The legacy of former Senator Nancy Schaefer of Georgia extended into the realm of activism, especially in regards to her opposition against Child Protective Services. In 2007, she wrote a report seeking to expose corruption in the system, a report that she later claimed lost her the seat she held in the Senate. The idea behind her allegations is that the process involved in taking children from their families caused children to be wrongfully stolen from loving families. It’s worth it to say here that some children actually are abused and rightfully taken from harmful situations; this isn’t what this article is about. The subject here pertains to families that have had parental rights taken away with little justification and without the chance to plead their case.
CPS Taking Advantage of Loopholes
Essentially, the “Adoption and Safe Families Act” (1974) and its later federal adoption in 1997 paved the way for social workers and even judges to exploit families in pursuit of lucrative gain. Federal funds are legally allocated to professionals in the system as bonuses for every child that is adopted out of foster care. This seems like positive and perhaps even noble legislature, but the unintentional lucrative incentives from abusing the process have ended up causing more pain for children, the ones this bill is intended to benefit.
In order to take full advantage of the financial gains allowed by this bill, more children need to be put into foster care. Thus, greedy individuals then pull children away from their families without due process and enjoy the revenue that rolls in. Schaefer sought to put an end to this practice, pull funding from Child Services, and give law enforcement the jurisdiction to rescue abused children rather than the social workers in order to ensure the proper due process for affected families. The extent of this corruption extended all the way from lowly social workers to judges who purportedly received monetary kickbacks. Perhaps the corruption extends even deeper as Schaefer often asserted that she lost her seat in the Senate due to her pursuits to end this unconstitutional practice. People benefitting from the flaws in the system would have motive to stop Schaefer at all costs.
The Murder of Nancy Schaefer
According to the official reports, Schaefer’s husband killed her and committed suicide, allegedly motivated by financial issues. There are a number of strange circumstances around the situation, particularly because of the increase in recent death threats the couple had been receiving that were potentially due to Schaefer’s political beliefs and activism. There was also no indication from Bruce Schaefer that finances had been bothering him to the point of such a heinous act, especially because the couple still owned assets that outweighed the main source of their financial troubles. What is most concerning is that Schaefer was in the middle of a video to expose the issues in the Child Services system, one that would extend beyond the realm of her political career and transcend into public knowledge.
With such feeble motives tempered with an overwhelming amount of questions and inconsistencies, Nancy Schaefer’s murder doesn’t seem like a domestic tragedy between her husband and herself. There was far more political and profit-oriented motivation surrounding her life’s work of sticking up for families that had no voice in the system and taking away opportunity for CPS to treat children as merchandise to fuel a profit mill with zero accountability. Nancy Schaefer will be remembered as an individual who led a life in service to those families, and we truly lost a dedicated activist and inspiring person.