Saturday, May 12, 2007

That Pesky Law of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

Sometimes folks in positions of authority just don't think things through before making up new rules. It would be quite funny, except this time the ridiculous rules hurt the very children they were supposedly written to help.

From the Star Telegram:

By Melissa Vargas

Phil Hawkins' job description recently expanded.

Hawkins, a Fort Worth program director for Child Protective Services, has asked his employees to work overtime to baby-sit kids in state custody who haven't been placed in foster homes by bedtime.

On May 1, it was his turn.

Hawkins and other volunteers watched over four teenage boys in a converted meeting room, their blow-up mattresses covering the floor around a conference table. Two teen girls were camped out on the other side of the building. In the morning, they were shuffled off to a homeless shelter while the search for foster homes continued.
I won't get into the discussion about a states rights to remove children from their parents, but to take them from the family and then "shuffle them off to a homeless shelter" seems like a piss poor arrangement to me.

Currently the state has more children in foster care than it has foster parents willing and able to care for those kids. CPS (Child Protective Services) has instituted a couple of new rules that went into affect on January 1st of this year. These rules were put into place to "protect the children" (where have I heard that one before?).

Let us see how these new rules have affected foster care in Texas:

Rules and risks

The Texas Foster Family Association is saying "we told you so" about the crisis, said Roy Block, the association's president.

The problem swelled after CPS implemented new minimum standards Jan. 1 intended to protect children.

Foster families are no longer allowed to keep firearms in their homes or to smoke in their homes or cars when the children are present. They will also have to erect secure fences and gates surrounding a swimming pool, among other changes.

While the rules are well-intended, they disqualified some foster parents and discouraged others from wanting to take more kids, Block said.
Yes, you did read that correctly. If you own a firearm, or smoke, you are not up to the Texas CPS standards for being a foster care family. Some of these kids come out of true hell holes, and the fact that smoking cigarettes (a perfectly legal habit the last time I checked) would disqualify an otherwise capable potential foster parent is atrocious. This atrocity is multiplied when a responsible firearm owner, based solely on the fact that he or she own a firearm, is also ineligible to care for a foster child. These new rules severely limit the pool of potential foster parents and are a disservice to the children of Texas.


Fits said...

Seems as if they only want a certain type of parent to raise these kids, doesn't it.

John R said...

According to CPS, neither you or I are "fit" to be foster parents.

The only people hurt by rules such as these are the kids.