Child Protective Services is Making Monsters out of our Children


The Mental Health of Children in Out-of-Home Care: Scale and Complexity of Mental Health Problems
Authors and Disclosures

Abstract and Introduction
Scale and Complexity of Mental Health Problems
Risk, Prevention and the Therapeutic Potential of Alternate Care
Assessment
Intervention
Conclusion
References
Information from Industry
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Review data Scale and Complexity of Mental Health Problems
Children residing in court-ordered care are collectively referred to as ‘looked after’ children in Britain and Ireland, and as children in ‘out-of-home care’ in North America and Australasia, although neither term satisfactorily describes the status of children in long-term alternate care. Although there is considerable variation in care systems, most Western jurisdictions shifted emphasis from nonfamily residential care to foster care through the late twentieth century, and more recently to kinship care. The latter trend is partly driven in Australia, New Zealand and Canada by concern for the identity and wellbeing of large and disproportionate numbers of indigenous children in care (see for example[1]).

More is known about the scale and severity of mental health problems manifested by children in care than of their nature, characteristics or underlying mechanisms. This is largely because most available estimates were obtained as outcome measures in studies addressing nonclinical research questions. Over 20 such studies in North America, Europe and Australia have measured psychopathology using standard caregiver-report rating scales, primarily the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL)[2] and the Rutter Scales. These studies consistently found that children in care more closely resemble clinic-referred than normative samples, in terms of the scale of their mental health problems.[3-8] The distributions of CBCL ‘social problems’, ‘thought problems’, ‘attention problems’, ‘rule-breaking/delinquent behaviour’, and ‘aggressive behaviour’ scores approach those of clinic-referred groups.[2,6] Foster children are between three and four times more likely than children at large to have clinically significant CBCL total problem and externalizing scores, while the prevalence of internalizing problems is about 1.5-2 times higher. Around half of children in foster care score in the clinical range on one or more broadband or syndrome scales, while around three-quarters of children score above one or more borderline range cut-points.

Older age is associated with poorer mental health among children in care, as indicated by differences in age-standardized CBCL scores.[3,4,9] This apparent age effect, however, is confounded by age at entry into care. Older children are also more likely to have entered care at an older age and with poorer precare mental health.[10•] There are inconsistent data regarding gender differences in mental health.[6] Children in residential care have more mental health problems than those in family-type foster care[11] while those in kinship care have fewer problems.[12] Whether these differences are accounted for by different care experiences, or by selection effects, remains unclear.

Studies have estimated a high prevalence of DSM-III-R and DSM-IV conduct disorder (17-45%), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (10-30%), depression (4-36%), and generalised anxiety (or DSM-III-R overanxious) disorder (4-26%) among mixed samples of children and youth in foster and residential care.[13-16] The variability in estimated rates is probably more a consequence of differences in study design, than in the populations selected. Two studies estimated similar prevalence (40% and 50%) of post-traumatic stress disorder among maltreated children at time of entry into care, with a third of cases failing to resolve after 2 years in care.[17,18] In a national US survey of adolescent substance use, adolescents in care (n = 464) had much greater 12-month self-reported incidence of psychiatric symptoms than other youth (n = 18 966), including anxiety, mood and disruptive behaviour symptoms.[19] They also had higher incidence of substance-use disorders and attempted suicide.

What of other difficulties? Children in care endure poorer physical health, higher prevalence of learning and language difficulties, and inferior educational outcomes than other children.[20] Consistent with a background of complex maltreatment, up to a third of children in care present with problematic sexual behaviour that is possibly mediated by attachment difficulties.[21,22] In a recent survey that focused on under-researched psychopathology, large proportions of 4-year-old to 11-year-old children in foster and kinship care (n = 347) manifested interpersonal behaviour problems suggestive of disordered or disorganized attachments.[6] Sizeable proportions of this sample displayed self-injury, and abnormal responses to pain. A pattern of excessive eating and food maintenance behaviour without concurrent obesity was also identified, resembling the behavioural correlates of hyperphagic short stature (psychosocial dwarfism).[23]

In summary, children in care manifest complex psychopathology, characterized by attachment difficulties, relationship insecurity, sexual behaviour, trauma-related anxiety, conduct problems and defiance, and inattention/hyperactivity, as well as uncommon problems such as self-injury and food maintenance behaviours

About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by Lulu.com October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
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2 Responses to Child Protective Services is Making Monsters out of our Children

  1. Pingback: Child Protective Services is Making Monsters out of our Children … Children Me

  2. I know one thing for absolute certainty…if the kids don’t have at least 2 or MORE mental dysfunctions diagnosed that require chemical treatment at the time they GO into the Child Welfare system, you can mark on your calender that they WILL have, within days of being put under the control of DFCS/CPS, etc. No matter how well child HAS been taken care of, for how many years, once they get the kids away from everything those kids have ever known, trusted, loved, (& clearly, I am not referring to the truly abused children who need help, but THOSE kids probably don’t need drugged to deal with that either, they need EMOTIONAL therapy, they need HUMAN INTERACTION) Read these articles! NONE of them ever discuss the efforts the agencies put into keeping the families intact, the services they offer to assist a family in crisis that is NOT abuse, or what is ever being done to alleviate the need for department intervention in teh first place. It is so unfortunate for parents who cannot even reach out for help they are well aware they need, in fear of losing their children to the state, when these caseworkers inform the courts that the parent ADMITTED to some inability to care for the child. In my case, while I had m own insurance, TriCare, as a military widow, the NeuroRestorative Center, which specializes in adolescents with brain injury where i was trying to get him accepted for treatment, did not accept the insurance. They take a Medical Card, but I don’t qualify for that..Another children’s services agency had been working diligently with me to help find a way to get him in right away, while I continued to work with the case manger at TriCare on getting the approval for payment. The worker was able to find the help I needed, it seemed out prayers were answered. Then DCFS brought a dependency petition to court, testified that I do not PROVIDE for my sons needs, and then he was gone. I was denied all access or communication with him, they declined to review his medical and school records, & within the same 8 days I needed to complete the enrollment, DCFS had him diagnosed as mentally ill & on dangerous psychotropic medications that not a single one of the pediatric neurologists, general doctors, teachers, counselors we’ve interacted with throughout his life, and a score of other qualified professionals who we worked and interacted with for 15 years, had EVER detected…And all of the actual MEDICAL diagnosis he has been given throughout those years, which all concurred he has a very rare seizure disorder called Lennox-Gastaut, with mild to moderate brain damage, affecting his ability to process complex things (for example, he must be given instructions to do something in sequences of no more than 2 or sometimes 3 verbal steps, but still often requires supervision. On the other hand, he is extremely bright, & capable of learning anything he is taught, as long as it is taught in a method his brain can process & retain.) How can ANY administrative authority in child welfare, ANY judge possibly agree that some unqualified opinion of a DCFS caseworker would be more reliable & accurate than a LIFETIME of specialists’ tested and verified diagnosis of an actual, physical medical condition?
    But still, every articla written of what to do about these unchecked agencies and what they are doing with/to our children, centers around NOTHING but how the feed even MORE money into MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES that probably would not be needed at all if not for the emotional destruction these agencies are trained to create.

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