Wednesday, February 24, 2010

For Love and For Justice / Part 120 / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

Here is a USA website, the content of which becomes a challenging read. It is entitled and subtitled in this way. ‘NATIONAL COALITION FOR CHILD PROTECTION REFORM, Working To Help America's Vulnerable Children By Changing Public Policy Concerning Child Abuse, Foster Care, And Family Preservation.'

NCCPR advocates for systemic reform. The membership of this coalition is comprised of professionals who have been involved in or with the child welfare system within the United States. This coalition provides them with a forum for affecting positive changes to policies that concern child abuse, foster care and family preservation. They are most concerned to make the system better for vulnerable children.

Besides the website rich with article and document resources, NCCPR also operates a blog called ‘NCCPR Child Welfare Blog (News and commentary from the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform concerning child abuse, child welfare, foster care, and family preservation.)'

In its rationale for child advocacy NCCPR states, “But we don’t see getting the word out or “raising awareness” as an end in itself. Rather, our goal is reducing the number of children needlessly torn from everyone loving and familiar. In addition to sparing children from the harm that comes from being consigned to America’s chaotic system of foster care, keeping those children out of the system also gives child welfare agencies more time to find children in real danger.”

The careful research and the boldly accurate writing has earned the contributors high respect among journalists and reform-minded child welfare professionals. Among the comments about this advocate group are the following.
“A voice of reason …[that] can find fault with an agency without sounding like [they’re] denouncing the Third Reich.” --Tom Lyons, Columnist, Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune

“You are a tremendous force and asset to children across the country and I have nothing but the utmost respect for your work. I think you have made a tremendous difference in people's lives through your media advocacy work. … Now more than ever the services of NCCPR are needed to keep the heat on. You helped reporters like me stay focused, to not be swayed by the state bureaucratic and political machines and to remember what child welfare and child protection is really supposed to be about - helping children and preserving families - which, sadly often gets lost in the rhetoric of the day …” --Colin Poitras, former reporter, Hartford Courant

“A remarkable advocate for child welfare reform [with] an impact all over the country.” --Benjamin Wolf, Director, Children and Institutionalized Persons Project, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (counsel for plaintiffs, Illinois class-action child welfare suit)

“NCCPR has been a key support for the child welfare reforms in Maine. … The strong voice of NCCPR gives voice to ideas that challenge the status quo. The children of Maine need that voice. … The work that [NCCPR] has done with the media in Maine has helped them understand the complexity of the child welfare system and has helped them to understand that the reforms are in the best interest of children and the people of Maine.” --James Beougher, Director, Office of Child and Family Services, Maine Department of Health and Human Services


  1. Honestly, this whole subject of "care" for our children is nothing short of heartbreaking and, secondly, absolutely infuriating. My God!! Help us!

  2. Re: the comment (posted on this blog) of Tom Lyons, Columnist, Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune: “A voice of reason …[that] can find fault with an agency without sounding like [they’re] denouncing the Third Reich.”

    The Third Reich didn't last as long and wasn't as widespread as Child Protective Services. It also had far more formidable opponents than Child Protective Services does.

    To suggest that parents and others who have been destroyed by CPS are somehow fanatics - who are prone to hyperbole just because their children have been ripped from them - is to mock these victims of tyranny. These victims need all the support we can give them. They don't need to be ridiculed by suggesting that they are fanatics.

    The "voice of reason" should tell us that there are times when outrage is appropriate. And it is not hyperbole whatsoever to compare Child Protective Services to The Third Reich, since both were/are responsible for immeasurable suffering via tyrannical acts.

    And yes it is tyranny for the government to take children from parents who love them without any real proof of abuse. There is nothing wrong with being emotional about the brutalization of children and families. The whole world isn't some dry, stuffy courtroom where everything that is the least bit emotional is frowned upon, as if emotion is antithetical to truth.

  3. Well CPS, I suppose you know that your comment barely squeeked through my filter, if for no other reason than for me to say, you are right and you're wrong. Of course you are right to protest with passion, emotion and even anger the action you regard as injustice. You are wrong it seems to me to feel that it is more effective in the public forum to resort to offensive comparison to make your points. Tom Lyon's commendation of NCCPR came precisely because it speaks critically and forcefully without dipping into the dirt. I think that we want people to listen rather than to turn us off.

  4. Well, Ron, there are plenty of more people who think the comparison is not offensive, and in fact think that it is quite apt. Don't forget, there are countless parents around the world who have been victims just like the Baynes. To have your flesh and blood ripped from you so brutally, and then to be (in many cases) not just slandered and deprived of your children, but to be charged with murder (as in the case of Dr. Charles Smith's victims) is not exactly a picnic. When history looks back at all these victims, the horrific injustice, the monumentally powerful governments and private agencies that worked to deprive them of their children, I don't see why it wouldn't be classified as a crime against humanity, similar to what happened under Hitler's rule. And again, Hitler's regime was relatively short compared to Child Protective Services. I've been studying this problem for quite a while, and may be aware of things that you are not. What we are witnessing with the Baynes has been occuring for decades, all over the world. If you find my post so offensive, don't publish it, but I happen to know that there are many more people - people who are very clued in to what really goes on - who do agree with me. And in many cases they are the ones who have lost their children to a brutal, unjust system that deserves to be compared with history's worst tyrants.

  5. And I don't quite get how it's dipping into the dirt to compare one brutally unjust system with another brutally unjust system. The problem with some critics of CPS is that they fail - either out of some false sense of decorum or out of lack of knowledge - to really tell it like it is. If critics of CPS can't describe CPS as they are, then the world will never know CPS for what they are.

    And if people continue to think that for the most part CPS is a good agency, and what happened with the Baynes is just a freak occurence, nothing will ever change. People must understand the true nature of CPS. When children are taken from loving parents with no real evidence, and when this occurs year after year, country after country, it IS comparable to the worst atrocities in history.

    The dirt you say I am dipping in is there - we must acknowledge it is there - and the dirt is that CPS can and does - all the time - take children from good loving parents. They do it because they can get away with it. And they can get away with it because not enough people understand what CPS really is all about. If enough people really understood what was happening, this insanity would stop tomorrow.

    I have studied this problem in depth. I've met with victims, I heard their histories in depth, I've communicated with I don't know how many parents and former foster children. Their stories are heartbreaking, full of pain, suffering, injustice, cruelty beyond belief. I've read legal cases. I have studied CPS all over the world. It is the same, all over the world. Horrifically destructive and evil. If you find it offensive for me to say that, all I can say is please do more research. Dig deeper. Even if it brings you into, as you may put it, the dirt.

  6. Hello CPS, I will make this brief. Clearly you have a history, background, knowledge and experience with the issues that must be addressed if child protection services in our country are to effectively help children without harming the innocent, both children and parents.

    Please understand that this site for the moment has been dedicated to speak on behalf of one family in particular and the widespread concerns that seem to be systemic to this social service. When you write I sense that we are on the same side. Is it possible for you then to stay on topic rather than quarreling with me over semantics?

    Because the dirt (evidence of horrors) is there, as you say, then we should cite it, but the dirt is not in labels and vicious name associations. That was my point. Evidence convinces reasonable people. Slander slams the door on potential for change. You wrote, “If enough people really understood what was happening, this insanity would stop tomorrow.” I believe you are correct. They will only understand, however, if they listen, and the change makers will not listen to what sounds irrational.


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