maanantai 2. toukokuuta 2016

Private institutions profits in kids for cash

It’s been three years and I’m seeing the kids less and less frequently. It’s like the kids for cash, for-profit system in the US.

Claude*, USA

My Finnish companion (mother of all my children) and I had lived abroad 20 years when she decided to bring our four kids here for what I believed to be a visit. She later decided to stay and not allow me to have contact with them. This triggered an abduction case under the Hague Convention. It took almost 2 years for the case to go before the Finnish Supreme Court. It was ruled that I could take the kids back to the US immediately.

Since they had been in Finland for almost two years, I was urged to allow them to stay as they seemed habituated to Finland and the possibility of appeal by their mother would mean another lengthy court battle. So we made a contract that I could visit them and they could visit me in US.

I stayed in the US and visited regularly, but in April 2013 the two smaller children were taken into foster care: one was placed with a family and another in an institution. They were separated from each other and parents by about 50 kilometers. Child protection workers decided it was in their best interests to be placed into care because the elder of the two had been skipping school. There were no issues with the youngest. I was urged by the social workers to move to Finland: "your presence would greatly help their recovery from the traumas..."

It’s been three years and I’m seeing the kids less and less frequently. I would have probably seen them more, had I stayed in US and visited! I think they’ll keep them until they can’t legally keep them any longer. Now seeing them no more than twice a month, separately.

The older of the two who was a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) student in US, now refuses to attend classes. They have been bullied and in fact I found out that a much older kid beat my youngest in the school bus. There have been many incidences of neglect and injury. The older child was violently restrained by some young so-called social workers and she was bruised. A similar incident occurred with the other when he was 9. In the case of the foster family the parents divorced and we never found out until months afterwards. The kids were never in any danger from their mother or me.

It would seem that there are two standards, one under which the foster families and the private for profit entities who contract with the government can not possibly be guilty of any wrong, and the other whereby the slightest real or imaginary fault by the real parents justifies the indefinite incarceration of the child. Sadly, it seems like the old story of crony capitalism and corruption. A private sector that profits from this with the complicity of those who are supposed to have, for only consideration, the best interest of the child. It’s like the kids for cash, for-profit system in the US.

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