Years ago the Progressive magazine had a despicable article titled "Invasion of the Body-Snatchers". What made it so despicable is that the message of the article was that social welfare people swoop in and remove kids from their parents, without good reason for doing so.
I knew from available stats that nationwide only about 30% of abuse and neglect claims get confirmed by the social welfare people. And in my state, Kansas, the figure was only 12%!
I further knew that even for cases that were able to be confirmed, public policy mandated that the children were to be placed with their parents if at all possible. Temporary placement with relatives or foster care was sometimes an option, but the resources of the agency were always to be directed toward "reintegrating" the kids with the parents.
After that horrid article I personally boycotted "Progressive" magazine. However, now comes a similar article in "The New Yorker". An article in the August 7th and 14th issue, entitled "The Separation", reveals its bias when it starts out, "What should you do if child-protective services comes to your house. You will hear a knock on the door, often late at night. You don't have to open it, but if you don't the caseworker outside may come back with the police." The whole article is written from the point of view of the parents, and as such is hopelessly biased.
In point of fact, caseworkers have a horribly thankless job in trying to protect children, while still showing proper deference for the rights of the parents who have abused those children. They deserve our gratitude, not our condemnation.
Follow-up note. To its credit, "The New Yorker" in a subsequent issue published three letters making the same points I make above. From the first: "Although preserving families is a noble goal, it is not always in the best interest of the child....The heartbreaking truth is that termination of parental rights is sometimes in the best interest of the child."
From the second: "Confidentiality laws don't allow caseworkers to speak about their cases; however, I wish MacFarquhar had done more to give them a voice".
From the third: "MacFarquhar sees a system that's rigged against parents. Rather, it is a system that, day in and day out, believes parents' denials and excuses, spends taxpayer dollars to provide services for problems that are largely intractable, and fails to protect children."
All I can say is, a big AMEN.
This week at the court
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