Kansas “Kinship” Foster Parents Beg for Support

Kansas “Kinship” Foster Parents Beg for Support

The foster system in Kansas agrees that the transition to a foster home is easier on children when they’re at least familiar with their new parents. While this may seem patently obvious, very often, it’s a case of beggars can’t be choosers. Robert and Kathleen Raskin make every effort to break it down for everyone from a human perspective.

It’s bad enough to imagine those poor, defenseless children growing up without their parents’ love, support, and protection. Imagine how much happier you’d be if you could at least stay with your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins? These are people who share blood and history and can shed light on the all-important family story during those critical years of growing up and forming an identity.

This is why Kansas agrees that the most humane course of action is to place children with eligible next of kin whenever possible. Unfortunately, this seems to coincide with a sense that the motivation for a family to care for their own makes them not need money from the state. This can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it certainly gives no ulterior financial motives, but on the other, these kids often need extra support from families without extra resources.

While we think family should always do the right thing, it makes sense that if the courts are involved in the first place, then the same provisions should be followed. If they vote down the option for the money, then the courts shouldn’t have a say unless there is no next of kin to take children in. But that’s just my POV. What do you think?

Feel free to read up on this ongoing issue and let us know your thoughts: https://www.kcur.org/2022-02-08/family-and-friends-who-take-on-foster-kids-in-kansas-say-they-need-more-support-from-the-state

Colorado Bill to Offer Free College to Foster Care Kids

Colorado Bill to Offer Free College to Foster Care Kids

A bill that would provide free college tuition to all kids coming out of foster care is making its way through the Colorado congress. If it passes, all public higher education institutions will wave undergraduate tuition fees for Colorado residents students if they‘re products of the foster care system.

While this may not reflect the usual tone of crisis inherent to our usual blog articles, The Raskins are very civic-minded and believe in fair and balanced reporting. They understand that there is rarely a deficit of items to complain about, but once in a while, something promising, almost miraculous, comes along that restores an iota of faith in the system. At the end of the day, we all care about the livelihood of children, and this bill looks pretty good.

In theory, the dollar value typically assigned per child is normally awarded to the foster parent per foster child under 18 or 21, depending on the state. Much of what we report on seems to be related to abuse of this system for the money, while the child is neglected, physically or sexually abused, and sometimes tortured or even killed.

To see a common-sense program like this is a breath of fresh air. Why? Simple. The money to pay for college doesn’t benefit the parents as much as the kid. This gives them hope on the horizon to have a life outside of foster care. Without regard to Colorado’s foster care system, in particular, this bill could pave the way to a solution for each state. After all, who better to promote ideas to fix state foster care systems than college-educated adults who grew up in the rotten foster care system themselves?

Click here to read the article: https://www.fox21news.com/news/state/bill-aims-for-free-tuition-for-co-foster-care-children/

2 Toddlers Dead Within a Year of Adoption

2 Toddlers Dead Within a Year of Adoption

The Rivera family of Fort Bragg, NC, had four kids, two of them adopted. A year later, the two adopted kids are dead. Each precipitated a 911 call, each for the child unexplainably turning purple and not breathing. However, in each case, autopsies cite the cause of death as “blunt force trauma” to the head, neck, and throat, not including similar injuries likely incurred at earlier dates. No investigation has been made despite one police report following the death of the second child.

Thanks to state laws shielding the records of these cases, there’s no way of knowing what has been investigated thus far. However, no children have been removed from this home, which violates state laws regarding the abuse, neglect, and death of children. This is an ongoing story under state investigation, so we hope you’ll continue to check in with us to see what develops.

The Raskins are bringing this story to you because they know what it’s like to be victimized by the foster care system, family courts, and the unfair “guardian ad litem” laws. As a result, they tirelessly follow these stories and report them here. In every case, they’re big enough to make the local and state news and even become an ongoing report, but it never makes it to the national news.

Click here to read the rest of the story: https://abc11.com/feature/deadly-adoptions-anthony-rivera-child-abuse-welfare/11658903/

49 States Withhold Money From Foster Kids

49 States Withhold Money From Foster Kids

As always, the Raskins are on this story like a bloodhound on a fox to ensure everyone can keep up with issues regarding the safety of children.

In accordance with the Social Security Administration, children in foster care with a disability or who suffered the death of a parent are entitled to disability funds or the parent’s social security income. However, a legal loophole in 49 states prevents the kids from getting the money. According to the current laws that make up this loophole, it’s up to the states to provide their own resources for foster care, but the states are legally able to become the children’s financial representatives.

Currently, the Foster Care system in NY has a plan to lead the way for everyone. They offer training to the kids and their families on financial literacy. This goes hand-in-hand with setting up a bank acct for each child once they’re adopted or ready to age out of the system. This can lead to a shot at moving out into their first apartment or paying for college.

Slowly but surely, some of the other states are coming around. Better late than never, as this has been going on for how long? Exactly. Pay close attention to the states that drag their feet on this, which could shed light on underperforming foster care systems around the country.

For info on this story, click here:


Massachusetts and New Hampshire Battle in Court Over Who’s Worse

Massachusetts and New Hampshire Battle in Court Over Who’s Worse

In 2020, New Hampshire child protective services visited Adam Montgomery, the father of the missing 7-year-old, Harmony Montgomery, to check on the child’s welfare. The man said she was with her mother, Crystal Sorey, in Massachusetts. The officials left and updated their reports without calling the child’s mother to verify this. Two years later, Crystal would like to know why she still doesn’t have her daughter back. Robert and Kathleen Raskin have been following this case, as always, and are dedicated to ensuring that stories like these don’t go unnoticed just because they aren’t in the national news cycle.

Massachusetts’ reaction is to dump $50M new dollars into overhauling their existing guardian ad litem program, with no discernable reason if the program was flawed in the first place. As usual, it’s all lawyers and legal battles over who’s going to do what to prove they’re complying legally, but what about the children? There may never be a fix to the problem of children needing foster families, and they’re certainly will never be an end to the predators abusing the system for their own nefarious purposes. There must be a Federal intervention into the current system in each state that prevents incompetence, gross negligence, legal loopholes, and whatever else causes a system bought and paid for to fail at its most critical moment.

Stay tuned for more articles like these.

Click here to read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/03/13/opinion/another-child-tragedy-another-case-state-reacting-without-thinking/

South Dakota Lawmakers Vote to Expand Courts’ Discretion in Growing Child Abuse Cases

South Dakota Lawmakers Vote to Expand Courts’ Discretion in Growing Child Abuse Cases

South Dakota is struggling to manage its overburdened child protection program as senators vote to decide if the courts should have the right to appoint a child’s guardian ad litem and an independent advocate to work with the child and make recommendations to the court. Rob and Kathleen Raskin are making sure you and everyone else outside of the local and state coverage area are aware of issues like this, which seem to be happening simultaneously in every state.

Currently, when the South Dakota courts are presented with a child abuse case by an attorney, the child is accompanied by the guardian ad litem, which means the child’s legal guardian for the purposes of the case, and a representative of an existing program called the Court Appointed Special Advocates aka CASA, who has been trained to work with the children and make recommendations to the court.

Due to the shortage of CASA volunteers, their importance to the outcome of a case and for arriving at justice for the children is what’s currently being discussed. House Bill 1110 allows the courts to appoint the advocates needed in a case of child abuse or neglect, which it typically sources from CASA, and guardians ad litem “when determined necessary by the court.”

While both sides of the aisle agree that it’s a good program, some lawmakers on both sides are concerned the lack of existing CASA caseworkers combined with a legal necessity to have one for each case will do two things: 1. Slow down the court’s already slow pace at handling caseloads, which keeps the children in jeopardy, and 2. Shift costs to the county for paying to recruit and train new CASA workers with money it doesn’t have.

Click here to read the article: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2022/02/28/proposed-bill-expanding-judges-discretion-child-abuse-cases-goes-noems-desk/9321678002/

Yet Another…

Yet Another…

In Sanford, FL, Child Protective Services informed the police about Justin Dwayne Johnson, Sr., 47(above), saying that he wanted to talk to someone in law enforcement about suspicion of child pornography. The police investigation turned up thousands of images and videos on his own devices, including cameras hidden within his home. This included evidence of sexual abuse of his foster kids of multiple ages over the years. As usual, this stuff doesn’t make it to the national news cycles since it doesn’t fit the media’s global narrative. But, thanks to the unwavering commitment of Rob and Kathleen Raskin, no one’s story is ever limited to their local or state news.

On February 15, a warrant was issued for Johnson’s arrest based on his possession of more than 10 images of child pornography. He was taken into custody in Orlando and extradited to a correctional facility in Seminole County. He was charged with three separate sex offenses, including video voyeurism with a child below 16, plus two additional counts of possessing more than 10 pieces of child pornography. As the investigation continues, it’s possible that more evidence will lead to more offenses and more time served. But, for the time being, we’ll just be glad that there’s one less creep out there to hurt these poor, defenseless kids.

Click here to read the whole article: https://whdh.com/news/police-foster-parent-caring-for-5-children-found-with-thousands-of-images-videos-of-child-porn/

$12.6M Bonuses to Alabama DHR Caseworkers

$12.6M Bonuses to Alabama DHR Caseworkers

The latest in Alabama’s ongoing struggles to shore up the holes in the DHR system involve throwing Federal tax dollars at a tiny aspect of this corrupted institution. Since the most recent complaints are based on the devastating effects of COVID on this already-burdened system, the COVID 19 Stimulus Package, aka the American Rescue Plan, has granted $12.6M to Alabama’s Department of Human Resources to attempt to fix the problem. As always, Rob and Kathleen Raskin have their eyes on this matter and are committed to keeping you up to date with the latest developments.

So, the details of this federal grant to Alabama’s DHR are a two-year plan to allow full-time and part-time caseworkers to apply quarterly for bonuses of $1500 and $750, respectively, as an attempt to retain and recruit workers. While we sympathize with the plight of the overburdened caseworkers in the grossly overwhelmed system, what we really want is what’s best for our children. Meanwhile, multiple class-action lawsuits have recently gone after the DHR system directly for its negligence in the physical, mental, and sexual abuse and deaths of various foster children, all of which were deemed to have been verified as safe by DHR caseworkers. In every case with a tragic ending, police found either long-term evidence of filth or dilapidation to the kids being illegally moved out of state for well over a year.

Now, I know the recent settlement(s) of one or more class-action suits led to money changing hands, so the problem would just disappear. Legally, this must be respected, but buyer beware. The social decay at the core of this issue will not go away with more money. On the contrary, there’s reason to believe that money is the motivation and mechanism that allows this problem affecting our children to persist and to proliferate. As always, we hope we’re wrong, but we’ll see.

Click here to read the article: https://www.wsfa.com/2022/03/04/alabama-dhr-issues-2nd-round-bonuses-child-care-workers/

Nashville Foster Parent Says Caseworker Turnover is at the Heart of the Problem

Nashville Foster Parent Says Caseworker Turnover is at the Heart of the Problem

Tennessee is no stranger to the rigors and stresses of the American Foster Care system. Unfortunately, it seems that every state is being forced to address its own unique versions of a pervasive and ubiquitous problem. While no one seems to be interested in addressing the cause of children being born without homes, we can all agree that no child should be allowed to go homeless, hungry, or suffer the insanity and abuse of some of the wackos who see the foster care system as a meat market.

The Raskins are always keeping a watchful eye on this problem as it manifests around the country. It comes in the form of tragic news reports, legal battles, changes in-laws, and federal investigations within a state’s failing and often corrupt foster care system.

In this particular article, two women, Jennifer Snook and Kelli Stidham, both foster parents, say that their foster kids are changing caseworkers as often as two times in a single year. The caseworker, likely new to the industry, hopeful, ready to make a difference one child at a time, learns the estimated average of cases is 20. To their dismay, 50 ends up being the reality, and still, some are saddled with as many as 80 cases at once!

The amount of time spent doing paperwork as the system fails to find homes for the children never seems to change. The stress, guilt, and loss of hope that their hard-fought efforts are anything but futile dreams are driving them to the breaking point. It’s a sad state of affairs with no solution in sight.

As always, we’ll be searching and researching to bring issues of ongoing injustice in the foster care system to light.

Click here to read the full article: https://www.newschannel5.com/news/newschannel-5-investigates/foster-parents-warn-of-a-crisis-at-the-department-of-childrens-services

FBI Report: San Francisco Bay Area # 1 in Nation for Sexually Exploited Youth

FBI Report: San Francisco Bay Area # 1 in Nation for Sexually Exploited Youth

According to the FBI, 98% of the sexually exploited youth in the Bay Area were involved with the child welfare system. Unfortunately, as Robert and Kathleen Raskin will show you, stories like these may make the front page of a local newspaper but are often not even on the ticker tape of national news. We’re here to keep everyone informed of this national crisis.

A 2017 report from 22 agencies in charge of helping the survivors of sex trafficking states that housing and shelter are among the top service gaps for kids between 10 and 17. The current problem includes a shortage of beds in existing facilities, a shortage of support services and residential care at shelters, and restrictive policies that prevent youth from returning to shelters once they’ve left.

The problem is further exacerbated by a lack of adults willing and able to care for these kids, either cause they don’t want to, or they lack the credentials, including knowledge, training, and skills, to help children who’ve experienced complex trauma.

For years, this has been a steadily growing problem, but COVID has created an enormous setback. This is an uphill battle with the highest rents in the country, a high cost of living, and many people unable to live with a job, work with a home, or afford their homes without roommates.

Meanwhile, in SF, a family-based program seeking out foster parents called Family and Me has been created to address the problem. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a caregiver, please visit https://joinfam.org/

Click here to see the original news article: https://www.ktvu.com/news/san-francisco-groups-seek-foster-care-parents-for-exploited-youth