On Foster Care in Los Angeles; The Business of Child Abuse
Childcare services (DCFS) in the city of Los Angeles face ever-increasing pressure to avoid removing abused and neglected children from their homes.
The emphasis now is on placing abused and neglected children in the homes of relatives, and/or returning foster children to their birth homes as quickly as possible.
The vetting process, necessary before an abused or neglected child can return home, has been simplified and sped up. The policy is a success when viewed by numbers alone, and this is considered progress.
Yet, we are no longer shocked when foster children are returned to birth parents that are clearly not ready - or worse - remain a bad influence on the very children the state sought to protect.
As recently revealed by the LA Times, the county of Los Angeles has a financial stake in placing as few children as possible into foster care. The county gets to keep the leftover money.
It’s an interesting social experiment, using financial incentives to reduce numbers of children in foster care. If only such a system existed with our inmates residing in prison care.
Here's an experiment; ask any social worker or therapist who has anything to do with foster care, how many times they have witnessed abused and neglected children idiotically returned to birth parents by the courts and clueless judges.
The county incentivizes the decrease in foster care numbers because extra money left over is to be used on programs such as drug treatment, parenting classes, 'make work,' and other dubious measures theoretically designed to keep children in their homes instead of foster care.
Well, it sounds nice, but then again, how many of these reunited children cycle back into foster care because they reunited too quickly? Thus the 'numbers,' only begin to tell the true stories.
Paved with good intentions, this road has led to more abuse and neglect, wasted tax dollars and horribly, perhaps the death of children who should have been removed and not returned to their original homes where they are fodder for repeat abuse.Continued on the next page