Comment of the Day: Texas's Foster System, Still a Disaster

We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them.

So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even.

This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involving wit, clarity and whatever else we feel like at the moment.

We highlighted this week's cover story, on how the foster-care system in Texas is still awful and not likely to get better. One reader passionately agreed.

jholderbaum wrote:

Trying to improve the foster care system? How many more decades of this travesty do we have to endure? Child protection isn't working. Foster care on a mass scale is a mass disaster. The system is a failure and has been since its inception. For all our good intentions, for the few kids we have saved, we have destroyed many more lives and families. Children are raped and murdered in the custody of the state. We can't fix that. Children are aging out into homelessness and prison. We try to throw a band aid on it after the fact. We can't be in every foster home, every minute of the day. We need to do better than this. The states have become the abusers. We are putting children at risk in the homes of violent foster and adoptive parents. We are gambling with their lives. When will people wake up and realize that we didn't end child abuse, we only made it that much worse?

We need to end child protection as we know it and start over with a system that focuses on helping families build better lives for themselves whenever possible and rescuing battered children and orphans. We need to return to letting law enforcement, with proper training, investigate the crime of child abuse. We need to accept the fact that while we cannot prevent every homicide in the world, we most certainly should not be adding to those statistics with a system that consistently fails to protect. Instead of snatching every child we can on the basis of accusation backed up by suspicion we need to focus on real cases of criminal child abuse and let law enforcement handle it and get rid of this miserable system that has the audacity to call itself child protection. Let's end it!

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly