Month: July 2008

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80% FAILURE RATE:Maltreated Kids In Natural Homes Still Do Better Than Foster Care


Foster care systems will continue
to churn out walking wounded

4 out of 5 times!

Imagine this: You go to a surgeon in need of an operation that is necessary in order to save your life.  When asking about his track record, the surgeon tells you…

“Well… 80 % of my patients don’t get any better…”

You’re confused, so you ask…

“In other words, 8 out of 10 patients see no improvement…?”

He replies,

“A lot of the time, they get worse…”

Your confusion grows as he continues,

“In fact, 1/3 of the time, I commit malpractice..”

You figure he is joking around, but decide to bid him farewell…

“Wait…”

The surgeon tries to convince you …

“If you’ll just pay me more money than I already get paid, and build me a fancy new hospital, I might be able to reduce my failure rate … to about 60 %… maybe…”

“Do we have a deal…?”

Odds are you’d look at your surgeon like he was crazy, then search for a second opinion, right?

What if all the other doctors told you the same thing?

What if none of the doctors you asked  could offer any surgeries or treatments with better results or fewer side effects?

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Why is that failure rate acceptable for Child Protective Services who concern themselves with the welfare of children who don’t get to ‘shop around’ or decide what ‘doctor’ to see?

It’s up to US to hold CPS accountable in order to make sure they’re really protecting the interests of the child, not the Government.

Now, consider this:

A study was released on April 7, 2005 by a large, Washington State-based foster-care provider, Casey Family Programs, and Harvard Medical School.

The study used case records and interviews to assess the status of young adult “alumni” of foster care.

When compared to adults of the same age and ethnic background who did not endure foster care: Only 20 percent of the alumni could be said to be “doing well.”

Thus, foster care failed for 80 percent of the children!

  • Foster Children have double the rate of mental illness.

  • Foster Children report rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was double that of Iraqi War veterans.
  • Foster Children were three times more likely to be living in poverty

  • Foster Children were also 15 (fifteen) times less likely to have finished college.

and to top it off…

  • Nearly 1/3 (one-third) of the Foster Children Alumni reported that they had been abused by a foster parent or another adult in a foster home.

The authors went on to design a complex mathematical formula to attempt to figure out how much they could improve these outcomes if every single problem besetting the foster care system were magically fixed….Their answer: 22.2 percent.

Even if one argues that foster care didn’t cause all of these problems, clearly foster care won’t cure them.

Yet the authors of the study recommend only more of the same: Pour even more money into foster care to “fix” it to the point that maybe the rotten outcomes could be reduced by a measly 22.2 percent.

Are you fed up, yet?

Want to read more? Here's The Full Story 

Courtesy of : NCCPR by Richard Wexler: A Brief Analysis of the Casey Family Programs Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study

THE EVIDENCE IS IN

Foster Care vs. Keeping Families Together:

The Definitive Study

NCCPR long has argued that many children now trapped in foster care would be far better off if they had remained with their own families and those families had been given the right kinds of help.

Turns out that’s not quite right.

In fact, many children now trapped in foster care would be far better off if they remained with their own families even if those families got only the typical help (which tends to be little help, wrong help, or no help) commonly offered by child welfare agencies.  That’s the message from the largest study ever undertaken to compare the impact on children of foster care versus keeping comparably maltreated children with their own families.

The study was the subject of a front-page story in USA Today.

The full study is available here.

The study looks at outcomes for more than 15,000 children. It compares foster children not to the general population but to comparably maltreated children left in their own homes. The result: On measure after measure the children left in their own homes do better.

In fact, it’s not even close.

Children left in their own homes are far less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, far less likely to wind up in the juvenile justice system and far more likely to hold a job for at least three months than comparably maltreated children who were placed in foster care.

Want More?  CLICK HERE

Courtesy of:National Coalition for Child Protection Reform / 53 Skyhill Road (Suite 202) /Alexandria, Va. 22314 (703) 212-2006 / info@nccpr.org / http://www.nccpr.org

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Woman’s Head Shaved, Face Branded ‘Snitch’

Police Say Woman Accused Of Calling Child Services

Junw 22, 2007 PHOENIX — Four people have been arrested in connection with kidnapping, assaulting and using a branding iron to burn the word “snitch” on a Mesa woman’s face, police said.

Investigators said they believe the crime was done in retaliation for reporting one of the men and woman to Child Protective Services in February 2006, which ultimately led to CPS taking away their children.

“If CPS removes a child from the house, there must be some very serious allegations,” said Sgt. Chuck Trapani of the Mesa Police Department. “So the children removed, they’re in CPS custody, and now they’re blaming this person for what they did wrong. ”
Click here to find out more!

Police said they arrested James H. Standridge, 34, Jackie L. Getz, 26, and Kibbol A. Avila, 33, on suspicion of kidnapping, aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment.

Preston L. Valdez, 21, was charged with one count each of aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment with a no-bond status.

All of the suspects live in the Mesa area.

Police said the victim, a 38-year-old woman, called the Mesa Police Department on June 13 to report the crime.

Officers said an intensive five-day investigation determined that the group worked together to ensure that the woman would be at a certain apartment in Mesa.

When the woman entered the apartment, the group assaulted and held her against her will, detectives said.

The suspects shaved off a portion of the victim’s hair and, using a branding iron, burned the word “snitch” on her face, then blindfolded her, officers said.

Her body was also burned with a propane torch, investigators said.

The woman was then placed in a vehicle and driven to a neighborhood where she was released, detectives said.

A witness noticed the woman stumbling down the street and called police, according to investigators.

A second witness stopped the victim and waited with her near the road until police and paramedics arrived. The woman was transported to a local hospital where she was treated and later released.

Investigators executed a search warrant at the apartment where the crime took place and found evidence of the crime. They were able to track down and arrest all four suspects.

Bond for Standridge and Getz was set at $270,000. Avila’s bond was set at $80,000.

cps
Woman’s Head Shaved, Face Branded ‘Snitch’

Police Say Woman Accused Of Calling Child Services

Junw 22, 2007 PHOENIX — Four people have been arrested in connection with kidnapping, assaulting and using a branding iron to burn the word “snitch” on a Mesa woman’s face, police said.

Investigators said they believe the crime was done in retaliation for reporting one of the men and woman to Child Protective Services in February 2006, which ultimately led to CPS taking away their children.

“If CPS removes a child from the house, there must be some very serious allegations,” said Sgt. Chuck Trapani of the Mesa Police Department. “So the children removed, they’re in CPS custody, and now they’re blaming this person for what they did wrong. ”
Click here to find out more!

Police said they arrested James H. Standridge, 34, Jackie L. Getz, 26, and Kibbol A. Avila, 33, on suspicion of kidnapping, aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment.

Preston L. Valdez, 21, was charged with one count each of aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment with a no-bond status.

All of the suspects live in the Mesa area.

Police said the victim, a 38-year-old woman, called the Mesa Police Department on June 13 to report the crime.

Officers said an intensive five-day investigation determined that the group worked together to ensure that the woman would be at a certain apartment in Mesa.

When the woman entered the apartment, the group assaulted and held her against her will, detectives said.

The suspects shaved off a portion of the victim’s hair and, using a branding iron, burned the word “snitch” on her face, then blindfolded her, officers said.

Her body was also burned with a propane torch, investigators said.

The woman was then placed in a vehicle and driven to a neighborhood where she was released, detectives said.

A witness noticed the woman stumbling down the street and called police, according to investigators.

A second witness stopped the victim and waited with her near the road until police and paramedics arrived. The woman was transported to a local hospital where she was treated and later released.

Investigators executed a search warrant at the apartment where the crime took place and found evidence of the crime. They were able to track down and arrest all four suspects.

Bond for Standridge and Getz was set at $270,000. Avila’s bond was set at $80,000.

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Court ruling weakens child-rape law in Texas

Death penalty provision in so-called Jessica’s Law is erased.

AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday said states cannot use the death penalty to punish child rapists if the victim is not killed, erasing a key plank in the so-called Jessica’s Law that Texas lawmakers passed last year.

The Texas law permitted the death penalty, or life in prison without parole, for the second conviction of aggravated sexual assault of a child younger than 14. The life-in-prison punishment will remain available to prosecutors.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision came in response to the death sentence imposed on Patrick Kennedy, a Louisiana man convicted of raping his stepdaughter when she was 8. The court ruled that the death penalty for someone who did not kill or intend to kill the victim violates the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bars excessive or cruel and unusual punishments.

Then-Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz argued on behalf of the Louisiana law before the Supreme Court earlier this year.

Although several state leaders criticized the Supreme Court’s decision, it was especially a setback for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who put Jessica’s Law at the top of his 2007 agenda.

“My goal from day one was to protect children, and we have still accomplished that,” Dewhurst said, noting that other important provisions of the Texas law remain intact. “By and large, the public is going to be outraged” by the court’s decision.

In addition to allowing for the execution of two-time child rapists, the 2007 Texas law mandated a minimum 25-year prison sentence for people convicted of sexually assaulting a child and increased the punishment for felons convicted of soliciting the sexual performance of a child.

Rob Keppel, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, the state’s leading prosecutors’ group, said the practical effect of the ruling may be minimal, because the Texas law had not been used — and was not likely to be until the high court rendered its judgment.

“Everyone had been watching Louisiana,” Keppel said. “Now we have the answer.”

Critics and even some supporters warned that the death penalty would be legally troublesome.

But the measure received wide support in both the Senate and House because to vote against it would make legislators vulnerable to soft-on-crime political attacks.

In the Supreme Court’s majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that the court has previously said that excessive punishment is determined by society’s evolving standards.

Kennedy pointed out that just six states have made child rape a capital offense, and that nobody has been executed in the United States for rape of a child or adult since 1964.

Kennedy also noted that under-reporting is a problem with child-rape cases and that child victims are susceptible to suggestive questioning techniques.

“The problem of unreliable, induced and even imagined child testimony means there is a ‘special risk of wrongful execution’ in some child-rape cases,” Kennedy wrote. “This undermines, at least to some degree, the meaningful contribution of the death penalty to legitimate goals of punishment.”

Many victims-rights advocates have said death-penalty provisions could lead to fewer convictions for child rape.

“Most child sexual abuse victims are abused by a family member or close family friend,” said Karen Amacker, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, which cheered the court’s ruling. “The reality is that child victims and their families don’t want to be responsible for sending a grandparent, cousin or long-time family friend to death row.”

Kennedy was joined in his opinion by Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

In the dissenting opinion, Justice Samuel Alito argued that the lack of states with death-penalty options for child rape did not represent a national consensus.

Alito said states, fearing a decision like the one handed down Wednesday, have been hesitant to pass such laws, and particularly hesitant in recent months because they knew a decision was coming on the Louisiana law.

“When state legislators think that the enactment of a new death penalty law is likely to be futile, inaction cannot reasonably be interpreted as an expression of their understanding or prevailing societal values,” Alito wrote.

He also argued that child rape has grave consequences for the victim.

“It is certainly true that the loss of human life represents a unique harm, but that does not explain why other grievous harms are insufficient to permit a death sentence,” he said.

The Texas law was named for Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old Florida girl who was killed by a sex offender.

State Rep. Debbie Riddle, a Tomball Republican who was House author of Jessica’s Law, lambasted the ruling as “another closely divided and questionable decision on the part of a court that continues to show signs of sliding towards the left.”

In effect, she said, the court said “that they are not quite sure if our society really thinks that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for pedophiles, and so to be on the safe side, they are taking the ability to impose such a penalty out of the hands of the lawmakers who are elected by their constituents to make those very decisions.

“How are we as lawmakers to impose the will of our constituents when the Supreme Court blocks our laws by hypothesizing that our constituents probably really do not want those laws to begin with?”

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Kids Are Waiting – Fix Foster Care

As you may know, the popular, bipartisan adoption incentives program is set to expire in September 2008.  Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Jerry Weller (R-IL) just introduced a bipartisan proposal, H.R. 6307, the Fostering Connections to Success Act, that would extend the Adoption Incentive Program and improve the system in other ways as well. (Details below). We need your help!

The incentives program has helped increase the number of adoptions from foster care.  America ‘s foster children need this program to be re-authorized and updated.    Since 1998, the U.S. has successfully finalized adoptions for approximately 443,000 foster children for whom reunification wasn’t possible.  However, 127,000 children are still waiting for safe, permanent families through adoption.

Please call or email your Representative this morning to ask him or her to sponsor the Fostering Connections to Success Act and help more of these children find families of their own. (Call toll-free at 1-888-686-8191, give your zipcode and you will be connected to your Representative). To co-sponsor H.R. 6307, your Representative’s staff can contact Sean Hughes in Rep. McDermott’s office at 5-3106 or Jack Dusik in Rep. Weller’s office at 5-3635.

You can also send emails through our website at www.kidsarewaiting.org/act.

Thank you for your help in spreading this message and urging Congress to help foster children succeed.