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Legal Momentum: Families Still Need A Safety Net

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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 10:56 AM
Original message
Legal Momentum: Families Still Need A Safety Net
Edited on Thu Apr-21-11 11:09 AM by mntleo2
My friends at Legal Momentum work with Congress every day to ensure our tattered safety net remains or gets better. As President Obama said yesterday, it is *not* at all "courageous" to balance the budget on the elderly and the poor. My friend Tim Casey from Legal Momentum, wrote an article on Politico that says it all but more needs to be done in order to ensure the new beginnings to a safety net for all who need it.

One of the heroes on Legal Momentum's board is Representative Gwen Moore, one of the WI 14. No wonder she stood so steadfast in the wake of worker's rights last month, because Gwen was a welfare recipient at one time and used it as an opportunity to get her education (as 70% of women did before Welfare DEFormed, who now cannot even get a GED anymore). As a witness to the horrible consequences of this act put into motion over 15 years ago, Gwen knows more than most how the punitive, short-sighted system of welfare forces parents, most who are women, into abject, lifelong poverty wages.

Now Welfare DEFormed is on the chopping block and about to be debated.

Families are being torn apart already because the American Safe Family's Act (AFSA), which is the only generous funding right now that is coming in out of the Social Security slush fund and being used for children. Why does this impact welfare and low income families? AFSA is the money used to accuse parents of abuse, take their children and terminate the parent's rights so they can be adopted. Its caveats state "The more children you take, the more money you will receive. If you return these children home, we will take that funding away and furthermore take the money out of the next funding cycle..." At this time Child Protective Services and their minions get on the average of $8000 per month per child. They know that keeping a child in the home with services (even when the parent(s) are drug addicts or alcoholics) gives this child a far better chance of growing up stable than any foster care or adoptive home could ever give because of the trauma they undergo for losing their birth families. http://nccpr.info/the-evidence-is-in-foster-care-vs-kee... /

In other words our DSHS offices all over the country who could ask for better caveats to spend money on family preservation, have plenty of money to take kids and would rather use it to destroy families than to help a desperately poor family with assistance that would cost about 1/3 as much.

Furthermore this money is corrupting our court systems because family court and even the "defense" lawyer stand to benefit if the child is taken because they ALL get paid out of AFSA money and CPS workers even get bonuses every time they successfully take a child. They routinely ignore Constitutional rights, lie in court, use their "consultants" (also AFSA paid) to take children on bogus science, have "independent" CASA workers who by their own admission go with CPS 97% of the time, they will do anything to get and keep that money. What does this mean for upper income families? Well when any accusations of abuse come to them, they will be ~ and are to their horror ~ treated the same because of "court precedence".

I wish I were making this up but I have witnessed it over and over with my own eyes as an advocate for low income families. Please write your Congressperson and let them know it is not moral to cut Welfare any more and to give low income moms the opportunity to get an education like Gwen and so many like her who are now doing the good work to make life better for all Americans. If there is one thing we all should learn about Welfare DEFormed, enacted at a time that put into law things the middle class are now experiencing, it is that what affects the least of us affects us all.

Here is the link to Tim's article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53510.html

Cat in Seattle

Copyright Peoplesing.org 2011 Reprinted in full with permission
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. From what you are saying, we need EVERYONE at DU to start hounding their congresscritters NOW!
This is very important, and I hope you will also post this in GD.

I'd really like to know more about Gwen. She sounds like a tremendous person!

Thanks for the great OP! :hug:
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. KnR, and thank you for sharing your personal experience. I am very thankful that as a mom I have
never gone through a forced family separation, and I can only imagine how traumatic it would be.

I did find it surprising that kids are less damaged growing up in an unhealthy family rather than being removed. I'm not sure what I think about that, because I would think there's plenty of trauma to be had either way, isn't there?
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. This forced removal is needless in a majority of cases
Edited on Thu Apr-21-11 01:36 PM by mntleo2
...often times, as I wrote about my friend "Robin", it is about the family being in poverty and there are no services to help them. Because of the caveats in AFSA they get money to take kids but refuse to use it in services because "the more kids taken, the more money you get and if you return them home you get nothing and money will be taken away again in the next funding cycle ..." They know low income families have no resources to defend themselves and so they take the kids and 'sell" them into adoption because there is more money for themselves to do it this way. Even though in most states it is illegal to take kids because of poverty, the conditions of poverty are direct definitions of "maltreatment and neglect".

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/07/13/883930/-Thanks... -

I grew up with a working alcoholic father. Yes it had an impact on me, but the truth is I spent my adulthood sober and hard working ~ as he was hard working at the very least. In this day and age I would have been taken and put into foster care when the stability of the family life I had (mostly thanks to my mom) would have devastated me for life. It would have torn the entire family apart and while it was not perfect, the intact family was my life saver ~ and it was also my father's life saver because he eventually became sober without losing his job or all the benefits he had, because of this support.

As in the NCCPR article link I give in this posting, it shows that with over 1/4 of a million foster care alumni, they have 5-7 X more chances (700%) of being further abused and neglected in foster care after being taken. It costs literally 1000% more to maintain foster care than it would to give birth families services such as rehab, housing, medical help (many kids are taken from sick or injured parents who have no health care), or homeless working families with no way to pay the rent because of their puny wages.

The truth is according to the 9th Circuit Court, over 70% of abuse accusations are false. This is according to studies that were done by DSHS itself about itself. Worse, these (mostly false) accusations do not even have to be proven in court, the finger is pointed and that is enough to take kids, terminate their parents' rights and sell them with the assumption that the accused is unconstitutionally considered "guilty until proven innocent" *not* "innocent until proven guilty". So by simply SAYING these things and without proving a thing in court that the child is in "imminent danger" and it is "in their best interest" to be sold, that is all they need at this time. I am not using the term "sell" lightly, this is exactly what is being done.

Just read about Robin. she is not just one parent in one state, because of AFSA, she and her 4 children are just one of thousands facing this every day in ALL States, yours included.

Hope this helps

Cat
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. will be calling my critter. nt
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Thank you it is needed! n/t
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, mntleo.
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks for keeping this going! n/t
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Thanks, leftstreet! These cuts are TRAGIC! :(
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
10. K&R
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. hi Odin!
:hug:
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 03:56 PM
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11. K&R !!! n/t
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maryf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-21-11 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
12. Thanks!
k&r
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