Clinton’s Law: Cash Bonuses to CPS for Taking Children
Hillary Clinton has campaigned on the platform of having worked for decades to protect America’s children. During the presidential debates, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly brought up her work focused on children. I decided to investigate exactly what Mrs. Clinton defines as helping to “protect America’s children” and what laws the Clinton’s were involved in to enforce the protection she claims to have worked for.
Here is what the Clinton’s consider helping America’s children:
Under Bill Clinton’s Administration he signed a law, which gave cash incentives to CPS for every child taken from their parents and placed up for adoption. Clinton’s law gives CPS $4,000 per child with an additional $2,000 added for special needs children that are taken from their parents and put up for adoption.
On November 19, 1997, President Bill Clinton signed the law – The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA, Public Law 105-89) after having been approved by the United States Congress in early November of 1997.
Adoptions and Safe Families Act of 1997 (H.R. 867)
Public Law 105-89
The Adoptions and Safe Families Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-89) was signed into law by President Clinton on November 19, 1997. The new law, which amends the 1980 Child Welfare Act (P.L. 96-272), clarifies that the health and safety of children served by child welfare agencies must be their paramount concern and aims to move children in foster care more quickly into permanent homes.
Among the new law’s provisions:
- shortens the time-frame for a child’s first permanency hearing;
- offers states financial incentives for increasing the number of adoptions;
- sets new requirements for states to petition for termination of parental rights;
- reauthorizes the Family Preservation and Support Program.
Adoptions and Safe Families Act of 1997 (H.R. 867)
Of particular interest is the financial incentives given to CPS for taking children from their parents and putting them up for adoption. This was the amount paid in 1997 for each child put up for adoption, according to the document below.
TITLE II: INCENTIVES FOR PROVIDING PERMANENT FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN
Adoption Incentive Payments. The Secretary of HHS is required to make adoption incentive payments to states in which adoptions of foster children in FY 1998 exceed the average number during FY 1995-FY 1997 or, in FY 1999 and subsequent years, in which adoptions of foster children are higher than in any previous fiscal year after FY 1996.
Adoption incentive payments are $4,000 for each adoption of a foster child above the base number, plus an additional $2,000 for a total of $6,000 per special needs adoption. For these incentive payments, $20 million is authorized for each of FYs 1999-2003
Health Care Coverage. To be eligible to receive adoption incentive payments for FY 2001 or FY 2002, states are required to provide health insurance coverage to any special needs child for whom there is an adoption assistance agreement between the state and the child’s adoptive parents.
Performance Measures for State Child Welfare Programs. The Secretary of HHS, in conjunction with Governors, state legislatures, state and local public officials responsible for administering child welfare programs, and child advocates, must develop outcome measures to assess state child welfare programs and rate state performance according to these measures. HHS must submit an annual report to Congress on state performance, with recommendations for improvements. The first report is due on May 1, 1999.
Outcome measures are to be developed, to the maximum extent possible, from data available from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) and are to include:
- length of stay in foster care;
- number of foster care placements; and
- number of adoptions.
In addition, the Secretary of HHS, in consultation with state and local public child welfare officials and child welfare advocates, is required to develop and recommend to Congress a performance-based incentive funding system for payments under Titles IV-B and IV-E, based (to the extent feasible) on the annual reports required by this provision. No later than six months after enactment, the Secretary must report to Congress on the feasibility of conducting a study, and no later than 15 months after enactment, submit a final report on a performance-based incentive system.
According to this inflation calculator, $4,000 per child in 1997 is the equivalent of $5,965.32 per child in 2016. If the child has special needs the amount increases to $6,000.00 per child which is the equivalent of $8,947.98 today. That’s quite an incentive President Clinton created for CPS at the expense of the taxpayer. In fact, given the horror stories we have heard about concerning CPS and parents fighting in court to get their children back, it doesn’t look like the incentive is geared toward reuniting parents with their children but rather toward separating them permanently.
The people in the following cases have good reason to suspect that something is very wrong with President Bill Clinton’s law. Fox News describes the actions of the CPS as “overzealous.” That is what incentives do and not only do they make workers overzealous. They could very well be a temptation to work for the incentive rather than the best interest of the child.
An obese girl is yanked from her parents in Arizona. A New York couple loses custody of their son because they refuse to drug him with Ritalin. A Colorado boy is stripped and examined by school officials because he said he’d been spanked one morning. A Christian mother loses her daughter for teaching forgiveness.
Prudent precaution on the part of America’s child protective services agencies or proof positive of a system run amok?
Cases like these are fueling what is becoming a growing backlash against state child protective services. It’s a movement swelling as more and more examples surface of parents being snared in a system that critics say uses murky definitions of child abuse to dictate private family values, child-rearing methods, lifestyle choices, and even religious practices.
Overzealousness in efforts to protect children may seem an odd charge. But an expanding group of critics — from family-rights activists to doctors to social workers — claim a system designed to help children is spiraling out of control. A system once criticized for not doing enough may now be doing too much, they say.
Activists lay part of the blame for what critics call a “frantic kidnapping frenzy” on the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, legislation that rewards states with cash “bonuses” of $4,000-$6,000 per kid and other windfalls for each child permanently adopted out of foster care.
The law was intended to prevent children from languishing in foster care. In addition to the bonuses, the ASFA also removed protections for parental rights and made getting families back together a priority. Under the new law, though, states have much more leeway in deciding whether their social workers made a “reasonable effort” to reunite a family.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers the ASFA a sparkling success.
The HHS’ Lynn Henison says the bonuses were meant to apply only to adoption-eligible children already in the system. The money, she says, prods states into cutting through red tape and moving kids into permanent homes.
But, how those kids wind up in the system in the first place is left to the individual states. It is this fact — and the money motive — that has critics outraged.
“The people getting the money for the children should not be the same people deciding to take the children,” said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, a Sacramento, Calif., organization that provides legal support to cases involving parental rights, religious rights and civil liberties.
Nev Moore, founder of the Massachusetts-based Justice for Families, said states need a steady supply of adoption-eligible kids to keep the federal dollars flowing. In some states, social workers are even paid individual cash bonuses for each child they take into custody.
“Each child has a dollar value,” she said.
In the same article, Fox News reports:
In 1999, according to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting System, 49,000 children were placed in foster care based on “unsubstantiated” reports of abuse and neglect. Of the 900,000 substantiated cases of child abuse filed each year, almost 40 percent fall under a vague “other” category separate from physical or sexual abuse or serious neglect. The remaining 60 percent are mostly for neglect.
It is those “unsubstantiated” and “other” cases — almost 400,000 of them — that gall the likes of Nev Moore. “Child abuse needs to be defined as a deliberate act with the intent to harm,” she argues.
Activists say home schooling, devout religious practices, persistent diaper rash, scratches from a new pet puppy, milk intolerance; cystic fibrosis, a broken home heating system, and messy housekeeping have all been documented not just as abuse or neglect, but, as the reason for taking a child into state custody.
Spanking, for example, is frequently the basis for abuse complaints filed by caseworkers, teachers and doctors, even though spanking is not defined as abuse and some states have gone so far as to specifically legislate the right of parents to spank their children.
“These social workers often have different philosophies than the parents of what’s in the best interest of the child,” said Dacus. “Lifestyle issues come into play. So you have a large portion of children being taken from parents by strangers, put in a stranger’s home perhaps with totally different values and social and ethical and sexual lifestyles than their parents,” he said.
“We get a lot of everyday childhood injuries. We had a case where a father grabbed his 16-year-old daughter’s arm to keep her from getting on a motorcycle,” Moore said. “We’ve seen reports where the abuse is ‘arguing in front of children.'”
“It can come down to the inappropriate, individualized judgement of a caseworker,” said Cornell University’s James Garbarino, who trains social workers and just published a new book, Parents under Siege. “It is sometimes dangerous that they have this authority.”
System Intended To Protect Children Under Fire For Overzealousness
How many more children will be taken from their parents and put up for adoption because of President Bill Clinton’s law which offers cash incentives to CPS for doing so? I find Fox News to have left out the most important part of this story. It is not CPS who is giving incentives but rather the person who signed a bad law who has given the incentives for taking America’s children. That man is Bill Clinton.
The next time you hear Mrs. Clinton’s boasting about her work for protecting our “next generation” think about her husband’s law and please remember that she was not an ordinary first lady. She was actively involved in President Clinton’s decision making and as children are her main focus (she said so) we can only surmise that Mrs. Clinton had a hand in persuading President Clinton to sign this dangerous law which enables the government racketeering of America’s children.
Why hasn’t Bill Clinton taken responsibility for this bad law and renounced it?
Why hasn’t Hillary Clinton who is the self-acclaimed “Champion of Children’s Rights” renounced her husband’s law, which is being used to legally kidnap America’s children and destroy the lives of their families?
Former CPS Invesigator Exposes the Truth