sunset costaricaOver the past few years the states of Washington (144 million dollars) and Indiana have been sued successfully for many millions of dollars for failing to protect abused and neglected children.

In Arizona, the over 6600 child abuse reports ignored by social workers prompted personal injury lawsuits, Texas and New York have similar lawsuits in play, MN has been fined almost a million dollars for failing to meet federal standards for abused children re-entering child protection (MN has twice the national average) the child protection system was called a “Colossal Failure” by the Governor in the slow tortured death of 4 year-old Eric Dean and a dozen other states are facing embarrassing examples of cruelty to children and juveniles because of bad public policies.

Children in these states have been tortured, starved, murdered and raped while being cared for in overburdened Child Protection systems.  The consequences of child abuse are immense and lasting for children and the fact that a community would fail to help their tortured children is barbaric.

These lawsuits are remarkable in that suing a governmental body is rare because Federal, State and Local agencies are almost immune to being sued.

When lawsuits do succeed, you know that the case was overwhelming and represented just the tip of a very big iceberg of the kinds of violence being done to children in our under-appreciated  and poorly understood child protection systems.

I say “Poorly understood” as it is my belief that no community, especially my community, would ignore the cries of raped, tortured and murdered children if they did understand the violence being done to their youngest and most vulnerable citizens.

I refuse to believe that any community in America willfully continues to avoid fixing the institutional failures that are so painful for the children affected and the people involved in the system.

Politicians especially should understand and address the lifetimes costs in dollars and quality of life that millions of dysfunctional citizens are having on our schools, public safety and prisons.

Voters set no limit to what we are willing to pay for the world’s largest and strongest military, and millions of dollars for sports stadiums and giant transportation projects are almost always found – yet comparatively small amounts are being denied to the children that make up the very fabric of our communities and national citizenry that will determine the quality of our communities and daily lives.

Consider notifying your County Commissioners, State Representatives and other government officials about the need for sound public policies for at risk youth, and just how many social workers and resources for needy children 144 million dollars would have bought the damaged children of Washington State.

All adults are the protectors of all children (this includes voting for child friendly public polices like mental health access, crisis nurseries and quality daycare)

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for posting this article. I’m particularly impressed that instead of a rant, you correctly (I believe) identify that most people (and I believe that to be true of many professionals in several fields) are appalled rather than complicit or ignoring child abuse and other horrific crimes against them. In past, I’ve worked in nursing and in schools as a substitute teacher. From my perspective, I always believed in the professionalism and accountability of other professionals. Sadly, there are some (enough) who do not perform their duties adequately and in other instances, there is a chain of people between an initial reporter and the professional charged with performing a duty. As a parent, however, I used to listen to my children’s friends talking as they sat around the dining room table. Many of them disclosed (to one another) that CPS/DCFS was involved with their family but in many cases, even with some serious problems, nothing had changed other than supervised status. I would love to see women encouraged to be mothers (not sending their children into daycare while they work), instead of watching children by and large growing and believing adults are “interchangeable”. I believe strong and healthy parental-child bonds are important to help prevent abuse; rather than coming from a punitive stance, it’d be great to see more social workers or other counselors/therapists working WITH parents to help them learn, not only about parenting, but about all areas at-risk parents may miss out in during their own upbringing.

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