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Author Topic: Children in a free state  (Read 20024 times)

michLinoregon

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2003, 03:00:02 am »

Tony,

I realize that, that's why I asked my question in the first place.

Michelle
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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2003, 10:13:57 am »

Quote
I think we should abolish all "protective services" agencies and allow the government to take abusive parents to court, where they must prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

In cases of severe abuse, this method would prove fatal to these children. There are many cases where the abuse is reported and before social services can even get to the child, he or she is dead from abuse or neglect. Imagine how much worse it would be if we let the parents keep the child while a lengthy trial was conducted. That is not an acceptable solution. I think the problem with the current system is that after the child is removed, the parents have no rights. The new system should have the burden of proof on the state to be able to keep a child that has been put into protective custody.  There should be clear definitions of abuse so the children won't be taken away for "morally objectionable" but not harmful reasons.
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2003, 10:22:44 am »

Well, depending on how severe the suspected abuse is, the children could be taken away while the parent(s) await(s) trial.  I'm not sure exactly how your "burden of proof" criterion would be satisfied except through a trial-type process.
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Reaper

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2003, 10:28:26 am »

It's the abusive parent who should be "taken away".

Perhaps liklihood to reoffend (ie continue to abuse the child) should be considered at the bail hearing and they should just remain in jail until trial.

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elginx

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2003, 10:52:49 am »

Well, depending on how severe the suspected abuse is, the children could be taken away while the parent(s) await(s) trial.  I'm not sure exactly how your "burden of proof" criterion would be satisfied except through a trial-type process.
I think the child should be taken away and the govt should be given no more than 15 days to go to court and show conclusive evidence of abuse, and 30 days to prove that the child is being abused. I have volunteered with many abused children and when you see the effects that the abuse has on their little bodies and their psyche, you realize why the government errs on the side of caution but they do go way too far in some cases, violating the rights of the parents, and the children.
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2003, 11:19:55 am »

Hi elginx,

I infered the theme was to replace the public sector "child protective services" with private sector agencies doing the same type work.

They exist and are less costly than the public sector.

Plus, what little I've heard, those public sector agencies are not a visit to Grandma's house to recover from the trauma.

BobW
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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2003, 11:36:31 am »

Not to mention that according to the Florida DCF's own statistics children are 80% more likely to be abused once in the "care" of the state than they were while in the care of their parents.

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RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2003, 12:35:35 pm »

Who said something to the effect that parenting is the most important job you'll ever have and the one you will be least prepared for?

I think that in considering child abuse, there is the tendency to try and 'black-or-white' the issue.  Sadly, it is far more complex and not just because of differences of opinion over the appropriateness of spanking.  The fact is, humans being what they are, almost anyone could be driven to an act that may be construed as abuse.

This is not to defend abusers, but to point out that it is not necessarily a moral defect of the parent, per se, that is causitive.  It can also be a confluence of events pushing an individual past their ability to handle the situation, given their level of parenting skills.  Put another way, abuse can be reduced or eliminated and the child's life greatly enhanced by imparting to the parent effective parenting skills.

How do I say this?   Well, not because I am such a paragon of parenthood, and certainly not because I want to preach to anyone about how they should raise their kids.  What I want to suggest is that parenting, like any other human enterprise, may be analyzed, tested and improved.  In essence, parenting is just like any business workflow process and may thus benefit from applied science.

As it happens, I had the privilege of doing a bit of software development for a Dr. Kirby Alvy, clinical child psychologist, a number of years ago.  He was doing a NIMH-funded study during the Reagan administration to determine the demographic correlations of familial dysfunction.  Were Blacks or Latinos more likely to have dysfunctional families simply because of their race, or were other factors at work?

Predictably for those of us who do not buy into racist theories, the results were quite clear.  The primary indicators of familial dysfunction were economic status and educational background.  To put it bluntly, poverty-striken, uneducated whites were exactly as likely (that is to say more likely) to have dysfunctional families as their Black and Latino peers,  while gainfully-employed, educated families of color were just as likely as whites of equal status to have well-functioning families -- i. e., low child abuse.  At least in this study, whose science was quite good, increased employment and educational opportunities for citizens are indicated as the best ways to reduce child abuse overall.

From this work, parenting skills programs were developed that are still available from this government site:

http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/prevent/parenting/r_effective.html

I realize that this program is directed towards African Americans in an urban setting, but hey -- that's where the money was spent, and the program has been demonstrably effective.  The numbers don't lie.  If you think "what about all the bad stuff that still happens", all I can say is that it could have been much worse.

Anyway, Dr. Alvy has continued his researches over the ensuing years via his foundation, the Center for the Improvement for Child Caring:

http://www.ciccparenting.org/

Here is the 'moral' of the story if you will -- what can Libertarians in the Free State do to leverage the good work that has been done?  To assume on ideological grounds that removing government from the equation will somehow result in daughter-raping, unemployed, uneducated drunks forsaking the bottle, getting a job and becoming model fathers, I think is naive at best and 'who cares' hard-heartedness at worst.  

Yet, I also agree that socialized family-policing is a bad thing with many abuses.  And, for better or worse, I have direct experience with professionals who have in fact done good work in the area of scientifically advancing the knowledge of parenting and creating effective programs to improve it, even among the high-risk groups.  So, I can't just close my eyes and say "eliminate Big Gov and the problem will go away for everyone who isn't morally defective to begin with."

To put it in a Christian perspective (no, I'm a Deist), as Jesus observed that even the evil will not give their own child a viper instead of dinner, even a down-and-out, uneducated drunk will become a better parent if given some better tools to do so.  It's not like they wake up in the morning saying "You know, I think I'll abuse my kids today!"

What private, quasi-private or even government sponsored approaches do folks think can be taken to improve parenting skills, or even to spread the word that (for a small cost) they can avail themselves of the training materials, etc. available?

RS
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michLinoregon

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2003, 01:53:46 pm »

Rhythmstar,

You make many valid points. I was thinking, as I was reading your entry, that maybe there would be a way to have a private agency of some sort, use volunteers to teach some of the scientific data and parenting methods to prospective parents while pregnant or planning to become pregnant? I don't know about anyone else, but I would find that a very worthy cause to volunteer for. So not recieving pay for the position would not bother me as it wouldn't be a sacrifice.

I actually never thought blacks and latinos had a higher abuse rate than whites, it's funny how the government will fund studies based solely on stereotype. Maybe they're hoping to disspell the stereotype? I dunno.

Anyway I'm glad I got to hear something about this from someone who's worked on the scientific end of it!

Respectfully,

Michelle
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2003, 02:05:50 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

I am not a Libertarian but do want to respond to the questions you posed.  

Ensure new studies are by and directed to the private sector sector  -  to the maximum.

Stop funding studies such as the NIMH funded study you mentioned and participated in.

Prior to the study's published conclusion, many of us knew the results you mentioned.  Juan Trippe (Latino, founded Pan Am World airways) was not from a dysfunctional family.  Ambassador Ralph Bunche (black) had parenting skills.

Low economic classes with low to no education mirrored  high economic classes with higheducation levels.  Guess what; the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation of immigrants from Eastern Europe produced functional families - all without the benefit of NIMH, HEW (now HHS) etc.

We have a difference of opinion.  I DO SAY "eliminate Big Gov [sic] ...".  Your initial paragraphs did not mention that the cited studies were fund from taxes collected from those who wanted to spend the money on their kids.  You proved it here.  Dr Alvy now has his own foundation.  

Before government in family issues, life continued.  After government involvment, life still continues.  Now add a factor.  Compare black out of wedlock births prior to LBJs Great Society and after.  

Did the Eastern European immigrants have any "training materials"?  Did the Asians?  

Now I know some drank and some smoked and some gambled.  So what!

BobW
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RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2003, 03:31:58 pm »

Quote
We have a difference of opinion.  I DO SAY "eliminate Big Gov [sic] ...".  Your initial paragraphs did not mention that the cited studies were fund from taxes collected from those who wanted to spend the money on their kids.  You proved it here.  Dr Alvy now has his own foundation.

I did not mention what should have been obvious -- government agencies are financed by taxpayers.

If you do a little research into CICC's funding, you will discover that much of it comes from private donors -- individuals, local businesses and major corporations, along with income from the sale of training materials.  NIMH funding is specific to a given project.  As far as the implication that Alvy is somehow culpable for this, what can I say?  He is a clinical psychologist, not a political theorist.  Most scientific disciplines today advance in part via Federal funding.

The Reagan administration thought this to be a worthy avenue of research and I suggest that the results speak for themselves.

You seem to suggest that everything there is to know about parenting has been known since time immemorial.  I think this is as valid a view as saying all that there is to know about astronomy was already known in the time of Moses.  A quick skim through any history book or newspaper should provide a preponderance of evidence in favor of the contrary view.  And if you don't think there are legions of extremists shouting racist messages from the rooftops, you haven't read the Yahoo messageboards lately.  However, these issues are really strawmen.

The real questions are these:

1) Will the Free State take responsibility for protecting the Natural Rights of children?

2) If the answer to 1) is "Yes", then will the Free State consider the work of science in formulating its policies, or not?

The funding issues are really just implementation details.  An abused child doesn't care if Mommy quits beating her because of familial, Christian, Liberal or Libertarian intervention.  

When it comes to the abuse of a child, I also tend to lose my zest for such details, preferring to help the child first and worry about the political niceties later.  Perhaps this is an error.  No one is perfect. (shrug)

Yet, I do agree with Libertarian philosophies more than others. So, I am taking time out of my day to share the information I have with those who might be able to come up with a pro-active way to address these real issues in a Libertarian manner.  You may be sure that these, and many other issues, will be raised along the path to the Free State ideal.  Better to plan now than to scramble later.  :)

Michelle:

Quote
You make many valid points. I was thinking, as I was reading your entry, that maybe there would be a way to have a private agency of some sort, use volunteers to teach some of the scientific data and parenting methods to prospective parents while pregnant or planning to become pregnant? I don't know about anyone else, but I would find that a very worthy cause to volunteer for. So not recieving pay for the position would not bother me as it wouldn't be a sacrifice.

Volunteerism would be a fine way for good works to be done.  As would private contributions to fund work, obtain training materials, etc.   As would non-profit corporations that collected money from members.  If Free State advocates can point to pro-active efforts that demonstrate viable alternatives to NIMH-funding and nanny-Statism, not just ideological tracts, then existing citizens of the chosen state may be far more likely to consider giving the reins of power to a bunch of Libertarian  activists.   Some things must be taught by example.

RS
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2003, 11:59:14 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

I agre that much research can be traced to federal funding.  I also agree that the Reagan Administration thought it a good venture.

To preclude hints regarding my thoughts, parenting is not a constant over the eons.  I don't follow the field.  I do follow public funding issues.  The astronomy folks at NASA want more money.  NASA has attributes like NIMH.

We are slowly but surely discrediting racists and extremists (less a footnote exception to the Goldwater doctrine from his famous signature line).  This could be expedited if the public sector was smaller.

I can't respond to the "real" questions.  I am not an officer/director of FSP nor even a declared porcupine.

I do want to mention something about public finance.  Funding issues are NOT - repeat NOT - just implimentation details.  They are the ultimate cause of the problem.

BobW
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LisaLew

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2003, 10:36:44 am »

  Here is an interesting tidbit to through into the fray.  I am contemplating becoming a childbirth educator.  I read one of the books on the recommended reading list for the program I am interested in, and the book has chapters about the history of childbirth, mainly in the US, but in other countries too.  The authors, William and Martha Sears, discussed how when childbirth was moved out of the hands of midwives and into the hands of "scientific" doctors, people began to view parenting as something that needed to be "scientific" as well, and the parenting "experts" came crawling out of the woodworks.  
  The changes in how we birth our children came around the turn of the century, when science and medicine was beginning to grow leaps and bounds.  Pregnancy began to be viewed as a medical condition instead the the part of our life process that it is.  Yes, it can become a medical condition in the course of giving birth, I know that.  However, the point the Sears were trying to make is that when society began viewing birthing as a medical condition instead of a natural condition, and the centuries- long traditions and knowledge of midwifery was pooh-poohed as "archaic", people began to doubt their abilities to parent as well, and "experts" peddling their wares began to pop up everywhere.  Add to that our mobility as a society and the breakdown of proximity of extended family, where Mom and Dad could view role models, receive instruction and respite care, and who do people turn to for help?  It is pretty darned easy to check out a book from the library from a supposed "expert."  Who says the person is an expert?  Well, he or she does, along with their expert buddies, their book publisher, the magazines that publish their articles to boost their sales, etc.  
  As for poverty and education as abuse indicators, I have reasons to doubt that.  I know it happens in lower economic sectors, but it happens in very socioeconomic level.  With the statist views of national education reform, these studies funded by the government naturally support the statist views that states are looking out for children while parents are not.  Part of Goals 2000 is called "entering school ready to learn."  That does not mean a child is to enter school ready to write, read and do math.  This means that a child is to enter school without the "biases" of their parents and be open to learning and accepting statist and global views. Parents do not know what is best for their children, and in extreme views, their "biases" are abusive-- that is a statist mantra we see repeated everywhere from the local school, to magazines, boys and girls clubs, scouts, you name it. What easier way to realistically bring about such goals than to pick on the sector that is least financially able to defend themselves?  
  There have been studies in the private sectoron homeschooling that show conclusively that the educational level of the parent does not matter in producing a successful, educated student.  It is their commitment to their children, and the time spent, that makes the difference. So, if a parent is of a low educational level and poverty level socioeconomically, but is determined and committed to their children, then where there is a will there is a way happens.  Being indifferent and uncaring to your children is not socioeconomically pigeonholed-- it is just easier to hide, or hire people to replace you, if you have more means at disposal.
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2003, 10:49:24 am »

It's also good to remember that correlation does not equal causation.  The greater success of parenting shown by better-off families may have to do with the fact that those individuals who are responsible and hard-working and pick themselves up out of poverty also tend to be good parents.

If this interpretation is correct, creating opportunity for "bootstrappers" is far more important than releasing hordes of social workers on the "less fortunate."
« Last Edit: June 12, 2003, 10:50:15 am by JasonPSorens »
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RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2003, 12:35:57 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

I agree that much research can be traced to federal funding.  I also agree that the Reagan Administration thought it a good venture.

To preclude hints regarding my thoughts, parenting is not a constant over the eons.  I don't follow the field.  I do follow public funding issues.  The astronomy folks at NASA want more money.  NASA has attributes like NIMH.

Yes, in that they both do work that is unlikely to be done by the private sector, yet is very valuable long-term, especially in the NASA case.  The future of the species is off-planet.  If I were King (and I'm not), we would be colonizing the solar system and mining the Moon.  The Earth could be a giant biodiversity park. :)

Quote
We are slowly but surely discrediting racists and extremists (less a footnote exception to the Goldwater doctrine from his famous signature line).  This could be expedited if the public sector was smaller.

Discredit can become a badge of courage for enculturated attributes.  Nevertheless, Alvy's study does help put the lie to the notion that there is something inherent in being black or Latino that biases a child towards gang membership and drug addiction.  At the time of the study (17 years ago), those views were even more prevalent than they are today.   Better, he proved that designing a program to be culturally adaptive yields measurable results.

Quote
I can't respond to the "real" questions.  I am not an officer/director of FSP nor even a declared porcupine.

Same here.  I share the ideals of self-ownership and the thinking that the current system is FUBAR, but I'm not yet convinced that I'm going to go FSP.  I might, but only if I believe that one form of reality-denial is not being replaced by another form, just to get the tax break incentive.  Things have a true cost and those costs must be recognized and dealt with, unlike today's government, that likes to bribe the public with money picked from their own grandchildren's pockets.  

I guess my most conservative value is fiscal conservatism -- if we can't pay for an elective program without borrowing, then we should not do the program, period.  As to the nature of those programs, I want to trust the democratic process, but it seems that without structural change, the only thing government is really good at is getting bigger, more intrusive at home and more interventionist abroad.

Quote
I do want to mention something about public finance.  Funding issues are NOT - repeat NOT - just implimentation details.  They are the ultimate cause of the problem.

If I take a broad enough view, I certainly agree that the organized coercion of statists and other authoritarians has created much of the world's trouble.  Like the Africans who sold their fellows into bondage and the Colonialists who purchased them and transported them to America.  It's a sad history. Yet, the history is ours, as are the bitter fruit thereof.   And the effect of the welfare state has been not to end the misery, but to make it a lifestyle.  A religion, even.

FWIW, I am a white guy married to a black woman.  Her father was a career Marine and she was raised on military bases, where true integration has been a reality for a long time.  She has no ebonics accent.  Her work ethics are like her Marine Dad, which is to say if she has no actual work left to do, she'll repaint the house and redo the gardens to pass the time -- never a still moment!  The whole West Coast clan is like that... industrious folk, home owners, church activists, successful parents, anti-stereotypes all.  Also, lots of mixed couples... black/white, black/Asian... the get-togethers are legendary for the food. :)

Sadly, it is not so with the back-east branch.  Lots of troubling stuff there, as we discovered when a 13-year old girl cousin from Cleveland came to spend summer with my mother-in-law.  I won't go into the details, but the fact is that the same people raised in the urban 'ghetto' environment came out very differently than those who came out West, had successful military careers, and then went on to successful 2nd careers in aviation (McDonnel Douglas, Boeing), etc.  The difference?  Aside from personality, I think the military life prepared my father-in-law so well for success, he took the private sector like any good Marine takes a beachhead -- he was programmed for victory, and so he won.

Interestingly, both paths were funded by Federal money.  The difference is that one path led to self-pride and accomplishment, while the other led nowhere.

Anyway, learning (and thus teaching) is the key to personal growth.  Whether it comes from a Marine drill instructor, or a gentle counselor-type, the point is the results.  I think the funding implementation is less important to those results than to the payers, but I don't begrudge the payers their complaint.   I do think that unhappiness over the past can hide opportunities in the future -- no coercion does not necessarily mean no collective action for the common good.

What can be done to get effective results without coercion?  

You know, FSP isn't just about the Porcupines -- the media will paint the whole Libertarian movement with the success or failure of the FSP, if only because it makes good copy on a slow news day.  Therefore, even Libertarians who cannot make the move have a stake in FSP success.  See?  A common issue that only group action may properly address, but without coercion. :-)

RS
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