Above all, it is important to remember that for every space in foster care, there are hundreds in desperate need. I was inspired to write this series by the many excellent parents who have needlessly lost their children while the streets remain soaked by the terrified tears of thousands of suffering children who are in life or death need of “a spot in the system”. “Child Protection Services” (CPS) is widely misunderstood by the general public unless, of course, you are among the growing number of households that have been subjected to their interventions. Rather than working toward the best possible scenario for the children they claim to be serving, these privately-owned organizations are effectively accountable to no one and exercise substantial power in the courts to destroy families, often targeting mothers and acting to the detriment of children. This series of articles offers a generic representation since different territories use different terminology and operate under different laws.
Part One: A Peek Into the Machine
Generally operating as “not for profit” organizations, it is important to remember that “child protection” services typically receive funding from state or provincial governments, and that this funding – like that for all privately run community-based service organizations which rely on government funding, (such as employment centres and women’s shelters) – is a function of the number of open files in their offices. Consequently, they have a vested interest in blowing families apart at the seams: one file per family is not nearly as lucrative as one per parent, each grandparent, each extended family member, and certainly one per child. We will expand on how such files are used to generate even more income in upcoming articles also.
While “not for profit” entities are required to demonstrate little to no profit as per their organization’s bottom line, many excesses in the revenue they generate from a variety of sources must be distributed as stipends. Though careful marketing represents a large portion of their official budget, it often demonstrates incredible hypocrisy.
Taking a very serious topic, bullying, as an example, many “child protection” services print tens of thousands of anti-bullying posters and flyers, which are targeted at school children. Meanwhile, these campaigns are used to recruit new files for CPS offices, for which they will receive even more government money. A bullied child, perhaps seeing nowhere else to turn, may feel compelled to contact the toll-free number and, in turn, the “child protection” services then have a file on the reporting child, a file on each of that child’s family members, and the same for any bullies reported by that child. The profit margin is exponential.
School administrations encourage this type of reporting and proudly display the “child protection” services logo on promotional materials for school and community events. Remember, since CPS is accountable to no one, we can never truly know exactly who receives what stipends. “Child protection” services have at least one employee in many schools and in each member school of certain school boards, whose real job is to snipe, watching and waiting for any excuse to swell their purses with another intervention.
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to be strictly informative and in no way seeks to advise against the reporting of bullying or other child abuse. In all cases, ABUSE (AND SUSPICION OF) MUST BE REPORTED.
Having worked in a benefits office myself, I was deeply saddened by the number of single mothers who had to keep their kids home from school in times of dire financial need because they feared losing their kids to “the system” as they were unable to pack the required daily nutrition into lunch boxes, even once. “All I have for the week is a bag of rice and a couple of cans of tomato soup.” If mom or dad can’t afford the school supplies or the football shoes for gym class, their children could be reported to “child protection services” for neglect.
In the next segment, we will elaborate on how a family’s economic or social status makes them a prime and easy target for the make-work project of “child protection services”, and shed some light on other possible factors.
By Carol Ann