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Child Welfare Agencies in denial as children pay price of panic byRichard Wexler



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 19th 07, 09:07 AM posted to alt.support.child-protective-services,alt.support.foster-parents,alt.dads-rights.unmoderated,alt.parenting.spanking
fx
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,848
Default Child Welfare Agencies in denial as children pay price of panic byRichard Wexler

Agencies in denial as children pay price of panic
Originally posted on July 19, 2007

http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs..../70718084/1015


if the people in charge of child welfare in Southwest Florida were as
good at running the system as they are at making excuses for its
failings, the region would have the safest children in the state.

But they’re not. Children are not even as safe as they were a year ago.
That’s because of the foster-care panic, the huge sudden surge in
children torn from their families, that swept through the region in the
wake of the death of Michelle Fontanez.

Although the panic was supposed to prevent another such tragedy, it did
not stop the death of Zahid Jones. Indeed, the panic may have
contributed to that death, by so overloading workers that they lacked
the time to investigate the Jones case properly.
But far more telling than horror stories are key safety measures for all
children in the system. Since the panic began in District 8, those
measures have stayed the same or worsened. That means all those children
needlessly taken from everyone they know and love are suffering for nothing.

Furthermore, while District 8 still takes children at a rate below the
state average, it takes children at a rate more than double the rate in
Miami — yet Miami does far better at keeping children safe.

Some officials say the increase in removals is due to increased
population growth. But when my organization compares removals of
children we compare rates of removal — the number of children taken for
every thousand impoverished children. That means the surge in removals
far outpaces population growth.

BAD CALL BY DCF

Department of Children and Families District Administrator Harry Propper
says the fact that caseworkers suddenly started taking vastly more
children after Michelle Fontanez died doesn’t mean the workers are
panicking. Propper insists it couldn’t be that these workers were
terrified of having the next such case on their caseload. It couldn’t be
that this fear was reinforced when, months later, a News-Press editorial
declared that the agency would be “crucified, and rightly so” if workers
left another child in danger in her or his own home. There is no penalty
for needlessly sundering hundreds of families.

No, Propper apparently believes that at the very same moment the
Fontanez case hit the papers, workers suddenly discovered a massive
increase in child abuse. Propper also tells us an overview of district
performance is useless; one can measure performance only by looking at
decisions for individual children. In fact, you need both.

Trying to measure progress without an overview is like trying to find
your way out of a labyrinth without a map. But one also can learn a lot
from individual cases. Take, for example, the case of Amber Bellemore.
Bellemore succumbed to drug addiction. But despite a University of
Florida study showing that even children born with cocaine in their
systems do better with birth mothers able to care for them than when
placed in foster care, DCF and the Children’s Network failed to offer a
drug treatment program where Bellemore’s children could live with her.

Nevertheless, while the children were in foster care, Bellemore did
everything right. She got what treatment was available and passed all
her drug tests. Yet DCF and the Children’s Network held her children in
foster care for one reason only: She couldn’t afford a good enough place
to live. So her children joined the 30 percent of America’s foster
children trapped in foster care solely because their families lack
adequate housing.

Chances are we would know none of this if not for the fact that, at
first, the children were placed with a great aunt Bellemore warned was
unsuitable. The great aunt left one of the children in a sweltering car
while shopping. Now, instead of simply helping Bellemore find housing,
DCF and the Children’s Network traumatized the children again by
throwing them into another foster home.

BETTER WAY

A comprehensive new study tells us that by doing so DCF and the
Children’s Network dramatically increased the chances of these children
becoming unemployed, pregnant and delinquent. Another study puts the
odds of them doing well after foster care at only one in five. In
contrast, this same study suggests, the odds that they will be abused in
foster care itself are at least one in three.

If the human cost to these children isn’t enough, consider dollars and
cents: Warehousing three children in foster care costs taxpayers far
more than a rent subsidy and help with a security deposit.

Unlike most states, Florida, to its great credit, negotiated a waiver
allowing it to bypass restrictions on federal child welfare funds. Large
amounts of money normally reserved for foster care can be transferred to
safe, proven alternatives — including housing assistance and family drug
treatment.

So instead of complaining about not getting more money from Tallahassee,
DCF and the Children’s Network should get to work shifting funds from
foster care to better, safer alternatives.

Harry Propper himself put it best, in another context: “If you keep
doing the same things over and over and getting a bad response,” he
said, “you need to change.”

—Richard Wexler is Executive Director of the National Coalition for
Child Protection Reform. NCCPR’s reports on Florida child welfare are
available at www.nccpr.org.


CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CIVIL RIGHTS ON A
DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NSA / CIA
WIRETAPPING PROGRAM....

CPS Does not protect children...
It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even
killed at the hands of Child Protective Services.

every parent should read this .pdf from
connecticut dcf watch...

http://www.connecticutdcfwatch.com/8x11.pdf

http://www.connecticutdcfwatch.com

Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the US
These numbers come from The National Center on
Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)
Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS

*Perpetrators of Maltreatment*

Physical Abuse CPS 160, Parents 59
Sexual Abuse CPS 112, Parents 13
Neglect CPS 410, Parents 241
Medical Neglect CPS 14 Parents 12
Fatalities CPS 6.4, Parents 1.5

CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, HAPPILY DESTROYING HUNDREDS OF INNOCENT
FAMILIES YEARLY NATIONWIDE AND COMING TO YOU'RE HOME SOON...


BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF
REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES
TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY
ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...

  #2  
Old July 19th 07, 05:20 PM posted to alt.support.child-protective-services,alt.support.foster-parents,alt.dads-rights.unmoderated,alt.parenting.spanking
0:-]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 805
Default Child Welfare Agencies in denial as children pay price of panic by Richard Wexler

On Thu, 19 Jul 2007 01:07:08 -0700, fx wrote:

Agencies in denial as children pay price of panic
Originally posted on July 19, 2007

http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs..../70718084/1015


What odd claims, Mr. Wexler, journalist, and not a social services
trained investigator has made here.

I'd have sworn that this district in Florida was the one where
counties no longer used DCF investigators, but the Sheriff's
department investigators.

And this is no recent phenomena. Removal rates, under LE investigation
went UP from almost the first month of inception.

I have a tendency to take Wexler with a grain of salt, or a shaker, as
this is the kind of hyperbole that makes him the darling of the
anti-cps set.

Some of his suggestions, thrown out with such careless abandon, ignore
that funding is inadequate. When he speaks to the real issues...drugs,
crime, mental illness, poverty, with the suggestion that society
properly fund programs he suggests (and we all know are needed) then
I'll put the salt shaker away.

0:]



if the people in charge of child welfare in Southwest Florida were as
good at running the system as they are at making excuses for its
failings, the region would have the safest children in the state.

But they’re not. Children are not even as safe as they were a year ago.
That’s because of the foster-care panic, the huge sudden surge in
children torn from their families, that swept through the region in the
wake of the death of Michelle Fontanez.

Although the panic was supposed to prevent another such tragedy, it did
not stop the death of Zahid Jones. Indeed, the panic may have
contributed to that death, by so overloading workers that they lacked
the time to investigate the Jones case properly.
But far more telling than horror stories are key safety measures for all
children in the system. Since the panic began in District 8, those
measures have stayed the same or worsened. That means all those children
needlessly taken from everyone they know and love are suffering for nothing.

Furthermore, while District 8 still takes children at a rate below the
state average, it takes children at a rate more than double the rate in
Miami — yet Miami does far better at keeping children safe.

Some officials say the increase in removals is due to increased
population growth. But when my organization compares removals of
children we compare rates of removal — the number of children taken for
every thousand impoverished children. That means the surge in removals
far outpaces population growth.

BAD CALL BY DCF

Department of Children and Families District Administrator Harry Propper
says the fact that caseworkers suddenly started taking vastly more
children after Michelle Fontanez died doesn’t mean the workers are
panicking. Propper insists it couldn’t be that these workers were
terrified of having the next such case on their caseload. It couldn’t be
that this fear was reinforced when, months later, a News-Press editorial
declared that the agency would be “crucified, and rightly so” if workers
left another child in danger in her or his own home. There is no penalty
for needlessly sundering hundreds of families.

No, Propper apparently believes that at the very same moment the
Fontanez case hit the papers, workers suddenly discovered a massive
increase in child abuse. Propper also tells us an overview of district
performance is useless; one can measure performance only by looking at
decisions for individual children. In fact, you need both.

Trying to measure progress without an overview is like trying to find
your way out of a labyrinth without a map. But one also can learn a lot
from individual cases. Take, for example, the case of Amber Bellemore.
Bellemore succumbed to drug addiction. But despite a University of
Florida study showing that even children born with cocaine in their
systems do better with birth mothers able to care for them than when
placed in foster care, DCF and the Children’s Network failed to offer a
drug treatment program where Bellemore’s children could live with her.

Nevertheless, while the children were in foster care, Bellemore did
everything right. She got what treatment was available and passed all
her drug tests. Yet DCF and the Children’s Network held her children in
foster care for one reason only: She couldn’t afford a good enough place
to live. So her children joined the 30 percent of America’s foster
children trapped in foster care solely because their families lack
adequate housing.

Chances are we would know none of this if not for the fact that, at
first, the children were placed with a great aunt Bellemore warned was
unsuitable. The great aunt left one of the children in a sweltering car
while shopping. Now, instead of simply helping Bellemore find housing,
DCF and the Children’s Network traumatized the children again by
throwing them into another foster home.

BETTER WAY

A comprehensive new study tells us that by doing so DCF and the
Children’s Network dramatically increased the chances of these children
becoming unemployed, pregnant and delinquent. Another study puts the
odds of them doing well after foster care at only one in five. In
contrast, this same study suggests, the odds that they will be abused in
foster care itself are at least one in three.

If the human cost to these children isn’t enough, consider dollars and
cents: Warehousing three children in foster care costs taxpayers far
more than a rent subsidy and help with a security deposit.

Unlike most states, Florida, to its great credit, negotiated a waiver
allowing it to bypass restrictions on federal child welfare funds. Large
amounts of money normally reserved for foster care can be transferred to
safe, proven alternatives — including housing assistance and family drug
treatment.

So instead of complaining about not getting more money from Tallahassee,
DCF and the Children’s Network should get to work shifting funds from
foster care to better, safer alternatives.

Harry Propper himself put it best, in another context: “If you keep
doing the same things over and over and getting a bad response,” he
said, “you need to change.”

—Richard Wexler is Executive Director of the National Coalition for
Child Protection Reform. NCCPR’s reports on Florida child welfare are
available at www.nccpr.org.


CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CIVIL RIGHTS ON A
DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NSA / CIA
WIRETAPPING PROGRAM....

CPS Does not protect children...
It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even
killed at the hands of Child Protective Services.

every parent should read this .pdf from
connecticut dcf watch...

http://www.connecticutdcfwatch.com/8x11.pdf

http://www.connecticutdcfwatch.com

Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the US
These numbers come from The National Center on
Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)
Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS

*Perpetrators of Maltreatment*

Physical Abuse CPS 160, Parents 59
Sexual Abuse CPS 112, Parents 13
Neglect CPS 410, Parents 241
Medical Neglect CPS 14 Parents 12
Fatalities CPS 6.4, Parents 1.5

CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, HAPPILY DESTROYING HUNDREDS OF INNOCENT
FAMILIES YEARLY NATIONWIDE AND COMING TO YOU'RE HOME SOON...


BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF
REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES
TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY
ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...


  #3  
Old July 20th 07, 05:12 AM posted to alt.support.child-protective-services,alt.support.foster-parents,alt.dads-rights.unmoderated,alt.parenting.spanking
Dragon's Girl
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 160
Default Child Welfare Agencies in denial as children pay price of panic by Richard Wexler

On Jul 19, 9:20 am, "0:-]" wrote:
On Thu, 19 Jul 2007 01:07:08 -0700, fx wrote:
Agencies in denial as children pay price of panic
Originally posted on July 19, 2007


http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs....070719/OPINION...


What odd claims, Mr. Wexler, journalist, and not a social services
trained investigator has made here.

I'd have sworn that this district in Florida was the one where
counties no longer used DCF investigators, but the Sheriff's
department investigators.

And this is no recent phenomena. Removal rates, under LE investigation
went UP from almost the first month of inception.

I have a tendency to take Wexler with a grain of salt, or a shaker, as
this is the kind of hyperbole that makes him the darling of the
anti-cps set.

Some of his suggestions, thrown out with such careless abandon, ignore
that funding is inadequate. When he speaks to the real issues...drugs,
crime, mental illness, poverty, with the suggestion that society
properly fund programs he suggests (and we all know are needed) then
I'll put the salt shaker away.

0:]

Where does that guy live?
There was a 'voices' article written by him in my local paper last
weekend I think it was.
I thought the 'voices' section of our paper was for locals only.

  #4  
Old July 20th 07, 05:41 AM posted to alt.support.child-protective-services,alt.support.foster-parents,alt.dads-rights.unmoderated,alt.parenting.spanking
0:]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 61
Default Child Welfare Agencies in denial as children pay price of panicby Richard Wexler

Dragon's Girl wrote:
On Jul 19, 9:20 am, "0:-]" wrote:
On Thu, 19 Jul 2007 01:07:08 -0700, fx wrote:
Agencies in denial as children pay price of panic
Originally posted on July 19, 2007
http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs....070719/OPINION...

What odd claims, Mr. Wexler, journalist, and not a social services
trained investigator has made here.

I'd have sworn that this district in Florida was the one where
counties no longer used DCF investigators, but the Sheriff's
department investigators.

And this is no recent phenomena. Removal rates, under LE investigation
went UP from almost the first month of inception.

I have a tendency to take Wexler with a grain of salt, or a shaker, as
this is the kind of hyperbole that makes him the darling of the
anti-cps set.

Some of his suggestions, thrown out with such careless abandon, ignore
that funding is inadequate. When he speaks to the real issues...drugs,
crime, mental illness, poverty, with the suggestion that society
properly fund programs he suggests (and we all know are needed) then
I'll put the salt shaker away.

0:]

Where does that guy live?


Wexler? He's the poster boy for the antiCPS nutso crowd. He gives them
what they think is legitimization. But he's a hack. Just another
journalist that's found a ride, and of course does what many of them
do...slant.

He does a great deal of misleading by omission. He does NOT tell the
whole story. Just the part that will make CPS look bad, and avoid
ruffling any public feathers.

When he starts criticizing the real culprits here, THE PUCKERING CITIZEN
PUBLIC, I'll have more respect for him.

He plays to their ignorance.

But then one usually does get kicked in the teeth if they tell the
public thruth...especially 0:] if it's about them and not very nice.

There was a 'voices' article written by him in my local paper last
weekend I think it was.
I thought the 'voices' section of our paper was for locals only.


Don't know your paper. Wexler is slick as hell. He's quite literate. But
then that does not rhyme with honest.

The WHOLE CPS story needs telling. The political boondoggling, the
stripping away of social work research based best practice that should
LEAD all decisions, political and otherwise, but does not.

Basically he wants the money to MOVE from the enforcement side to the
"services to keep families together," side.

Something I'd bet he's smart enough to know is NOT going to work.

The first thing a sleazy politico does, when a program works is to
declare the problem solved....so they don't need to spend money on it
any more.

There are great programs that help a FEW FAMILIES, specially selected as
being most likely to respond, and they take HUGE sums of money to carry
to success. Often two or three or more vendors...therapists, counselors,
in home assistence. Heavy monitoring and support from workers with tiny
caseloads for the project.

As soon as that phase is ended and the wonderful reports are turned in,
bingo, out goes the program TO THE FIELD.

And the funding?

It PUCKERING ENDED. The program will be so distorted that it's the same
in name ONLY. NOTHING like the original program. And little bright eyed
newbie caseworkers will bust their asses and in the end tear their
hearts out trying to make this program work ... while they cannot get
the services, have a monstrous caseload themselves, and everyone rides
them because somehow they aren't getting the same results as the pilot
program got.

Oh, and they don't get to pick 'families most likely to succeed."

It's a con game, Betty.

A lot of foundation money has to be spent up to a point. They fund the
pilots, keep a lot of their own people employed, money is paid for
research grant funding for the next big thrill "preventive intervention
program," and the best that comes from it is that a lot of families that
might have MADE IT WITHOUT THE SPECIAL PROGRAM get the cake icing.

Wexler pops up all the time.

He just did in a research listserve with his old WA OR study on foster
children who graduate the system outcomes.

Same thing. And the researchers response to his hit and run dropping
that in.....they nailed it immediately. A questionable demographic
selection method.

The same damn thing I debated here a year or two ago.

This time from a different angle. How were the children assigned to go
with bio family or with foster placement, and was it truly randomized by
the workers.

Well that's not rocket science to figure out.

So what did Wexler expect, a pat on the back?

They more or less canned the research, except in some sections NOT
relevant to the real question. In situations of abuse and neglect does
foster care really produce worse outcomes for children after they leave
the system?

The answer NOBODY REALLY PUCKERING KNOWS, STILL.

My bitch was the self selection to be interviewed among the ex foster
children.

Let me see now....if I had a good or neutral foster experience would I
describe my present life, no matter how hard, as being a bad outcome?

On the other hand, if I thought that there might be something in it for
me, the thinking common to institutionalized children, how would I respond?

Child one wouldn't even participate.

That's how you stack a demographic sample. Nothing to it, and the
commercial market place "surveys" that end up telling you it's good for
you to smoke cigarettes already nailed down how to do that about 60
years ago.

Do I appear to be a tad "invested" here?

Well, I think shoddy thinking and shoddy research and shoddy reporting
are equally blame for CPS being unable to stand up and kick butt
politically and get the puckering politico punks out of their hair and
get back to real social work based on solid academic research.

It's there. They just don't get to carry it from their graduate seminars
where they learn about it, into the field. Not for the last 20 years at
least.

Kane



 




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