Cost millions of dollars but they don’t know if it works

In culture on August 28, 2010 at 13:13

I saw a story in a newspaper yesterday. It was about fosterparents, boarding school etc.

12,700 minors aged between 0 and 17 are placed outside their home. Some were removed as a baby because their parents did a poor job and the training of such skills is expensive. Some due to their own actions. They could have committed a crime while they were below the age of criminal responsibility and then they are often sent of to a continuation school (in Danish called Efterskole).

Now the expert come back telling us that they are not sure if the fostercare concept is better than risking a baby P scandal.

The biggest problem is the mix of punishment and banishment from the home. Normally the Danish social and justice system deals with juvenile crime this way. The many first times (sometime 70) the kid gets a warning or a small fine. Then just as lottery they are shipped off in foster care, residential so-called treatment or even prison where they due to lack of space are jailed with adults (Hopefully they remember not to bow for the soap). But this decision could be done after the second time or after the 70’s time. If the decision is made by the social services it all depends on the budget.

Then there is the problems of the various options of placement. The cheapest option are the continuation schools. What kind of students do you find there. First there are those who are sent there by their social services and ordered to play nice just to avoid something worse. Then there are those who have rather religious parents and don’t like the democracy danish youth culture with all the free choices. In the old days they shipped their children off to the middle east to train with a bomb belt or get married so they can take a cousin back to Denmark. The Danish government became aware of this and introduced a 24 year old rule where you have to be 24 before you can get married with a foreigner. So now many children are sent to strict religious continuation schools. It doesn’t matter if they are jailed by Christian extremists even if the parents have another belief. Just as long as they are jailed then it is good. Last but not least you find some who actually wants to be at the boarding school because the boarding school offer a special activity.

It is a explosive mix to handle at a school and some schools kick every fifth student out during a school year. Then they typically ends up with no school that school year because their local schools back home have no room for them because the money follows the students so when a larger number of students leave the public schools for boarding schools the public school looses the money and have to make cuts.

Another alternative is foster care. The supervision of foster care family are relaxed. Some are in the business for the children other are in it for the money. The law regarding deaths of children were in fact changed because a fostercare family where the father was a doctor did write the death certificate of several of his foster care children before some discovered what was wrong. Just this year there was a scandal over at Mern where the conditions are not fully disclosed to the public.

Finally there are the so-called residential treatment facilities. There have been so many scandals including some of them that I would have to write more pages than you can find i all the Harry Potter books if I should mention 10 percent of them. In the old days Godhavn in the nothern part of Sealand did set the standard and it has been followed by Atlantis in Naestved, Solhaven in Farsoe, Schubert Minde in Ringkoebing and many more. They are so happy with Solhaven in Aalborg because when the teenagers escape home the police are on overtime.

Because the entire area is a question of budget some are taken home when the cash flow is low. In fact the first 14 year old they arrested when the age of criminal responsibility was lowered from 15 to 14 was a boy who together with some 20 kids were sent home because the local town wanted to save 12 million DKK. Most people know that the only reason for lowering the agelimit was that the state wanted to enforce treatment by use of the court system because they know that the cuts by the cities will result in expenses by the state to the prison system once the kids turn 18.

So much trouble for something the experts now tell us that they cannot tell is working or not.

What are they doing in other countries? Because I give some money to charity I also get mails in return. One of those mail was about a girl from Oregon called Morgan who will be shipped to boarding school Academy at Sisters (Sisters is the name of a town) for the entire next year just because she got poor grades. Seems a lot of overkill for just poor grades. I could understand if it was a question of religion, bomb threats or armed assault, but poor grades. I is almost to laugh at if we hadn’t talked about a poor girl who will loose out to life.

The fact is that despite culture parents seems to want their children to look exactly as them. Choose the same kind of work as them. Marry the same kind of spouse as them. It doesn’t matter if times has changed. The children should be children in the saw way as they were when the grandparents were young.

Once it doesn’t happen, the parents give up and ship them away instead of fighting for their cause. It has become more common and it is no longer only the poor families who dump their children down at the cityhall.

It is strange times and very stressful for the families who have children.

Update: Just as I finished it I saw that Paris Hilton was arrested again in Las Vegas based on drug related charges. Here we have a girl who have done the time at Provo Canyon School in Utah and at CEDU which had a campus where a child murderer had free access. She is a typical outcome of residential placement.


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