Way back in the mid-1970’s I took a class at college called Child, Family, and Community. I was enrolled in the college’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program. It was there that I first heard about Child Protective Services.
During the course of the class many guest speakers were invited in to speak about different aspects of community services that could help or affect children and families.
During one class, the speakers were a foster parent and a child welfare social worker, there to educate us about child abuse and the up-and-coming new child welfare system.
I remembered taking my first child home from the hospital thinking, “Are they going to just let me take this baby home? Nobody is going to question me or try to train me on anything? They’re wordlessley trusting ME with the entire responsibility of taking care of this new human life?” Maybe I doubted my abilities… but he did indeed survive and thrive, and I learned the lessons of motherhood.
So that day in my Child, Family, and Community class, I listened to the woman talk about her foster child. The baby had a serious birth defect that the God-given parents didn’t feel competent to take care of.
The two women, the social worker and the foster parent, were excited to tell us about a new program that was starting up, for helping children who were being seriously abused in their homes.
Now, we all know these children exist. There are some parents who are warped enough to actually hit, molest, and batter their children. Of course, we all agree that there needs to be serious intervention when such situations exist.
It Is All “For The Children”
Everyone wants to do what’s best for children.
We all want to protect children from tyrants, even if those tyrants are their parents.
So on March 13, 1973, Democratic Senator Walter Mondale (Minnesota) introduced S. 1191, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) to Congress.
My first child was born about a month later.
I have always parented under the shadow of child welfare services, though they didn’t intervene in my life until about fifteen years later.
Until then, I was like most other Americans. I had no real knowledge of CPS, and I thought they were there only to help abused children.
On December 21, 1973 the bill, CAPTA, The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, was approved by Congress and sent to the White House.
Merry Christmas…. but for who?
On January 31, 1974 CAPTA was signed into law by Republican President Nixon during the time he was trying to cover up his involvement in the Watergate Scandal.
January 31 is now an annual day of mourning for all families and people who have been destroyed by child welfare services. Please put that date on your calendar.
Nixon resigned a few months later after his Watergate involvement was exposed.
Walter Mondale went on to become Vice President of the USA serving under President Jimmy Carter.
What Changed Because of CAPTA in the 1970’s?
The original Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974 established a National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (Now known as the Administration for Children and Families.).
Funding was approved for training doctors, lawyers and social workers, and “to support innovative projects” for prevention of child abuse or neglect.
This was a jobs-creation opportunity, providing employment for college graduates who were, at the time, having a hard time finding ways to utilize their educational qualifications.
CAPTA also authorized grants to the states “for programs authorized by the Act.” This is how they gained control of state legislatures. By offering federal funding for states that would accept these new laws and programs, the federal government took over child welfare.
It is important to note that according to the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution, the federal government was not given the authority to decide matters of child welfare; however the sovereign states took the bait… they all wanted that federal funding, and so Child Protective Services was born, with the centralized federal government issuing mandates on what should be done if states wanted the money streams to continue.
CAPTA also authorized the collection of statistics regarding child abuse and neglect. Those statistics can be found on the web at Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics.
Very Interesting Stuff. I have always wanted a volunteer statistician to evaluate the statistics on an ongoing basis to give us all up-to-date and accurate information on child welfare issues. Any volunteers?
Back to my story…
So, when I first heard about the new child protection program about a year after it was signed into law, I sat in my college class listening as a social worker and foster parent tried to explain.
They gave us examples of the types of severe child abuse they believed would cause a child to become a ward of the state: outrageous and severe beatings, slaps leaving very visible red marks, broken bones, children thrown against walls, and things like that.
Nothing they said prepared me for the reality of what CPS has become.
They gave me the impression that foster children would be those who were severely physically abused.
We were such a naive and uninformed society in those days, they didn’t even think to mention sexual abuse of children. Most of us had never heard of it.
As it turns out, most foster children are detained for other things. According to 2012 national statistics, 78.3% of the children detained were said to be neglected in some way, not physically or sexually abused.
That’s right… more than 3/4 of the children taken into foster homes are not known to be physically or sexually abused in any way at all.
As we all know, neglect charges can be anything from a messy house, to domestic violence or even just arguments between parents, to sunburns and vegetarian diets. Social workers can call almost anything neglect. They take children who have had a sibling accidentally die and while the family is reeling from shock and grief, they step in and kick them while they’re down by placing the remaining children in foster homes.
Rather than having clear instructions on what is or isn’t acceptable as parenting techniques, parents are left on their own with no education on how to raise children, and social workers are able to take children from them on any allegation they want to make, many of which are trivial, insubstantial, or even fabricated.
Judges and Juvenile Court Referees tend to accept social worker court reports without question, believing everything they’re told so long as it written by someone paid by the county (and therefore, supposedly trusted by the county). Thus plenty of lies and misrepresentations have resulted in the destruction of families.
It is extremely rare for a child welfare social worker to be prosecuted on perjury charges.
That’s something we need to change.
Meanwhile, the money allocated by CAPTA has been used to educate the public about child abuse and neglect.
By education, I mean brainwashing.
Suddenly we were inundated by anti-parent propaganda via TV programs, commercials, radio public service announcements, and newspaper articles about the danger of parents harming children.
Advertisements with the child abuse hotline telephone numbers were found on billboards, buses, and even grocery carts.
The snitch society was activated.
Parents became the new public enemy number one.
Parents were mistrusted.
Therapy became a matter of learning to distrust your parenting.
People learned to hate their parents, to malign them, to be angry at them.
The brainwashing propaganda was so pervasive in American culture that later, when families were attacked, when children were put in state custody foster homes, and when parents started trying to tell people how inhumanely their families were being treated, NOBODY BELIEVED THEM.
There was an assumption in America that if the government did something, it was the right thing to do.
Americans trusted that the social workers would take children away only from true child abusers, so if a parent was targeted, then complained, they were not believed… not even by their own family members.
How well I remember how much that hurt when my own baby was abducted by a social worker in the late 1980’s. Almost everyone in my family thought I did something wrong to deserve it – except for two notable exceptions: my first ex-husband, who already distrusted the government, and my father, who managed to think for himself on all family matters.
Some people seem to be more brainwashed than others. I often wonder how well this correlates with the amount of time spent in front of a television set.
Americans had turned into sheeple… the trusting, sheep-like people (often mesmerized and distracted by TV programs) who knew that the USA was the best place in the world to live, who couldn’t imagine that the government would ever turn against its people.
Propaganda contains a lie
“One nation under God… with justice and liberty for all.”
That’s brainwashing. Force fed to all American school children.
There is no justice in a juvenile courtroom, even for guilty people, because Constitutional Rights are denied to parents in juvenile court hearings.
Young parents with no understanding of the laws or of how courts work are easily hoodwinked and coerced into signing away their right to a trial.
This is unethically justified by saying it is all “for the children” and their privacy… and who cares about parents anyway? Parents are the perceived problem!
If CPS claims a parent is defective, almost anyone who has been subjected to the anti-parent brainwashing in America will believe that person doesn’t deserve to be a parent.
I would love to know your suggestions for overcoming the brainwashing of the American people.
Activist Joseph Sarandos, author of the epic poem about CPS, “A Call For Change,” was my mentor, teaching me everything he knew about CPS. He helped me get my child back.
I started fighting back against CPS in 1991 after my own CPS case was closed and my baby was safe at home.
One of the first things I did was to write articles, which were published in a local weekly newspaper owned by Libertarian Christians.
I wanted people to know that there was a problem.
I wanted to break through the programming, the brainwashing, to show people clearly and in writing that social workers were lying to get control of children.
Yes, I did that, albeit to a very small section of the population.
I also tried to help a few families by writing articles for them and representing them in administrative hearings (I’m not a lawyer but a person can appoint *anyone* to help them in administrative hearings.) That was so frustrating, but at least we got facts on the record at the State Department of Social Services.
I soon burned out on trying to help people one-on-one and to this day I will not do it.
In the early 1990’s I found a new vehicle for dissemination of my information… a wonderful early computer information system called FidoNet. I set up a FidoNet BBS (Bulletin Board System… I realize many of you have no idea that this pre-dated the internet…) and often shared information on a FidoNet “Echo” (like a thread in our forums) called “VFALSAC” – “Victims of False Accusations of Abuse” which was run by then-attorney Bob Hirschfeld of Lukeville, Arizona. (Later he was disbarred, perhaps for his work in exposing CPS.)
I started a group at Yahoo Groups in October 2000: Child Protection Reform… a few years later I gave it to someone else so I could devote more time to developing this site.
This site started only a few months after the Yahoo Group did. It was originally envisioned as a place where people could find links to information about Child Protective Services. I constantly did research on the internet, looking for sites that people might find helpful.
I have always encouraged others to set up sites or in some way specialize in one aspect of the problem… to truly make a difference in some way. If we try to do everything, we end up being fairly ineffective in bringing about change.
So, what do you do to combat brainwashing against parents, brainwashing that tries to make people think that CPS is justified in destroying families? Or, what do you think should or could be done? Let’s discuss it.
- California: Child Welfare Neglect of Truly Abused Children
- Washington: Three foster children sued CPS and won 7.3 million dollars
- Obama says: “Government should not intrude on private family matters.”
- Ohio: CPS Social Worker Fired For Not Following Court Orders
- California: Foster Parent Pleads Guilty To Child Molestation