Foster care systems will continue to churn out walking wounded
4 out of 5 times!
Imagine this: You go to a surgeon in need of an operation that is necessary in order to save your life. When asking about his track record, the surgeon tells you…
“Well… 80 % of my patients don’t get any better…”
You’re confused, so you ask…
“In other words, 8 out of 10 patients see no improvement…?”
“A lot of the time, they get worse…”
Your confusion grows as he continues,
“In fact, 1/3 of the time, I commit malpractice..”
You figure he is joking around, but decide to bid him farewell…
The surgeon tries to convince you …
“If you’ll just pay me more money than I already get paid, and build me a fancy new hospital, I might be able to reduce my failure rate … to about 60 %… maybe…”
“Do we have a deal…?”
Odds are you’d look at your surgeon like he was crazy, then search for a second opinion, right?
What if all the other doctors told you the same thing?
What if none of the doctors you asked could offer any surgeries or treatments with better results or fewer side effects?
Why is that failure rate acceptable for Child Protective Services who concern themselves with the welfare of children who don’t get to ‘shop around’ or decide what ‘doctor’ to see?
It’s up to US to hold CPS accountable in order to make sure they’re really protecting the interests of the child, not the Government.
Now, consider this:
A study was released on April 7, 2005 by a large, Washington State-based foster-care provider, Casey Family Programs, and Harvard Medical School.
The study used case records and interviews to assess the status of young adult “alumni” of foster care.
When compared to adults of the same age and ethnic background who did not endure foster care: Only 20 percent of the alumni could be said to be “doing well.”
Thus, foster care failed for 80 percent of the children!
Foster Children have double the rate of mental illness.
- Foster Children report rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was double that of Iraqi War veterans.
Foster Children were three times more likely to be living in poverty
Foster Children were also 15 (fifteen) times less likely to have finished college.
and to top it off…
Nearly 1/3 (one-third) of the Foster Children Alumni reported that they had been abused by a foster parent or another adult in a foster home.
The authors went on to design a complex mathematical formula to attempt to figure out how much they could improve these outcomes if every single problem besetting the foster care system were magically fixed….Their answer: 22.2 percent.
Even if one argues that foster care didn’t cause all of these problems, clearly foster care won’t cure them.
Yet the authors of the study recommend only more of the same: Pour even more money into foster care to “fix” it to the point that maybe the rotten outcomes could be reduced by a measly 22.2 percent.
Are you fed up, yet?
THE EVIDENCE IS IN
NCCPR long has argued that many children now trapped in foster care would be far better off if they had remained with their own families and those families had been given the right kinds of help.
Turns out that’s not quite right.
In fact, many children now trapped in foster care would be far better off if they remained with their own families even if those families got only the typical help (which tends to be little help, wrong help, or no help) commonly offered by child welfare agencies. That’s the message from the largest study ever undertaken to compare the impact on children of foster care versus keeping comparably maltreated children with their own families.
The study was the subject of a front-page story in USA Today.
The study looks at outcomes for more than 15,000 children. It compares foster children not to the general population but to comparably maltreated children left in their own homes. The result: On measure after measure the children left in their own homes do better.
In fact, it’s not even close.
Children left in their own homes are far less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, far less likely to wind up in the juvenile justice system and far more likely to hold a job for at least three months than comparably maltreated children who were placed in foster care.