Figures now show that children are much more liable to be abused, physically and sexually, in foster homes than in their own homes. Many (not all) foster parents are just in it for the money, since each child is worth $300 to $400 or more a month to them. In many cases, foster care is what makes the difference for the foster parents between paying the rent or not. Between having enough food on the table or going hungry. Some are really making a lot of money (some foster parents make thousands of dollars a month while "caring for" large numbers of children). And the zeal the CPS workers show in investigating real parents is not shown when investigating new foster parents. Nor do they show the same amount of zeal in investigating reports of abuse in foster homes as they do in the children's' real family (probably because the foster home is part of the system).
Don't mistake what I'm saying here. I'm not trying to say that all foster parents are abusers. Not at all. Most are good people. But there are too many who either abuse the children themselves, or allow other children in the foster home to do so. It is a problem that CPS does not, under any circumstances, want to confront because it destroys their entire thesis that children are safer in foster care. If children can be abused in foster care and are even more liable to be, then what's the point in putting them there?
END THE WITCH HUNT
In his special report in Ms. Magazine in June, 1989, writer Dan Zegart noted this: "Many parents compare the experience of being falsely accused of child abuse -- the lack of legal safeguards, the terrible stigma of the accusation -- to a witch hunt. In the real witch trials of seventeenth-century Salem, the little girls making accusations were finally silenced when they began to ensnare prominent citizens of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, including Lady Phips, wife of the governor. In The Devil in Massachusetts, Marion Starkey wrote that in the final stages of witch-hunt fever "no degree of eminence ensured one against accusation." Similarly, the child welfare system may defy reform as long as only the poor suffer. It may well be that the entanglement of increasing numbers of the more visible and vocal middle class (who can afford lawyers and private detectives) in the web of the system will finally bring a change, which could account for the rise of Victims of Child Abuse Laws (VOCAL) and other such organizations in the United States. Indeed, there are every day new organizations and Internet Discussion Lists popping up to oppose them. Figures show that early on, most victims of child abuse laws were, indeed, the poor. But they also show that more and more they include the middle class and even the rich. People who aren't so easily intimidated by bureaucrats and many of whom have not only the will, but the money to cause these depredations to come to a stop (for themselves, at least).
HOW TO BEAT THEM
I know it seems as if they have all the laws on their side, and it is fruitless to try to beat them. But that's wrong. Whether or not they accept it, CPS workers are subject to the same constitutional limitations as the rest of us. That's why they rely on intimidation, lies, and conditioning to get around that. If they could really flout the Constitution, they'd just do it -- without attempting to intimidate you into signing permission for them to do what they do. So let's look at ways and means to force them to abide by the constitutional limitations just as police must do in confronting a rapist or a murderer, simply by forearming you to resist their intimidation:
- Live an exemplary life: The first, and most important thing to do to keep CPS out of your life is very simple: don't give them a real reason to accuse you of child abuse. Treat your children with dignity and fairness. If you use corporal punishment, don't ever do it in anger, and certainly not in public. Under all circumstances, don't overdo it. And for heaven's sake don't tell a social worker you use it because they think even something as innocuous as a swat on the bottom is child abuse. Instill good values in your children Then when they begin to grow up, allow them to make their own decisions in many cases where other parents would tighten down in an effort to keep them safe. At some point, you must let go, and it should be after teaching them, by example, the proper values -- values that you use to guide your life, not those prejudicial values social workers insist upon foisting on their charges.
- Don't ask the government, welfare department, or CPS for help: Even if you have to work somewhere for minimum wage. Whenever you make yourself dependent upon the government, the government extracts a price: your obedience to their increased control over what you may do, both with respect to yourself, but in this case more importantly, over what you may do with respect to your children. A Rainbow Coalition (Jesse Jackson) promotion recently pushed books that told you how to tap into just about every imaginable government "giveaway" program so Uncle Sam would give you food stamps, and even pay for your home. They've even come up with a program to have the government pay for two years of college. But when you look at these programs, you'll soon see the price. When you sign up you'll soon pay it. If you sign up for any of these programs, part of what you're signing is to give them permission to come into your home and spy on you to see if you are abusing your children. A social worker on a mission can find child abuse anywhere under the subjective definitions in the law. Don't let them in. Don't sign up.
- Avoid Parents As Teachers (PAT) or its clones like the plague: Most states have programs like the PAT program (under the federal government's Goals 2000 scam) that claim to screen potentially disadvantaged children so as to offer assistance to assure that they will have the same opportunity to succeed as their wealthier classmates (the old class envy con again). This may sound good, but if you examine it, you'll find it's just one more invasive device used by the looters in government to get you to sign up and give permission for them to snoop in your home, looking for evidence of child abuse. A home visitor, sometimes called a parent educator, but who may be called just about anything under the clone operations, comes to your home frequently, ostensibly to help the family apply for government assistance (the carrot) they may need. While there they tell them what kind of punishment is allowed to be used on the children (the stick). They also continuously inspect the home and the children's environment for evidence of child abuse. And be assured, when they find something, like a dirty sock on the floor, or a scraped knee on your child, they'll bring charges. That's what they're there for. They receive extensive training in how to "recognize possibilities" (their term for finding abuse) and ways to subtly question you and your defenseless children to learn things that are none of their business. They're looking for child abuse. That's their mission. And they mostly find it, even if they have to twist things to create it.
Naturally, they insist (even though they can't enforce it) that your children attend public schools, rather than private, so they can more easily monitor them. In some states, all participating children are listed in their computers as being at risk, which gives CPS workers ready access to them at all times. If they find your child to have behavior problems, (by their subjective definition) they'll recommend medical and/or psychiatric treatment, and give you a list of CPS approved practitioners (the rope). Never choose from this list. They're biased toward abuse. If you refuse to accept their recommendations, they can, and will, take your children from you and accuse you of child abuse. Let your attorney advise you. They discourage you from getting outside opinions or consulting an attorney (which is why you should be sure to do so). Don't allow them in your home.
Some of the "risk factors" they use to snag their victims are these:
- Illness or handicapping condition at birth: (subjective) they define it;
- Signs of "failure to thrive": (this is the catch-all under which they rope in most of their victims);
- Delay in any area of development: (very subjective);
- Parent's inability to cope with a child's inappropriate behavior: (subjective again: what is inappropriate and what constitutes inability to cope?);
- Low functioning parent, due to limited ability or illness: (blindness and/or deafness has been used);
- Parent's inability to connect with, or relate to the child: (subjective: what is relating?);
- Overindulgence: spoiling the child (this is abuse?) and underindulgence: not giving the child enough love: (again subjective: what is enough love?);
- Low level of verbal response with the child: (what does this mean?);
- Negative or hostile behavior toward child: (well, some of them should be real);
- Undue stress that adversely affects family functioning: (subjective: what is undue stress and what constitutes adversely affecting family functioning? For that matter, what is family functioning? Who gets to define these terms?);
- Indication of child abuse: ( Subjective: what is the definition of that? Who defines it?);
- Other: (leaving open the definition for a multitude of CPS sins).
Don't let them intimidate you into participating in this scam. There is no law (yet) forcing you to do so, no matter what they tell you. In fact, you ought to become active in exposing this scam to as many people as possible.
If you wish to teach your children yourself (home schooling is still legal, although it does make you a target), you should contact the Home School Legal Defense Association, Box 159, Paeonian Springs, VA 22129. They can help a lot in both preparing you for resistance, and in defending you if CPS tries to go after you. The looters hate home schooling because it takes children out of the public schools, which they control, and returns that control to their parents. Control of the child and what they are allowed to teach them is the purpose oF the entire charade of "protecting the children."
SYMPTOMS OF CHILD ABUSE
There are any number of "symptoms of child abuse," and most of them are, as expected, subjective, leaving the power to decide what is child abuse in the uncontrolled hands of the worker. Each state has a different list that includes most of the ones I will list here, although some don't use some of them, and others have some I've not listed:
- Chronically unkempt appearance -- or overly neat appearance: (As usual, you can't win with these people. Damned if you do, and damned if you don't);
- Child is too loud or talkative -- or is too shy: (Same comment as above);
- Low self-esteem -- or agressive behavior: (Do you see a pattern developing here? You just can't win);
- Reluctance to participate in sports: (I didn't participate in sports when I was a child because I was bored by them. Still am. How does that make me abused?);
- Any fractures, burns, bruises, cuts, welts, or bite marks: (Never mind that growing up is a dangerous thing to do. I don't think I've ever seen a child who didn't naturally collect all of the above in his or her natural playtime without help from adults. But this is still used as an "unerring symptom" that child abuse is present);
- Sexual knowledge or acting out above child's maturity level: (Makes you wonder when they exhibit increased sexual knowledge and act above their maturity level after being questioned for months, even years, by CPS, or even during a CPS school strip session, doesn't it? Again I ask: Just who is abusing these children? It's interesting to note that I learned most of what I knew at that time about sex in school, and it wasn't from the teachers. So why does it have to be a symptom of child abuse, all by itself?);
- Pain or itching, bleeding or bruises in or around genitals: (This is something that should always be checked out because it could really be a symptom of child abuse. But CPS workers routinely assume abuse when such things are present, without considering the fact that there are many clinical conditions that can also create them);
- Constant hunger or fatigue: (Which could be abuse, or it may be an economic or medical problem caused by poverty. Since the vast majority of their victims are in poverty, it's not surprising they see a lot of this);
- Lack of supervision: (This one is real. If young children are found to be left alone for long periods, something should definitely be done, although not necessarily immediate removal of the children. Unfortunately, CPS officials will come down on you like a ton of bricks at the slightest suggestion of this, and without waiting for proof. And never leave your children alone in a car, even for a few seconds. This is one of their favorite reasons for snatching your children);
- Delayed physical, emotional, or intellectual behavior: (Again, this is a very subjective judgement. All children don't develop on the same schedule, and there are often clinical reasons for them to suffer from delayed development. This should be investigated, but is not necessarily an indication that the children are in immediate danger, nor is it a reason for immediate removal from the home. Unfortunately, CPS uses it that way);
- Chronic lateness on the part of the parent: (This one is a bit much. What is chronic? One time? Two? Who defines chronic?);
- Chronic health problems, failure to promptly repair broken or outdated glasses, failure to promptly meet the dental needs of the child: (Again, a problem of economics in many cases, not of abuse. When abuse is actually proven, action should definitely be taken. But what action? CPS is usually too quick to take punitive action without looking at the economics of the situation);
- Illness or death of a parent: Their claim here is that the surviving parent may become physically or sexually abusive as a result of the stress. What they routinely ignore is that most often it doesn't happen. This is punishing people for what MIGHT happen);
- Family keeps to itself and doesn't participate in the community: (Oh, please! Wanting to keep to yourself now constitutes child abuse? Guess I've been an abuser all my life then, because I'm that way. But none of my children were ever abused. Furthermore, I've never even been suspected of abuse, even though I lost two children to CPS thirty years or so ago after they failed to convict my former wife of abuse. This particular symptom is not only subjective, it is stupid, and it's beyond belief that someone should actually take it seriously. All it represents is society's way to penalize people for not doing it their way.);
- Presence of a stepfather: (Again, I was a stepfather to many children, and not one of them was ever abused. By the way: what's the difference between a stepfather and a foster father, anyway?)
- An untidy house: (Many people aren't good housekeepers. Naturally, an extreme case of lousy housekeeping, resulting in a health hazard, should be investigated. But again, CPS uses such a minor thing as a sock on the floor or some dishes in the sink in an otherwise generally clean and neat home to trigger their abuse charges);
- Pulling a child out of school to teach them at home: (Home schooling is still legal in this country, and may be the only way left to keep your kids from being taught values in direct opposition to those you live by, and which you want to teach to your children. But they want all children to go to public school so they can monitor them, and at the same time condition them. So home schooling is, to them, without any basis in legality, a symptom of child abuse);
- Sleeping in a parent's bed: (CPS workers are probably the most filthy-minded people in the word because they use any instance of a child sleeping in a parent's bed as evidence of sexual abuse. Never mind that children often ask to sleep with parents after a nightmare, and no sexual intent is even thought of by the parent, just by CPS.)
WHEN THEY COME AFTER YOU
When the Child Protective Service comes to your door, take it seriously. Never think that it can't happen to you because you're a good parent. It can, and has happened to millions of good parents. Being a good parent is an aberration to a CPS agent. They're taught that all parents are "potential" child abusers and that if any of the symptoms are present, it's better to "err on the side of caution" and take the children. They're also taught to do anything, say anything, lie, con, and swindle to get into the house to question the children and the parents.
- Be polite, even if you're incensed: Their insufferable, insidious, condescending attitude will make you angry. It is designed to do so to allow them to write in their report: "Subject exhibits latent violence and is uncooperative." Strike one. That's part of the scam.
- Don't allow them into your home without a proper warrant: They will lie, intimidate, and attempt to con their way into your home, but don't allow it. Unless they have a properly issued warrant, signed by a judge, based on sworn testimony by a named person, they have no right to enter your home -- unless they can pony up a possible danger to the child. Be polite while refusing entry. There's nothing a CPS worker likes more than for you to show anger and, especially, curse them. They are usually accompanied by policemen, some of whom will push their way in. If this happens, you may sue each person involved personally (police officers and all authority figures are personally liable for damages when they exceed their lawful authority and exceeding their authority is not protected by the Good Samaritan laws) not for charging you, but for forcing their way in. Don't get beat up trying top stop them in this case. Sue them later. You can probably use the money.
Remember, case law has held that if you invite them into your home, you give up your right to be safe from search and seizure. Don't let them in! Make them force it.
- Don't sign anything: They will try to get you to sign papers, "just to get this sorted out, don'tcha know," but don't fall into their trap. The only reason for you to have to sign anything is for you to sign away your rights. Politely refuse to sign anything until your attorney has seen it and advises you to do so. And suspect your attorney's advice if CPS recommended him.
- Don't answer any questions without (your) lawyer being present: CPS workers will take this as an indication of guilt, but that's OK. They twist everything you do or say into an indication of guilt in their minds. But if you allow them to ask you questions without a lawyer present, you've given up your right to remain silent.
- Do allow them to see the children through the window to assure them they're OK: To reduce the possibility that they'll testify that you kept them from seeing the children because they were abused, bring the children to a front window and let them see them.
- Do take the children to your own doctor as soon as possible: The next thing to do is take the children to your own doctor and have them examined to show that no abuse, sexual or otherwise, has occurred. Then have the doctor write a report on his findings and give a copy of it to CPS. If they have decided to charge you anyway, they will reject it and insist on their own examination, which, once they have taken the children they may do, and you can't stop it. But your original doctor's examination can be an effective counterpoint if their doctor says abuse has occurred, which they often do. They know who pays them for the right finding.
- Don't believe anything they tell you: CPS workers are trained in all the best ways to con and scam you into doing what they want you to do. They're experts at it. Their training spends a lot more time on this than it does on what actually constitutes child abuse. They're subjected to months, even years of conditioning and brainwashing themselves, disguised as training. Many are not even aware they're running a con on you. They think what they do is necessary to get child abusers off the street. Many are good people who really do care about the welfare of the children. It is the people in charge who have the ulterior motive to take complete control over your children for their nefarious purposes. But the result is the same. They lie.
- Don't allow unsupervised interviews with the children: Unsupervised interviews with your children are little more than conditioning sessions where CPS workers and their captive counselors use questioning methods that would not be allowed to be used against a murderer, much less against a frightened and impressionable child. Your children just aren't prepared to withstand such leading questioning, which is designed to get something on you. They con them into believing that you're already in big trouble, and you can be saved if the children will just say you did something so they can go home. After children have been taken, there's nothing you can do to stop these unsupervised interviews that will take place over a period of months, even years, until your children may finally break down and tell them what they want to hear, just to make it stop. But if you stop them from doing it in the beginning, there is a chance that charges will never be filed and they will not be taken from you.
- Don't allow them to physically examine the child without your presence, or your lawyer's presence: Never allow them uncontrolled access to your children as long as they are in your custody. If a court orders a physical examination (while you still have custody), insist on either being present yourself, or have your attorney present to protect your, and your children's interests (they won't be able to put their finger into your child's vagina to illustrate what they want her to say). In addition, you should try to videotape all sessions or get a court order forcing them to do so, with copies to be available to you.
- Don't allow them to come to your home later for an interview: Allowing them to enter later also forfeits your right to be safe from search and seizure. And you can be sure that a sharp-eyed CPS worker will be able to find something they can twist to incriminate you. If interviews are required, insist that they be at the CPS office, or better still, at your attorney's office (that way they can't just take them while you're there).
- Tape record all conversations with CPS workers and others involved: To keep an accurate record of events, plus to have proof of any threats made by CPS workers or counselors, always tape record all conversations with them, either in person or by phone (there's an inexpensive attachment for your phone available at any electronics store, or Radio Shack). Some states restrict your right to tape conversations, so check your state laws. In states that allow secret taping if one of the parties to the tape knows, you can either let them know they're being taped, or not, at your wish. But in states where notification is required, you should place the tape recorder in full view in personal interviews, and make it a point to advise them they're being taped at the beginning of every phone call. In this day and age, where there's almost a videotape camera in every home, videotapes of proceedings can also help. Make a record. Then they can't deny their violation of your rights (Personally, I would make sure they knew they were being taped, even if the law doesn't require it).
- Keep a journal: The same applies to keeping a journal. If you keep a detailed chronological (day-to-day) journal of events, showing dates, times, quotes, reference to audiotapes and videotapes, etc., they won't be able to get away with lying when they say they notified you of a hearing when they didn't (one of their favorite ploys, and the one that beat me 30 years ago). The very existence of such a journal (and you should definitely let them know you're keeping it) will tend to keep them somewhat more honest, or at least make it more difficult for them to scam you.
- Never accept a plea bargain if you're innocent: One of their basic patterns is to pile charge upon charge, knowing they can't make most of them stick, including the ones they hope will stick, so they can tell you all about all the long years you will spend in prison if you don't accept the plea bargain they're offering you. You're sitting there facing maybe 50 years in prison and they're offering you little or no time if you just confess. It's a tired old con, people. If they had any kind of a strong case, you'd never see them until it was court time. I don't care how good their plea bargain sounds, if you're innocent, don't fall for it. That's how they get most of the convictions they do get of innocent people. They make it look as bad as possible, then get you to plead guilty, which involves an admission of guilt. or plead no contest, which allows them to still treat you as guilty.
- Hire a private investigator if you can afford it: I know that most of the people they go after are the poor. They're easier targets. But one of the factors they forget as they move up the ladder and start charging more and more middle-class people is that these people aren't nearly as likely to buy their con. They are much more resistant to being intimidated because they aren't government wards. And they have more money for such things as lawyers and private investigators. If you do, by all means hire one to investigate everybody involved, especially the worker, the counselors (especially the counselors), the guardian ad litem, the foster parents who have your child, etc. You'll be surprised how much evidence of naked bias you'll find in such an investigation. It's legal, and it's your right. If you find something, by all means use it.
- Don't willingly surrender the children: Don't ever willingly surrender the children, as the ex-wife of one person I have personal experience with did, right after she took them from her husband (at their school), who had custody. To do so gives them the whip hand. Anything you can do to keep the children out of their hands stops them from being able to hold them for ransom.
- Don't do anything that puts you under the control of CPS: Don't willingly move out of the home on CPS demand, or do anything that puts the family under CPS control (see don't sign anything, above). When they get control, they go wild.
- Get in contact with the closest Victims of Child Abuse Laws (VOCAL) office: VOCAL is now in most states, and can help you in many ways, from support groups and lists of lawyers who have experience in fighting these people, to information you won't find elsewhere to help you keep them at bay.
- Fight them, tooth and nail: Don't ever give up. One of my favorite pictures is of a heron who is trying to swallow a frog head-first while the frog has his "hands" firmly around the heron's throat. That, for me, is the picture I want to convey to you. Don't ever give up your quest to keep, or regain your children from these vicious and evil people who have a demonstrated anti-family bias. True, many CPS workers are honestly trying to do the best they can for the children, and there is still a lot of child abuse for them to work on. But their incessant pursuit of demonstrably innocent families takes money and manpower away from their ability to pursue real child abusers.
Over recent years, they've been actively advertising for child abuse reports and, predictably, the number of reports they receive has increased many-fold. But the problem here is that up to 80% of the reports (by their own figures) they receive today are unsubstantiated, and of the about 20% of substantiated reports they get, only a very small number require immediate intervention. These are the ones they should be spending their time on, but they can't pick them out of the millions of false reports and it's taking all the money and manpower they have, just to keep up with new false reports.
So the real abused children suffer while their champions look elsewhere.