With remarkable foresight Mondale expressed concerns that the legislation could lead to systemic abuse in that the state agencies might over-process children into the system unnecessarily to keep, and increase, the flow of federal dollars.
Shortly after CAPTA was enacted there was a dramatic increase in the number of children in foster care, peaking at around 500,000 during the mid-70’s.
An official at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare admitted that the government had no idea where many of the nation’s 500,000 foster children where living, what services they were receiving, if any, or if any efforts were being made to reunite them with their families.
1980 the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, P.L. 96-272, was enacted. The act included provisions that “reasonable efforts” be made to prevent children from being unnecessarily removed from their homes and placed in foster care. Although CPS has always tried to buffalo the media and the public that they are involved with families due to some sort of horrific child abuse or neglect, there has never been any debate among national policy makers, researchers, and federal agencies that the vast majority of CPS cases are due to poverty or frivolous/social reasons and do not contain elements of real child abuse. If the cases did actually involve acts of abuse they would be criminal, identified and investigated by law enforcement, rather than social workers, and would be prosecuted as such.
To receive the federal money the states would have to submit an annual report to the federal government, known as an AFCARS report, that specifically accounts for each child in state care.
"... The states were to establish “citizen review panels” comprised of a specifically designated representation of the population which would include not only members of collateral professional communities involved in child protection, but “parents, foster parents, and former foster children.” Each state was to have at least three citizen review panels. The panels would essentially act as a standing jury of peers and would review CPS cases. Twenty years after P.L. 96- 272 went into effect the citizen review panels have never been established in most states."
Another means of creating accountability was to have the federal authority, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, conduct compliance audits, which are known as Section 427 reviews. The method of enforcement that Congress devised to ensure that the states followed the federal law was to provide incentive funds to the states that documented their compliance with the federal regulations. The states would self-certify compliance, but could be subjected to “periodic” 427 reviews by the Dept. of Health & Human Services. Were the states to find themselves in non-compliance they would simply return the incentive funds. It would seem that providing cash to agencies that are allowed to self-document compliance is a somewhat less than intelligent system. It would be interesting to track down exactly how much money the states child “protective” agencies have returned to the government because they found themselves in non-compliance.
Even when HHS finds overwhelming evidence of lack of compliance during 427 reviews, no sanctions are imposed and they continue to keep the fed $$$ pouring in – in violation of their own regulations. Not so much as a slap on the hand or even token admonishment. Certainly explains how CPS developed their arrogance and contempt for any authority – because there is none. Their confidence that they are free from the feds insisting on compliance with the law is well illustrated by the foster care numbers which increased dramatically after CAPTA began feeding federal dollars into the states child protection agencies, then dropped equally dramatically after the enactment of P.L.96-272, which was supposed to create more specific federal regulation and accountability. However, once the state agencies saw that the federal government was not enforcing compliance, the foster care numbers soared once again.
The initial concept of “reasonable efforts” was the only conclusion that any rational person could come to: rather than disrupt children’s lives, and traumatize them by seizing them from non- abusive situations and placing them with strangers (who are often no better, and sometimes far worse), assist families in overcoming their obstacles and problems by providing support and services. The idea never worked, though, because it has always been more profitable to too many to remove children rather than keep them at home. Rather than offer support and simple, practical services to families CPS forged contracts with vendors. Now private businesses, under the guise of “service providers”, could mushroom into existence knowing that their sugar daddy, CPS, would provide a never-ending flow of coerced clients. The market potential is unlimited – potentially every mother, father, grandparent, and child in the country. Rather than offering practical, meaningful services that are germane to the families circumstances, CPS clients are ordered to engage in “services” with CPS-contracted vendors; special interest groups who are dependent on CPS for their income and profit by maintaining the levels of children in foster care, and whose interests are protected by a bureaucracy intent on securing it’s own survival and protecting unlimited growth.
The extent of which CPS is allowed to continue to operate while being so far out of compliance with the existing state and federal laws is mind boggling. It would be a challenge to find any other agency in our countries history that operated in such gross and blatant violation of the law with absolutely no intervention from the administration. Tens of millions of tax dollars are being squandered on a system that is destroying families and causing lifelong emotional ruin to children – and those are the lucky ones who live through it.
The most egregious area of outright criminal fraud is CPS’s practice of filing their federally required documentation of compliance in secrecy through the courts. The federal foster care reimbursements are channeled through the Title IV-E section of the Social Security Act. Each states child welfare agency enters into a contract with the federal government, which is referred to as their Title IV-E state plan. It is this contract that spells out the responsibilities that CPS must, by law, comply with in order to receive their federal funding. To document compliance with the fed regs CPS must file a form through the courts in each individual case. In Massachusetts these forms are referred to as a “29-C.”
By seizing children illegally in violation of the Title IV-E requirements, then filing false documents in secrecy through the courts to obtain federal funding, CPS is defrauding the federal government with intent. CPS should be subject to investigation and prosecution by the U.S. Attorneys Office. They should be held liable for the restitution of all illegally obtained funds, and prosecuted for perjury, obstruction of justice, and the fraudulent collection of federal funds under the False Statements and Accountability Act of 1996, P.L. 104-292 110 stat 3459, 42 U.S.C.S. 670-679a; P.L. 96-272; C.F.R. part 1356; and Title IV-E.
In 1988 George Miller, the original architect of P.L. 96-272, and Chairman of the congressionally appointed Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, recognized the fraud being committed in the name of child “protection”, and stated:
“What has been demonstrated here is that you have a system that is simply in contempt. This system has been sued and sued and orders have been issued and they just continue on their merry way. And HHS just continues to look the other way. You have a system that is not only out of control, it’s illegal at this point. What you are really engaged in is state sponsored child abuse.”
*The posts made in this blog are of our opinion only* Without Prejudice UCC 1-207