There are always two sides to every story - and here is the "other side" of the article I posted yesterday. I happen to think that both sides make very valid points, and also have some serious deficiencies in their line of thinking.
** After you read this article, please do check out NCCPR's blog which is quoted in the article**
What Every Child Matters won't tell you at their rally in Washington DC today
October 21, 9:44 AM
Albany CPS and Family Court Examiner
In an effort to raise awareness about child abuse fatalities, Every Child Matters is hosting a rally today, October 21, at 11am on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. They will be joined by Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Senator Bob Casey, pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton, the Law and Order SVU team of Tamara Tunie, Dan Florek, and B.D. Wong, leaders from Capitol Hill and members of the child care community.
The most important thing that Every Child Matters will not tell you today is that more children are abused and die in foster care and under the care of Child Protective Services than they are with their own family. Check out Bill Bowen's documentary Innocence Destroyed if you think that Child Protective Services does a good job protecting children.
As Richard Wexler points out in his blog today, Every Child Matters will also not tell you that they are using bad statistics to back up spurious claims about child abuse. For example, Every Child Matters continues to make the claim that three million child abuse reports are made every year. But Every Child Matters does not say that more than 2/3 of those reports are unfounded.
Here are three more things you will not learn at the Every Child Matters rally today, according to Wexler.
"ECM proposes taking $3 billion to $5 billion that could be used for real prevention and family preservation and using it for a huge expansion of the agencies that investigate families and take away their children. Not only will this traumatize even more children who never were abused, it will further divert workers' attention from finding the children in real danger who really must be taken from their homes.
At a time when 77 percent of child abuse allegations already turn out to be false, and many more are cases in which poverty is confused with "neglect," ECM wants to burden child welfare agencies with more false leads by starting still another campaign to urge every American to turn in her or his neighbor based on the slightest suspicion of maltreatment. In at least one American city half of all children have endured the trauma of a child abuse investigation by age 10. Does ECM really think that percentage is too low?
Though it is not a formal recommendation, the report also appears to call for ending all screening of calls to child abuse hotlines – meaning that even the most absurd, frivolous or vindictive allegations would have to be investigated."
Wexler, who is the head of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, has a lot more to say about what you won't learn at the rally today. I will not quote the rest of it here, because you should go to his blog and read the entire entry. Wexler's blog is one of the most important CPS Reform blogs on the internet.
Every child does matter but the solutions proposed by Every Child Matters for ending child abuse will only result in more children taken from their parents and abused by the foster care system.
The bottom line for me is that Child Welfare is not a black and white issue. It is made up of thousands of individual stories and each case should be looked at individually in order to ensure that every child's best interests are served. This however is incredibly difficult to regulate by the government - state or federal. For every story of a child dying in foster care, there is a story of a child finding safety and security. For every story of a child dying in their biological family's care - there is a child who never recovers from being removed from that family. The answers are not simple - but only when we look at both sides can we begin to see the whole picture.
**Again, please go here and read more from NCCPR. **