What does CPS really mean for the children?
For some CPS or Child Protective Services is a good thing. For some like me who have been through the system and felt the pain that it brings I will stand and say, CPS is not the best way to handle families and children. Here is the backstory to my life with CPS.
Back in 2003 my family and I were at our best. I would go play cards, my brother would go skateboard at the skate park, My little sister was in cheer-leading, and the youngest was in love with school and church. All of us were happy. One night as dinner was in the oven the cops came with guns drawn and kicked in our front door. My youngest brother was sick with the flu at the time. During the raid they had put me, a 14 year old boy in handcuffs because I was trying to get my brother a bag to vomit in. After everything was finished with the raid they took my mom and her boyfriend away in handcuffs. I called my Grandmother who had legal guardianship of all of us in case something like this was to happen. My grandmother drove down to the house and the cops said she couldn't have us because of a 40+ year old DUI.
After all of the adults were out of the house and only myself and my siblings were in the house 2 CPS workers walked into the house. I told them to get out as I was trying to get my youngest brother cleaned up, they pushed me out of the way and started taking pictures of my little brother whom was covered in vomit. They didn't let me get him a towel or clean him up. They then went through my destroyed house and took more pictures. They went in my little sisters room, Her being very into decorating her room with her love for my mom, had a mirror that she wrote with glitter glue "I <3 My Mom". The CPS workers took a picture of that mirror before breaking all of the glue off of the mirror. My sister was crying and begging them to stop as they continued to destroy her artwork.
They then went into my brothers room. My mom had decorated our rooms with posters of all of our favorite movies and shows. the ceiling was covered in posters that the cops had come in and ripped down. my brother was sitting on his bed playing PlayStation and they walked in and turned off his game and then unplugged it and took the power cord. My brother then flipped and started yelling and cursing at these people who didn't say a word to us. The CPS workers just laughed at us. I called my grandmother to find out where she was and she said there was nothing she could do. at that point i realized they were going to take us away. They then loaded us up in the cars and took us to the police station, didn't stop and gt us anything to eat and it was already around 10 at night. I asked them if they were going to put us together or separate us. They said m brother and I were going together and my youngest brother and sister were going together.
After sitting in the cold police station for an hour or so they took us outside and put my 3 siblings in the same car and me in another. I started asking what was going on. They started yelling at me to get in the car. I thought so many times over the drive to the foster home to open the door and just jump out of the car. We arrived at the foster home at 2:30 in the morning. I had still not eaten, I was tired and I was getting yelled at because I was white. The foster parent started saying to the CPS worker that she didn't want a "Cracker" in her house and carried on how I was not welcome. The worker then forced me to sign a document that I had no idea what it was or what it said. The worker then left me with this person. She told me not to touch anything in her house because my "White" hands would taint her things. She then put me in a room with her son. He had left his music on and the television so I thought to ask her to turn it off and she said to get used to it.
I woke the next morning at 5:30 to "What the $*#&! why is this drug loving cracker in my room!" and hearing the parent yell "don't worry his white ass wont be here long". I got up at 6:30 and the mother had me clean her son's private bathroom with a toothbrush. This went on for 3 weeks, until one Sunday I had put up with enough. I hadn't heard my name for 3 weeks. I hadn't talked with my family or anyone who cared about me for 3 weeks, basically i was a slave for 3 weeks with these people. I snapped when they ordered pizza and threw a still frozen microwave pizza at me and told me this is all i deserve. When the son said " eat it you white piece of trash" i grabbed the nearest fork and stabbed him with it. I then grabbed him and threw him threw a sliding glass door. the parents had jumped up to help him and i said if they come near me i would do the same to them. I went to bed with a box of knives that night.
I woke up the next day and i got to go to my high school. I spoke with my counselor and she informed me because i missed 3 weeks of school I had earned zero credits for the semester. this didn't shock me. After school i was moved with a new family. I had known the family for years and was in fact in love with the daughter for a long time. I was at that house for 8 months and wanted to stay but couldn't. i had to leave the house and instead of putting me in another house they put me in the mental hospital. After all of this and 3 weeks in the hospital I was returned to my mom.
All of the kids were returned to my mom but something was off with the youngest. CPS had put him on ADHD medication that was not approved. He wasn't the same. It was almost like he was another person yet he wasn't on the medication anymore. A few months later the kids were taken away again while my mom was at work. The reason, My mom's ex boyfriend decided he wanted to harm the kids more by calling CPS and saying my mom abandoned them. The two middle children were given to the father, who is a felon and sex offender. the drug test he took before he got the kids popped dirty. CPS still handed the kids over.
The youngest is still in foster care and doesn't remember who I am. He has been so drugged up that he cant do anything without being supervised. it has been 7 years of fighting to get him back and my mom has done everything. The social worker refuses to talk to my mom and just writes these phony reports on her. After looking up and reading everything this CPS worker has done to my brother it is no wonder she doesn't talk to my mom. She illegally transported my brother to another state to live with a family. She has lied to him and said my mom didn't care about him. She has even told him the words every child wants to hear "you will be with your mom soon". No it wont happen. This ongoing battle for a child who just wants to come home.
Facts and Statistics
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 nation’s 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
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. 80 percent of prison inmates have been through the foster care system. Children are 11 times more likely to be abused in State care than they are in their own homes.
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)
To this day if i hear CPS said I sit down and talk to anyone I can about it. I lost a piece of myself in CPS custody and I will never get it back. Please if you get anything from this story and information please pass it on. People need to know and not enough people that have gone through foster care stand up and say something.
I write this in honor of my family who knows more about what CPS is really about than most people, all foster children, and all anti-CPS advocates.
Sources- http://fostersurvivor.netfirms.com/statistics.shtml and my own life experience.