Foster kids / military family applied research project:
2 components – new research article and proposed model legislative language
Child welfare services across the United States remove children from their homes after state authorities conclude that one or more children is in immediate danger of harm. “Harm” is generally defined as abuse or neglect. A recent report from the National Conference of State Legislatures reports that “just over 415,000 children and youth in the U.S. currently reside in foster care.”
Child welfare workers are not generally required to place children from military families with military foster families.
While, generally speaking, child welfare agencies prefer to place children with suitable family members nearby, that’s seldom possible when children are removed from military families stationed far from home.
Researcher has completed a substantive new research product that examines challenges and successes of foster kids who enter military service, as well as the threats to keeping military families together, especially during and after deployments.
Pursuant to discussions with legislative experts who’ve repeatedly demonstrated success in getting the states to adopt proposed model legislation, researcher will draft for their consideration proposed state and federal legislative language intended to keep military children clothed, fed, sheltered, and safe while increasing the likelihood that state child welfare authorities and the courts will reunite military children with their past and present service member parents.
Researcher’s role as a participant in America’s “foster-child system”
The author’s responsibilities in criminal and civil matters while serving as an assistant district attorney for the State of Oklahoma were, among others:
(a) reviewing child welfare reports to determine which warranted applications for judicial child removal orders and possible criminal prosecution;
(b) representing the State’s interests in civil “deprived child” actions arising from these cases, as well as in civil cases alleging actions by minors that, if done by an adult, would be criminal offenses and subject to prosecution;
(c) learning whether a crime committed against or by a child occurred on land and under circumstances that authorized the State of Oklahoma to act (the judicial district I served is a patchwork of jurisdictions that include a number of Indian tribes and in which the land that the State couldn’t touch might be no bigger than the lot where the crimes occurred);
(d) primary assistant D.A. on call to respond to ER, courthouse, or other locations in order to seek, if necessary, order from the judge authorizing the emergency commitment of persons deemed danger to self or others, an order which, in the absence of suitable family, resulted in kids going into foster care;
(e) took turns with other assistant D.A.’s on call to respond to scenes of suicide and other deaths when requested by law enforcement;
(f) on occasion, participating in case conferencing with other relevant actors re children placed in the custody of child services and perhaps housed in foster homes; and
(g) serving as the District Attorney’s representative at some of the informal foster parent gatherings held in that judicial district.
Regardless of which side I’ve represented over the years, America’s foster system has always insisted on showing up, either openly or by lurking in the shadows in cases involving:
(a) criminal defendants, appellants, and petitioners who had been removed from their homes as children due to abuse, neglect or a parent’s inability to keep them housed, fed, and in school;
(b) clients whose children had been removed for any or all of the same reasons and who had not been reunited with their kids;
(c) persons arrested, charged and sometimes previously convicted for committing crimes against children, including sex crimes, assault, criminal neglect, and homicide; and
(d) persons who insisted on pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit or which the State couldn’t have proven at trial, under threat that child services would be sent into the home to remove their children if they did not plead guilty.
Foster kids / military family applied research project: status update
1st component: Charles Bloeser. “Many of America’s Foster Children Come to Military Service with Stowaways to Declare.” Article manuscript completed October 2018 but will be reviewed for possible update before publication/release
Here’s an excerpt from article manuscript as posted on social media: harsh weather and theft are constant threats to moms and dads trying to get their kids back but who have no home to bring them to.
Worthless meds and destroyed documents make reuniting homeless veterans andtheir children in foster care even harder.