Foster Care When your involved with the child welfare system you may not always understand how to best advocate for the foster child that is in your home, because child welfare laws and protections are complicated and confusing. At FPA-Foundation we're here to help you understand your rights as a foster parent and the foster child's rights so you can use your knowledge to take action on behalf of your foster child. You can look to us for guidance in becoming the best advocate you can possibly be – at the local (i.e., classroom) level, and, when you’re ready, at the district, state, and federal levels.
FPA Foundation Inc provide trainings! We'll be focusing on legislative activities happening in Washington, D.C. — and how we (and you!) can be involved in the upcoming changes that are likely to take place. We'll translate those legislative happenings so that you can better understand what they mean for any one involved in the fostercare system
FPA-Foundation-The people's movement is heavenly committed to the social change of the child welfare system and other social justice issues that affect the community. FPA is designed to meet the needs that are not met otherwise. FPA is committed to children & families.
Advocacy requires both the will to confront injustice and the commitment to transform it. There, FPA’s daily “rescue missions” for children and families affected by the system. FPA engages it in the fight for services that they need. FPA helps to improve the lives of foster children who, otherwise, might have waited unnoticed, vulnerable and suffering, with no advocate to witness their pain and give voice to their needs.
Children in foster care are one of the most vulnerable populations. Presently, there are 15,000 children in the NYC foster care system, and a shortage of foster parents in NYC. These children suffer daily from a lack of services provided by foster care agencies. As a result, these children may face homelessness, unemployment, little to no education, and contribute to higher crime rates.
The ecomony has changed, however the needs of foster children have not changed at all. Agencies need to provide loving supportive homes for each child that awaits foster care. Youths that 'age out' of foster care make up the majority of our homeless population. 40% of foster youths do not graduate from high school. These kids deserve better; they need guidance, support, and advocates to fight for their rights – especially when agencies chooses not to do so.
Nearly 700,000 abused and neglected children will spend time in foster care in the United States this year. What they all have in common as they enter our nation’s child welfare systems is the need for safe and stable homes. What too many will have in common as they make their way through those systems is the stuff of nightmares.
Some will be separated from their siblings. Many will be bounced from one unstable foster care placement to another, never knowing when their lives will be uprooted next. Some will suffer additional abuse and neglect at the hands of the people entrusted with their protection. Many will be denied adequate health care, education, and other fundamental necessities.
Some will be warehoused in institutions and group homes — the modern-day equivalent of the orphanages of old — and many will languish in foster care for years, without any prospect of growing up in stable, permanent homes. And many of these children will be seriously, permanently damaged as a result
Entering foster care in the U.S. were children of color.
In 2009, more than half of the children entering foster care in the U.S. were children of color. Black or African American children are more likely than other children to be reported, investigated, substantiated, and placed in foster care. These children stay longer in care and are less likely to be reunified with their families. Thirty-one percent of the children in foster care are African American, double the percent of African American children in the population in America. While African American children are overrepresented in the child welfare system in every state, Asian children tend to be underrepresented.
Children of color, especially black children, and often American Indian children, face significant disparity within the child welfare system. They are more likely to have longer placements in out-of-home care, are less likely to receive comprehensive services, and are less likely to reunify with their families than white children. The rates of child welfare involvement for black and American Indian children are more than twice those of white children. In one California study, two in five black children were likely to experience child welfare involvement by the time they were seven years old and one in 10 was likely to have experienced at least one foster care placement.
There is a strong correlation between race and permanent placement. While African American children are adopted at the same rate as other races, the adoption process takes much longer for these children than for others, with less chance of reunification with biological parents. Under the Constitution and under the law, children dependent on child welfare systems have rights — and FPA-Foundation Inc is dedicated to protecting them.
Children in foster care and others dependent on public child welfare systems have important legal rights under the United States Constitution and federal and state law, including:
• The right to be protected from abuse, neglect, or other maltreatment in foster homes, group homes, and other placements. Foster parents and facility staff must be properly monitored and screened. Any alleged maltreatment must be quickly and thoroughly investigated.
• The right to adequate food, clothing, and shelter. • The right to an appropriate, stable placement in the least restrictive situation possible. • The right to regular medical and dental care, and any necessary mental health services. • The right to needed developmental and educational services. • The right to case-planning services and a permanent home consistent with the purposes of your custody. • The right not to deteriorate while in state custody. • The right not to be discriminated against based on race, religion, or gender FPA- fights to protect children because they cannot protect themselves.
When we have determined that a failing child welfare system is harmful to children and resistant to other meansof change, we take tough legal action to secure court orders mandating the system’s top-to-bottom reform. And we remain in place to monitor progress for as long as it takes to ensure that improvements are made and maintained.
We want to stop the inadequate services foster care agencies are failing to provide to foster parents and children. We need people of the community to get involved. These children need your help; be that voice in the community; reach out and support our cause. You can get involved by becoming a Foster Parent Advocate, or by making a donation. We need to provide every child in foster care with an advocate in order to keep them safe. Get involved - no foster child should be without a strong relationship to a caring adult they can depend on in times of need. Foster youths need your support now by providing advocates to fight for their rights. Foster Parents: we need you to come on board, speak out, and make that change.
With the help of more American's, the lives of these young people can change for the better. Nearly every community is suffering from a shortage of foster families. More and more children need you. Children in foster care feel more secure and are likely to do better in school when they are able to stay in their own communities. The simple truth is, the larger the pool of qualified foster parents, the easier it will be to ensure these children remain in their own neighborhoods and schools, and stay together with their siblings.Change the future for a young person in foster care. Find out how to get involved.
Our organization aims to provide a place for people affected by the child welfare system to have a voice and foster children to receive adequate services. We have advocates & activist and community organizers who organize people affected to let their voice be heard. We also work to provide youths who have 'aged out' of the child welfare system, with the services they are entitled to receive. We want to work to build relationships between agencies and families, to ensure that parents and children in the foster care system receive the services they need and their voices are heard.
FPA-Foundation is a 501C3 activist, advocacy non-profit organization, founded in 2008. FPA provides community resources, educational programs, and support and training services for foster parents and children in the child welfare system.
TAKE ACTION community GET INVOLVED across the nation PEOPLE CAN NO LONGER SIT IN SILENCE We are now a national social justice organization.
membership organization and would like for people effected across the nation to join our movement and become a member to fight for foster care reform in your state
We will be starting chapters in every state but we need your help and support to do so. If we fail to act these injustices will continue to go on and children and families will be effected.
To start a chapter in your state we need 15 members to start. We will come to your state and start the movement. If you are interested in this cause and movement and want to be a proactive member. Here is your chance to do so. We will not be silent -our voices will be heard. give us a call on our national number 1-888-692-9471
"Understand that by fighting for the impossible, one begins to make it possible."—Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
1-646-402-6133 or 1-888-692-9471
Intake Procedure & 24-hour Hot-line Number
We are located at 332 West 141 street and St Nicholas Avenue ground floor.
Monthly membership meetings are Saturday 3:00pm-5:00pm Weekends- Please call to find out about workshops giving on Saturday.
Please call 1-646-402-6133 to set up an Intake appointment or come in for a appointment to receive a Community Advocate that will be asisting you with your case. You must complete the intake first and orientation Please bring copies of the following documents for the intake appointment:
All foster care intake appointments fees is $30.00. Foster care membership monthly membership fees are $30 a month to support the organization. If interested in Social justice membership it is $30 a year. This will also support the organization.
You must bring in the following documents during intake
Mapp Certificate Foster Parent license New York State ID Court documents Therapist documentation School documentation Family Team Conference Notice OSI determination letter Independent review letter
Any other documents that are important to the case.
The monthly Membership fee helps the organization to contiue to provide services and programs for foster youths. All membership fees are donated fee and are non refundable. You must be a pro active member and comply with our policy and procedure when you join the organization or risk your membership being closed.
Foster Care Membership Policy/Proactive Services
You must follow our intake contract within 30 days of becoming a member. You must bring in all paperwork 7 days after the inital interview. You must complete a complaint letter of your foster care experience. You must contact your council members and attend your community board meetings.You must contact your public advocates office and mayor. All Membership fees goes toward the work that goes on the case such as paper work,copies,faxes, All fee must be paid during initial intake interview. We are not lawyers but child welfare advocates. Failure to follow the policy during the first 30 days your membership will be canceled.
FPA 2014 Event Calendar
Wait No More Foster Care Awareness Protest Rallies
Come out and support the cause to bring awareness about what's going on in the foster care system. Foster care needs to be reform. Foster parents are being disrespected and have no rights. Foster children are not getting the services that they need. Parents rights are violated. Child abuse allegations are on the rise toward foster parents and they are not aware of their rights and steps that they need to take.
We have protested aganist 23 Foster care agencies . The Foster Care Awareness Protest Rallies were held in the 5 boroughs in order to bring awareness that foster parents and foster youths are facing. Here are the agencies that we have protested against.We will continue to protest aganist any agency that violates the rights of a foster parent or foster youth.
1-Harlem Dowling-Harlem Location 2-New York Foundling-Harlem Location 3-Children Village-Bronx,Harlem location 4-J.C.C.A-Bronx location 5-Episcopal Social Service-Manhattan,Bronx 6-Children Aid Society-Manhattan 7-Good Shepherd-Bronx 8-Leake & Watts-Bronx 9-Catholic Guardian-Bronx,Harlem 10-Seamen's Society-Staten Island 11-St Dominic's-Bronx 12-Cardinal Mccloskey-Bronx 13-Heart Share-Brooklyn 14-Catholic Charities-Manhattam,Bronx 15-Little Flowers-Brooklyn 16-Edwin Gould-Brooklyn,Bronx 17-Administration for Children Services 18-St Vincent Services-Brooklyn 19-Graham Windham-Brooklyn 20-SCO agency in queens
Our Mission: We organize people from different communities fighting for social justice issues in their community in order to effect change.
No family deserves harmful treatment by a child welfare agency. This information has been developed to help foster parents and parents deal with reports of child maltreatment involving their homes. Please keep in mind these things:
· All foster families have a common issue regarding how abuse/neglect reports are handled in many locales. No family deserves harmful treatment by a child welfare agency. · Foster families in many nations are at higher risk of report of maltreatment than the general public, although substantiation rates are lower. · Joint solutions arrived at by foster parents and child welfare agencies at local, state, Provincial, and national levels are needed to address the problem. · It is unreasonable to believe that most reports of maltreatment can be prevented. (One can and should work to prevent maltreatment.) ADVANCE PREPARATION · Prepare as if it is going to happen to you. Expect that you or a family member may be reported for child maltreatment and, no matter what your relationship with the agency, the report must be taken seriously. · Foster parents need to know or learn about what the agency (or agencies) will do; what do the child protection laws mean for reports involving foster families agency policy and procedures: of your agency and of agency responsible for child protection;
exactly what to expect from your agency, from child protective services and from law enforcement personnel, when your home is reported for abuse/neglect; whether your family has a specific way to give input into the investigation; how the investigation will be conducted regarding foster parents, own and foster children, others; under what circumstances and when and how foster children will be removed; whether, when and how foster family is notified of finding–was report substantiated, not substantiated, unable to determine; How a report may affect pending adoption;
On what basis will agency revoke foster home license or fail to renew license; What appeal procedures are available at agency level; at state or Provincial level . Know what resources and services may be available to your family. Are there agency guidebook pages, policy pages, other written material available? Does agency maintain or cut-off communication of social workers with foster families? Do any support persons or support groups exist for reported foster families? (A few agencies and foster parent associations provide these.) What are the available resources to provide legal information, legal advice and, sometimes, legal representation? · Know the strengths and weakness of your family as a foster family as seen by the agency. (This is a good idea for foster care work in general.)
Foster families need support through the long process of abuse/neglect report, investigation, disposition and other possible agency actions.
This may last for many months. Support is important to foster families both in terms of their agency and fellow foster parents and in terms of their communities.
Actions which foster parents can take: 1. Request education on child protection law specifically as it affects reported foster families. This should include information on guaranteed anonymity of the reporter, the need to take every report seriously; and how the legal status of foster parents differs from that of natural parents. It should also clarify how the terms used to indicate substantiated or unsubstantiated abuse differ from "innocent" and "guilty".
2. Request written information from your agency (and from the public agency which will investigate report of maltreatment in a foster home) on exactly what can be expected once abuse/neglect is reported. Ask that it be put in the foster care handbook. Ask that it be made available to all foster families, including newlylicensed families. Make request in writing, dated. 3. Request a current written evaluation of your foster home and specific feedback on any concerns the agency has in regard to your home. Do not accept verbal information only. If given verbal evaluation only, write a letter (keep copy) to confirm what you heard said. · Be prepared and willing to accept negatives in the evaluation and work to make change as needed. Write to show when they are corrected. · If the agency concerns are without basis, respond in writing to show what is not accurate and invite further discussion. · Do not assume, because you are continually asked to handle difficult children, that the agency sees you as a highly capable family. · Having a clear picture of your family's strengths and weaknesses is a standard part of good foster care practice and can help you work well with an agency and reduce staff concerns when a report of maltreatment is received. It is also good "insurance" against any pretext in the future for non-renewal of license. 4. Keep a dated, written journal of all important events involving foster care in your home and also of all communication and contacts with the agency, bio family, and others as needed. · This is different from the child's record, which goes with the child. This is an important record, which stays with you and may be crucial to supporting your version of the situation in an appeals hearing. 5. When asking for assistance -- for examples in managing a particular child -- put the request both in the journal and in a dated, signed letter, and keep a copy.· If you repeat the request, record this in the journal and send another signed, dated, letter and keep a copy. · These written requests may assist you and your worker to get the assistance needed. Your written records may also prove important later to supporting what you say. 6.Plan in advance for support to yourself and your family. · Ask if the agency will provide support/from staff not involved in the investigation or from specifically designated foster parents. (Some agencies do. Many may not, due to confusion of "support" with "taking sides", and/or to concern about weakening a legal case. However, it is worth asking and reminds the agency of its service mission.) · Ask your foster parent association to provide support for reported foster families.(Some associations now do this.) work to help set up a support system. · Select a few persons in your community who are important to you -- a friend, minister, neighbor, employer -- with whom you will discuss abuse/neglect reportsin foster care. Let them know a) that foster families are at high risk to be reported and that your family is no exception; b) that child protection requires that all reports be looked into seriously; c) what the agency is likely to do when abuse is reported; d) that, due to observing confidentiality, you will not be discussing your foster children's lives. · Ask if these persons would be willing to give support, not take sides, should a report involving your family be made. 7, Ask your agency and foster parent association to begin work in advance on legal resources for foster families who may be reported. These include resources for legal information, advice, and, perhaps, legal representation. There is little generally available to provide legal information, advice and/or representation for foster families reported for child abuse or neglect. · Begin by asking (both foster parent association and agency) for training meetings on legal considerations when abuse is reported. Invite speakers who are attorneys, law enforcement personnel, protective services staff, and others. · Consider developing written information for foster parents on their legal and other rights when abuse is reported; how to know what they need legal help for and how to find competent legal advice. · Caution: For many aspects of abuse investigation work, legal representation is not required and may not be useful unless foster families can find attorneys knowledgeable about foster care and child protective services. In addition, the legal fees can be very high due to time spent learning about the system.($) 8. Work in advance with your agency and your foster parent association on developing good policies for responding to foster families when abuse is reported.
WHEN MALTREATMENT HAS BEEN REPORTED · Much less can be done "after the fact," after report occurs. · The situation is complicated by foster family stress and by agency noncooperation in many instances. · Expect that agency policies may mean it will act rapidly whether or not there is any indication or risk of child abuse/neglect: may include cutoff of communication; removals of foster children; non-return of foster children; removal or non-renewal of license and/or no further placements of children. · You need to learn what your agency’s policies and child protection agency policies are.
Foster parent actions 1. *IMPORTANT* Do not isolate yourselves, especially from other foster parents. Do not stigmatize and stress yourselves and others by keeping this crisis a "secret." Remember that foster families are at risk to be reported. · Confidentiality of children's lives must be maintained, of course, but does not prohibit you from saying you have been reported for maltreatment! · "Confidentiality" applies to client lives; it does not interfere with rights to individual freedom of speech (U.S. First Amendment). 2. Request assistance from your foster parent support group or state or Provincial or national association to get needed information, support and resources. 3. Request information from the agency on exactly what to expect once maltreatment is reported. 4. Continue or begin a dated written journal of events and communications. Keep good records. 5. Seek out support from agency (if available), other foster families and persons important to you in community. Participate in (or start) a support group. 6. Insist on giving full input into the investigation. If you have not been interviewed, or you found the interviews inadequate, put into writing (keep a copy) the complete information you wish to give and send it to investigator. 7. Ask what information on legal rights exists and what you need an attorney for. 8. Request assistance from agency in explaining to children as needed, whether removed or not, what is happening and why. Ask agency assistance to maintain communication from your family with removed children. (Important to children!)
9. Expect the process to take a long time to resolve, sometimes six months to a year. · If children have been removed, plan activities during this period to help with loss and grief, including work which allows you to continue being active and "giving". · Pay attention to your health, physical and emotional. Foster parents may suffera loss of confidence and self-esteem when suddenly treated by the agency in ways which feel negative. Foster parents often experience grief from the losses of children and losses of identity if foster children are suddenly or inappropriately removed. 10. Maintain your professionalism as foster parents, cooperating fully with the investigation, insisting on giving full input and on being treated appropriately and seeking all appropriate information and resources to assist you at this time.
BEYOND INDIVIDUAL FOSTER FAMILY EXPERIENCES Once foster parents have been through the experience, they have valuable insights and experiences to share. Work with your agency and foster parent association in jointly toward more constructive ways of handling abuse/neglect reports in foster care. From “ADVANCE PREPARATION:” 1.Request education, 2. Request information,
7.Work on legal resources, and: · work for positive changes in agency policy and procedures · work on state or Provincial policy and information and resources for foster families when abuse/neglect is reported. · share with other agencies and foster parent associations those new policies,procedures and other ideas which are working well. · keep in mind that foster parenting, done well, almost always involves being child advocates. Improving how foster families are treated once maltreatment is reported will be helpful to foster children as well as to foster parents and their own children.
We are NOT lawyers and nothing on this page should be construed as legal advice! We are volunteer advocates and activist and not lawyer's trying to help you with your foster care case or social justice issue. FPA-Foundation-The people's movement is a activist, advocacy social justice organization that focus on foster care reform for children & families and social justice issues that are effecting the community.
At FPA, we are dedicated to improving foster care, education, health, and well being of youths and communities of color by empowering them to enact social change through research, training, and community mobilization.We envision communities where individuals use their voice to empower others to make changes.
The mission of the FPA-Foundation is to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to have a significant impact in improving their communities and the policies and institutions that affect their lives. FPA-Foundation strengthens, connects and mobilizes grassroots groups,youths and people in the community to enhance their leadership,voice and power. We believe that community-based organizations, led by the people most affected by social and economic injustice.
FPA-Foundation-The People’s Movement Vision
Works to improve the effectiveness of social policies, programs, and community initiatives, especially as they affect youth and young adults.
FPA-Foundation The people’s movement works to change the U.S. child welfare system (child protective services, family courts, and foster care ) from one of abuse and neglect to one of protection and support. FPA-Foundation The people’s movement works to advance the civil and human rights of people through advocacy, training, education, and public policy and legislative development. FPA-Foundation The peope’s Movement believe that everyone should have a voice in the decisions that affect our lives and be fully engaged in our democracy. FPA-Foundation The People’s Movement believe in an America that honors the diversity of our racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as our experiences, talents and dreams. FPA-Foundation The people’s Movement believe that only together – by sharing our hopes, connecting with each other, and taking action together – can we change our communities and nation for the better. FPA-Foundation The people’s movement work to change wide range of issues that affect children and families, especially poor and minority children and youths.
What We Do FPA-Foundation The People’s Movement: We ensure that the people voices are heard in Washington and shape the national conversation about building a better America. We strengthen the local power of these groups and elevate their voices from the grassroots to the national level. We deliver the grassroots message with authentic voices. We leverage our relationships with grassroots community leaders, ethnic and mainstream media, and national opinion makers to advocate for low-income people.
We unite grassroots groups,youths, people in the community and leaders across race and ethnicity, issues and geography to solve some of the most pressing problems facing low-income people today.
We bring together grassroots groups to learn from one another and our expert staff, and to join forces on common causes. We are a catalyst for action. Leveraging one of the broadest and most diverse networks of community based organizations
FPA-Foundation The People’s Movement :We organize people from different communities fighting for social justice issues in their community in order to effect change. We nurture the next generation of leaders. We discover opportunity and potential where others don't. Thousands of organizers and community leaders touch the Center for Community Change each year – we are dedicated to finding the stars of tomorrow and preparing them to lead. We incubate the ideas that will shape a better tomorrow. We bring together the most creative thinkers from the grassroots to the ivory tower to develop innovative solutions and a vision for an America where we're all in it together.
Foster Care Awareness Protest Rallies in the 5 Boroughs
FPA-Foundation was featured on the Here and Now show on January 13,2013 at 12pm.
Demand CPS Reform Now This will be a National movement to bring awareness about lack of supportive services being provided to children & families. We can no longer sit in silence and allow for foster children to continue to fall threw the cracks and lack of support for families. The foster care agencies have dropped the ball and failed to protect these children across the nation.
1-Lack of supportive services for children/families.
2-Shortage/Lack of support for foster parents causing them to quit. Retailation when they make complaints. This has to stop.
3-Foster Care Corruption-Misconduct,false documentation, and no oversite is being done.
Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment New York state maintains a registry of those suspected of child abuse. You can be placed in this registry even if you have not been arrested. You have a right to a hearing if an ACS worker has placed you in this registry. ACS workers will usually place you in this system even if they find no evidence of child abuse in order to protect their jobs. This is one of the most abused systems in New York. If you have received a letter stating that you have been “indicated” for child abuse, contact us at 646-402-6133 for assistance & support. The purpose of the Child Protective Services Act of 1973 is to encourage more complete reporting of child abuse and maltreatment. The law established a Child Protective Service in each county in New York. Each Child Protective Service is required to investigate child abuse and maltreatment reports, to protect children (under 18 years old) from further abuse or maltreatment, and to provide rehabilitative services to children, parents, and other family members involved. The New York State Office of Children and Family Services maintains a Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment for reports made pursuant to the Social Services Law. The Central Register, also known as the “Hotline”, receives telephone calls alleging child abuse or maltreatment within New York State. The Central Register relays information from the calls to the local Child Protective Service for investigation, monitors their prompt response, and identifies if there are prior child abuse or maltreatment reports. Among those who are mandated to make reports are: medical and hospital personnel school officials social service workers child care workers residential care workers and volunteers, and law enforcement personnel.
Important Laws Because child welfare goes beyond child safety to focus on parental rights, and because Courts are involved, it is very important to have a full understanding of the key laws that guide work in this area. Adoption And Safe Families Act (ASFA)A 1997 law that restricts the amount of time a child can be in foster care before the agency initiates a Termination of Parental Rights. Child Abuse Prevention And Treatment Act (CAPTA) This law includes important provisions regarding newborns who test positive for drugs. Confidentiality For Drug Treatment ClientsIt’s hard to work with drug treatment without understanding 42 CFR Pt. 2, also known as “the Confidentiality Law”.
NYS Permanency Law The State law that is guiding family court practice in New York City today. NYS Permanency Legislation NEW LAWS HELP FAMILIES
in December, 2005, NYS enacted legislation known as the Permanency Bill. This Bill was passed in part to make sure children in foster care have more frequent and continuous judicial and agency reviews of their situation. Key provisions include: Require a permanency hearing once every six months (rather than every 12 months as before). The court must calendar a specific date for the next permanency hearing at each hearing. Stakeholders leave each hearing knowing when they are next expected in court and can plan accordingly. Require permanency hearings to be completed within 30 days. Have a single judge work on the case throughout the child’s time in the system, and until an adoption is finalizedHave continuous legal representation for children and parents (i.e., a single attorney works with the child throughout the life of the case) Include 18- to 21-year old children voluntarily placed into foster care in the Family Court permanency process; andRequire submission of a detailed permanency report on the child and the family at least two weeks before each permanency hearing.
CAPTA: The Child Abuse Law Which Could Destroy Your Reputation
The Legal Abduction of Children Horrendous as it sounds, it's true: child abuse has become a business – an industry of sorts – that actually pays states to legally abduct your children and put them up for adoption! Even more unbelievable is that, instead of pumping the money back into child protective service programs, some states actually are putting it into their general funds to help balance their budgets.
About the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is the federal law on which almost all state and local legislation and funding for child protective services are based. Enacted in 1988, CAPTA directs the U.S. Health and Human Services' Administration for Children & Families to provide grants to communities for child abuse prevention programs. As a federal mandate, CAPTA mandates states to implement child abuse laws on their own, so they can align themselves for the massive funding and grants that go along with the law. In theory as the years went by, if the goal for this law – to reduce child abuse in this country – had been successful, then today we should need less funding for these programs, not more. Success also should have resulted in fewer children in foster care and even fewer being put up for adoption. But in reality, the opposite happened. Instead of less children in foster care, the numbers went up for nine years after CAPTA was passed. And, layers and layers of state and federal government programs and agencies whose funding depends solely on child abuse occurring were created. In 1999 foster care numbers started dropping – but only because of new laws that encouraged states to move children out of foster care and into adoptive homes.Of course, that legislation came with funding too, giving CPS a new avenue for making more money and creating more jobs and more programs. The tragedy is what Van Doorn pointed out in his campaign: the financial incentives for rooting out child abuse actually encourage agencies to make false accusations against parents, and to tear families apart for something that did not occur. How this Law Actually has Increased Child Abuse Reports What happened is not an anomaly, nor is it new. In 1991, the bi-partisan National Commission on Children had already figured out that children were being taken from their families "prematurely or unnecessarily" because federal formulas give states "a strong financial incentive" to do so rather than provide services to keep families together."1 As a result, the federal government and a number of states created legislation that was supposed to keep more families together. But as the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (NCCPR) reports, those efforts only disrupted more families, and encouraged more adoptions. Again, the reason is financial: the new laws give "bounties to states of up to $8,000 or more per child for every adoption they finalize over a baseline number," NCCPR reports. And again, all the help goes to foster and adoptive parents. "About the only parents the federal government won't help indefinitely are birth parents," NCCPR found. But the injustices don't stop there, because in order to get that money, states have to have children to take away and place – and therein lies the incentive to falsely accuse parents of harming their children and to forcibly remove children even when there is no evidence to do so."CPS nationally are doing a job they've never been trained to do," says Kim Hart, a trial strategist and facilitator who has been assisting attorneys in defending persons accused of child abuse for more than 18 years. They're investigating people who have never been charged, and calling them child abusers, and taking kids away, and they get paid to do it. This mechanism is bigger than what most people know. It goes all the way back to the 1980s with legislation that told states they had to develop registries with mandatory child abuse reporting." The money that follows a child abuse accusation and subsequent placement of the so-called endangered children into foster care or adoption is the real catalyst for the epidemic of child abuse accusations, Hart said. "And there is no incentive for any physician or anybody involved to be intellectually honest about this because the law also gives them immunity if they're wrong," she said. "So what happens is that the minute CPS is involved – or the second the EMTs are called (for example, in sudden infant death or alleged shaken baby cases), parents are already labeled as child abusers." How are States Spending this Extra Money? According to NCCPR, in FY 2010 the federal government is expected to spend at least $7 more on foster care and $4 more on adoption for every dollar spent to prevent foster care or speed reunification. This is based on President Obama's $4.681 billion foster care budget for FY2010 – an increase of $21 million over FY2009. The number represents a decrease of 4,300 children a month in foster care. But this decrease is based on "placement of children in more permanent settings." In other words, states are getting more money to take care of fewer children by placing more of them in adoptive homes. The law also increases incentives for adoption by paying out $1,000 to $8,000 extra for certain types of children who are placed for adoption. The twist is that states are not required to put this money back in to keeping families intact or even for preventing child abuse. Instead, by law, they can use it for non-child-related things, such as delivering meals to senior citizens or for transportation services, or a range of other home-based services! In San Diego, Van Doorn couldn't get a direct answer when he demanded that city officials tell him where their $4,000 per adopted child was going. But a look at any state's budget – from Minnesota to Florida to Connecticut and back to California – can tell you that local governments and states are cutting back or flat-lining children's services and using these extra federal dollars to balance their budgets . Not Enough Abused Children? Change the Definition of Child Abuse This certainly is a convoluted way to stop child abuse, if for no other reason than it's a form of child abuse to tear families apart and take children away from parents who are accused of doing something they didn't do. It also doesn't explain one of the newer definitions of child abuse that came along after CAPTA was enacted, Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). Reliable statistics on SBS do not exist, but according to the National Shaken Baby Coalition (NSBC), as many as 1,500 babies a year are shaken by their parents, and either severely injured or killed. While the numbers may not seem exceedingly large, they still add another arena in which CPS can seize children from their parents, and place them in adoptive homes – and claim the booty that the federal government gives them for doing this. On the Backs of Children, an Industry Based on Child Abuse has Arisen CPS proudly announced that due to their efforts, child abuse reports had gone down. But again, busted t – the numbers went down, he said, because the public had begun to catch on to the county's recent court cases they'd lost in conjunction with false child abuse allegations. When you apply this same thinking to the national statistics, it makes you wonder how many other states and local municipalities are dealing with false allegations.The truth is staggering, and is so prevalent that countless blogs have popped up addressing the problem, as well as entire websites devoted to helping people who've been falsely accused of child abuse. Again, the numbers tell the story: In 1990, two years after CAPTA was created, nearly 2.6 million children nationwide were reported as abused and/or neglected, and referred for investigation. Despite the law, six years later, in 1996, 3 million children were reportedly abused, and under CPS "investigations." Today the number varies, depending on how federal authorities define child abuse. Under one definition, statistics show that the numbers have dropped by nearly a third. But with a "more inclusive" definition, the numbers have stayed the same at about 3 million – or about 1 in every 25 children. In a 2010 report to Congress, the Administration on Children & Families explained how the numbers figure in the face of other data showing a decline in child abuse. But no matter how you interpret them, or whether the numbers have the stayed the same or dropped, the Congressional report doesn't explain why the President and Congress have continued to inflate budgets with more money to take children away from their families.
So what can you or I do about it? This is an issue that can't be fixed with a single article or a few phone calls. It's a national problem that's gone on for decades, that needs local and federal pushes to change the laws that made these injustices possible. Coincidentally, CAPTA is up for renewal in 2011, with billions more of your money proposed for the kinds of child abuse "prevention" that I've talked about here.In an effort to change this, I encourage you to study the links I've included in this article, and then contact your legislators and ask them to take a closer look at the monster that CAPTA has created.While sunsetting the law or stopping its funding is probably only a dream, FPA believes it's possible that with enough pressure, you can lobby to have the "immunity" clause removed from this, so that at the very least, agencies who falsely accuse parents of child abuse can't do so without being held responsible.
Truth Denied Power to Protect Power to Abuse-Foster care Awareness Film. Please check our website for movie showings. The film is $10 to support this film.
FPA-Foundation Fostering Progressive Advocacy The People's Movement "We will not be silent Our voices will be heard"
FPA-Foundation on Youtube-check out our channel on fpafoundation for our protest and testimonies from the community effected by foster care system.
This site is to raise awareness about the corrupt child welfare system, to get the stories of their illegal and unethical practices into the public eye, to offer support to those who are going through it and to try and protect children from this corrupt system. If you need legal help, please call an attorney.
The citizens of America are counting on you to protect their civil rights and civil liberties. When just one of us loses just one of our rights, then the freedoms of all of us are diminished.
A Family's Guide to the Child Welfare System
We are pleased to share with you A Family's Guide to the Child Welfare System, a comprehensive resource that answers many of the questions families face when they become involved with the child welfare system.
Written in a simple, question-and-answer format, and grounded in the experiences of families and child welfare professionals from across the country, A Family's Guide is meant to be a tool to help families learn about-
experiences other families have had with the child welfare system;
child welfare laws and policies that influence the actions and decisions of child welfare workers and courts;
people families will meet, the service systems they work in, and their roles with families;
ways to advocate for their family's rights (their own and their children's);
responsibilities of parents involved with the child welfare system; and
practical tips from other parents. Click on the link for manual http://www.cwla.org/childwelfare/familyguide.htm
Foster Youth-Sade Cooper age 20 shares her experience with foster care agency. She is about to age out to homelessness.
People affected by the child welfare system such as parents,youths,foster parents,fathers kinship relatives, and children must be informed about their rights and obligations and must be able to seek review of agency decisions regarding their removal of their children. ACS/ Foster care agencies /family courts must conduct hearings fairly, issue timely decisions, and ensure that agency staff comply promptly and fully with Court hearing decisions. This is a part of the due process requirements by ACS and the contracted foster care agencies as well as family courts.
FPA-Foundation-works to make due process and fair treatment a reality for low-income individuals in the 5 boroughs and to hold government agencies accountable for complying with the law.
Kinship Aunt Tricia Rowan -rights was violated by SCO Foster care agency in queens. See her story here and on NY1 queens news
Tracy Breaker kinship aunt for Lorenzo Mason Her rights were violated by Mercy First agency in brooklyn. The agency placed him up for adoption knowing he has family & siblings. Please contact public advocate & Mayor to support this family.
Parent shares her experience with ACS and agency
Former foster youth shares her foster care experience
FPA- Hear Our Voices film- foster parents share their experience with foster care agencies in NYC
G Man's Interview-NYC foster care cashing in on corruption