by Brian Shilhavy
Health Impact News Editor
Children taken away from troubled families and put into foster care do not do as well as children left in troubled homes. This fact is not even in dispute. So why does the current system still exist, when it is clearly destroying the lives of so many children?
Studies Show Children are Worse Off in Foster Care
There have been numerous reports published over the past several years that clearly show the current foster care system is an abysmal failure. Children who stay with parents who are accused (but not arrested or convicted) of “abuse” or “neglect” clearly do better than most of the children being put into foster care.
In 2007 Joseph Doyle, an economics professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, published a study which tracked at least 15,000 kids from 1990 to 2002. It was the largest study of its kind at that time.
USA Today ran a story on the report – Study: Troubled homes better than foster care. Here are some excerpts:
Children whose families are investigated for abuse or neglect are likely to do better in life if they stay with their families than if they go into foster care, according to a pioneering study. Kids who stayed with their families were less likely to become juvenile delinquents or teen mothers and more likely to hold jobs as young adults.
Doyle’s study…. provides “the first viable, empirical evidence” of the benefits of keeping kids with their families, says Gary Stangler, executive director of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, a foundation for foster teens. Stangler says it looked at kids over a longer period of time than had other studies. “It confirms what experience and observation tell us: Kids who can remain in their homes do better than in foster care,” says Stangler.
Read the full study here.
Joseph Doyle did another study, one year later in 2008, comparing children left in troubled homes with foster care children to see which group was more likely to be arrested as adults. The study looked at 23,000 children, and it found that “children placed in foster care have arrest, conviction, and imprisonment rates as adults that are three times higher than those of children who remained at home.” Read the full study here.
Why Is This Failed System Allowed to Continue?
In his 2007 study, Joseph Doyle gives clear evidence as to why the foster care system is still in existence, even with such abysmal results:
Although foster care is meant to be a temporary arrangement, children stay in care for an average of two years, and there are currently over 500,000 children in care (US Department of Health and Human Services 2005). Roughly 60 percent of foster children return home; 15 percent are adopted; and the remainder “age out” of foster care (Fred C. Wulczyn, Kristen Brunner Hislop, and Robert M. Goerge 2000). Three quarters of these children live with substitute families, one-third of which are headed by relatives of the children. These families are paid a subsidy of approximately $400 per month per child (Child Welfare League of America 1999), and states spend over $20 billion each year to administer these child protective services (Roseana Bess et al. 2002).
The foster care system is a $20 billion taxpayer funded business, employing tens of thousands of people in the United States. Do we really expect government employees, which include not only social service workers but juvenile and family court judges and employees, to advocate putting themselves out of a job?
What is the Solution?
There is only one solution, since the system is so corrupt and beyond reform: Abolish it.
All federal funding for foster care and adoption should immediately be abolished. Let local law enforcement arrest and prosecute criminal parents the same as any other suspected criminal, rather than incarcerating the alleged victims by kidnapping them. Criminal parents are the ones who should be removed from homes, not innocent children.
Without the more than $20 billion in federal funding used for trafficking children, far fewer children will be taken from their homes. In cases where parents are removed with due process of law, the incentives in local communities would be to place the children with relatives, rather than the State. For the very few remaining children who have had their parents incarcerated and have no relatives, local communities can develop their own programs without federal funding, which would include adoption to parents who can afford to take care of children without the aid of federal funds.
It is time the American tax payer stops funding the U.S. child trafficking business, which is nothing more than a modern-day form of slavery.
For those just being introduced to the topic of medical kidnapping and child trafficking via foster care for the first time, and having doubts that this is real, or thinking that we are exaggerating the problem, please review these previous articles where former CPS whistleblowers explain how this is in fact happening.