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Is private foster care the answer to care for illegal immigrant children?
The illegal immigration saga just won’t stop and there is no fix in sight. Now it seems Americans are being seduced with hush money to support the erosion of United States sovereignty.
I discussed last week that the surge of unaccompanied illegal minors from Central America was no surprise to the Obama administration given the ad they placed in January 2014 soliciting vendors to help transport refugee children.
Now we find that through Crittenton Services for Children and Families, a local California foster care agency, the federal government is now offering to pay the full freight on $6,054 per month to those with a 5 bedroom house and willing to take in 6 children
The ad reads:
Help heal the wounds of abused and neglected children. Crittenton FFA is looking for compassionate parents to provide a loving home for children in Foster Care Programs-including survivors of human trafficking and unaccompanied refugee minors. Reimbursement up to $6,054 monthly. Tax free support certification process as short as 45 days.
Our government, apparently through private foster care agencies, is racing to clean up its mess not by stopping the influx at the border but rather by locating housing and paying for it with taxpayer funds. It’s complete madness and ignores current strains in the foster care system.
California, the largest foster care population in the country, has 76,000 children in the system. There are more than 400,000 in the United States. In the foster care system, the goal is to place children with loving families as the Crittenton ad states. However, before the unaccompanied illegal minors are absorbed into the system, the current condition of the system must be considered.
There are only about 3,000 foster homes available in California, says Alex Morales, the CEO of the Children’s Bureau of Southern California. “The children have no place to go when they come into the care of the government or courts [today]. Where do we put them?” In institutions and group homes, he confided. With overcrowding, kids end up sleeping in cots in adoption agencies; essentially office buildings become home, said Morales in his interview with NPR last year. These are the conditions that await these unaccompanied illegal minors (whose families cannot be identified) all at the expense of the taxpayer.
The dirty secret is that the private foster care system is not designed to benefit the children primarily. Rather, private foster care agencies are incentivized to pack them in. It’s a business.
“The flow of money to private foster care — now about $400 million a year — introduced a powerful incentive for some to spend as little as possible and pack homes with as many children as they could.
“Those agencies are so short of homes that they accept convicted criminals as foster parents. The state has granted waivers to at least 5,300 people convicted of crimes. In the most egregious cases, people with waivers later maimed or killed children.
“The system is so poorly monitored that foster care agencies with a history of abuse can continue caring for children for years,” Garrett Therolf reported for the Los Angeles Times in December 2013.
The foster care system is a dead end for these unaccompanied illegal minors at best and a death trap in the worst case scenario. While agencies like Crittenton do a great work, foster care placement for illegal minors is not a compassionate (or appropriate) fix but rather a “head in the sand, ass in the air” response. Crittenton’s California ad is just the beginning; your state is next. If we allow our fellow Americans to get on the dole for $6,054 a month to aid the government in destroying these young lives, we are all to blame.
Marc Little is the author of The Prodigal Republican: Faith and Politics. His web site is The Prodigal Republican.