The practice of many Child Protective Agencies around the country is to take children immediately and sort it all out later, but at what cost? Countless lives are being destroyed, and untold damage is being done to thousands of children by the very system that was designed to protect them. Families are being ripped apart and children are being taken as commodities to be traded for financial gain and to satisfy a corrupt agenda.
It is time for a major overhaul of the system, both on the state and federal level.
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The majority of Americans, and even Canadians, are blissfully unaware of the horrors that are taking place beneath our very noses. It is not unlike the German citizens, who remained largely unaware of the Nazi agenda, all the while neighbors and fellow citizens were being quietly whisked away to face extermination in the concentration camps.
But it is happening, and we may unwittingly play right into the atrocities when we defend the system, believing that anytime a child is taken, “there must be more to the story.” What I have uncovered in recent months as an investigative writer for Health Impact News’ Medical Kidnap division is that, many times, there really ISN’T more to the story. At least, there is not anything that would justify the trauma being done to the very children the system was designed to protect.
In a recent article for Health Impact News, Professor Steven Isham wrote, “According to the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) in Washington, the calculated average is for every 1 child removed from an abusive home, there are 17 children removed from loving non-offending homes nationwide.”
Stop and let that number sink in for a minute. SEVENTEEN. These are children taken from innocent families, for every one taken from a truly abusive home. This number is unacceptable.
These are sometimes tiny babies taken from the arms of their mother, where they belong, and placed into the arms of a stranger. This is bonding that is sabotaged; breastfeeding that is halted; early development that is delayed in its tracks. Newborns are designed to be skin-to-skin with their mothers, and they are born with the expectation of their parents’ voices, of HER smell. There is nothing else that can ever come close to that. Countless studies show the physical, emotional, psychological, and neurological benefits of babies under a year having strong connections to their biological mother.
Toddlers are taken from the people they have only recently learned they are actually a separate person from, and then given psychotropic drugs to treat the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms that they exhibit, because of the very normal response to being taken from their parents. They feel abandoned and helpless, because they cannot comprehend why mom and dad are not there and they are suddenly with strangers.
Children and teenagers are being taken and put in jeopardy because their parents dared to ask for a second opinion or question a diagnosis or treatment. Justina Pelletier, Isaiah Rider, Marcky Herrmann, and Christopher Brown have each made headlines in the past two years for just such reasons, and several of them have gone on record saying their parents did nothing wrong and they want to come home.
Society justifies this devastation to children because CPS social workers are seen as the heroes who rescue a child from an abusive situation. But many reports are showing that children often go into a WORSE situation than the one they were “rescued” from, sometimes suffering abuse at the hands of their foster parents. Sexual molestation, physical abuse, and degrading treatment happen to children all too often who are part of the system. Only this time, they don’t have the benefit of any family members around them whom they know and trust.
But we all hear the stories of children who are horribly abused and NEED to be removed and protected. Sadly, that is true. Ironically, many times those are the very children who are left in their abusive homes. Could it be that the social workers are too busy with seventeen other children that they should be leaving alone to get to the one who desperately needs their help?
It is not a crime to be poor. Even the ancient proverb tells us that it is better to be poor where there is love, than to be surrounded by riches where love is absent. Yet children are sometimes taken for the parents having committed no more crime than being poor. It goes into the CPS records as “neglect,” which is often a broad catch-all term to justify removal when there is no evidence of wrong-doing or abuse.
All over the country, children are being taken from loving parents on suspicion of abuse when there was an accidental injury and the parents do the “responsible” thing by taking the child to the emergency room. What they don’t know is that most children’s hospitals now have child abuse doctors on staff who may be actively searching for ways to accuse unsuspecting parents. They don’t realize that there is financial incentive for the hospital to turn over children to CPS.
It is estimated that statistically more children in foster care have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder than soldiers returning from war. While some of that is certainly due to abuse that some of these children have suffered which warranted their removal, other children suffer the trauma precisely BECAUSE of the very fact that they were removed from the family they know and love.
Sometimes children are switched from facility to foster home to other home multiple times, even in the course of a few months. How can those children be expected to bond with anyone? How can they escape permanent psychological damage? All the while, federal laws requiring placement with relatives or friends first are being ignored in many cases.
Here is a basic underlying truth of human nature – we are designed to bond with our biological families. No matter how bad things may be, we are all wired to want to connect with our own biological mother and father. When children are adopted or otherwise separated from their parents, there is a hunger inside to find that specific person, to provide answers and to fill a void that is inevitably there when the parent is not. Even in the healthiest of adoption situations, this need still exists, deep within the soul of the person adopted.
Every child who goes into the system experiences this at some level. This could perhaps explain the frighteningly high percentage of foster children who are on psychotropic medications. But surely this is not the best answer that our culture can come up with.
It is interesting to see how frequently children who grow up separated from one or both parents embark on a lifelong quest to find the missing parent as soon as they are old enough to do so. It is an emotional hole that needs to be filled. I recently met an older gentleman who grew up in foster care. He said that he was appropriately taken from his mother, who was abusive and a drug addict. Nevertheless, he told me with tears in his eyes of how he was able to find her many years later, and how he took care of her for the last five years of her life. He counts that as a treasure that can never be replaced. How beautiful.
Something deep inside every child seeks love and approval from their parents. It is the most basic of relationships. When that doesn’t happen, the person frequently spends their whole lives trying to fill and heal that void.
Parents whose children are taken or who lose a child to death carry that loss for the rest of their lives. It isn’t something that they “get over.” They may eventually move on, but the hurt never goes away completely. Old ladies in the nursing home who cannot remember what they ate for lunch will tell with tears in their eyes about the devastating loss of their baby who died almost a century ago.
How much damage does the Child Protective System do to parents who are falsely accused, or whose children are taken on vague grounds or to satisfy a corrupt agenda? This is happening to many more people than most of the public knows. How many families could have, should have, been helped to stay together instead of torn apart forever?
The government steps in to try to stop child abuse – a lofty and worthy goal, surely. But there has got to be a better way, one which acknowledges that the nuclear family is the basic building block of society, that children actually NEED their own parents.
Like most people, I used to believe that children were only taken from homes when they were clearly in danger. I now see that this is not the case. Many jurisdictions have a policy of “removal first, ask questions later.” Children, even tiny babies, are taken for months at a time. Sometimes, it was all a mistake because someone wanted to be “safe, rather than sorry.” But when it comes to separating parents and children, that approach carries very serious repercussions that are often not justified in the end. But by the time everything all shakes out, irreparable damage has been done to the most vulnerable in our society, all in the name of “protecting” them.
This should not be. It is time for us to examine closely the practices of Child Protective Services and the family court system. It is time for a paradigm shift, back to the values that we once cherished – that families matter, and that it is our responsibility as a culture to do everything we can to help families, not destroy them. Interventions should be a mechanism for preserving the family, not tearing them apart. Financial incentives to take children out of homes need to be re-examined, and those which incentivize the removal of children from loving families need to be eliminated. There needs to be more accountability on all levels of the system, and unconstitutional gag orders need to be lifted.
These are the dark secrets that have been hidden from the public eye for decades, but the spotlight is being shown on the corruption like never before. It is time for this to change, for the sake of the children. They matter.