“Over 1,000 children die of neglect or are tortured and murdered each year in the care of an entity where children are up to 600% more likely to die a horrific death.”
Read that line again. We pulled it from a short documentary called Innocence Destroyed.
Now, take a guess what “entity” the documentary is referring to.
Here’s why we bring this up today…
After being sent an article by a friend, we were up late last night investigating a string of unbelievably bizarre child deaths. We were shocked to learn that the vast majority of these deaths, incredibly enough, traced back to one source: Child Protective Services (CPS).
And the more we learned about the CPS and the way it operates, the more horrified we became.
So, today, blurry-eyed and with a couple extra shots of espresso in our cup, we’re going to talk about the CPS. And show you eight terrifying reasons it should’ve been abolished long ago.
More on that, though, in a moment. First, a story…
“We never hurt our daugher. She was never sick, she was never in the hospital, and she never had any issues until she went into state care,” Joshua Hill told ABC affiliate KVUE News.
In 2013, the Texas division of Child Protective Services took Joshua Hill’s daughter, Alexandra Hill.
They took her because Joshua made the mistake of admitting to the CPS in an interview that he and his girlfriend sometimes smoked pot after putting Alex to bed.
On those grounds — of “neglectful supervision” — the CPS kidnapped her and placed her in a foster home.
The first home they stuck her in, Hill told KVUE, was obviously dangerous:
“She would come to visitation with bruises on her, and mold and mildew in her bag. It got to a point where I actually told CPS that they would have to have me arrested because I wouldn’t let her go back.”
She was then moved to the home of a CPS mentor named Sherill Small. Only days after a visitation with Alexandra, Joshua received a call from the CPS telling him to come to the hospital.
When he arrived at the hospital, Joshua found his daughter in a coma.
Alexandra, he was later told, suffered from blunt force trauma to the head from being thrown to the ground. She also had bruises on her butt, arm and chin and much of her hair looked as if it had been ripped out.
Turns out, she was being severely abused by her foster parent.
She died two days after being admitted into the hospital. Joshua was only four months away from getting her back.
“What’s wrong with you people?” Nancy Woods, another victim of the CPS said in an interview with FOX. “What’s wrong with you? What kind of social experiment is this that children are not real people to you?”
After Child Protective Services (CPS) took Woods’ grandkids away from her son, she tried to adopt them. The State’s response? No way, Jose. And they did everything in their power to keep her away.
The kids were eventually adopted outside of the family. And upon Woods’ interview with FOX, she hadn’t heard from them in over a year, and had no clue where they were.
“I’ve been told it’s none of my business,” she said, “to get over it.”
Unfortunately, neither of these stories are isolated incidents. The State has full reign to use armed agents to forcibly enter any home and snatch away any child without a trial, conviction, or any due process for the parents.
All they need is a phone call and to paint broad strokes when claiming “neglect.”
The stories of children being abducted by the CPS, unfortunately, get worse. Much worse.
More on that, though, in a moment.
“The Department of Child Protective Services,” the late Senator Nancy Schaefer said in a video titled Custody For Cash, “has become a protected empire. Built on taking children and separating families.
“This is not to say that there are not those children who do need to be removed from wretched situations and need protection.
“However,” Senator Schaefer goes on, “my report is concerned with the children and parents caught up in legal kidnapping. Having worked with probably 300 cases statewide and hundreds and hundreds across the country, and in nearly every state, I am convinced that there is no accountability in Child Protective Services.”
The problem, says the Senator, is perverse incentives coming from the federal government. There’s strong monetary incentive for CPS to take and adopt away other people’s kids. Even more money is given if the CPS adopts them away to strangers rather than passing them along to family members. And the vetting process for foster parents, it seems, is secondary.
“They get $85,000 from the federal government every time they take one of those little ones and put them up for adoption,” former Oregon prosecutor Robert Weidner concurs on the show On Second Thought. “So everyone’s feeding off of this federal money that is coming in, and all they’re focused on is getting the money — they talk about keeping their numbers up.”
Senator Schaefer, after conducting a nationwide independent investigation of the CPS, has come to several conclusions about the agency.
Put together, they led her to believe that the CPS should be abolished. Here they are, in her words:
1] “Poor parents, not always, but oftentimes, are targeted to lose their children because they do not have the wherewithal to hire an attorney and fight the system.
2] “Caseworkers and social workers are very often guilty of fraud. They withhold and destroy evidence. They fabricate evidence. And they seek to terminate parental rights, unnecessarily.
3] “The separation of families and the snatching of children is growing as the business grows. Because state and local governments have become accustomed to having these taxpayer dollars to balance their ever-growing budgets.
4] “The bureaucracy is huge. Look at who is getting paid: state employees, attorneys, court investigators, guardian ad litems, court personnel and judges, psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists, counselors, foster parents, adoptive parents and on and on. All are looking to the children in State custody to provide job security.
5] “The Adoption and Safe Families Act set in motion first in 1974 by Walter Mondale, and later in 1997 by President Bill Clinton offered cash bonuses to the states for every child they adopted out of foster care. In order to receive the adoption incentive bonuses, local Child Protective Services would need more children.
“They must have merchandise that sells, and they must have plenty so the buyer can choose.”
On top of the $85,000 per child given by the State, “Some counties often offer $4-6,000 bonus for each child adopted out to strangers. And an additional $2,000 for a special needs child. Employees work to keep the federal dollars flowing. But that is only the beginning figure in the formula, in which each bonus is multiplied by the percentage that the state has managed to exceed its baseline adoption number.
“Therefore, states and local communities work hard to reach their goals for increased numbers for adoptions for children in foster care.”
6] The incentive program, Senator Schaefer notes, was set up at the tippy-top by Health and Human Resources in D.C. “This is why,” she says, “victims in Child Protective Services get no help from their legislators. It explains why my bill Senate 415 suffered such defeat in the judicial committee. And why I was cut off at every juncture and why I was defeated myself last month for my reelection by another Republican.”
7] “Grandparents who lose their grandchildren to strangers have lost their own flesh and blood. The children lose their family heritage and grandparents and parents, too, lose the connection of their heirs.
8] “The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1998 reported that six times more children died in foster care than in the general public. And that once removed to official ‘safety,’ these children are far more likely to suffer abuse, including sexual molestation, than in the general population.”
At the risk of sounding like a so-called “conspiracy theorist,” I must admit that the long string of deaths that follow this story is… odd.
To start, on March 26, 2010, after gaining traction in her fight to abolish the CPS’ branch in Georgia, Senator Nancy Schaefer and her husband were found shot dead in their home.
This was just before, mind you, Schaefer was going to present what she had found to the International Criminal Court.
According to officials, the Senator’s husband was suffering from cancer and, the investigators said, the couple talked often about a suicide pact. (Though the pact bit was removed from this story.)
Investigators settled on “murder-suicide” as the cause of death.
After Senator Schaefer’s death, former Representative Bobby Franklin (R), also from Georgia, became involved with the issue. He drafted a bill that would abolish the Georgia Department of Family and Child Services. On July 26, 2011, he was found dead inside his home. The autopsy report said he died of “organic heart failure.”
Senator Robert Brown (D), also an outspoken Georgian critic of CPS and co-sponsor of SB 415, was found in December 2011 with a gunshot wound in his head. It was ruled a suicide.
Later, Fox News investigative reporter Martin Burns, who led the award-winning TV segments Lost in the System about the CPS, was found dead on a hiking trail on Aug. 25, 2013 in the Angeles National Forest.
Media attributed his death to a fall caused by a potential heart attack. The L.A. County Homicide department didn’t see it necessary to investigate.
The documentary we mentioned earlier — called Innocence Destroyed — was supposed to be a full-length feature.
In 2011, Bill Bowen, a filmmaker, author, former firefighter and federal law enforcement officer, was in the process of raising money to finish it.
(He had also, it should be noted, filmed Senator Schaefer’s Custody For Cashvideo.)
Only five months after Senator Schaefer’s death, in 2010, Bowen died too. He was found on a golf course. Cause of death? Heart failure.
Bowen, unfortunately, never did finish the documentary. But three segments were pieced together using existing footage by other filmmakers after Bowen’s death.
We’ll show these segments — and tell Bowen’s insane story — in tomorrow’s episode.
The rabbit hole, dear LFT reader, goes deeper.
[Ed. note: U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack of Corpus Christi has said recently, according to the Dallas Morning News, “the state violated the Constitution by keeping about 12,000 youngsters for years in an underfunded and poorly run system ‘where rape, abuse, psychotropic medication and instability are the norm.’ Sweeping changes may be on the horizon. More on that too tomorrow.]
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today
P.S. Have something to say? Say it! Chris@lfb.org.