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03.05.2004

 

 

 

child ‘protection’ by the state—perverse incentives

“ In our "child protection system," children are five times more likely to die from physical abuse and 11 times more likely to be sexually abused than in their own homes, Child Protective Services Watch tells us. The organization also reports that, on average, a foster child will spend at least three years in the system and live in three different homes during their stay in foster care. ”

“ [...] we are spending nearly $100 billion dollars annually on direct and indirect costs associated with child maltreatment and we end up with a system that often appears worse than leaving children in the homes we considered unfit.

“Part of the reason so many children end up in this broken system is due to the way that the federal government pays for child-welfare services at the state and county levels; these local governments earn more federal money by having more children in the system. Technically this is called a "perverse incentive." State and county governments receive open-ended funding from the federal government for children who are in the Child Welfare System, while they only get limited funds to provide services that might eliminate the need for some children to be in this system in the first place. Linda Wallace Pate, a veteran attorney in foster cases, justly states that "it's scandalous that the California foster care system has been reduced to a 'kids for cash' system.”

Note that the USA is not the only country to have a continuing poor record for their state-run child ‘welfare’ systems.


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