Addition 29 – Roulette With Children’s Lifes and Futures
A woman who was abused and raped as a child and lived in state care is not capable of caring for her toddler daughter, a family court judge has ruled.
Judge Jessica Pemberton said the woman, now in her early 20s, had not been given the “foundation” by the state to enable her to look after a child.
The judge said the state had not intervened adequately to protect the woman from “serious harm and neglect” when she was a child and her upbringing had a “huge impact” on her capabilities as a parent.
Leah was 23 when we met in her solicitor’s office. A foster/state care leaver herself, this young mother had just lost her second son to adoption, aged nine months. He was meeting all his developmental milestones and she loved him deeply. Her first baby had been removed earlier at just four months old.
Leah was so traumatised she could barely speak. But I already knew the background: in two scathing judgments the senior family judge who removed her second son set out just how thoroughly this young woman had been failed by the state throughout her own childhood and beyond. Sexually abused by her stepfather and stepbrothers, when she was finally taken into care as a teenager, she had had 11 changes of foster home in 18 months. She received no trauma treatment or support from children’s services to cope with the transition to adult life. Leah was effectively abandoned. This perfectly highlights the fact that supporting such children is seen as optional, not fundamental mental health care for a trauma survivor. What seems to be forgotten is that Leah and other women like her usually are that vulnerable child everyone insisted they are so concerned about – but unfortunately she is now the wrong side of 18, and therefore seen as unrescue worthy. There is still no statutory entitlement to trauma support or specialist, ongoing therapy for women like Leah.
In fifth grade, Jean’s father claimed he would begin home-schooling her. Instead, he took her into a bedroom and blindfolded her, telling her she was going to have sex with a boy she liked. Then he tied her down and raped her.
The abuse continued for years. Periodically, in an attempt to dodge child welfare investigators, Jean’s father packed up and moved, dragging her from Oklahoma to Arkansas to Texas. By the time they landed in Paris, Texas, in 2009, the 13-year-old was pregnant with his child.
Jean told police about the abuse a year after she gave birth to a baby girl, and prosecutors quickly built a case against her father. Jean and her infant daughter, meanwhile, were cast into the Texas foster care system.
For Jean and her daughter, it meant being consigned to the care of a state agency in turmoil, where kids — especially those who have suffered the greatest trauma — are at high risk of being lured into the sex trade.
It is a system where, as U.S. District Judge Janis Jack wrote in a 2015 legal opinion, “rape, abuse, psychotropic medication and instability are the norm” and children often leave more damaged than when they arrive. When foster care couldn’t help or protect 16-year-old Jean, she ran to a pimp.
Many children from the state system enter the world of selling sex. Eighty-six percent of runaway children in the United States suspected of being forced into sex work came from the child welfare system, according to a 2016 analysis of cases reported to the National Centre on Missing and Exploited Children. Of the 79,000 child sex trafficking victims estimated to be in the state, the vast majority were in foster care or had previous contact with Child Protective Services, according to a recent University of Texas study.
“It’s very easy for a trafficker to prey on those specific kids,” said Dixie Hairston, who leads anti-sex-trafficking efforts in North Texas for the nonprofit advocacy group Children At Risk. “Something is going wrong. These kids are not being kept safe.”
Officials at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services the state agency responsible for protecting them is in crisis.
Statistics UK
• 72% of social workers in the UK don’t feel services are enough
• 1 in 4 homeless people are actually state care leavers
• 70% of prostitutes are state care leavers
Foster Care Nightmare, Sex Abuse, Trafficking interview with guest Mari Frankel on her film called “Foster Shock” Sarah Westall
Statistics on state care children’s futures in Florida, USA, given at 55:50 in this video as:
50% do not finish high school
95% do not get a college degree
50% are unemployed by the age of 24
60% will depend on government assistance
70% of girls are pregnant by the age of 21
50% of these children end up in jail
According to national statistics provided by a USA foster care organisation, 40 to 50 percent of those children will never complete high school. Sixty-six percent of them will be homeless, go to jail or die within one year of leaving the foster care system at 18.
Along with this, 80 percent of the prison population once was in foster care, and that girls in foster care are 600 percent more likely than the general population to become pregnant before the age of 21. by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News: Another major study, conducted by the CDC, confirms what many other studies have found, and what we have published here at Health Impact News over the past several years many times: The Foster Care System is a huge failure that harms children, and children who never enter the Foster Care System do much better. Some of the results of the study:

•Among women who had been in foster care, one-half had given birth to a child by age 20; that compared with one-quarter of women who had never been in foster care.

•Two-thirds of women who had been in foster care received some form of public assistance, compared with one-third of other women. Just over half of men who had been in foster care received public assistance, more than double the rate for other men.

•About 25% of men and 21% of women who had been in foster care did not have a high school or GED diploma,more than double the figure for other adults.

•Lower percentages of men and women who were ever in foster care had a bachelor’s degree or higher (4.8% for men and 9.1% for women) compared with those who had never been in foster care (31.1% and 36.2%, respectively).

•Among men who had been in foster care, more than 34% lacked health insurance, compared with about 22% of other men. Foster care alumni also were more likely than others to be on Medicaid and to lack regular access to private doctor or a health maintenance organization.

•Both men and women who had been in foster care were less likely than other adults to be married, and more likely to be cohabiting with a partner outside of marriage.

•More than one-half of men and women who had ever been in foster care had engaged in their first sexual intercourse by age 15, compared with 28% of men and 25% of women who had never been in foster care. Read the full study here.

In 1984, the United States Congress established the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), and, as part of Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2013 they receive $40 million to study and track missing and trafficked children in the United States. In 2017, NCMEC assisted law enforcement with over 27,000 cases of missing children, the majority who were considered endangered runaways. According to their most recent report complied from FBI data and their own, of the nearly 25,000 runaways reported to NCMEC in 2017, one in seven were likely victims of child sex trafficking. Of those, 88 percent were in the care of social services when they went missing. Showing the scope of the abuse, in 2017 alone, NCMEC’s CyberTipline, a national mechanism for the public and electronic service providers to report instances of suspected child sexual exploitation, received over 10 million reports. According to NCMEC, most of these tips were related to the following: •Apparent child sexual abuse images. •Online enticement, including “sextortion.” •Child sex trafficking. •Child sexual molestation. Other governmental organizations have corroborated this horrifying trend. In a 2013 FBI 70-city nationwide raid, 60 percent of the victims came from foster care or group homes. In 2014, New York authorities estimated that 85 percent of sex trafficking victims were previously in the child welfare system. In 2012, Connecticut police rescued 88 children from sex trafficking; 86 were from the child welfare system.  Equally as disturbing as the fact that most sex trafficked kids come from within the system is the fact that the FBI discovered in a 2014 nationwide raid that many foster children rescued from sex traffickers, including children as young as 11, were never reported missing by child welfare authorities.

Since 2000, federal records show child welfare agencies across the country closed the cases of more than 53,000 foster kids listed as “runaway” and at least another 61,000 children listed as “missing.” Child welfare workers across the country have kicked thousands of missing foster care children out of the system – including one child as young as 9-years-old, a review by 25 Investigates uncovered. A nationwide investigation with Atlanta sister station WSB also uncovered a patchwork of policies with some states able to close a missing child’s case after just a few months, while others have policies on the books to keep missing cases open until the child turns 21. Kicked out of the system Joanna, a 19-year-old former foster kid, says she ran away from a group home right before a suicide attempt landed her in the hospital last year, but she said no one came to find her. “They did not care,” she said. “I’ve never gotten an email from my counselor, my DCF worker.” Joanna says she was missing for less than two weeks before she went back and sought out a DCF caseworker.  “I was like, ‘Look, I really need help’ and when I went in, she said, ‘Your case is closed,’” said Joanna. “I knew right then I was screwed.” DCF wouldn’t comment on Joanna’s case but says it can close any child’s case once they turn 18 – even if they’re missing. DCF also said foster kids can contact the agency and sign a voluntary agreement to remain in state care and receive services until age 21. Former foster kids homeless

But Elisabeth Jackson, executive director of Bridge Over Troubled Waters in Boston, told 25 Investigates many of the homeless kids helped by her non-profit come from foster care and she’s calling out the system. “If you feel like I’m pointing a finger at you, so be it,” said Jackson. “Come to the table. Let’s figure it out because we are seeing kids and I know you know that we are seeing kids.” Massachusetts DCF reports it unloads more than 800 foster children from the system every year when they turn 18, but the agency told us it does not track how many of those kids were missing at the time they were discharged. A new federal law now requires all states to report missing foster kids to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, D.C. area. But even now, the center tells us that’s not always happening. “There are agencies out there that have been known to close these cases and then, therefore, no one’s looking,” said Bob Lowery, vice president of the center’s missing children’s division.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was set up by Theresa May in 2014 following Jimmy Saville revelations and other scandals revealing how victims of child abuse were let down by the authorities charged with protecting them. The Inquiry has been examining the extent to which institutions and organisations have failed to protect children in England and Wales from sexual abuse. This week it published the findings of its investigation into Accountability and Reparations for child sexual abuse survivors. The report into this section of the national inquiry is scathing, finding that victims were let down by both the criminal and civil justice system and denied redress. Survivors who hoped to bring perpetrators to justice and for acknowledgement and compensation for ruined childhoods came up against criminal and civil justice systems that were “baffling, frustrating, hostile and ultimately futile.”
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The Oregon Department of Human Services is ramping up efforts to help foster kids who are victims of sex trafficking.
“I would say anecdotally I’m having workers approach me with cases at minimum once a week, sometimes more,” Washington County Child Safety Consultant Aimee Dickson said.
Cases that are piling up not just in Oregon, but across the nation.
Alston was hired by the state after that law passed to be part of the solution. She’s the CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) Coordinator for Oregon.
“I see a case a day coming through right now,” Alston said.
Uncle Murray was only 10-years-old when he was taken from his family in Bruthen, Victoria Australia. He was then taken to Melbourne’s notorious Turana Youth detention centre, where he describes the distressing mistreatment he experienced.
“When the authorities took us to Turana I was looked at like a piece of dirt and thrown in a little dark cell in the middle of the night. The police officer said they’ll ‘deal with me in the morning’ calling me a ‘little black bastard’, he detailed.
“They later cut all of my hair off and scrubbed me as if they wanted to scrub the black off me.”
Later in 1948, Uncle Murray and his sisters were taken to Ballarat Orphanage. During that time Uncle Murray explained how he would often turn to alcohol to drown out the trauma of being taken.
“From the ages of 14 to 18 I was drinking myself stupid to drive away the pain that was put on me. By 18 I was a total alcoholic.”

“Without my wife, kids and Bunjil (God) I wouldn’t have made it to 80-years-old today.”
Although a positive experience in Uncle Murrays later years, he acknowledged the on-going trauma faced by a lot of other Indigenous people who were taken, including one of his cousins.
“A lot of stolen mob are still facing their demons and dealing with them very badly. A cousin of mine had been at a facility in Melbourne where he was hit with a piece of barb wire around his back, buttocks and legs. The scars disappeared from his body but never disappeared from his mind. He drank himself to death over it,” he said.
Unfortunately for the now 80-year-old, and many other stolen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country, the stark reality of being forcibly removed meant that he never got the opportunity to see his family again.
“The absolute saddest part was that I never got to reconnect with my family. It was only five years ago that I met my two nieces who were my youngest sisters kids. I recently found out that my oldest brother had 11 girls and one boy – all this I never knew,” explained an emotional Uncle Murray.
“If you lose a part of your heart, you don’t get over it. And the part of our hearts that was taken is the family and culture that we lost. That’s something that you don’t just brush aside and get over.”
In 1996, the last residential school in Canada was closed down, bringing to light horrifying stories about the methods used to sever indigenous children from the influence of their families and to assimilate them into the dominant “Canadian” culture. Over more than a century, tens of thousands of families were torn apart as children were kidnapped or forcibly removed from their homes.
Residential schools were part of an extensive education system set up by the Canadian government and administered by churches with the objective of indoctrinating Aboriginal children into the Euro-Canadian and Christian way of life.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers were often charged with the task of removing children from their family homes or “picking them up” to take them to the residential schools. Families who refused to give up their children were either arrested, fined or both.
When Lynda was five years old the authorities came to her home village and sent her to a boarding school far away. Once she arrived, her hair was cut very short; she was issued a uniform and given a number that replaced her name as if they were prisoners. There was no one there to hold this five year old girl and wipe away the tears as she cried for her mother.
The priests, nuns and other staff members ate very well, while the children existed on a starvation diet. The children were forbidden to speak their Indian language. They were told that Indian customs were evil and they were not allowed to observe them. Discipline was harsh and the slightest infraction resulted in severe beatings. Conditions were so bad that the children tried to burn down their schools or died after running away from schools in remote locations.
The priests were having an open season; young boys were sodomised and the girls were sexually molested as well. Catholic doctrine forbade abortions and the girls carried their rape babies to full term. After giving birth, they were taken to a basement and the young mother was told to kill her child. In the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, no sin was committed since the Canadian government had stated Indians did not have souls and were savages without hope of salvation.
Some children were never seen again after they were sold as sex slaves to pedophiles in the United States. Some tried to escape the boarding schools, but due to the harsh weather in Canada, many of them froze to death and never made it home.
When the truth about this evil boarding school program was publicised in Canada and the United States, a final attempt was made to reduce the Indian population by sterilising the children before they were sent home.
On Tuesday, the government of Canada released a report on residential schools, with testimony from nearly 7,000 witnesses, called the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
From 1840 to 1996, more than 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children were taken from their families and placed in these schools, in order to “kill the Indian in the child”.
TRC chair Justice Murray Sinclair said more than 6,000 residential school students died.
Many more suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Survivors of St Anne’s Indian Residential School in Fort Albany, Ontario, are suing the government to release an unredacted version of documentation that shows staff used an electric chair to shock students as young as six and forced sick students to eat their own vomit.
The TRC report concludes that the government-led policy amounted to cultural genocide.
“These measures were part of a coherent policy to eliminate Aboriginal people as distinct peoples and to assimilate them into the Canadian mainstream against their will,” says a summary of the report.
“The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide because it wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to Aboriginal people and gain control over their land and resources.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologised to the survivors in 2008, but the report notes “the urgent need for reconciliation runs deep in Canada” and says Canada needs to move from apology to action.

Then we have the “leaders” who apologise and promise changes in a horribly flawed system, which traffics children and harms a lot of people. But they never deliver…
Ten years ago today, then prime minister Kevin Rudd made the apology, fulfilling one part of the third recommendation of the 1997 Bringing Them Home report, which stated that “reparation be made in recognition of the history of gross violations of human rights”. [They violently removed parent’s children and placed them into foster care]
In the report, this was broken down to five key components: acknowledgment and apology, guarantees against repetition, measures of restitution, measures of rehabilitation, and monetary compensation.
To date, New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia have introduced some form of reparation scheme for members of the Stolen Generations. The Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria are still yet to do so.
There have also been calls for the implementation of a national scheme, but the Federal Government has not as yet indicated that it intends to introduce one.