Beyond the Numbers

Beyond the numbers are very real children. How do these figures translate into human terms? One foster mother from Utah has had 40 children in her care. "Sometimes it's real rewarding to see them get back to where they should be. I only had one child that was really physically abused," she explains. If only one of the foster children she cared for had been abused, what of the other 39 that had passed through her home? ". . . I have a problem when parents repeatedly fail treatment plans and kids bounce back and forth. Luckily, we've had only two or three of those." In other words, most or all of the other 39 children who were not abused had been removed from their homes in order to coerce their parents into complying with treatment plans imposed by the social services agency through the terms of "reunification agreements."

Among the common characteristics of such reunification plans is that they often require an admission of guilt in order for the provided treatment to be considered as effective. In a case reviewed by the Santa Clara, California, Grand Jury, the principal of a school reported suspected "emotional abuse" to the local Department of Family and Children's Services based on a comment a student had made. The parent was given one hour's notice of the detention hearing, and as a result failed to attend. His daughter was taken from his care. This occurred in 1991 and the jury found that as of May 1993, the student still remained out of her home. Notes the Jury: "In its review of this case the Grand Jury did not find any reasonable evidence of abuse on the part of the parent. What was found was a parent who appeared to care greatly for his daughter and her welfare but would not admit to something he did not do. His refusal to admit to abuse was viewed as a lack of cooperation on his part; therefore, his child was not returned."

 

 
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