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Keep America's Families TogetherOpinion by Brenda Pifher for Salem-News.com
An Oregon woman launches a petition drive over what she calls injustice and danger, in Oregon's child protective services agency.
(ROSEBURG, Ore.) - Child Protective Services is supposed to help our nations’ children, to protect them from harmful situations. How can an agency that began with such good intentions turn into yet another device to fulfill the monetary greed of its hired extortionists?
Unfortunate as it is, Child Welfare is a system that our nation really does need. In my opinion it is in dire need of great repair. I know, because I am currently involved in one of their charades that they like to call an investigation.
When these CPS predators kidnap a family’s child(ren), they put them into a care facility and then just forget about them. CPS workers do not check in on these children frequently enough, which leaves them to be abused or neglected from their out-of-home “care” provider. Children in out-of-home or foster care placement need to be followed up on more.
My older son, Jairecho (two-years old), whom is currently in a foster home, has shown up to visits, in poor condition. Our last visit on July 7th, he came in with what appeared to be second-degree burns from sun and wind covering his face.
It had been in that condition for anywhere from two to five days and no one even had planned to take my poor baby to his doctor. In fact, we believe they are coaching him to say, "he had fallen down" this has not been a sentence that he has spoken. Now when he shows up injured that is the first thing that he now says.
When we asked our (as of now, former) caseworker, Sandy Henry, about this, she also said he had fallen. When Sandy was confronted with the fact that his injuries could not have been from a fall, she finally agreed that it was sunburn. Yet the only thing she had to say was, “sorry.”
We had to demand that they let his doctor treat him, before it happened. This was not the first incident of neglect since he and his younger brother Becker (three months old) have been placed in foster care almost five weeks ago.
Child Protective Services agency needs to have more stringent rules and procedures on investigating allegations of child abuse and initial removal of the child(ren) from their home. We see repeatedly children that are left in horrible situations and yet other child(ren) that are taken from good families, only to actually be abused in foster care. This is due to the lack of clear operating standards and misplaced monetary gains and bonuses.
Cash bonuses for child removal must be redirected to bonuses for reunification of families. Oregon Child Welfare workers earn an average salary of $31,248 per year which puts them in the seventh highest paid state for Child Welfare workers. Note, also, that this is the salary that is paid to them for a part time basis. It seems strange for an agency designed to protect children, that little to none of the Child Welfare staff work full time. they were to be paid hourly, they would spend more time reviewing case files, involving in necessary conversations, working with parents, checking in on the child(ren) placed in out-of-home care, and simply doing their job. (see: gahsc.org/terrell/salaries3.html, and careers.collegetoolkit.com/careers/child__family__and_school_social_workers/overview/21-1021.00.aspx)
If you are also concerned about our Child Welfare system, you can help make a difference by signing my petition, which I intend on sending to numerous political parties including Oregon State’s Governor, Ted Kulongoski. You can find this petition at lobbyingforum.com/petition-detail.aspx?id=112.
In addition, you may check out my site to learn more of my story at myspace.com/cpsisabuse.
You may contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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