CPS Across The Nation Fails The Children They’re Tasked To Protect

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Arizona Disbands CPS; Child Immigration Fueling Crisis

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Any interested party is compelled to ask: Qui bono? Who really benefits when Child Protective Services (CPS) is in such a state of disarray. Truly, that question must be addressed if the solutions are to be found to this ever-worsening predicament.

Why is it that so many children across America are unlawfully taken from their homes, unjustifiably separated from their legal parents, and/or shipped off to foster care in faraway places? More importantly, why are there so many unaddressed child abuse and neglect cases throughout the nation? Even after serious complaints have been filed with CPS, they are often backlogged into oblivion!

Something is very wrong with the current state of affairs within Child Protective Services — across the vast majority of the 50 states.  Of course, there is no ongoing predicament like Los Angeles County, California; clearly, the Golden State is not so ‘golden’ where it concerns the welfare and safety of its children.

Nevertheless, right across the border, Arizona has taken unprecedented measures to first disband their CPS; and then re-establish a whole new agency known as the “Child Safety and Family Services”. This occurred in the wake of a report and ongoing investigation after the “discovery in November of 2013 of more than 6,500 uninvestigated child abuse and neglect reports“.

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Child Immigration Fiasco Only Exacerbates The CPS Crisis

Perhaps the worsening child immigration debacle on the southwestern US border has drawn attention to this ongoing CPS crisis in many of the same states – California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Clearly a breaking point is being reached which is having international repercussions. The waves of children showing up along the Texas border alone will exert tremendous pressures on the already strained CPS in those states.

Unknown to most, there are two completely different standards by which children are cared for and protected by the states. Because children who have illegally entered the USA often have no connections to any adults living here, they are not only paperless, but also unaccountable. In this way they don’t fall through the cracks, they’re not even in the CPS building.

As for the children of US citizens, there has been so much child-swapping going on for decades that accountability is often difficult to establish or legally enforce. Much of this child-swapping has been going on under the radar and therefore without proper documentation. Many feel that the current status quo has provided ample opportunity for child trafficking, child slavery, child pornography and child sexual abuse to run amuck.

A Tipping Point Finally Arrives

With the merging of these two crises, there has been a significant increase in awareness of just how serious each has become. That Congress has now been compelled to deal with the immigration crisis, and especially the current and future flood of children coming through Mexico, will ensure that the spotlight remains on the endemic failures of CPS nationwide.

Many of the states, which are now being used as holding camps for thousands of undocumented children, will be forced evaluate both the effectiveness and efficiency of their CPS. Wherever their are weaknesses in the system, they will soon be revealed in ways that Arizona just experienced.

CPS Woes Reflect Greater Societal Problems

That so many children can be serially neglected and kept in abusive and/or dangerous living situations does reveal much more profound issues overtaking American society. The avoidance of sufficiently addressing child neglect and abuse, by state governments and bureaucrats alike, surely reflects an insensitivity to the plights of the most powerless among us.

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It has often been stated that a society is judged by the way it cares for its most defenseless and powerless, its poorest and most dependent. Children from broken homes fall squarely in these categories. Child Protective Services represent the single most important resource that many of these children will ever have.

“Many of the kids’ lives and mental and physical health are directly dependent upon CPS employees every single day. Needless to say the turnover for their employees is extremely high because morale is naturally horrible. High turnover rate means more down time and increased costs for training making CPS even more expensive to run than other agencies.”[1]

In light of this predicament, and coupled with the ongoing economic recession, state budgets are strapped to the point that CPS often receives a smaller piece of the pie. Many other necessary state services are almost always deemed to be more critical than fully funding CPS. Given the budgetary woes and family crises of some of the largest cities across the nation, such as Detroit and Chicago, it will require a herculean effort to right this ship once and for all.

That is, if it can be righted at all for the current generation.

Michael Thomas
July 11, 2014
StateoftheNation2012.com

Endnotes:

Why Arizona Abolished Child Protective Services

References:

AZ Governor Uses ‘State Of State’ Address To Get Rid Of Child Protective Services

Task Force looks to Tucson for ideas to improve CPS

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