President Donald Trump’s plan to protect children from government removal is about to go forward, on the heels of a State Department report that found foster care a top breeding ground for human trafficking.
Trump’s “Family First Prevention Services Act” will become active on October 1 of this year, after Trump quietly signed it into law as an attachment to a short-term budget bill in February 2018. Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services is tasked with implementation.
The White House has recently prioritized the foster care crisis, with First Lady Melania Trump honoring foster care children in West Virginia as parents victimized by Child Protective Services (CPS) are speaking out nationwide.
The “Family First” law is not a cure-all for the child removal crisis by any stretch of the imagination, but it represents a first step for the President, who will no doubt be forced to address the national populist uprising against CPS.
Federal funds will now be prioritized to finding solutions for children to stay with their families or close relatives or family friends, and will de-incentivize the lucrative trend of group homes keeping kids in their clutches for long periods of time.
The National Conference of State Legislatures recently noted: “With the Family First Prevention Services Act states, territories, and tribes with an approved Title IV-E plan have the option to use these funds for prevention services that would allow “candidates for foster care” to stay with their parents or relatives. States will be reimbursed for prevention services for up to 12 months. A written, trauma-informed prevention plan must be created, and services will need to be evidence-based. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expects to release guidance on service eligibility before Oct. 1, 2018.
The Family First Prevention Services Act also seeks to curtail the use of congregate or group care for children and instead places a new emphasis on family foster homes. With limited exceptions, the federal government will not reimburse states for children placed in group care settings for more than two weeks. Approved settings, known as qualified residential treatment programs, must use a trauma-informed treatment model and employ registered or licensed nursing staff and other licensed clinical staff. The child must be formally assessed within 30 days of placement to determine if his or her needs can be met by family members, in a family foster home or another approved setting.”
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Iowa’s human services department issued guidance on Trump’s law, noting:
“It will prevent the need for removal through evidence-based family preservation services.
If removal is necessary, placement will be prioritized in this order:
- Relative or fictive kin
- Licensed Foster Family
- Congregate care (for treatment only)
Key components of Family First will include foster care prevention services such as mental health, substance abuse treatment services, in-home, parent skill-based programs that include parent education, and individual and family counseling. It will also include kinship navigator programs, which are designed to provide support to relatives and fictive kin when the child cannot be safely maintained in the home.”
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This law represents a tangible first step, but the crisis continues to spiral out of control and necessitates more sweeping action.
Cynthia Abcug, whose autistic son Michael was taken from her by Child Protective Services (CPS) has not spoken to her son in 60 days. She has no idea where Michael is, or who has him. Abcug was accused of possibly mis-diagnosing Michael with autism — rendering Michael another victim of CPS’ targeting of potentially autistic children.
A tipster told Abcug that she was given the wrong case number for her son. By searching with the correct case number, Abcug said that she found a judge’s authorization for young Michael to be taken to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida from August 3-10. Abcug is concerned that Michael could be human-trafficked, or suffer seizures in the Florida heat. Abcug’s lawyer has fired off a response to the travel motion to Douglas County District Court in Colorado contesting the child’s authorization to travel out of state. Follow Cynthia’s plight.
Abcug returned to The Campaign Show Sunday to provide an update (interview at the top of the show).
Child Protective Services (CPS) removed a four-year old child from his parents in Texas because the parents wanted a hospital to treat their son for autism, and the hospital claimed that the parents were engaging in “medical child abuse” by seeking “unnecessary medical treatment.”
Yesterday, July 2, Judge B. Michael Chitty ruled against Ashley and Daniel Pardo of Kaufman County and in favor of Child Protective Services (CPS) who removed their four-year-old son, Drake, from their home on June 20…
State Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), who attended the hearing on Tuesday, said the ruling was “the most egregious display of injustice” that he has seen. Hall said CPS had “zero evidence” in their case against the family.
According to a phone call with the family’s lawyer before the hearing, the Pardos discovered after Drake was removed that the allegations made against them were of medical child abuse, referring to a situation wherein parents exaggerate or even contrive medical conditions of their child…
A doctor from the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas had initially signed the CPS affidavit making the allegations.
One specific point of concern for the doctor was the parents’ claim that their son had autism since the doctor was not aware of any comprehensive diagnosis.”
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The entire story is infuriating beyond belief, and of course the parents — who have a gag order against them — are fighting on to get their son back.
Child Protective Services is becoming more and more tyrannical in the lives of families, as we see children snatched from their parents by the government for all kinds of reasons.
Parents can have their parental custody jeopardized by choosing not to vaccinate their children or not taking their kids to the dentist for a certain period of time.
In Pennsylvania, a law allows pediatric dentists to shake down families on threat of reporting them. Act 31 was put forth in 2014 in the state of Pennsylvania.
Due to a law signed by Democrat governor Andrew Cuomo banning religious exemptions for vaccines, the Deer Park School District is making it known that if parents don’t vaccinate their kids then the school district calls Child Protective Services (h/t @planetjen).
“The State Department’s annual report on human trafficking pinpointed the prevalence of foster care history among child sex trafficking victims in the United States.
While in many other countries, the report listed foster care among the tools used to protect victims of human trafficking, “in the United States, traffickers prey upon children in the foster care system,” it stated (pdf).
“Recent reports have consistently indicated that a large number of victims of child sex trafficking were at one time in the foster care system.”
Just one federally funded trafficking hotline received nearly 120,000 calls, texts, and other messages and identified close to 11,000 potential trafficking cases in fiscal 2018. The hotline reported more than 3,400 cases to law enforcement and was notified about more than 1,000 investigations that were opened as a result.
Among people vulnerable to trafficking in the United States, the report listed children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, including foster care; runaway and homeless youth; unaccompanied foreign national children without lawful immigration status; American Indians and Alaska Natives; and drug addicts.”
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