Thursday, February 5, 2004

Hola:

Yet another story out of New Jersey, demonstrating the degree of competancy involved in running their so-called child protective system. Yesterday, the AP reported that "New Jersey's child welfare agency regularly checked the home of foster parents now accused of harboring a corpse -- and found nothing amiss one month before the body was discovered, a state official said Wednesday."

"The couple," continued the report "allegedly forced their teenage foster daughter to bring meals to the man's bedroom for up to three weeks after his death."

"Kenneth and Donna Keaveney of Clark were charged with child cruelty and elder neglect after police found the decaying body of Donna Keaveney's father in an upstairs bedroom on Aug. 28."

All of their foster children were removed -- a 13-year-old, an 11-year-old and a 4-year-old.

I wonder if the workers who checked those kids so regularly were the same ones who checked the home of Raymond and Vanessa Jackson 38 -- yes, 38 -- times and saw nothing out of the ordinary, despite a 45 pound 19-year old.

The Jacksons were charged with starving 4 out of 6 of their adopted children, for which they received $400 per month for each child.

The situation came to light when a neighbor found one child desperately looking for food outside in his garbage can.

Understand this -- most children in care do not need to be there. Most children do not come from homes as bad as the ones that foster care provides.

Most children are taken for reasons of poverty or poverty related neglect. Rather than pay hundreds of dollars per month to strangers -- who are statistically more likely to beat, rape, starve or kill them -- to "care" for these children, why not keep them in the home and use that money to take some of the financial pressure off of the poor parents -- safe daycare, in home services, etc.

Please... research, read. And then demand change from law makers. This has got to stop.

Siempre en Paz...

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