Adoption Beat

October 5, 2008

Secrecy vs. Need to Know

Filed under: must read,Uncategorized — adoptionbeat @ 6:04 pm
Tags:

Here’s a blog — Raw Fisher — by Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher that I recommend enthusiastically.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/

The gruesome event that prompts his blog is one about two children adopted from foster care in Maryland who were found recently in a freezer after a third child in the care of the Renee Bowman escaped by jumping out of a window in their home.

As soon as this hit the news wires, public officials were quick to proclaim that chid protective services were in no way to blame for the death of the children they had placed in Bowman’s care.

Advocates of reform both of adoption practices and child welfare protective services beg to differ. And this story comes on the heels of a story in Illinois were a member of the Illinois Adoption Advisory Council and her 26-year-old son were arrested after two foster children formerly in her care came forward with charges of sexual abuse over a period of several years http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-rosemont-molest-both-28aug28,0,5051216.story. As in the Maryland case, it wasn’t the first red flag. And, similarly social workers had investigated and found nothing.

Now we learn that Maryland’s social services agency got a complaint accusing Bowman of child neglect last January, sent a caseworker to the house and concluded that everything was fine — “clean and appropriately furnished,” though with a funky smell that was attributed to mildew. (From Raw Fisher, 10/5/08)

Fisher maintains that the process of monitoring foster care and child welfare concerns, long shrouded in secrecy, is a mistake that has resulted in these situations that now claim public attention.

He writes in part:

In the reflexively privacy-obsessed world of adoptions, it is somehow an imposition if the public wants to know where the state’s wards end up, who is collecting the stipends taxpayers shell out to encourage adoption and how all that money is being spent. We know best, social workers say.

But anytime public money is involved, it’s the public’s job to demand oversight and accountability, and the only road to that goal is transparency.
Unfortunately, if the past is any indicator, public interest will fade fast – because the media will lose interest and move on – and child welfare officials have no stomach for reform.
I am one of those in the adoption reform movement who believes that sunshine is the answer. I still believe that the media could bring about positive reform if they would continue to keep the abuse made possible by the system before the public. But I despair of this happening. If the media could not keep the abuses of our financial system in front of Americans during the several years that lead up to this current crisis when it directly affects the purses of every American, then there’s little hope they will maintain a consistent focus on the needs of children, a large number of whom are poor and disadvantaged. The media surely believes that the average American is simply not interested. I hope they are wrong.

Do your part to encourage this tye of reporting by visiting http://newstrust.net/stories/27138?expand=true and reviewing the column that prompted this blog.

Advertisements

1 Comment »

  1. […] The gruesome event that prompts his blog is one about two children adopted from foster care in Maryland who were found recently in a freezer after a third child in the care of the Renee Bowman escaped by jumping out of a window in their …[Continue Reading] […]

    Pingback by The Celeb Buzz » Blog Archive » Secrecy Vs. Need To Know — October 6, 2008 @ 12:39 am | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: