Friday, August 28, 2009

Another response to the Time article

I received the email below from a listserve that I am on (interestingly, or not, one that I am technically not "allowed" to be on due to my current employment by the local government). I cannot give it the attribution that it is due because of my desire to remain as anonymous as possible. The author is a clinical law professor in my Big City who does a lot of work on children's rights and was a driving force (or at least a strong contributor, I wasn't involved at the time) behind a program to make it easier for grandparents to care for their grandkids without the involvement of the court. He wrote:

The larger tragedy that this piece illustrates is the breathtaking, frightening, unchecked social policing power exercised by the Executive branch of state governments -- including that right here in [our jurisdiction] -- who destroy children and families on the basis of biases, inaccurate and incomplete information, and who remain protected from accountability by closed Family Court courtrooms.

Think it can't happen here? It happens every day. In the past year, more than 60% of the children involved in my students' cases have been returned home to their parents from foster care placements without being found abused or neglected. That means that six of every ten children seized by your government -- with your money, in your name -- from living rooms and schoolhouses and their own bedrooms, housed with strangers and deprived of the comforts of home, family and friends, turn out not to have been abused or neglected. Oops! Like furniture, the government agrees to send them home, with nary an apology or regret at the trauma unnecessarily inflicted on them. In baseball, four successes in ten tries is Hall of Fame stuff. With respect to children's lives, however, it is tragic, reckless, dismal failure.


  1. You are such a rule breaker! I like it. :)

    This doesn't shock me sadly - I have found more and more cases where the children never should have been removed... some after spending over 5 years in the system.

    Scary isn't it?

  2. I definitely believe this. It is scary and I don't know how to change public perceptions of people who "have their kids taken away" but I think that needs to happen.