Federal Money and CPS

Federal Money and CPS

Around the country, many have stated that the flow of Federal money to the states affects the decisions made by Child Protective Services and the Courts. Below are articles that suggest that “Yes, it does.” Please look at the facts.

Medical Kidnapping Business: Judges Skirting the Law for Federal Funds

http://medicalkidnap.com/2014/10/27/medical-kidnap-business-judges-skirting-the-law-for-federal-funds/print/

More Stories on “Medical Kidnapping” at http://medicalkidnap.com/

Kids For Cash Scandal  (on Wikipedia)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal

Passage of Certain Laws: In the  state legislatures, there are facts suggesting that the offer of Federal money encourages the passage of some bills. For instance the Analysis of SB 0858 in Michigan in 2016 said this: “Further, quick enactment of the bill could enable the state to receive additional funding under two grant awards available under the federal Rape Survivor Child Custody Act. Deadlines for the additional awards are fast approaching and would need to be submitted soon as only states whose laws are in compliance with the federal act by May 26 will be eligible for the first round of funding increases. According to testimony presented to the Committee, the state could be eligible to receive an increase of about $414,151 in its current grant funding and the increased funding would continue for a two-year period.” (See analysis here) While the law seems to have good intent and would allow mom’s who conceived due to rape to prevent the rapist from paternal rights, the opportunity for the state to receive nearly a million dollars ($414,151 / year  x 2 years) may have helped this bill get through the House and Senate in 10 weeks (See Bill History here) while other good legislation experienced very slow progress (See a sample History here)

National Coalition for Child Protection Reform says this on Federal funding

 “Financial Incentives” updated in 2015

“Cycle of Failure” updated in 2009

Ethical Distraction

Ethical codes for many professions prohibit actions that are influenced by some benefit to the person making the decision. For instance a township planning commission member cannot vote in a decision about property he owns. A counselor cannot date a client until at least two years after counseling has ended. But in child protection cases, judges make decisions based on the recommendations of the case workers, and case workers recommendations affect the income of the agency and the state.

There is a widely held belief that the structure of Federal funding explains the overzealous and sometimes bewildering behavior of Child Protective Services. There are at least three streams of money which, it is believed, create an “ethical distraction”, since the money is provided on a per-child-taken basis.

  1. Foster Care. In Michigan, “The most recent estimate for foster care payments is $24,500 per individual a year…”[1] Much of this is Federal money. Payments to foster parents in Michigan are typically $37 per child per day,[2] or $13,500 per year. This leaves considerable money in the hands of DHS and CPS.
  1. Adoption Bonus. Federal Social Security Title IV-E funding provides an Increasing Adoption Incentive Bonus to the states of $4000 to $8000 per child when an adoption is completed. [3]
  1. Adoption Care. There is also a flow of Federal money to the states and to adoptive parents for adoption assistance[4].

These three streams of Federal money apparently motivate some CPS workers to take children out of the home unnecessarily, resulting to significant harm to both parents and children.

It amounts to billions each year paid to states across our nation. A Congressional report states, “Just 29% of the $8.3 billion in total (state and federal) Title IV-E foster care spending for FY2011 was used for maintenance payments, while close to half (46%) of those Title IV-E foster care dollars supported program administration (primarily for case planning and case management).” [5] Many across the nation believe that federal funding from Social Security Title IV-E, paid to the state with each child removed, is the driving force behind this abuse to families.

                 Another example of where money may influence decision-making in child-placement is in Michigan policy: “A residential rate ($10,000.00) will be paid to an agency that places a child for adoption directly from residential care. The child must be placed within 120 days of leaving residential care.” [6]

The Amer case [7]and the “Mike’s Hard Lemonade Case”[8] are examples of a malfunctioning system. We lobbied to change Michigan law in response to these cases.

Our friends at Michigan For Parental Rights have recorded and broadcast over 100 tragic stories of families who report unfair treatment by Child Protective Services and the courts. A study by the National Coalition For Child Protection Reform shows that, in general, “family preservation is SAFER than foster care.” [9]

Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer was becoming a national advocate spokesperson regarding the abuse by Child Protective Service, its contracted agencies, and our family courts.  Senator Schaefer was murdered just before her scheduled address to Congress regarding this abuse of families. She has written a significant report on the situation entitled The Corrupt Business of Child Protection. [10] You may wish to review her speeches on YouTube.com.

[1] See the  Bill Analysis of Michigan’s SB 435, http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billanalysis/Senate/pdf/2011-SFA-0435-F.pdf  page 3, paragraph 3, last sentence

[2]  See http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/CFS-Rates/CFS-Rates.pdf

http://www.mfia.state.mi.us/olmweb/ex/CFS-Rates/CFS-Rates.pdf

[3] http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title04/0473A.htm

[4] http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title04/0473.htm

[5]http://greenbook.waysandmeans.house.gov/sites/greenbook.waysandmeans.house.gov/files/2012/R42792_gb.pdf

[6] http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5455_7199-14181–,00.html

[7] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r112:E26JN2-0016:/and http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2011/02/11/news/doc4d55a21fe4fcc220219633.txt

[8] http://legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billanalysis/Senate/pdf/2011-SFA-0320-A.pdf   and http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/03/dad_who_mistakenly_gave_7-year.html

[9] http://nccpr.info/the-nccpr-quick-read/

[10] http://www.nccr.info/attachments/600_The%20Corrupt%20Business%20Of%20Child%20Protective%20Services.pdf

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