Nancy Zupfer Has It Right (Governor’s task force should represent children – not agencies and parents) Reposted from October 26,2014

Star Tribune Today, Nancy’s observations that child protection protects state and county agencies, and parents and abused and neglected children “seem to be collateral” has been my experience as a long-time volunteer guardian ad-Litem.

It has always hurt me to see the physical reality of traumatized  children in yet another foster home (29 placements for one boy) or failing to make an adoption work or painfully waiting for life to improve as she sits at St Joe’s Home For Children or other short term care facility.

The problems facing these kids are real and require significant resources and thinking to improve their lives.  That our complicated overwrought institutions give these kids very little voice, no rights, and protect agencies and parents over the well-being of children is a real poke in the eye to youth that have already been dragged through often unspeakable experiences (generally over years).  We know that ethically and economically that everyone benefits when at risk children thrive.

As KARA’s televised interviews with adoptive parents move forward, we are hearing repeated stories and seeing more and more examples of hammer wielding agencies using harsh and abusive tactics to protect reputations instead of recognizing and providing for the serious issues facing children and the families that adopt.

Do we value children as a community?  If we did, we would have more crisis nurseries, subsidized daycare, and a more transparent and robust child protection system that focused on the needs of the child.

As Nancy said today, “Who speaks for the children of Minnesota who are crying out and dying for someone to make them feel safe or at least like they matter?”

Support KARA’S / TPT Documentary project,d.b2U  Nancy Zupfer opinion piece 10.26.14




1 Comment

  1. This is exactly the statement I screamed in frustration at a lawyer representing the child welfare system of Alberta. During my daughter’s fatality inquiry, I requested that a child witness give testimony – not only to support findings surrounding my daughter – but in effort to lend this child who was also wronged, a platform to reveal injustice they suffered. The young female litigator said, “No.” I demanded to know why, “You represent children, the child needs a voice. Nothing more can be done for my daughter, but this child lives and deserves justice.” In turn, she told me, “No, I represent Child Welfare.” “Yes!” I said, “And, child welfare represents children, thus you represent the child.” The woman corrected, “No, I do not represent the child, I represent child welfare.” The truth, I spoke: “There you have it. Child Welfare is an Industry representing itself, not Children.”

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