Incentives And Cultural Bias Fuel Foster System

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Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:29 pm

PostTue Oct 25, 2011 11:26 pm » by Shagrath

I was speechless when I heard this, this afternoon. This is a good example of pure greed at the expense of people's lives at a state level. This could even go deeper than expected. Who knows what other evils lurk behind this legal kidnapping! I wish to thank WNPR for bringing this to light.

Part one of a three-part investigation.

The dirt roads on the Crow Creek Indian reservation in South Dakota blow dust on the window frames of simple houses.

The people who live here are poor — in a way few Americans are poor. There are no grocery stores or restaurants. There's only electricity when it's possible to pay the bill.

This is where Janice Howe grew up, on a barren stretch of land that has belonged to the Dakota people for more than 100 years.

"I'm the eldest of nine kids," she explains, settling into a chair in the kitchen. "I went to college and I got my bachelor's degree in nursing."

Her sister lives across the street. Her parents live across the road. Her daughter lives two doors down with her four grandchildren — two young granddaughters and two twin babies.

And then one evening two years ago, Howe's phone rang.

It was a social worker from the Department of Social Services. She said her daughter Erin Yellow Robe was going to be arrested for drugs.

Howe couldn't believe it. She had never seen any sign of drugs or any other problems.

And then the social worker changed Howe's life. She said she was coming to take Howe's grandchildren away.

The next morning, a car pulled up outside Yellow Robe's house. Howe's daughter wouldn't let go of her one-year-old twin babies. She kept saying she hadn't done anything wrong.

The social worker buckled the babies into car seats.

"They were sitting in the cars," Howe says, choking up. "They were just looking at me. Because you know most babies don't cry if they're raised in a secure environment. So I went out there and took their diaper bags. And they left."

But as Howe watched the car pull around the bend, she realized the social worker took the two babies, but allowed Howe to keep her two granddaughters, 5-year-old Rashauna and 6-year-old Antoinette.

"I thought that was weird," Howe says. "I just thought, why can't I keep them all?" ... ter-system

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