Monday, June 29, 2015

Maine's DHHS: Taking Advantage of Grandparents

Maine's child welfare system is a total scam that will take advantage of anybody.
Guardians, often grandparents, say they could use more support from the state as they try to raise children. 
More >> Maine kinship families forming bonds, seeking support
This makes me sick.  

Do you have any idea how much these people are saving the taxpayers?  Do you have any idea how much better these grandparents are for the kids than Maine's Foster Care System?  They are more stable, the kids don't bounce between so many different foster homes or schools, and they keep ties with their families and require less psychological counseling, medications or special education services and do better later on in life than do the kids in foster care.   

If the state is so concerned about these kids, as they so often make themselves out to be, then they should do everything possible to help these grandparents to make it work.  

A recent study from Tulane University explains it pretty well.  Kids need stability.  
And there was a time when Maine didn't rely on family members to take in abused or neglected kids and then there was a time when Maine was bragging about how well they were doing at it.
● Since 2001, the number of children taken from their homes has dropped by 30 percent, and the number of children in foster care on any given day has been cut in half.
● Under Concannon, Maine workers used to brag about their hostility to placing children with relatives instead of strangers.  As Casey’s report put it: “Adding to the overall misery in Maine’s child welfare system was a clear institution-wide prejudice against placing children with relatives.”   But now, Maine has nearly tripled the proportion of children placed with relatives; Maine now exceeds the national average.

And the progress continues.  Just this week, Time Magazine reports in its print edition that the Maine division of Casey’s direct services arm, Casey Family Services, has launched an “extreme recruitment” program to find relatives to take in foster children.  The program was pioneered in Missouri, and the story of how it works is beautifully told in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
● Most remarkable: The proportion of Maine foster children who are institutionalized has been cut by at least 73 percent.
In November, 2003, Maine had 28 percent of its foster children in group homes and institutions and only ten percent with relatives (and even that ten percent was an improvement over the Concannon era, when it was only four percent).  By now that’s reversed – 30 percent are with relatives and only ten percent are in so-called “congregate care” – making Maine one of the best in the nation at avoiding such placements.
The independent child welfare ombudsman has found that the reduction in substitute care has come with no compromise of safety. He strongly supports the reforms.
It all prompted Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to make the transformation of child welfare in Maine a finalist for its prestigious Innovations in American Government awards.
Here's a letter from Maine's Child Welfare Ombudsman to the NCCPR that talks about the benefits of kinship care over foster care.

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