Wednesday, December 1, 2021

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending November 30, 2021

WXYZ-TV in Detroit has a story about relatives who took in a one-year-old child as a kinship foster care placement, only to have the child taken with them to be placed – forever – with strangers.  The story asks: 

Under the law in Michigan, family members have priority to adopt their relatives. So why is the state saying the Mihailoff family can’t do that? And why was [the child] found at the home of one of the adoption agency’s employees?  

You don’t suppose the second question helps answer the first? 

● Think Michigan is a fluke?  Then consider this strikingly similar story from the Tennessee Tribune. 

● Also in Tennessee: Three children were taken from their mother because they witnessed domestic violence.  Taking children on those grounds actually worsens the trauma for the children.  Now, WTVC-TV in Chattanooga reports, one of the children is dead – allegedly killed by his foster mother, who subsequently committed suicide.  The surviving siblings are still in foster care.    

● Illinois used to be different.  There was a time when that state took away children at among the lowest rates in the nation – and independent court monitors found child safety improved.  A foster-care panic has wiped out much of that progress.  As I explain on this Blog:

Bottom line Illinois pols and DCFS: you trashed a system that once was, relatively speaking, a leader.  You vastly increased the number of children subjected to the enormous emotional trauma of needless separation – in fact, when it comes to needless family separation you vastly outperformed Donald Trump.  You subjected all these children to the high risk of abuse in foster care itself.  You’ve even got children sleeping in offices again.  

And all that did nothing – nothing – to prevent the very sorts of tragedies that prompted you to start this foster-care panic in the first place.

● Things may be about to change for the better in Arkansas.  The Imprint reports that the former leadership team at the federal Children’s Bureau – probably the most progressive team in its history, is about to step in and guide a transformation. 

● Still another harrowing story of abuse – by so-called “child abuse pediatricians.”  In one of the cases documented by Wisconsin Watch an obsession with child abuse, to the exclusion of the real cause of the problem, may have put a child’s life in danger.