Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Stunning Growth in Budget as FEDS Pay Arkansas DHS to Adopt Out Foster Care Children



When you ask you will be told that the State of Arkansas does not get paid by the Federal Government for bringing children into the Arkansas foster care system. This is not quite true. They do not get paid on in-take. The payment comes on an adoption placement.

In 2013 the State of Arkansas received $2.3 million from the Federal Government. See the link below. This is paid in increments of $4,000 to $6,000 per child that is adopted out the DCFS system. Further, you can see that this $2.3 million figure in 2013 is up from $60,000 in 2007. This is incredibly aggressive growth. These payments are made in accordance to the "Adoption and Safe Families Act." passed by President Clinton in 1997.

This is particularly disturbing because there are several cases where Arkansas DCFS has rushed to terminate parental rights without following their own procedures.

It would be reasonable to ask if $2.3 million is a material sum of money for a state government agency. This is the same agency that worked very hard to influence Gov. Hutchinson to pledge $8 million for new caseworkers. I doubt they would easily walk away from 29% of that sum.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/…/…/cb/adoption_incentive_history.pdf

According to Arkansas DHS records, in 2015 there were 29,084 child maltreatment investigations. Think about that. 80 per day if you work 365 days per year; and keep in mind that government does not work 365 days per year.

Of these investigations only 26% were decided as True findings. Perhaps they could better prioritize their energy to focus on the obviously significant cases.

Further, of the True findings that were appealed 45% were overturned.

Imagine if you failed at your job at that rate; 45% of the time.

One particular State Police Investigator in Garland County, Kathy Finnegan, is overturned 70% of the time. I believe she still has a job.

Further, keep in mind, many families do not have the resources to appeal the decisions against them. The cost to our family was thousands of dollars, months of time and a massive emotional and mental toll. If families have the resources you can only imagine that the 45% number would skyrocket.


A Guest Post by Wilson Kannady

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