Since the inception of child welfare programs in America, people have raised alarms about their shortcomings. Missed signs that lead to tragic outcomes become headline news stories and rallying cries for reform. But in Texas concerns about Child Protection Services (CPS) have taken on a more urgent tone.
The deficiencies of the Texas CPS system are staggering. The Dallas News reported in May of last year that tens of thousands of endangered children were not being visited by investigators as often as regulations required. Thousands of children had not been seen by CPS at all. In Harris County, children remained unseen 13 percent of cases labeled “Priority One,” the ones most in need of urgent investigation. Read more
In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, something did not look quite right. A neighbor was concerned that children were being harmed. She picked up the phone and made a call.
This phone call, to the statewide child abuse hotline, resulted in a response by law enforcement and child welfare professionals, who made an alarming discovery: 12 Amish girls, ranging in age from 6 months to 18 years, were found in the rundown home of a male acquaintance of their parents. Shockingly, the parents had “gifted” their then-14-year-old daughter to this man, who subsequently impregnated her not once but twice. Criminal charges were brought against all three adults, and the children were removed from the home and returned to their Amish community to live and begin the healing process. Read more