Steal Babies Away?
Shaken Baby Syndrome has become an industry in itself, according to Dr. Edward Yazbak, a physician who has devoted the past 10 years to studying the issue and testifying as an expert witness on behalf of parents he believes are innocent of this crime.
"This is an inverted pyramid," Yazbak says. "It's an idea that has been added to and added to, but does not stand to science.
This shaken baby business has come out of nowhere and become an epidemic, and it's the other side that's making money - the child protective services, the funding, the grants that all these people get.
It's obviously a very popular and passionate thing with them. But they're literally convicting people before they're even accused. It's the only crime in the world like this, and many of these parents are perfectly innocent."
A short Internet search can show you what Dr. Yazbak is talking about. Hundreds of private adoption agencies around the nation are totally dependent on public welfare services supplying them with children - and funds - to keep their "businesses" going.
Likewise, hundreds of state, county and community agencies and governmental jobs are dependent on the same thing - legally abducting children to pay for the programs that have sprung up in the name of protecting children.
Again, the numbers tell the story:
In 1990, two years after CAPTA was created, nearly 2.6 million children nationwide were reported as abused and/or neglected, and referred for investigation. Despite the law, six years later, in 1996, 3 million children were reportedly abused, and under CPS "investigations." Today the number varies, depending on how federal authorities define child abuse. Under one definition, statistics show that the numbers have dropped by nearly a third.
But with a "more inclusive" definition, the numbers have stayed the same at about 3 million - or about 1 in every 25 children. In a 2010 report to Congress, the Administration on Children and Families explained how the numbers figure in the face of other data showing a decline in child abuse.
But no matter how you interpret them, or whether the numbers have stayed the same or dropped, the Congressional report doesn't explain why the President and Congress have continued to inflate budgets with more money to take children away from their families.
So what can you or I do about it?
According to Hart, this is an issue that can't be fixed with a single article or a few phone calls. It's a national problem that's gone on for decades, that needs local and federal pushes to change the laws that made these injustices possible.
Coincidentally, CAPTA is up for renewal in 2011, with billions more of your money proposed for the kinds of child abuse "prevention" that I've talked about here.
In an effort to change this, I encourage you to study the links I've included in this article [Am still working on posting these links - meanwhile go to URL address under title and use links there], and then contact your legislators and ask them to take a closer look at the monster that CAPTA has created.
While sunsetting the law or stopping its funding is probably only a dream, Hart believes it's possible that with enough pressure, you can lobby to have the "immunity" clause removed from this, so that at the very least, agencies who falsely accuse parents of child abuse can't do so without being held responsible.
1 National Commission on Children, Beyond Rhetoric: A New American Agenda for Children and Families, (Washington, DC: May, 1991) p.290.
from Democracy Now - The War and Peace Report
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, continuing with immigration news, we turn now to a major new report that looks at thousands of U.S.-born children whose parents are detained or deported. It is called "Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System." http://www.nalacc.org/fileadmin/Documents/Biblioteca_recursos/ARC_Report_Shattered_Families_FULL_REPORT_Nov2011Release.pdf
According to the report, there are at least 5,100 children currently living in foster care who are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents. If nothing changes, researchers found 15,000 more children may end up in foster care in the next five years.
The Applied Research Center (ARC) is a 30-year-old racial justice think tank that uses media, research and activism to promote solutions. ARC’s mission is to popularize racial justice and prepare people to achieve it. For more information on ARC’s work, please visit http://www.arc.org/.
ABOUT THE REPORT:
Link here to read the full report: http://www.nalacc.org/fileadmin/Documents/Biblioteca_recursos/ARC_Report_Shattered_Families_FULL_REPORT_Nov2011Release.pdf
Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System, a report by the ARC, is the first national investigation on threats to families when immigration enforcement and the child welfare system intersect.
It explores the extent to which children in foster care are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents and the failures of the child welfare system to adequately work to reunify these families. ARC’s yearlong research project found that Clara and Josefina’s children are among thousands of children currently in foster care who are separated from their family because of immigration enforcement.
Immigration policies and laws are based on the assumption that families will, and should, be united, whether or not parents are deported.2 Similarly, child welfare policy aims to reunify families whenever possible. In practice, however, when mothers and fathers are detained and deported and their children are relegated to foster care, family separation can last for extended periods. Too often, these children lose the opportunity to ever see their parents again when a juvenile dependency court terminates parental rights.
Systematic research on this topic is challenging, because child welfare departments and the federal government fail to document cases of families separated in this way. This “Shattered Families” report is the first to provide evidence on the national scope and scale of the problem. As more noncitizens are detained, the number of children in foster care with parents removed by ICE is expected to grow.
Without explicit policies and guidelines to protect families, children will continue to lose their families at alarming rates.
KEY RESEARCH FINDINGS:
Whether children enter foster care as a direct result of their parents’ detention or deportation, or they were already in the child welfare system, immigration enforcement systems erect often-insurmountable barriers to family unity.
KEY BARRIERS TO FAMILY UNITY:
As the federal government continues to expand its immigration enforcement infrastructure, detention and deportation will continue to pose barriers to family unity for families involved in the child welfare system. Federal, state and local governments must create explicit policies to protect families from separation.
These polices should stop the clock on the child welfare process and the immigration enforcement process to ensure that families can stay together and allow parents to make the best decisions for the care and custody of their children.
STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT:
This “Shattered Families” report will explore the treacherous intersection of immigration enforcement and the child welfare system. The report is divided into six sections. Section II, “Background on Immigration Enforcement, Child Welfare and Anti-Immigrant Bias,” will provide important background of the immigration enforcement and child welfare/juvenile dependency systems. It will then present ARC’s findings on systemic anti-immigrant bias in the child welfare system. Section III, “Immigration Enforcement, Detention and Shattering of Families,” explores ARC’s research findings on the treacherous intersection of immigration enforcement and child welfare and maps the paths that lead to children entering or remaining in foster care while their parents are detained or deported. Section IV, “Deportation, Systemic Bias and Barriers to Reunification”, discusses ARC’s findings on threats to family unity after a parent is deported and the failure of the child welfare system to adequately move toward reunifying these children with their parents or place them with family members in the United States.
This report concludes with a set of recommendations for change. An appendix that includes a full explanation of ARC’s research methods follows the report.
"How to Protect Your Parental Rights from Detention" Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project
Spanish / English (PDF)
"FAQ: Detained Parents with Minor Kids" Americans for Immigrant Justice (formerly, FIAC)
Spanish / English (PDF)
Thousands of Kids Taken From Parents In U.S. Deportation System ColorLines magazine by Seth Freed Wessler, Wednesday, November 2 2011
"Torn Apart by Immigration Enforcement: Parental Rights and Immigration Detention" Women's Refugee Commission
Lead-in article for below http://www.law.arizona.edu/depts/bacon_program/disappearing_parents_report.cfm
"Disappearing Parents: A Report on Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System" University of Arizona. Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program
"The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Child Welfare" First Focus
Child Protective Services: CPS and Police Abuse,
Constitution, Invading Homes, Kidnapping Children,
Ignoring Courts, and Criminalizing Americans.
Mass CPS Corruption P1
Mass CPS Corruption P2
CPS Wrongful Removal of Baby
DA Willing to Prosecute CPS Judges in Texas
Innocence Destroyed - Part 1
Innocence Destroyed - Part 2
Innocence Destroyed - Part 3
Alex Jones - CPS and Pedophilia - 6-9-09 Part 1/2
Alex Jones - CPS and Pedophilia - 6-9-09 Part 2/2
Former CPS director sentenced to 10 years for child molestation:
judge rejects recommendation of 1 year in jail and treatment
Gary E. Anderson, a former supervisor with Child Protective Services, was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to first-degree child rape and molestation.
Former Arizona CPS Official Arrested Child Molestation + Pornography
Arizona CPS Covers Up Child Abuse in Childrens Shelters, Group Homes, Auditor General Report
CPS focus turns to children in shelters
DES officials, attorneys from Calif. center to meet
by Mary K. Reinhart - Oct. 20, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Top officials from Arizona's child-welfare agency will meet with California child-advocacy attorneys about how to reduce the number of babies and young children living in crisis shelters and group homes.
Pressure from the San Francisco-based Youth Law Center helped to nearly empty Arizona shelters 5 years ago + place more children with foster families. Then, as now, the state's overloaded child-welfare system was undergoing public scrutiny following highly publicized child injuries and deaths.
Marsha Porter, who runs the 15-bed Crisis Nursery in Phoenix, said most of the young children she's cared for in recent months are part of sibling groups. She said a few days in a shelter, particularly to keep siblings together and assess their well-being, is fine for children.
Porter and Chris Scarpati, founder and CEO of the East Valley Child Crisis Center, said they're also getting CPS children so traumatized that their first foster families couldn't handle them.
Porter said she's turning away 20 to 30 requests for CPS placements every month.
Shauffer's company has worked around the country to eliminate group care for children younger than 3 and has successfully sued to close shelters in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
In 2006, Maricopa County shelters were housing nearly 100 babies and young children, following a 60 percent increase in the number of foster children since 2002.
But with financial and technical help from the Casey Foundation, and pressure from the law center, state officials brought those numbers to near zero.
Reach the reporter at maryk .email@example.com.