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Big Government Foster Care: If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail

by joshuaallen (writer), Los Angeles, September 28, 2012

watch the video

The Business and Politics of Child Abuse. A failure of will. We fail the children. Inspired by a Video.

Big Government Foster Care: If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail.

The Politics of Child Abuse
By Joshua Allen

I saw a viral video awhile back. The video has several million hits by now. You can see the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ-4gnNz0vc
We were inspired a bit, and borrowed the format to our focus on Child Abuse and Foster Care issues. So with credit and due appropriately proffered, here is our take.

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

I would create an “Academy,” where new County Social Worker (CSW) applicants train, before working with abused and neglected children. In this academy, not one applicant would ever flunk out. Never. Every applicant would pass, and become a CSW, despite idiocy, incompetence and mental illness.

Strange, angry, ignorant, or slow social workers would be mixed in with the competent, stellar, and dedicated. Thus the entire department would be tainted, and appear foolish, because of a few (too many) individuals.

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

I would make it almost impossible to fire http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/29/local/la-me-child-abuse-20101029 any county social worker. Incompetent, or mentally challenged workers, would be transferred to departments and locations where they did minimal harm – for a while.

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

I would provide as few educational benefits as possible for abused and neglected children. Then foster teens could return home, or age out of the system, with minimal tools and skills. Numerous foster teens would be homeless or incarcerated. http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/children-aging-out-of-the-foster/
Donations would be solicited from the community , with minimal financial oversight. Monies set aside for educational purposes would be misspent by unscrupulous executives. Executives who, with minimal work and even less education, want to be rich overnight.

At rubber chicken affairs, I would trumpet educational achievements of a few hand-picked foster teens that did well, despite horrific adversity. http://www.nyc.gov/html/acs/html/pr_archives/pr26_07_12.shtml

However, at the same time, I would ignore thousands of foster teens who fail to graduate, can barely read, and are almost 4 times more likely to need Special Education. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v2t5_QanRAIhCX97XIK1tUfRbE5cRrYCLxaGtlw_Hww/edit

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

There would be no accountability for foster agency executives to account for their working day. Auditors would examine time cards as if they were recorded by Mother Teresa. Underlings, or coworkers, would never be questioned to determine if executives actually did anything .

Executives from agencies would be Board Members of their own agency. Board of Directors would include friends and family, who would evaluate their own job performances. Executives would set their own salary, authorize their own bonuses, and dole out contract caseloads to friends and family. Conflicts of interest would be ignored by county politicians, who with a shrug would say, “There was nothing they could do.”

Gross mismanagement would never be grounds for an executive being removed, or board members being held to account. Never. Taxpayer money would be considered grains of sand.

Not one board member would ever suffer consequences when they knowingly allow a director to mismanage, steal from, or damage foster children.

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

Social workers would spend the majority of their time on paperwork, documenting the 10% of their time they actually spent helping abused and neglected children.
In reports, social workers would learn to document fake percentages and goals, to demonstrate statistical success. Measurements, and goals documenting progress, would be obsessed over. A typical observation would read like this:

“Baby Johnny’ will scream and throw objects once per day rather than 3 times daily, Showing a 75% improvement by the end of this quarter.”
Hundreds of regulations, rules, policies and procedures would be created, which only a retired-in-place bureaucrat could understand. And policy makers would believe every new rule and bit of paperwork, actually improved the well being of abused and neglected children.

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

County lawyers would be responsible for a caseload of 200 abused and neglected foster children. Therefore, many attorneys would do a mediocre job protecting abused and neglected children.

At Children’s Court, hearings would last 5 minutes. Birth Parents would meet their lawyers for the first time a few minutes before their hearing. Lawyers for foster children would be paid the lowest hourly rate for any attorney in the county, creating a weak incentive for highly skilled attorneys to engage in child welfare.

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

Caseloads of Contract Social Workers would not be cross checked across county lines. Contract social workers will have many cases beyond what is allowed. Abused and neglected children would then receive minimal contact, or assistance from their social worker. Those entrusted to monitor such things would turn a blind eye.

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

I would move abused and neglected children to 4 or more homes during their time in foster care. The norm would be minimal stability, bonding, or nurturing at this horrible time in their lives.

Foster children would be given minimal information regarding their cases or dispositions. Anxiety and depression, caused by bad policies and apathy, would be typical.

Concepts such as “Fast Tracking,” would be ignored by judges and social workers alike, who give birth parents 3rd, 4th, 5th, even 6th chances over several years. Frequent delays, all in the name of “keeping the family together,” would do exactly the opposite.

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

I would believe politicians when they say we are well on the way to fixing things, even though they said the same thing year after year, while hiring 5 new heads of Children’s Services during the past decade, http://californiaschildren.typepad.com/californias-children/2011/08/trish-ploehn-56-chief-of-the-los-angeles-county-department-of-children-and-family-services-is-expected-to-be-reassigned-to.html while repeating the same old promises we call lies.

I would accept as gospel, policy decisions originating from university and communications think tanks, from ‘scholars’ and ‘experts,’ who live as far away from MLK Blvd, Korea Town and Santa Ana as class and money provide.

A professor or Esteemed Professional who adopted a foster child cared for by nannies, would be a consecrated expert. Yet the foster parent from Santa Ana, who raised 3 children to productive adulthood, would be locked out of any discussion, because of difficulty with English fluency, problems negotiating a prominent universities map, and difficulty arranging child care for 12 hours.

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

In a huge county like Los Angeles I would assign 1 or 2 newspaper reporters, to occasionally cover events regarding foster care, child abuse, and family court.
Foundation publicists, and sideways talking politicos, would control the conversation. Investigative journalism would be minimized as non-news worthy, 'solution based journalism' - (Foundation Speak), - would rule the Huffingtons.

If I wanted Foster Care to Fail:
Not one birth parent would ever be held legally accountable, for making false accusations against the foster parents who care for their child. The damage such false accusations cause to children, would be considered a normal part of the business of child abuse. Lying, and false accusations by a birth parent, would be met by a slight admonishment and lecture, without consequences, or other measures of deterrence.

If I Wanted Foster Care to Fail:

I would teach Foster Children, Foster Parents, and Social Workers to ignore hypocrisy, and accept lies, stupidity, and deceit as a normal part of Children Services, something impossible to change. I would teach that the only way an idealistic worker could survive and continue, is by accepting defeat.

Pathetic money wasting programs such as “Wrap Around,” and poorly run programs like “Family Preservation,” would never be challenged, or improved. An alliance of vested financial interests, along with government monitors, who fear answering for their failures, would continue year after year.

Such programs and agencies would provide owners, a top 1% income, and lifestyle, which the typical foster child, will never know, and only dream of ; “ ...from just across the bay.”

So Basically, it’s this.

If I Want Foster Care to Fail:

I Would Do Nothing at All. I Would Do Nothing at All. I Would Do Nothing at All.

Joshua Allen Online
The Business of Child Abuse



About the Writer

joshuaallen is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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