Family Preservation vs Foster Care
Index to Issue Papers
The Following information are 15 issue papers on Family Preservation. Pick any link and you will be directed to a new page or tab. From there you can go back or forward to the next issue. "The members of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform have encountered the child welfare system in their professional capacities. Through NCCPR, we work to make that system better serve America's most vulnerable children by trying to change policies concerning child abuse, foster care, and family preservation." (http://www.nccpr.org/ NFPCAR is not affiliated with this organization. Links given here are for Informational Purposes only)
Why is this information being presented on the NFPCAR website? It is an effort to make everyone aware to look at the Whole Picture of Our Families and the Government Abuse to them. It is so unfortunate that many other Groups or Organizations take a Narrow View when looking for answers. Please keep in mind, legislation affecting Biological Parents may also affect Foster Parents. Not to mention, when Falsely Accused, in the Government's eyes, it doesn't matter what type of Parent you are. Many of these issues may make you angry. But remember, until the Government truly listens and assist Families, in their time of need, there will be no change.
In our Foster Parent Allegations, Yahoo Discussion Group, one of the first things we tell members is to seek legal council for advice. In addition, we direct them to the many references pages found on this website. I have told many that "Knowledge is Power". Perhaps the most useful document, to organize your thoughts and understand the process, one must go through to defend themselves is "Standing in the Shadow of the Law".
Related Reading: Another series of 5 Issue Papers by NCCPR, which is well written and document has this title on one paper>> False Allegations: What the Data Really Show
Also I created a list of references titled on our Home Page
Quick Start for Foster Parents Falsely Accused
merely an introduction to learn the many issues that you will be confronted
with when allegations are made.
So with this in mind, check out the Titles below to help understand the Whole Story. Many issues which are also concerns for NFPCAR members.
God Bless, GranPa Chuck
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As the previous paper in this series noted, of the roughly 2.7 million reports alleging child abuse every year, about two-thirds typically are false.
But to a child saver, there is virtually no such thing as a false allegation of child abuse. False reports are labeled "unfounded" or "unsubstantiated" but child savers insist that's not the same thing as false. They offer several reasons why, in all likelihood, any parent accused of child abuse must be guilty. Such arguments are a classic example of a half-truth. They are, quite literally, half of the truth.
Of course, America's stumbling, bumbling child-saving bureaucracy is going to mislabel some real cases of abuse -- some guilty families will be let off the hook after an investigation. But that same bureaucracy repeatedly labels innocent families guilty.
This question was examined by a major federal study, commonly known as the second National Incidence Study or NIS2. This study second-guessed child protective workers, re-checking records to see if they had reached the right conclusion. The researchers found that protective workers were at least twice as likely and perhaps as much as six times more likely to wrongly label an innocent family guilty as they were to wrongly label a guilty family innocent. Thus, not only are about two-thirds of all allegations false, chances are that figure is an underestimate.
Yet child savers insist that false reports are not really false. These are their reasons, and why those arguments don't wash:
· The case was labeled unfounded because the worker couldn't "prove" guilt. In fact, workers don't have to prove guilt. There is no trial, no judge, no jury. A worker can label a parent guilty and place his or her name in a state central register based entirely on her own suspicions.
The real problem is the reverse: innocent people whose cases have been wrongly "substantiated." In half the states, workers need only believe it is slightly more likely than not that maltreatment occurred to declare the case “substantiated.” In the other half, the standard is even lower: Typically, in these states, a worker can label a case "substantiated" if she thinks she has "some credible evidence" of maltreatment, even if there is more evidence of innocence. In a case brought by a member of the NCCPR Board of Directors, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in 1994 that "the 'some credible evidence' standard results in many individuals being placed [in the Central Register] who do not belong there." It is grossly misleading for child savers to label such cases as "confirmed" or "substantiated."
· The parents are guilty but the law doesn't define what they did as child abuse. State laws are so broad that virtually anything a parent does or does not do can be labeled abuse or neglect, if a worker sees fit. Indeed, as the previous paper explains, the largest single category of "substantiated" maltreatment is "neglect," a category filled with cases in which parents have been accused of maltreatment solely because they are poor.
· The investigator had so many cases that she couldn't investigate long enough to uncover abuse or she was not trained well enough to detect it. The same worker may miss evidence showing that a parent is innocent for the same reasons.
· The parents are guilty but the system has no help to offer, so the case was labeled unfounded. On the other hand, often the system will provide help for any kind of family problem only if the family is accused of child abuse. Therefore, workers sometimes deliberately mislabel innocent parents guilty in order to get them help with other problems.
In addition, most states lump together cases in which there has been actual maltreatment with cases where the worker thinks something just might happen in the future. These so-called "at risk" cases may make up half or more of the 40 percent of all allegations that are "substantiated." And finally, the enormous pressure on workers has to be considered. If they label a case false and harm comes to a child, they face loss of their jobs, the enmity of the press and the public, and perhaps even criminal charges. If they wrongly label parents guilty, even if that leads to needless foster care placement and all the harm that can cause for a child, the worker suffers no penalty. So workers practice "defensive social work" and wrongly accuse innocent parents.
For all of these reasons it is clear that of the 2.7 million reports alleging child abuse every year, a minimum of about two-thirds are false -- not "unfounded," not "unsubstantiated" -- just plain false.
1. Study Findings: Study of National Incidence and Prevalence of Child Abuse and Neglect: 1988 (Washington: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1988), Chapter 6, Page 5. Back to Text.
2. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families. Child Maltreatment 2001 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2001). See Appendix D, also available online.
3. Valmonte v. Bane, 18 F.3d 992 (2nd Cir. 1994). Back to Text.
4. For example, unlike most states, Kansas does not lump these categories together. Therefore, in Kansas, only 11 percent of all reports are substantiated. (Office of the Legislative Post Auditor, Performance Audit Report, 1990, p.6). Back to Text.