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There have been many articles in the Sacramento Bee recently about the fact that CPS is losing all of their funding, the State of CA is not giving them money, and terrifying people by telling them children will be in more danger because there won't be enough people to ensure child safety. However, after researching statistics, it became clear to me that Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Child Protective Services (CPS) are crying wolf just so they have another excuse for their incompetency. CPS is in desperate need of a "way out". They are blaming their failures on a lack of money because of recent funding cuts instead of taking responsibility and being accountable for the failures, incompentantcies, and issues relating to cover-ups. These issues of unaccountabililty, failures at every level of CPS, incompetancies, secrecy, and cover-ups are well documented through several investigations into Sacramento CPS.
The Child Welfare League of America provided the following numbers for the most recent studies:
California received $1,795,256,381 (nearly 1.8 BILLION) in federal funds divided into the following categories:
70.8% was from Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance
13.9% was from TANF (a.k.a. WELFARE-food stamps, cash aid)
9.9% was from the Social Services Block Grant
4.2% was from Title IV-B CWS Promoting Safe & Stable Families
1.8% was from Medicaid
1% was from other federal services
That means that the State of CA received $1,271,041,517 (nearly 1.3 BILLION) in federal dollars from Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption assistance. To fully understand the problematic issues with this, you would need to understand how States qualify for Foster Care and Adoption Assistance funds. A bill was passed in 1997, which provides this money to the Department of Social Services in the amount of $4000- $6000 for each child they get adopted out. But wait...there’s more. In the book WARNING! The Truth about CPS, Don Lyons explains that it’s “just a starting figure in a complex mathematical formula in which each bonus is multiplied by the percentage that the state has managed to exceed its baseline adoption number. The states must maintain this increase in each successive year. [Like compound interest.]”. Basically it means that each year the state has to exceed the number of adoptions from the previous year in order to receive these funds. What?
When I first began to understand how it worked, I had to sit back and let it settle with me. I had such a hopeless feeling and the only thing flashing in my mind was the old quote "Money is the root of all evil.". Well yes, of course it is. Then I realized our government is not immune to greed, especially during tough economic times when funding for programs is dramatically cut. Another quote came to mind soon after that. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". I have no doubt that this bill was passed with good intentions. The need to get children adopted into permanent families is very important for a child instead of rotating them from numerous foster homes, group homes, etc. For children that were removed from their homes because legitimate allegations, finding them a permanent home and family is an amazing thing. However, in my opinion, nobody really looked at the huge holes in this bill. The simple fact that they need to exceed their baseline adoptions for the fiscal year, creates a child mill in which more and more children must enter the system each year in order to increase the number of adoptions out of foster care.
The bill that was passed includes a technical support assistance section "to assist State and local communities to reach their targets for increased numbers of adoptions”. It goes on to say the support is for “the development of best practice guidelines for expending the termination of parental rights…the development of special units and expertise in moving children toward adoption as a permanent goal; [and] models to encourage the fast tracking of children who have not attained one year of age into pre-adoptive placements without waiting for termination of parental rights.” By implementing these policies they are putting a bounty on the heads of American children…your children! CPS and DHHS are denying parents rights and setting parents up for failure before they walk out of your home with your child in hand. Without knowledge of their rights, parents have no chance to protect themselves and their children until it’s too late.
The Nation Center for Policy Analysis says it best: “The way the federal government reimburses States [actually] rewards a growth in the size of the program instead of the effective care of children.”
I often hear people upset about “lazy parents” that don’t take care of their kids and live off the “system” with taxpayers’ dollars. However, it is clear by the funding figures I provide above, that only 13% of funding is from TANF (aka Welfare). It is also amazing that 70.8% is for foster care and adoption assistance, but only 4.2% is to promote safe and stable families. Perhaps if our government promoted family preservation instead of family destruction, it would make crime rates go down, decrease inmate population, decrease the homeless population, decrease unemployment rates, and decrease the amount of welfare recipients. This in turn would probably decrease the amount of children that are abused and/or neglected.