June 16, 2016

STOP TANF from being the child welfare slush fund

Nationally known child welfare expert, Richard Wexler, takes on the funding establishment.

May 9, 2016

Couple accused of holding adoptive children captive, abusing them pleads guilty to some charges

Does adoption really work?  The truth is, we don’t have any idea.  After adoptions are complete, there is no mechanism to keep checking on the children to make sure they are safe.

March 30, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Agency responsible for placing foster children with accused perv previously sent kid to foster parent that tortured them

Tax payer dollars are used to fund adoption stipends and subsidies yet these homes are not being checked on after the adoptions are complete.  Shouldn’t adoptive parents be continuously checked on if they are to keep receiving these federal dollars?  If not, the system is set up for easy fraud with no protections.

February 4, 2014

Mass. Gov defends policy allowing criminals to qualify as prospective foster parents

Boston, we have a problem!  A governor who defends people with dangerous criminal records being allowed to become foster parents.  But it looks like Mass. is not the only state allowing this.  Texas has its share of criminals being cleared to foster vulnerable children as well as no backgrounds checks at all.

February 4, 2014

DCF handbook shocker: Criminal past does NOT disqualify foster parents

It appears that lack of accountability and lack of oversight for future foster parents is written right into the Mass. CPS handbook!  A 14-year-old stealing candy who is all grown up now is quite different from allowing armed assault, drug trafficking, or sex with a minor on a prospective foster parent’s record!

January 23, 2014

DCF Commissioner: We have not lost anymore children

MA state representative David Linsky asks some tough questions in a public hearing about CPS failures in his state and said “there has got to be some accountability.”  PGC couldn’t agree more and we think it applies to Texas CPS problems as well.  During the hearing, MA DCF Commissioner Roche stated when referring to her caseworkers skipping required visits of children in foster care: “This was a gross disregard of policies and procedures of the department.”  Sounds eerily like the recent foster care deaths in Texas – gross lack of accountability leads to gross disregard of policies and procedures which leads to more child deaths.

January 23, 2014

State report: DCF skipping almost 20% of visits to kids’ homes

What kind of caseworker just decides she will skip visiting a vulnerable child in their home and not make sure the child is safe and protected?  The caseworker that was fired for this admitted her “professional gaze drifted.”  What does that even mean?  There’s no excuse for ignoring policies and procedures your job requires and caseworkers need to start being held accountable.

January 23, 2014

MA DCF tries to blame private contractor while a third of DCF’s social workers are found to be unlicensed

We agree with Texas’ own Irene Clements in her quote: “State governments are putting a lot of trust into the contracting process and putting a lot of reliance on how well the state can monitor those contracts,” said Irene Clements, president of the National Foster Parent Association. “So when they try to blame it all on the contractor, the buck doesn’t stop there. They can’t say, ‘We didn’t know.’ They maybe didn’t know about a particular situation, but they know the history of performance on that agency.”

Since 80% of Texas foster care is already contracted to private companies and Texas is currently piloting Foster Care Redesign to expand privatization of foster care and related services, it is IMPERATIVE that we get it right when it comes to ACCOUNTABILITY and CONTRACT MANAGEMENT or children will be further victimized by the system and its failure to protect.  This management needs to heavily apply to the actual PEOPLE doing the work.  Children are not check boxes on a form.  They need time and attention from people in order to be properly protected.

December 18, 2013

Private foster care system, intended to save children, endangers some

California’s privatized foster care system FAILS children.  This article could be written about almost any state in our nation!  The money works the same in every state because it is from federal Title IV-E funding.  Privatization of foster care has proven time and time again to cost more and fail children.  When will states learn from this and decide to do something different???

December 10, 2013

North Carolina CPS supervisor and partner indicted for abusing foster child

Shocking abuse details are still emerging from this case that originally discovered an 11-year-old foster child cuffed to a porch with a chicken around his neck.  The couple’s other adoptive children were also taken into CPS custody – but can CPS be trusted to protect these children (or the other children under that CPS supervisor) when their own employee was abusing her own foster and adoptive children???

November 20, 2013

Former foster mother indicted for child abuse, endangerment

Another unnecessary child death caused by a foster parent not following CPS procedure in order to get around childcare rules by allowing an unapproved person to babysit.

November 1, 2013

Adoption group calls for U.S. laws to stop online child trading

It is interesting to note how supporters of adoption are quick to excuse “re-homing” as an act by innocent people who are desperate and need help and refer to it as “online child trading.”  They give adoptive parents the benefit of the doubt and ask for more resources to help them, such as education and training.  HOWEVER, if a biological parent were to try to “re-home” a child they were having trouble with, it would be called “child trafficking” and they would be put in jail – no offer of training, education, or resources for them – and of course CPS would become involved. 

October 23, 2013

Foster youth at risk for sex trafficking

Another more obvious “fix” for the broken foster care system might be to spend money on services for biological parents to help them resolve their issues and return more children to their homes or serve them safely in their homes.  Foster children are speaking out about the horrible atrocities that the current foster care system seems to cause and the fact that “nothing-but-a-paycheck” foster parents are not a good alternative if they are only fostering for a paycheck.  Note: the reason the article keeps referring to money paid for “children from needy families” is that the federal government only reimburses states for taking children from families that meet federal low-income guidelines. 

October 22, 2013

Legislators object to Kansas CPS withholding foster care findings

This is what privatization of foster care can do to a state.

Kansas University receives $2.5 million grant to improve foster care

While we agree that trauma-informed care is very important, any programs developed to help children with trauma while in foster care need to keep in mind that REMOVAL is a trauma as well and it is not fair (or even truly evidence-based) to blame all trauma on supposed previous abuse and/or neglect without a baseline before removal for the child’s trauma.  To evaluate a child for trauma without including the trauma of removal does not serve children in a meaningful or honest way.  It sure would be nice if researchers could receive million dollar grants for figuring out how to better serve biological families, how to serve children better in their homes, and how to help parents with unresolved trauma in their own lives that may be effecting their ability to parent.

October 4, 2013

Foster care agency accused of fraud to pay $1 million

Taxpayer money was used for luxury cars, trips, and excessive salaries for owners

October 3, 2013

Kansas officials investigate complaints about Wichita child welfare group

This is why Parent Guidance Center fought so hard during Texas foster care reform to keep “case management” out of the hands of private companies who wanted to “own the whole case” and thus “own the family” and all decisions about them.  It is important to keep boundaries and checks and balances in place so that private companies can’t do this in our state.  Bravo for the brave legislators that believed their constituents and actually asked for the investigation. 

September 30, 2013

Children’s Rights loses lawsuit against Massachusetts CPS

This is good news for the people of MA because in our opinion Children’s Rights lawsuits only serve the lawyers involved and put states in a decades-long choke-hold via outside monitors.  Although CR lawsuits often contain true information, the “fix” for the state CPS system involved never matches the problems.  The “monitors” settle for undisclosed amounts of taxpayer money and put people from outside the state in charge of the CPS system, thus creating what we call a “fourth branch” of government.  We feel CPS should remain under control of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of each state. 

Click here for a copy of the full judgement

 

September 23, 2013

Mother loses parental rights to 4 of her children

September 10, 2013

Washington couple could face decades in prison for their adopted daughter’s death

At what point will someone decide that we need to start following up on adopted children – both foreign and domestic adoptions???

September 10, 2013

Americans use the internet to abandon children adopted from overseas

July 3, 2013

Foster care deaths up 20% in Georgia

Texas is not the only state with increasing foster care deaths.  Is this becoming a national trend?

July 2, 2013

Pennsylvania mom settles lawsuit over poppy seed drug test

June 17, 2013

Suspension won’t be removed for kindergartener with cap gun

If a biological parent interrogated their child for hours and made them wet their pants, they would be accused of child abuse, but when school officials do it, it’s apparently okay.

July 2, 2012

State high court ruling may effect parents with mental health issues

Under the “predictive neglect” doctrine or “potential risk” standard ALL parents’ rights are at stake, sometimes merely based on another’s opinion of them or their behavior.

April 11, 2012

St. Charles County foster parent charged with child abuse

Sometimes it seems CPS has lower standards for stranger foster care and only gives lip-service to relative placements.  This child could have been healthy and safe at the beginning of the case if CPS had followed their own procedures and placed him where he should have been – with his great aunt.

February 26, 2013

Family Reunification Act could restore parental rights in some lost custody cases

Bravo for another state doing something right.  Ironically, this begs the question of why can’t CPS systems do right by children they serve in the first place by helping parents with complicated problems rather than spending millions on foster care only to then decide biological parents are okay only because the kids were not adopted.  However, this kind of law is definitely a step in the right direction.