We Are Survivors 

This blog is dedicated to the tens of millions of adult survivors of child abuse and neglect who get up every day and try to work and function in a world that seems to not care about us.

Billions Paid to States Because of Child Abuse

The safety of children is addressed in the states primarily by removing children from the home and placing them in foster care or adoptive families. Until the U.S. Congress looks at the root causes of this problem, we will continue to pay billions of dollars to support these Band-Aid approaches. I am not against foster care or adoption, although there are a lot of problems even with those measures. I am more interested in stopping child abuse and neglect in the first place.

Here is one example. The 2002 budget to fund the “Promoting Safe and Stable Families” program was $505 million.[1] That is one-half of a billion dollars. This was a $200 million increase over the previous level. And, these were only the children who were identified by law enforcement and child protective services. There are actually billions of dollars paid to address child abuse, everything from law enforcement, court cases, mental health bills, ambulance charges, hospital care, therapy costs, etc. What does that tell you?

Likewise, in the 2002 budget, the President requested $64 billion to invest in strengthening fatherhood and marriage One of the focuses of grants under this initiative would include promoting successful parenting skills to help fathers learn to better relate to their children and be positive role models.

Several programs were consolidated to form a new program called the Community-Based Family Resource and Support (CBFRS) grants. Participation was voluntary. They acknowledged that managing stress, a part of the problem, was a critical step toward reducing child maltreatment or behaviors that could lead to maltreatment. How many child abusers do you think volunteered for the program?

It was stated that much of their efforts in this area indicated factors such as how the severity and duration of maltreatment affects child outcomes.

That is nothing new. How long do we have to study the problem before we actually so something to stop parents from abusing their children?

 


[1] Statement by Dr. Wade Horn, Assistant  Secretary for Children and Families, DHHS, Before the House Committee on Education and the Work Force, U.S. House of Representatives, August 2, 2001

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