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Part I of Senator Schaefer speech in Amsterdam regarding the unlimited power of Child Protective Services.

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Part II of video.

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This is Senator Schaefer speaking out on the broken Child Protective Services sytem in our nation and on her report, “The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services”. She also argues that Family Courts need to be opened to the public in order to have fair hearings, which is important to consider given that Judge Nash recently opened Family Courts to the public in the Greater Los Angeles area. 

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The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services by Senator Nancy Schaefer

Former Georgia wrote this scathing report in 2007 on Child Protective Services (CPS)system. She argues that the CPS system is corrupt nationwide and beyond repair. She states, “that poor parents often times are targeted to lose their children because they do not have the where-with-all to hire lawyers and fight the sytem. Being poort does not mean that you are not a good parent or that you do not love your child, or that you child should be removed and placed with strangers.” She believes that the CPS system is broken because states are dependent on the money they recieve from the government for adopting children as a result of the Adoption and Safe Families Act which rewards states for placing children in foster homes. Furthermore, she argues that children have become like merchandise and CPS agencies need to keep their shelves full in order to maximize profit. This is an amazing report and shows that their are government officials that are aware of poor families being targeted unjustly by CPS agencies. Unfortunately, Senator Schaefer was gunned down along with her husband in 2010 in a doube murder and wasn’t able to continue advocating for famiiles that have lost thier children to DCFS as a result of poverty. Really hope you guys take the time to read this powerful report.

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As we mentioned a few days ago, our film crew Good & Noble Colleagues Productions, has completed a 15 minute rough cut of our documentary Give Us Back Our Children. After completing the rough cut we submitted it to Professor Angulo, Ashley, and Cynthia for feedback. They were very excited with the way the story is shaping; however, as might be expected there is still plenty of work we need to do in order to get our intended message across more effectively. We will use the feedback we received from Professor Angulo, Ashley, and Cynthia when we meet during the week and decide what changes need to be made for the final cut of the film. In addition, I met with an artist/graphic artist yesterday and gave him the concept of the DVD Cover we envision for our documentary and look forward to meeting with him in the next few days to see if he can create our vision. If he is able to, I believe we will have a wonderful cover that will capture the attention of perspective documentary viewers. Now time to get this Study Guide finished!! Best of luck emerging filmmakers and see you all very soon at the Film Festival!

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Congratulations fellow MSW Students on completing our final week of classes at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. For many of us this marks the end of a long and arduous journey that began 2,3, or 4 years ago during our Community Immersion Week. And now, we are getting set to cross the finish line and preparing for Graduation. Our film crew would like to wish all of you the best of luck on completing your finals, and more specifically, on completing your documentaries. We have all come a long ways as emerging filmmakers and are now left with only completing the final editing stages, DVD cover designs, and Study Guides to complete our documentary projects. Our film crew is ecstatic to announce that we will have a complete 15 minute rough cut complete tonight! So on that note lets finish strong Trojans and turn in the best documentaries possible. Fight On!

- Good & Noble Colleagues Productions

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SIGN THE PETITION to stop the unjust removal of children from their homes as a result of poverty at the GoPetition: Changing the World website.

Please sign the petition in order to help the Give Us Back Our Children Movement!!! Thanks!!!

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The Racial Geography of the Child Welfare System by Dorothy E. Roberts

Hello all. Just thought I’d share some interesting facts that I found in this article on the racial disproportionality of the our nation’s current child welfare system. I know we are all busy with finals right now but if you have the time please read this article.

FACT: Black children represent 1/3 of our nation’s foster care population although they represent only 15% our nation’s population

FACT: A Black child is 4 times more likely than a White child to be in foster care.

FACT: Children of color not only enter foster care at disproportionate rates, but they also remain in care longer, experience a greater number ofplacements, and are less likely to be reunified with their parents or adopted than white children.

FACT: In 1997 1 out of 10 children in Central Harlem were placed in foster care.

FACT: In 2003 Black children only represented 18% of the population in the state of Illinois yet they represented 68% of children in the state’s foster care system.

FACT: In her study Roberts found that key social effects of the concentration of DCFS in the Woodlawn community in Chicago included: (1)interference with parental authority, (2)damage to children’s ability to form social relationships, and (3) distrust among neighbors. 

FACT: Roberts found that that children who have been placed in foster care lose respect for their parents because their parents do not have custody of them and this continues even after children are reunited with their families.

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Now how powerful is this letter? This week our film crew received this letter written  by 5 year old Zaire Hampton to DCFS when his 10 year old sister Harmonie was removed from their home. After reading it I felt a myriad of emotions. At first I was saddened that his family had to endure having Harmonie removed from their home for what appears to be reasons of poverty. Then I felt like I would like to work with this population when I graduate which shocked me considering I’ve been preparing to work with gang-involved and gang-oriented youth for the past 5 years. Then I felt overwhelmed by the amount of social problems that are affecting minorities from lower socioeconomic communities. Then I felt thankful that I ended up working on this project with my film crew because it opened my eyes to another social problem I wasn’t aware of. Lastly, I felt that I needed to volunteer some of my time this summer to the DCFS Give Us Back Our Children group. Please let our film crew know what emotions this powerful letter stirs up inside of you. Thanks!!! Until next time thanks for supporting our documentary and we look forward to sharing more with you later.  

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Please take a little time out of your day to listen to Community Organizer Margaret Prescod speak about children being unjustly taken from their homes for reasons related to poverty and other related issues.