One area of American "Child Protective" "Services" (CPS) abuse that we haven't talked much about is the abuse which takes place outside of the direct seizure/adoption pipeline and/or the seizure/foster-parent pipeline. Institutions are also all over the place that "hold" children, until they can be adopted/fostered "out." These range from special juvenile prisons (or wings of adult prisons), group homes, special halfway houses, and, of course, psychiatric hospitals.
In Illinois (just to avoid confusion) CPS goes by one of the popular alternative acronyms...in this case "DCFS" which stands for "Department of Children and Family Services." A growing proportion of children seized from parents are now being diagnosed with various "mental disorders," some legitimate, some not so much. We have discussed the entire bogus labeling system that allows children to be forcibly drugged in school--usually via the application of the manufactured "ADD/ADHD" labeling system that, to this day, has not been proven to be a legitimate diagnosis of anything (but which is very profitable for the manufacturers of psychotropic drugs.)
But there are some children in state custody that do suffer from one or more established and longstanding identifiable disorders, such as schizophrenia. These children, are, of course, among the most vulnerable of all. They don't even have the chance of being believed in court (or having their testimony declared admissible.) In Illinois, or so it would seem, children who have been diagnosed with a serious mental disorder do often wind up in some form of long-term detention that involves what is essentially (though sometimes otherwise-named) psychiatric hospitals.
Children who are placed there typically have a release date assigned by a medical "professional," and for decades, the Illinois DCFS has violated those release dates, sometimes claiming the children are too dangerous to themselves or to others to be released to anyone. Other times, they are claiming that no one wants these kids, even when they are not diagnosed as "dangerous." But in whichever situation, the financial incentive has to still be considered, and may help explain why a lot of kids don't get out when they should--even kids who aren't dangerous, and who do have a safe alternative place to go. (Of course, somebody should also be asking why these kids aren't making any progress towards being "safe to release," but....)
See this recent link from before Christmas:
Here is an excerpt from the link above:
"The federal lawsuit that was filed by Cook County's public guardian after reports by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois about the issue contends that repeated budget cuts for appropriate treatment facilities and foster care worsens the conditions of the children's lives and that keeping them so long at the psychiatric hospitals is 'inhumane' and costs taxpayers more than $125,000 a month."
Mainstream source...mainstream solution. NEVER, EVER blame the system, the process, or the lack of training and basic competence on the part of DCFS staff or their subcontractors. The answer is always to SOCK THE TAXPAYERS FOR MORE MONEY, in this case the taxpayers of what is already one of the nation's most heavily-taxed states. The NBC report cited above makes their bias even more obvious in their closing sentence:
"Rebuilding the capacity of the mental health system will require more than a lawsuit." Apparently, the people of Illinois aren't allowed to even ask if it might be the INEFFECTIVENESS of the system--especially of the psychiatric/psychotropic interventionist milieu that might be the real problem. They also, apparently, are not going to be permitted to ask if some of these tardy releases might be, at least partly, a result of the financial incentives that pays CPS (and their subcontractors) by the number of kids kept in custody.
At least this article includes some testimony from kids actually impacted by the situation:
Here is an excerpt from that article:
"One plaintiff in the suit said even after she was cleared for discharge from Hartgrove Hospital, she was stuck there for another three months because DCFS had nowhere else for her to go. 'I spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter and my 16th birthday in the hospital,' said Skylar, who's now 19 years old. 'I only got to go outside one time, I felt like a prisoner, I felt very depressed.'"
First, we learn by this excerpt that this is a class action lawsuit--not, as implied by the other article, the action of one lone disgruntled guardian ad litem. Then, we also pick up on what has always been the Illinois DCFS standard line when such charges are leveled at them. It's hard for us to know the truth here, admittedly. It could possibly even be so brazen a situation as that the Cook County official behind the suit is actually working WITH the DCFS to play "bad cop" so that DCFS can force the legislature to appropriate more "good-cop" funding to a broken system. And sure, some of these kids might actually BE DANGEROUS and not safe to release.
But one thing we can be sure of, no matter what might really be going on in this particular situation, is that the current system is definitely broken, and that throwing more money at the problem is like placing garland and roses around the decks of "The Titanic" --after the iceberg. Perhaps the lawsuit will have the positive impact of bringing more public scrutiny onto the fact that major change is needed. Perhaps a taxpayer revolt will force DCFS to learn how to maximize resources and become more efficient and effective with what they have.
As long as CPS/DCFS views the public as a gullible, never-ending fire hydrant of easy money, no change is going to ever even be suggested, let alone be forthcoming. In the meantime, from the family-protection perspective, almost any lawsuit against any part of the CPS/DCFS leviathan has to be viewed as a pretty good thing.