You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 06, 2016, 06:08:42 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect  (Read 8703 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #75 on: July 28, 2009, 11:12:52 AM »
Y'know, most of the responses here actually seem to be saying that - while the situation does need intervention - jail isn't the answer.  Education is the answer, combined with some immediate medical intervention.  That medical intervention might very well require that the boy go to some inpatient facility, which is, in a way, taking him out of his mother's care for a while, but nothing different from putting a cardiac patient in an ICU.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #76 on: July 28, 2009, 11:21:28 AM »
That's just ignorance. There are many alternatives to the dangerous cocktails that the doctors serve as the "only" treatment for cancer.

Although, they are the only "treatments," but there are cures that work. It's a person's RIGHT to try them before they take something that shortens their lifespan and makes them violently ill in the name of "treating" a curable condition.

Look up Jerry Brunetti: Food as medicine for more information if you like.

 Actually, those are the only effectivce methods. It's a proven method that WORKS. Unlike the alternative crap. Hodgkin's lymphoma was a death sentance 20 years ago and now the success rate is what? 95%? How did that happen? Modern medicine through the use of chemo and radiation. How do I know this? My sister got the cancer in the early 80's and at the time, many more people died to it than survived. She was lucky and survived, and now is living happily with her husband and has 2 adult children. The only cure that works is the chemo and radiation therapies.

 The fact the parents and child wanted to spare their son ther discomfort of chemo and radiation sickness is foolish. It works! Anything other treatments they wanted to do would have killed their son.

 When a child's life is in danger, the most effective cure should be tried first. Not some half baked herbal crap cure that won't work on a cancer. Hodgkin's lymphoma  can kill if not treated quickly.

Offline Valerian

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #77 on: July 28, 2009, 11:32:14 AM »
What Oniya said, because she was more clear. 

The boy isn't in imminent danger from his mother's actions now, and I didn't intend to imply that he was.  The danger is from previous neglect and his current weight.  What he needs -- immediately -- is qualified medical care to get him down to a more manageable weight.  I seriously doubt that can be handled while he's at home with his mother at this point.

The fact that she's willing to learn is very much in her favour, of course, and I hope that once she's educated, and her son is no longer dangerously obese, they will be reunited.

The son isn't being put into regular foster care, I believe, but perhaps I've got that wrong?  I was under the impression that he was being removed to a hospital of some sort for treatment.


(If you'd like to discuss alternative medical treatments, I can spin those posts off into another thread.  :-))

Offline consortium11

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #78 on: July 28, 2009, 11:56:52 AM »
Can we all agree the most important thing here is the child's wellfare?

This child... a 14 year old child... is/was 555lbs.

He looks like this:



At 14 years old.

14.

It is clear that something has to be done or he will die early. 555lbs... at 14. That isn't overweight, that isn't a bit chubby, that isn't even "fat". It's beyond obese. 14 years old, 555lbs.

For better or for worse almost all Western societies have held that a person is a child until 16/18 and, on the whole, are the responsibility of the parents. Her lawyer may claim that the mother was only feeding her son the recommended nutritional guidelines (which there are severe issues with, but that's a whole other topic) and it was at home alone or away from her when he was binging. All the facts aren't known, but does anyone really think that is the case? That he could suddenly find the money to buy himself all this food (at 14 years old remember) or that his friends at school would what... buy him 3 Burger King meals for fun? Even if that were the case, shouldn't the mother have noticed when her 14 year old son (or, younger at the time) started weighing 200lbs... 300lbs... 400lbs. Getting to that size doesn't happen over night and it doesn't happen because his friends gave him a big bag of chips every lunch time. It happens after a sustained period of crippling overeating and lack of exercise.

So should the mother be to blame?

At least partially. She may have never be able to completely prevent her son from eating too much, but she could have done more to prevent it. There are healthier options than bringing home fast food that are just as easy, she could have put locks on the fridge/cupboards (as parents of Prader-Willi sufferers often do)... she could have done something. But she didn't for 14 years. The fact that she finally decided to reach out for help should be applauded... but shouldn't make up for everything that went before.

But that's focusing on the mother again... not the child. And the child is what's important here.

Is charging the mother the right way to go about things? I'm not sure. I doubt it honestly. Perhaps the logic is to "make an example out of her", so other parents take better care of their children. I don't like that argument, although I see the strength of it, and it's a type of reasoning that has long been ingrained in the legal system. Does the child need to leave the house? Yes. At 555lbs there's little that can be done while the child remains at home, especially with a mother who (even if through no fault of her own) isn't there. It isn't like an earlier case from New York where a court ordered nutritional counselling, cooking lessons and gym sessions for a 260lbs child. 555lbs is beyond that.

I know of the horror stories from foster care and state wards. Apparently the child is actually in a foster home at the moment, so that's one "good" thing. I'd hope that whatever system is set up allows for extensive contact between the mother and child, even if the child is living somewhere else. This obviously isn't a case where the parent has been intentionally abusing her child so I can see no reason for the two to not see each other.

The child desperately needs to lose weight. At best he is losing years off his life... and at worse is in immanent danger of dying because of his weight. The parent can't do it on her own... and it's got to the stage where it would be near impossible to do in the home. As for charging her... I think it's a mistake. But we'll only ever really know if someone looks back in 10 years time and see what's happened.

On a side note, it wasn't poverty that caused this. It may have made it worse, but it isn't the reason. If it was, there'd be hordes of 400lbs 14 year olds running around. When it comes to weight the brutal truth is that on the whole a calorie is a calorie... whether from fried chicken, burgers and pizza or lean meats, fresh veg and seafood. It's calories in vs calories out, whatever the source. Better foods have a whole host of other health benefits, but if I eat 4000 calories a day of steak, protein shakes and broccoli in terms of sheer weight I'll be little different to if I ate 4000 calories a day of Baconaters. In addition while it's harder (sometimes a lot) to eat well on a budget it's not impossible... and at the very least possible to eat better than fast food regularly. In addition a 14 year old kid has more than enough time to exercise... even if it is just really basic cardio and bodyweight routines.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #79 on: July 28, 2009, 12:02:57 PM »

(If you'd like to discuss alternative medical treatments, I can spin those posts off into another thread.  :-))

 If Pheonix wants to continue to discuss this, then yes. Other wise...  /shrug

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #80 on: July 28, 2009, 12:38:51 PM »
If Pheonix wants to continue to discuss this, then yes. Other wise...  /shrug

No, I have no intention of continuing the discussion. We don't agree, and that's that. I've seen proof that other methods work, you have not. All we would do is go around and around, and nothing good would come of it.

However, the part of it that is VERY apropos to the discussion is the idea that a parent is "negligent" if they don't follow the medical establishment like a sheep, and should thus lose their child.

This is a real problem, and was part of what I was pointing out. When we start deciding to take someone's child because they don't obey the establishment... we are setting a VERY dangerous precedent. VERY dangerous.

Did I stress VERY dangerous?  XD

Offline Caeli

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #81 on: July 28, 2009, 12:48:14 PM »
Foster care, in most cases, however, IS an imminent danger for children. Abuse and assaults happen as a matter of course in the foster care system.

So he was taken from the care of someone who had realized there was a problem and tried to act on that realization, and put into the care of strangers who may or may not help him at all. And into a place where, unless he is the only child there, is statistically in high likelihood of imminent danger of being abused physically and/or psychologically.
Where, exactly, are your statistics coming from? What do you consider "most" cases? Unless you have some kind of statistical evidence proving this, it's just loaded language.

It's unfair to assume that foster care "in most cases" equates to abuse (either physically or psychologically), unless you have solid statistical evidence that this is true. Yes, there are horror stories that get spun in the media, and yes it does happen; however, in the ACF's (Administration of Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) reports for 2007, of the 45 states that provided reports, 40 states reported a 99% absence of maltreatment in foster care. The five states that were below 99% were all above 98%.1

Assuming that he would go to a healthy foster care home (if that's even the case; I'd thought that as his condition is so serious, he would actually be removed to some kind of specialized medical care facility), I don't think it's unreasonable for the state to separate child and mother while the child is so morbidly obese.

In this case, it's reasonable to assume that some of the blame falls on the mother's shoulders. It is highly unlikely that he reached that point without active neglect on her part to provide him with a balanced and nutritional diet. She couldn't have not noticed it happening. As another member stated previously, this is not a case of getting a little chubby or a little overweight.

The boy isn't in imminent danger from his mother's actions now, and I didn't intend to imply that he was.  The danger is from previous neglect and his current weight.  What he needs -- immediately -- is qualified medical care to get him down to a more manageable weight.  I seriously doubt that can be handled while he's at home with his mother at this point.

The fact that she's willing to learn is very much in her favour, of course, and I hope that once she's educated, and her son is no longer dangerously obese, they will be reunited.
Valerian stated it better than I could. I largely agree with this, especially the portion in bold. It's encouraging that she wants to learn and educate herself - but until she learns how to properly care for her child, the best thing for him would be to receive immediate professional assistance in reducing his weight.



1 Administration for Children and Families, United States Department of Health and Human Services. "Absence of Maltreatment in Foster Care, 2004–2007". <http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm07/table3_17.htm>.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 12:49:19 PM by Caeli »

Offline Valerian

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #82 on: July 28, 2009, 01:03:32 PM »
No, I have no intention of continuing the discussion. We don't agree, and that's that. I've seen proof that other methods work, you have not. All we would do is go around and around, and nothing good would come of it.

However, the part of it that is VERY apropos to the discussion is the idea that a parent is "negligent" if they don't follow the medical establishment like a sheep, and should thus lose their child.

This is a real problem, and was part of what I was pointing out. When we start deciding to take someone's child because they don't obey the establishment... we are setting a VERY dangerous precedent. VERY dangerous.

Did I stress VERY dangerous?  XD

I'm honestly not sure where this sudden emphasis on obeying the establishment came from.  Do you disagree with the idea that poor nutrition, overeating, and lack of physical activity can cause obesity?

No one threatened to take away the child because the mother was a nonconformist.  The issue is the son's morbid obesity, how much the mother is responsible for it, and what can/should be done now.  Obeying the establishment doesn't enter into it.

Offline consortium11

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #83 on: July 28, 2009, 01:08:01 PM »
Assuming that he would go to a healthy foster care home (if that's even the case; I'd thought that as his condition is so serious, he would actually be removed to some kind of specialized medical care facility), I don't think it's unreasonable for the state to separate child and mother while the child is so morbidly obese.

While I assume(d) that would be the case, the news reports indicate he's currently in a foster home.

I'm honestly not sure where this sudden emphasis on obeying the establishment came from.  Do you disagree with the idea that poor nutrition, overeating, and lack of physical activity can cause obesity?

No one threatened to take away the child because the mother was a nonconformist.  The issue is the son's morbid obesity, how much the mother is responsible for it, and what can/should be done now.  Obeying the establishment doesn't enter into it.

I believe that quote was in relation to the case involving cancer (and the parents refusing certain treatment) as opposed to this specific case about obesity.

Another point to be mentioned: It looks like the mother won't be able to blame poverty if this happened again... she's apparently already sold her story...

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #84 on: July 28, 2009, 01:10:52 PM »
Resource for the statistic follows with a *:


There are more than half a million children and youth in the U.S. foster care system, a 90% increase since 1987. Three of 10 of the nationís homeless are former foster children. A recent study has found that 12-18 months after leaving foster care:
27% of the males and 10% of the females had been incarcerated
33% were receiving public assistance
37% had not finished high school
50% were unemployed

*Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support

Children in foster care are three to six times more likely than children not in care to have emotional, behavioral and developmental problems, including conduct disorders, depression, difficulties in school and impaired social relationships. Some experts estimate that about 30% of the children in care have marked or severe emotional problems. Various studies have indicated that children and young people in foster care tend to have limited education and job skills, perform poorly in school compared to children who are not in foster care, lag behind in their education by at least one year, and have lower educational attainment than the general population.

*Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support

80 percent of prison inmates have been through the foster care system.

*National Association of Social Workers

Children are 11 times more likely to be abused in State care than they are in their own homes.

*National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN)

Children died as a result of abuse in foster care 5.25 times more often than children in the general population. 2.1 percent of all child fatalities took place in foster care. While this may seem like a relatively low number, we must consider the contrast in population between children in the general population versus children in foster care. In 1997, there were nearly 71 million children in the general population (99.6%), but only 302 thousand in state care (.4%) in state care. As state care is supposed to be a 'safe haven', the number of fatalities should be less or at least equal to what it is in the general population of children. By this standard, there should have been less than .4% of child fatalities occurring in foster care, however, there was 5.25 times that amount. (31 states reporting)

*CPS Watch Inc.



_________________


Time Magazine concluded: "Staying at home with an addicted mother who is actively participating in a rehabilitation program can, in many cases, be the more promising and safer route for the child [Emphasis added]." James Willwerth, "Should We Take Away Their Kids? Often The Best Way to Save the Child is to Save the Mother as Well," Time, May 13, 1991, p.62.

In a University of Florida study of children born with cocaine in their systems - children often stigmatized with the label "crack babies" -- one group was placed in foster care, another group with birth mothers able to care for them. After one year, the babies were tested using all the usual measures of infant development: rolling over, sitting up, reaching out. Consistently, the children placed with their birth mothers did better. For the foster children, the separation from their mothers was more toxic than the cocaine. Kathleen Wobie, Marylou Behnke et. al., To Have and To Hold: A Descriptive Study of Custody Status Following Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine, paper presented at joint annual meeting of the American Pediatric Society and the Society for Pediatric Research, May 3, 1998.


__________________________________

http://www.mit.edu/~jjdoyle/doyle_jpe_aug08.pdf

Here's one with reams of studies about the problems with abuse in foster care/ institutionalized care/ etc. that can be where a child removed from their home goes: http://www.nccpr.org/

The statistics are all over the place. Foster care/ institutionalized care (where many removed children end up) is on-average more dangerous for children than leaving the child with their family and helping the family.


While I assume(d) that would be the case, the news reports indicate he's currently in a foster home.

I believe that quote was in relation to the case involving cancer (and the parents refusing certain treatment) as opposed to this specific case about obesity.

Another point to be mentioned: It looks like the mother won't be able to blame poverty if this happened again... she's apparently already sold her story...

Yes, my emphasis on obeying the establishment came from the concept that you have to do it the medical establishment's way or have your child stolen from you. (My wording, no one else's)

Offline Valerian

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #85 on: July 28, 2009, 01:29:15 PM »
Then I take it you would like a separate thread after all, so that you may discuss alternative medicine v. the established medical community?

Since those comments don't belong in this thread; and came after you said you no longer wished to discuss that subject, I was understandably confused as to what you were referring to.



Your statistics are interesting, though I would like to know why the NCCAN statistics vary so wildly from the ACF statistics Caeli quoted.  Do they give any indication as to why that is in your original source?

Also, I must ask how the percentages involving the child's well-being after leaving foster care in particular are being calculated.  That is, granting that a larger percentage of foster children are receiving public assistance, for example, is any allowance being made for the child's experiences previous to foster care?

By definition, any child removed to foster care is having a bad to nightmarish time of things with their natural parent(s).  Early childhood experiences have tremendous impact on the child, and must be taken into account in any study of their future welfare.

Put bluntly, can you prove all the events that negatively shape these children's lives happen while they're in foster care as compared to before they were moved there?

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #86 on: July 28, 2009, 01:44:44 PM »
Then I take it you would like a separate thread after all, so that you may discuss alternative medicine v. the established medical community?

Since those comments don't belong in this thread; and came after you said you no longer wished to discuss that subject, I was understandably confused as to what you were referring to.


No, my point was that they are two different discussions. I returned to the discussion of reasons to remove children from their homes. One of them being that someone doesn't follow the medical establishment.

This can be taken into several areas, not only including alternative treatments for cancer.

For example, parents who choose not to vaccinate. This is another area where someone advocated removing children from their homes as "neglect."

This is a very dangerous precedent, and goes back to the idea of "disobedience to the establishment = removal of your children."

This concept is apropos to the discussion.

Whether or not there are alternative cancer treatments or cures that work, is not, particularly. It links in only indirectly, and thus I will not continue THAT discussion.... but I will continue the part of the discussion that asked the question of WHEN to take children away from their parents.

Is ALL refusal to obey the medical establishment an acceptable reason to remove children? That is the aspect of the discussion that I feel is appropriate to this thread.

Please do tell me if I'm mistaken.

Quote
Your statistics are interesting, though I would like to know why the NCCAN statistics vary so wildly from the ACF statistics Caeli quoted.  Do they give any indication as to why that is in your original source?

Some of the statistics are taken exclusively from Foster Care Homes. In-home fostering. Other statistics are taken from In-Home fostering as well as institutional care. Many children who are removed from their homes and "put in foster care" are actually put into group homes or various other sorts of orphanage-style institutions.

Quote
Also, I must ask how the percentages involving the child's well-being after leaving foster care in particular are being calculated.  That is, granting that a larger percentage of foster children are receiving public assistance, for example, is any allowance being made for the child's experiences previous to foster care?

By definition, any child removed to foster care is having a bad to nightmarish time of things with their natural parent(s).  Early childhood experiences have tremendous impact on the child, and must be taken into account in any study of their future welfare.

Put bluntly, can you prove all the events that negatively shape these children's lives happen while they're in foster care as compared to before they were moved there?

This may help answer your questions, it's a Word document: http://www.nccpr.org/reports/evidence.doc


Quote
National Coalition for Child Protection Reform / 53 Skyhill Road (Suite 202) / Alexandria, Va. 22314
(703) 212-2006 / info@nccpr.org / www.nccpr.org

THE EVIDENCE IS IN
Foster Care vs. Keeping Families Together:
The Definitive Studies

NCCPR long has argued that many children now trapped in foster care would be far better off if they had remained with their own families and those families had been given the right kinds of help.

Turns out that’s not quite right.

In fact, many children now trapped in foster care would be far better off if they remained with their own families even if those families got only the typical help (which tends to be little help, wrong help, or no help) commonly offered by child welfare agencies.

That’s the message from the largest studies ever undertaken to compare the impact on children of foster care versus keeping comparably maltreated children with their own families. The study was the subject of a front-page story in USA Today.  The full study is available here.

The first study, published in 2007, looked at outcomes for more than 15,000 children.  It compared foster children not to the general population but to comparably-maltreated children left in their own homes.  The result: On measure after measure the children left in their own homes do better.

In fact, it’s not even close.

Children left in their own homes are far less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, far less likely to wind up in the juvenile justice system and far more likely to hold a job for at least three months than comparably maltreated children who were placed in foster care.

One year later, the same researcher published another study, this time of 23,000 cases.  Again he compared foster children to comparably-maltreated children left in their own homes.  This time he looked at which children were more likely to be arrested as adults.  Once again, the children left in their own homes fared better than the foster children.

Implications

● The studies use the term “foster care” generically; they include children placed in any form of substitute care.  That’s important because whenever information like this comes out, people who want to warehouse children in orphanages try to use it to justify their schemes.  But these studies were not limited to family foster homes.  And it takes three single-spaced pages just to list all the other studies documenting the harm of orphanages.  (Those pages are available from NCCPR.)

● This does not mean that no child ever should be placed in foster care.  But it means many fewer children should be placed in foster care.

The studies excluded the most severe cases of maltreatment, a very small proportion of any child protective worker’s caseload, precisely because, horror stories that make the front page notwithstanding, these are cases where everyone with time to investigate would agree that removal from the home was the only alternative.

Rather, the studies focused on, by far, the largest group of cases any worker sees, those that can best be called the “in-between cases” where the parent is neither all victim nor all villain; cases where there are real problems in the home, but wide disagreement over what should be done.  As the first study itself notes: “These are the cases most likely to be affected by policy changes that alter the threshold for placement.”  They also, are, of course, the cases most likely to be affected by a foster-care panic – which also alters the threshold for placement.

Even among these cases, the figures are averages.  Certainly there are some individual cases among the thousands studied in which foster care was the less harmful alternative.  But what the data make clear is that foster care is vastly overused, damaging large numbers of children who would do better in life had they remained in their own homes, even with the minimal help most child welfare agencies offer to families.

This says less about how well child protection agencies do in helping families than it does about how enormously toxic a foster care intervention is.  Anything that toxic must be used very sparingly and in very small doses.

● Child welfare agencies have a disingenuous response to all this: “Why yes, of course,” they like to say.  “This research just shows what we’ve always said ourselves: foster care only should be used as a last resort; of course we keep families together whenever possible.”  But this research shows that agency actions belie their words.  These studies found thousands of children already in foster care who would have done better had child protection agencies not taken them away in the first place.

● The USA Today story quotes one deservedly well-respected expert as saying that the 2007 study was the first to produce such results.  But that is an error.  Actually it was at least the second since 2006.  A University of Minnesota study used a different methodology and measured different outcomes, but came to very similar conclusions. 

● Though the USA Today story says other “studies” go the other way, the one cited, with less than 1/100th the sample size of the new studies, a shorter duration and at least one other serious flaw (omitting foster children in care for less than six months) is the only one we know of.  And that study focused on reunification, not on children never removed in the first place.

And, of course, that study also compared foster care only to typical “help” for families in their own homes, which generally is little or nothing.  Providing the kinds of real help NCCPR recommends (See Twelve Ways to do Child Welfare Right) would likely change the result and, in the case of the three more recent and more rigorous studies, create an even wider gap in outcomes favoring keeping families together.

● Perhaps most intriguing, these studies suggest it actually may be possible to quantify the harm of a foster-care panic, a huge, sudden upsurge in needless removals after the death of a child “known to the system” gets extensive news coverage.

Thanks to these studies, we now have an estimate of how much worse foster children do on key outcomes compared with comparably-maltreated children left in their own homes. It’s also usually possible to calculate how many more children are taken away during a foster-care panic. So it should be possible to estimate how many more children will wind up under arrest, how many more will become pregnant and how many more will be jobless as a result of a foster-care panic.

It also should be possible to estimate roughly how many children have been saved from these rotten outcomes in states and localities that have reformed their systems to emphasize safe, proven programs to keep families together.

These new studies and the Minnesota study are in addition to the comprehensive study of foster care alumni showing that only one in five could be said to be doing well as a young adult – in other words, foster care churns out walking wounded four times out of five. (See NCCPR’s publication 80 Percent Failure for more on this study) and the mass of evidence showing that simply in terms of physical safety, real family preservation programs have a far better track record than foster care.  (See NCCPR Issue Paper #1.)

The buzzword in child welfare is “evidence-based.”  What that really means is: How dare proponents of any new, innovative approach to child welfare expect to get funding if they can’t dot every i and cross every t on evaluations proving the innovation’s efficacy beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Old, non-innovative programs, however, are not held to this standard.  If they were, child welfare would be turned upside down by the results of this new research.

Because now, more than ever, the evidence is in.


You're welcome to open the document for the links to the various studies, they didn't translate into my copy/paste.



Additionally, I will restate this one, too:

Quote
Children died as a result of abuse in foster care 5.25 times more often than children in the general population. 2.1 percent of all child fatalities took place in foster care. While this may seem like a relatively low number, we must consider the contrast in population between children in the general population versus children in foster care. In 1997, there were nearly 71 million children in the general population (99.6%), but only 302 thousand in state care (.4%) in state care. As state care is supposed to be a 'safe haven', the number of fatalities should be less or at least equal to what it is in the general population of children. By this standard, there should have been less than .4% of child fatalities occurring in foster care, however, there was 5.25 times that amount. (31 states reporting)

Children are dying at a larger percentage in foster care than in their homes. Statistically, a foster child is 5.25 times more likely to die due to 'care' than children in the general population...  If taking them away from their parents saves them, then they should be dying at a LOWER frequency than children in general population.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 01:51:07 PM by Phoenix »

Offline consortium11

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #87 on: July 28, 2009, 01:46:39 PM »

Your statistics are interesting, though I would like to know why the NCCAN statistics vary so wildly from the ACF statistics Caeli quoted.  Do they give any indication as to why that is in your original source?

Also, I must ask how the percentages involving the child's well-being after leaving foster care in particular are being calculated.  That is, granting that a larger percentage of foster children are receiving public assistance, for example, is any allowance being made for the child's experiences previous to foster care?

By definition, any child removed to foster care is having a bad to nightmarish time of things with their natural parent(s).  Early childhood experiences have tremendous impact on the child, and must be taken into account in any study of their future welfare.

Put bluntly, can you prove all the events that negatively shape these children's lives happen while they're in foster care as compared to before they were moved there?

The reason there's such a divergance is that on the whole the two sets of stats are about completely different things. Caeli's stats relate to mistreatment within social care... the majority of Phoenix's are about the other negative aspects of social care including those that occur after once the child has left care.

The only stat that corresponds is that children in foster care are 5.25 times more likely to die as a result of abuse than the general population. However, that doesn't refute a stat that 99/98% of foster homes have no abuse or maltreatment... instead merely saying that the risk is higher. People who have smoked weed may be more likely to develop serious mental issues than those who haven't... but that doesn't mean that 99% of people who have ever smoked weed won't develop serious mental issues (numbers picked out of thin air, but you get the point...)

Offline Caeli

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #88 on: July 28, 2009, 01:51:30 PM »
Quote
The statistics are all over the place. Foster care/ institutionalized care (where many removed children end up) is on-average more dangerous for children than leaving the child with their family and helping the family.

I am not disagreeing with this. However, you spoke of abuse and assault, not of which environment is better for the child. A lot of the information is interesting, but they aren't relevant to your original statement, that abuse and assault happen as a matter of course (or in most cases) in foster care. Those are two different topics.

I'm not denying that statistics are good to back up your statements, but throwing sources and citations are only helpful in a contextual sense, as back up; they can't talk for you. Thus:

Children are 11 times more likely to be abused in State care than they are in their own homes.

*National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN)

They are 11 times more likely to be abused in state care than in their own homes, but this is not a number out of all of the children who get put into foster care. To definitively say that most children who are put into state care are abused and assaulted, you need a number or a percentage that contradicts my source's statistics.



Moving back on topic:

Can we all agree the most important thing here is the child's wellfare?

...

The child desperately needs to lose weight. At best he is losing years off his life... and at worse is in immanent danger of dying because of his weight. The parent can't do it on her own... and it's got to the stage where it would be near impossible to do in the home. As for charging her... I think it's a mistake. But we'll only ever really know if someone looks back in 10 years time and see what's happened.

As stated previously by more than one member, this issue was mishandled on both sides. I think it's a dangerous precedent to set for charging the parent with a child's obesity; personally, I do not agree with that decision. But I do think it's more important for the child to (at least for the time being) get professional medical help in returning to a more manageable and healthy weight.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 01:52:34 PM by Caeli »

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #89 on: July 28, 2009, 02:04:15 PM »
http://books.google.com/books?id=RyMwvgB_cgIC&pg=PA164&lpg=PA164&dq=%22abused+in+foster+care%22&source=bl&ots=LrbwpgNDSH&sig=agljLFWVbzGKIBaJLj6QUM03fNc&hl=en&ei=9EpvSo7uNIGuNqWondUI&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8

Complete with studies, etc. indicating that abuse in foster care may be as much as four times as likely in foster care versus staying in their home.


25% are placed where they are "at the very least at a high risk of abuse or neglect."
12.44% are sexually abused.
88% of reports of foster abuse are not investigated.

* David Kaplovitz and Louis Genevie, Foster Children in Jackson County, Missouri: A Statistical Analysis of Files Maintained by the Division of Family Services, (1981)

The American Civil Liberties Union's Children's Rights Project similarly estimates that a child in the care of the state is ten times more likely to be abused than one in the care of his parents

* 18. Seth Farber, "The Real Abuse," National Review, (April 12, 1993).

MINIMIZING THE ABUSES

Child welfare departments are rarely forthcoming with information about the actual extent of harm that comes to children in their care. It is largely through audits and casereadings associated with legal actions that the actual extent of abuses in the foster care system come to light.

The reasons for this may not be as complex as they are often made to appear.

Child welfare officials who have managed to entrench themselves in lifetime civil service positions in the more desirable nooks and crannies of the child welfare system have a vested interest to protect, and those who run public bureaucracies have devised their own "rationalized myths" to protect their interests, argues sociologist John Hagedorn.

The myths of "doing good" benefit those who are advantaged by existing institutional arrangements. Even as politicians are constantly criticizing "bureaucracy" and "bureaucrats," they approve millions of dollars worth of public funds to keep the bureaucracies running. As Hagedorn succinctly explains:

    It's simply too risky for bureaucrats to admit that their agency may not be "doing good." The erosion of that myth may lead someone to investigate them or even propose cutting their budgets.[27]

But if there is one thing that is riskier for bureaucrats than admitting that their system may not be doing good, it is that it is doing far more harm than good.

Thus we find situations such as that in which the California Department's legal division discovered a "secret room" in the Los Angeles Department containing 15 filing cabinets holding approximately 3,000 case files on foster care facilities that had problems which were not reported to the state.

In one case, ten foster children slept on the floor of a garage, while ten more were crammed into an upstairs bedroom. Three had been abused, one with a fractured skull and two broken limbs. Yet the home was not closed until months after the conditions were discovered.[28]

Thus we find caseworkers in a Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services office running files relating to a botched investigation through a paper-shredder.[29]

Thus we find a New York City caseworker indicating as "unfounded" the repeated rapes of a young girl in institutional care, notwithstanding the testimony of credible witnesses.[30]

Thus we find an agency administrator in Oklahoma quietly dismissing two agency employees accused of the sexual abuse of foster children without so much as a blot on their records.[31]

Thus we find what was described as a "whitewash of wrongdoing" in an edited audit of a child welfare office in Utah, and death threats made against the rare brave legislator who dared to push for the public release of the unexpurgated document.[32]

Thus we find a report of system-wide abuses at the Columbus-Maryville "shelter" in Illinois suppressed by Cook County Public Guardian Patrick Murphy.[33]


27. John M. Hagedorn, Forsaking Our Children: Bureaucracy and Reform in the Child Welfare System, (Chicago: Lake View Press, 1995) pp. 98 - 99.

28. Little Hoover Commission. See note 26.

29. Sandra Mathers, "Horror Stories About HRS Fill Workshop," Orlando Sentinel, (January 20, 1996).

30. Michael T. Skrak, Office of New York State Senator Franz S. Leichter, New York State Abandons Victims of Institutional Child Abuse, September, 1993.

31. Robby Trammell and Nolan Clay, "DHS Practice Draws Fire," The Oklahoman, (September 27, 1992).

32. Lois M. Collins, "Agency Releases a Fuller Accounting," Deseret News, (May 24, 1996); Tom Hayes, "Foster-care Lawsuit Loses Panel Member," Deseret News, (June 4, 1997).

33. Renny Golden, Disposable Children: America's Child Welfare System, (Belmont, Ca.: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1997) p. 179.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 02:20:59 PM by Phoenix »

Offline Valerian

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #90 on: July 28, 2009, 02:04:52 PM »
I don't have the time right now to read the entire 67-page abstract you linked to, which is what needs to be done.  That's the real study, not the summary you quoted here.

However, on skimming, this is what has jumped out at me so far:

Quote
Despite the large number of children at high risk of poor life outcomes served by
child protective services, it is unclear whether removing children from home and placing
them in foster care is beneficial or harmful for child development, especially for children
at the margin of placement (Goerge, Wulczyn, and David Fanshel, 1994; Thomas P.
McDonald, Reva I. Allen, Alex Westerfelt, and Irving Piliavin, 1996; National Research
Council, 1998; Courtney, 2000; Richard J. Gelles, 2000; Melissa Jonson-Reid and
Richard P. Barth, 2000).

In other words, even these researchers, which the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform quote as clearly supporting their position, can't say for certain.

Again, your statistics are interesting, but they are not and cannot be conclusive.  Like anything else involving human beings, there's simply no way to adjust for the multitude of variables at work in analyzing the future of foster children and deciding which course would have been better.

All such decisions must be made on a case by case basis, and insisting that one way is always, or even usually, better than another is irresponsible.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #91 on: July 28, 2009, 02:38:36 PM »
As I already stated, I was a foster kid, myself.  I reported abuses that were done to me several times. No one even wrote it down. I wasn't even removed from the place abusing me.

I was also abused several times by other foster kids. I reported this at first, as well. It was also ignored. It didn't take me long to realize that nobody cared.

Because really, nobody cared.

I was sent to a psychiatric lockup to be evaluated. I was to be there for a week, and then moved to a foster family. My caseworker quit while I was there. The facility "released" me, but couldn't send me anywhere, because no one had my case. I lived there for 4 months. While there, they experimented on me with drugs, until I started refusing to take them. The evaluation when I got there was that I was just slightly neurotic (and the psych told me "which we all are"). Yet I was then given experimental mood stabilizing drugs. First a depressant, then an enhancer.

I finally got away from their abuse by running away, and begging the first cop I saw to save me from them. First they sent me back, where I was then brutalized by the staff. Then three weeks later, someone finally got me out of there.

(Experimenting on kids was okay, but THIS was lawsuit worthy: The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Nebraska together with the Department of Justice pursued a Medicaid fraud case against Rivendell Psychiatric Hospital ("Rivendell"), a 60- bed facility in Seward, Nebraska. Rivendell cared for severely emotionally troubled children and adolescents. Rivendell billed psychiatrists' minimal patient visits at maximum time increments during the late 1980s and early 1990s. On September 29, 1995, Rivendell's parent company, Vendell Healthcare, Inc., tendered a check for payment in full of $554,694. )

None of these abuses were ever reported. None of our complaints were ever reported. As foster kids, we all knew several things: 1. we're all abused, 2. nobody cares, 3. the bigger and stronger foster kids are in control because nobody will stop them.

My own experiences caused me to take a VERY serious interest in this issue. I've been researching it for most of my adult life. I applied to be a foster parent, because I wanted to be something different than the norm for foster kids. I was refused because I was single. Then later I was refused because I was married. (wtf?) Then the woman finally admitted that I was refused because I was a previous foster kid, and that most foster systems would do the same thing, for the same reason.

So, instead of my anecdotal experiences, I have provided statistics, studies, et al. However, from my own experience, I can tell you that every foster kid I knew in foster care (and that's a LOT) was abused by the system, and/or the foster parents, and/or the other foster kids.

Abuse is just a part of life for a foster kid. 80% of the prison population has been through the foster system.  Because of what happened before? Since statistics show that 3 times more abuse happens in the general population than is reported, if the abuse outside of the system were the cause, then once more, that 80% wouldn't exist. Because only .4% of the population goes through the foster system. Thus, more of the population should be regular Joes who were abused, than foster system grads.

The numbers don't support the idea that there is an equality between being abused by your family and being taken from your family and then abused, too.





This boy should be with his mother. He doesn't deserve to be in foster care. He didn't earn that sentence.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 03:02:45 PM by Phoenix »

Offline Valerian

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #92 on: July 28, 2009, 03:52:36 PM »
First, I'm sorry that you had the experiences that you did.

So, instead of my anecdotal experiences, I have provided statistics, studies, et al. However, from my own experience, I can tell you that every foster kid I knew in foster care (and that's a LOT) was abused by the system, and/or the foster parents, and/or the other foster kids.

How do you mean, abused by the system?

Abuse is just a part of life for a foster kid. 80% of the prison population has been through the foster system.  Because of what happened before? Since statistics show that 3 times more abuse happens in the general population than is reported, if the abuse outside of the system were the cause, then once more, that 80% wouldn't exist. Because only .4% of the population goes through the foster system. Thus, more of the population should be regular Joes who were abused, than foster system grads.

I'm not sure I'm reading this paragraph correctly (my eyes are starting to cross), so I'll refrain from commenting, except to say that the prison population also has disproportionately high percentages of other minority groups as well.

The numbers don't support the idea that there is an equality between being abused by your family and being taken from your family and then abused, too.

Please elaborate?  You're implying that the numbers disprove the idea that foster kids are removed from abusive homes.  Is that what you mean to say?




This boy should be with his mother. He doesn't deserve to be in foster care. He didn't earn that sentence.

This is probably the root of the entire argument right here.  You assume (perhaps understandably, based on your own experiences) that foster care is always a sentence, something to be survived at great cost.

But this case, like every other must be judged on its own, without reference to any other cases.  This child is in a drastic, precarious, terrible state of health.  His life was and still is at stake.  He has to have serious medical treatment.  If removing him from his mother (hopefully temporarily) is the only way to get him that treatment, then so be it.

Please note that I'm not trying to say that you're wrong in wanting more families kept together in general.  I'm only trying to say that I don't believe there's any way to be sure about what course is always (or even mostly) best when a child is at risk.  We can only do the best we can for each individual child.  Statistics and even anecdotal evidence shouldn't be ignored, but getting too wrapped up in either or both only obscures each individual case, in my opinion, which does those children a disservice.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #93 on: July 28, 2009, 05:11:18 PM »
I am assuming, properly, that being taken away from your family is something to be endured, that it is something painful. Because that's the reality of the situation.

That he's being taken and put into foster care is incidental to the fact that he's losing his family. THAT is the PUNISHMENT that he didn't do anything so terrible as to deserve.

The fact that it will almost certainly be compounded by the abuses rampant in the foster care system, in foster care homes, and in foster care institutions only makes it that much worse. He didn't do anything to deserve either one. He certainly doesn't deserve the combination of the two.

The mother wanted to try. She sought help. Thus this boy deserves, AND has the basic human RIGHT to be with her. Because she's his family. One of his most basic, primal human rights is being violated. To top it off, he's being put into a system in which he will almost certainly be abused on top of the forced loss of his family.

That is an injustice.

Quote
I'm not sure I'm reading this paragraph correctly (my eyes are starting to cross), so I'll refrain from commenting, except to say that the prison population also has disproportionately high percentages of other minority groups as well.

Yes, it does. But that's another can of worms about the foster care, child theft system. It could well be apropos to the discussion because (not surprisingly) this is a black child being stolen from his mother. A mother who had realized there was a problem and started trying to help her son.

I'm not going to open that can of worms, instead I'm going to point out the fact that if there are 60% more cases of child abuse not being reported, which is probably pretty reasonable... then that answers one question you had.

You wanted to know how we can know that it's the foster care system that contributes to these problems, and not the abuse prior to that.

Well, if the majority of abuse is never reported, and the majority of children never removed, and the family abuse is what causes the children to become criminals, get pregnant, etc... then the conclusion would be that the majority of people in prison would NOT be from foster care.


So, using just totally imaginary, arbitrary numbers...

100,000 children in foster care. (and this is erring on the side of something like 3x the actual number)
1,000,000 children not in foster care.
Statistics would indicate that 2/3 of that 1,000,000 children are being abused, but it's not reported or caught. (In equal severity to foster children pre-fostering. This means some very abused, some slightly abused)

2/3 of 1,000,000 is 660,000.

Let's say that HALF of the abused children who were NOT fostered end up in prison. Then there would be 330,000 non-fostered children in prison. That's 3.3 times the number of foster children over-all. So how could it be that 80% of people in prison are post-fostered, when the number of abused but not fostered children outnumber them by something like 5 to 1?

That, I believe, answers this question: "Please elaborate?  You're implying that the numbers disprove the idea that foster kids are removed from abusive homes.  Is that what you mean to say?"

The numbers prove that foster children fare worse than even the abused non-fostered kids. The majority of children who are abused, supposedly, are missed.

But foster kids get a double whammy. Not only are so very many of them abused, but they ALSO lose their family.

It is the fact that they lose their family AS WELL AS being abused that creates such life-destroying pain for them. If this were not the case, then the numbers would show that all those missed abused children in the general population would be in prison, too. They would be homeless, too.

But that's just not the case. So there IS something to having your family, even if they're abusive.




The fine line that is MORE important is when it is IMPERATIVE to take children from their families. The idea that when a child is obese and the mother is trying to get help makes it IMPERATIVE to deprive that boy of his family, and in just THAT ONE stroke, deprive him of a hopeful future... is simply not conscionable.

To understand why I am so adamantly against removing this boy, one must understand the agony inherent in losing one's family. Abuse is horrible. But losing one's family is also horrible.

When the family can be helped to become a positive environment for the child, taking the child away is cruelty of the highest order, TOWARDS THE CHILD.

Offline SleepyWei

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #94 on: July 28, 2009, 05:27:53 PM »
I am assuming, properly, that being taken away from your family is something to be endured, that it is something painful. Because that's the reality of the situation.

That he's being taken and put into foster care is incidental to the fact that he's losing his family. THAT is the PUNISHMENT that he didn't do anything so terrible as to deserve.

The fact that it will almost certainly be compounded by the abuses rampant in the foster care system, in foster care homes, and in foster care institutions only makes it that much worse. He didn't do anything to deserve either one. He certainly doesn't deserve the combination of the two.

The mother wanted to try. She sought help. Thus this boy deserves, AND has the basic human RIGHT to be with her. Because she's his family. One of his most basic, primal human rights is being violated. To top it off, he's being put into a system in which he will almost certainly be abused on top of the forced loss of his family.

That is an injustice.


The state is taking him away from his mother because of him being incredibly overweight and because the mother is suspected to being responsible due to neglect. That much should be agreed on by everyone.

Your argument here states that doing this is injustice, that he is receiving punishment.

The state is only taking him away because they are looking out for his best interest and right now, his best interest is to stay alive and healthy. It doesn't matter if he himself views this as punishment, if at all. The fact of the matter is that he is so overweight that it is a health issue. No kid at 14 years old and at the same height should weigh even half as much as what he weighs right there. If he doesn't get help, then he's either going to have major health problems later on or die from some sort of heart problem.

You can argue about the foster system being horribly flawed but him continuing his eating habits is nothing short of a death sentence to himself. A poster had already said that the mother is now going to take educational courses to learn how to better care for her child, which I think is incredibly overdue. Once this is done, he will hopefully be returned to her but for the mean time, having him in foster care is a better alternative, no matter how you look at it.

Offline RhapsodyTopic starter

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #95 on: July 28, 2009, 05:37:51 PM »
You can argue about the foster system being horribly flawed but him continuing his eating habits is nothing short of a death sentence to himself. A poster had already said that the mother is now going to take educational courses to learn how to better care for her child, which I think is incredibly overdue. Once this is done, he will hopefully be returned to her but for the mean time, having him in foster care is a better alternative, no matter how you look at it.

My two nieces and two nephews were in foster care for just over eight months.  It nearly destroyed the family, emotionally, financially and physically.  My youngest nephew had nightmares and abandonment issues for nearly a full year after the children were returned, to say nothing of the tantrums and rages being torn away from his family sparked off in my eldest nephew.

All because a worker thought they'd be "better off" with a foster care family than my brother and his girlfriend.

There are kids who need to be removed from their parents for very good reasons.  There are also workers and supervisors who will look for any excuse, good, bad or so-so, to yank kids from their homes because it fills their quotas. 

This kid, imo, needs to spend some time at a clinic or an inpatient weight-loss center, with his mother having full visitation rights so she can be just as educated as he is about appropriate exercise habits and responsible eating.  She doesn't need to be in jail, and he doesn't need to be with a foster family.  They need to be together to get through this period of their lives, and hopefully come out the other end stronger and wiser.

Just think of what'll happen if she is convicted on felony neglect charges for her son's weight.  There'll be a huge boom of kids being hauled into foster care because they've gotten pregnant under their parents' noses, or they smoke, or they have eating disorders, or any number of other reasons.  It's a dangerous precedent to set.  Even if you believe this woman should be lynched and left to rot, it's going to open the doors for a whole new world of the state having far more control over your children than you do.

As if they already didn't have enough.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 05:41:01 PM by Rhapsody »

Offline SleepyWei

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #96 on: July 28, 2009, 05:41:56 PM »
Hmm... Okay that I didn't say it was the best alternative... guess my mind just wrapped itself only around those two choices. Sorry about that >_<

As for your two nieces and two nephews, how old were they? Perhaps they were too young to better weather it compared to a teenager?

Also, I did not say I wanted her to be lynched. I said that I am all for her getting a better education to prevent something like this from ever happening again.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 05:43:12 PM by SleepyWei »

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #97 on: July 28, 2009, 05:45:02 PM »
He's not better off away from his mother.

The woman was trying to help him when she got arrested.

Mental health is health, too, and just as important. The psychological damage of taking a child away from their family is severe.

The mother should face consequences, even punishment for letting him get that far. He, on the other hand, should not be punished to the severity he is being punished by losing his family.

The fact that he could be abused, and likely WILL be abused in foster care is VERY central to the decision to remove him from his mother with claims of it being "good" for him.

It's never GOOD for a child to lose their family.

Again, what if someone came along and took your family away? No big deal? Oh well, as long as you get some nutritional classes? That'll make up for the loss of your family for sure, won't it?

Of course it won't. And it won't for him, either.

Nor will it make him likely to lose weight, because if he's that weight, he's got an emotional eating problem. He's only going to have MORE hurt and pain now, not less.


Hmm... Okay that I didn't say it was the best alternative... guess my mind just wrapped itself only around those two choices. Sorry about that >_<

As for your two nieces and two nephews, how old were they? Perhaps they were too young to better weather it compared to a teenager?



No kids can "weather" the loss of family. It's way too huge, and way too devastating. There's no magic age when it quits being agonizing and life-destroying to be taken from your family and set adrift in a sea of strangers.

Offline RhapsodyTopic starter

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #98 on: July 28, 2009, 05:45:30 PM »
How do you measure the ability to weather anything so traumatic as being hauled away from your family?  Is it easier at 4, when you can't understand why you can't be with Mommy and Daddy anymore, or is it easier at 14 when you have pubescence setting in and sending off all kinds of hormones screaming through your system?

Yes, my brother's kids were young.  But so's this kid.  14's not as old as a lot of people want to believe it is.

Offline SleepyWei

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #99 on: July 28, 2009, 05:56:29 PM »
How do you measure the ability to weather anything so traumatic as being hauled away from your family?  Is it easier at 4, when you can't understand why you can't be with Mommy and Daddy anymore, or is it easier at 14 when you have pubescence setting in and sending off all kinds of hormones screaming through your system?

Yes, my brother's kids were young.  But so's this kid.  14's not as old as a lot of people want to believe it is.

I assumed when a kid reaches 14, when puberty hits and his need for independence kicks in, that he'd be more open to the idea of foster parents. Perhaps I am wrong.

He's not better off away from his mother.

The woman was trying to help him when she got arrested.

Mental health is health, too, and just as important. The psychological damage of taking a child away from their family is severe.

The mother should face consequences, even punishment for letting him get that far. He, on the other hand, should not be punished to the severity he is being punished by losing his family.

The fact that he could be abused, and likely WILL be abused in foster care is VERY central to the decision to remove him from his mother with claims of it being "good" for him.

It's never GOOD for a child to lose their family.

Again, what if someone came along and took your family away? No big deal? Oh well, as long as you get some nutritional classes? That'll make up for the loss of your family for sure, won't it?

Of course it won't. And it won't for him, either.

Nor will it make him likely to lose weight, because if he's that weight, he's got an emotional eating problem. He's only going to have MORE hurt and pain now, not less.


No kids can "weather" the loss of family. It's way too huge, and way too devastating. There's no magic age when it quits being agonizing and life-destroying to be taken from your family and set adrift in a sea of strangers.

My family was taken away from me. I'm not going to go to length about it because I don't feel like it. Just because I was young then doesn't mean I don't remember what it felt like to lose them but I managed to weather through the worst of it. As unbelievable as that may be, I did indeed get over it though I still visit their graves quite a bit.

As for being taken in by strangers: yes it was frightening, yes I was more than a little intimidated by these guys whom I never met (and my foster father has one hell of a face that scares the crap out of you when he's serious), but I myself was never 'abused' as you have said.

Maybe that's what sets our viewpoints apart.