We are Kathey and Rob Raskin of Las Vegas, and today we’d like to discuss the surprising facts behind how children end up in foster care, and why. The system is overwhelmed, and without any checks and balances in place to prevent corruption, it can be easy for children who are in true need to slip through the cracks while precious resources are directed toward the unnecessary harassment of families. Studies have found that up to one-third of foster homes are abusive, with rates even higher for group homes and other institutional settings. With so many children being removed from homes for no good reason and abuse so rampant in foster care, it is clear that we need to take a closer look at how workers are determining which children to target.
Families in Need
Homicide is one of the leading causes of death for US children between the ages of one and 18, and all too often these deaths are at the hands of the parents. However, out of every 100 children who child protective services organizations investigate as potential victims of abuse, just six of these claims are substantiated with any evidence other than the claims of workers who may have financial incentives to remove children from the home and other “witnesses” who often turn out to be making false claims for ulterior motives. As for the rest, oftentimes the only real problem in the home is not abuse or neglect but rather poverty.
Children who are left in their own homes have been shown to fare better than children who have been placed in the foster system. It is common for children to be taken into care because they and their parents are living in conditions of poverty, and assistance with resources like child care, housing, and food can help families to stay together. Studies have shown that 30% of foster kids in this country could be safely with their families today if only they had housing that is safe and affordable. We, Kathey and Rob Raskin, believe we as a country need to take a closer look at how the financial incentives for removing kids can be redirected so they help families in need instead, where they will clearly do more good.