Over 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 a class action lawsuit, 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 almost impossible 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.
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.