What is Foster Care Panic? And Does it Affect Child Welfare in Michigan? (Pt. 1)

Young girl crying while holding stuffed animal
Foster care panic tears apart countless families and increases child mortality rates!

You’re probably wondering what exactly ‘foster care panic’ is. Don’t worry – you’re not alone! Many people have never heard the term before! However, it’s actually a very real, and very scary reality in the child welfare system, and can have a huge impact on the wellbeing of families and children in a state. So we’d like to share some information with you, so that you understand exactly what this means, and how it may affect child welfare here in MIchigan.

What is foster care panic?

When a child “known to the system” (ie: CPS has a record of that child, usually because of an abuse or neglect investigation) is returned to their family’s custody, and then dies, there’s an almost immediate public and political outcry against what is known as ‘preservation of the family’. This backlash against family preservation resulting from a child’s death is known as “foster care panic.”

What is preservation of the family?

Preservation of the family is a social concept focused on keeping families together, rather than remove the children from their parent’s care, even if those families are struggling. In reality, though, it’s more than that – it’s also a federal law! The federal government actually requires that child welfare agencies make a “reasonable effort” to keep families together.  

Every now and then, however, this doesn’t work out. A parent may make a very poor choice, or a parent’s new partner may not be able to control their temper around the child. Sometimes it’s the result of drug use, or even an unrelated tragedy in the home. But whatever the reason, when a returned child dies, all hell breaks loose! And all too often, a foster care panic ensues. Think we’re exaggerating? We understand your reaction. But case history has proven this to be true, over and over again. And the results are terrifying!

Children almost always fare better with their families!

Multiple studies done over the years have proven again and again that most children actually fare better in their own homes, with their own parents and caregivers, as opposed to comparably maltreated children who are placed in foster care. Obviously this doesn’t apply to cases of extreme abuse and torture, but rather to the more commonly investigated scenarios investigated by CPS that result in children being removed from their homes.

And yet, whenever there is an instance, usually isolated and extreme, of a child who dies while in their parents care, a foster care panic usually follows. As you can imagine, the results for so many other families trying their best, was swift and severe! Join us next time, when we will be looking at some specific cases that resulted in foster care panic, and how families all over the US were affected.

Until then, if you or a loved one have been contacted by CPS, or accused of abusing or neglecting a child, call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245! Our skilled CPS defense attorneys have decades of experience protecting families and defending parental rights! We can help you and your loved ones to battle a system stacked against you, and work towards keeping your children in your home!