That lady down the street is not dressing her children warmly enough. The two-year-old next door escaped from the house again. The family across the way has such a messy house. If these people don’t straighten up, you’re going to report them to DCFS. You can then put a check mark on your To Do list and feel good about having done your duty. But what will happen next?
Soon, a CPS investigator will visit the home. Hopefully he or she will offer help to the parent, a thing that perhaps the neighbors should have done. Possibly she will close the case and you will have the satisfaction of having scared the mother into better behavior.
On the other hand, the social worker may never have raised any children of her own, may have had a dysfunctional childhood herself, and may be intoxicated with her own power. She does have the authority to charge any of the above parents with abuse or neglect. She may also remove the children from those homes and send them first to a shelter and then to foster homes. How does a child feel when strangers and police officers come into his home and rip him away from his frantic parents? Is this any different from his perspective than a criminal abduction? Will he ever feel secure again? Will he ever trust adults?
Government “help” is often far more egregious than the original problem. For example, a family came to Salt Lake City for the Olympics in 2000. They were staying at a motel, and the parents got into an argument. The police were called, and the children, including the nursing baby, were taken away. For more than two years this family was separated, the children in foster homes first in Salt Lake and then in a rural area, the parents living in nearby motels so they could visit their children, expecting to be able to leave at any time. Finally, when advocates got involved and the case was scrutinized, the children were turned over to the grandparents in California and the parents were finally able to go home to be with them. Such a way to treat our tourists!
Would you want to call the police on parents who were arguing, if you knew it would mean the children would be taken away?
Foster homes are statistically shown to be far more dangerous for children than their natural homes. Children are more likely to be beaten or raped in foster homes. They are more likely to run away, to use drugs, and become promiscuous. Because the State has very few good foster homes and has an unlimited supply of children who can be removed from their parents, the standards for foster parents are far lower than those for natural parents.
At what point does life in a foster home, or a series of foster homes, or an eventual adoptive home, become a better alternative than remaining in a less-than-perfect family? What do we do, as a society, with the less responsible, the less functional, and the poor? What is the most charitable act? What would Jesus do? There may be no easy answer here, but it is worth your time to give deep thought to the possibilities because you will have to live with the consequences of your action.
Certainly there are times when children should be removed from their homes, but overall we are becoming a snitch society, without love and charity for our fellowman, without the morality that is necessary for a civilized society.
Relying on government to solve our problems is not the answer. The changes have to come from the inside out, in the strengthening of individual families.
Instead of encouraging every citizen to suspect every other citizen of being an abuser on the flimsiest of evidence, or no evidence at all, the Legislature must change the laws to reflect a more mature mindset. Citizens must have the freedom to help their neighbors in whatever way they think best.