For every good child welfare bill Tennessee lawmakers come up with, there are five bad ones just festering to become law. Senator Jon Lundberg, who sponsored 113 bills in the 112th General Assembly, and Senator Dawn White (76 bills) share top honors along with Rep. Mary Littleton (51 bills) for sponsoring the most bills guaranteed to make poor families suffer even more than they already do at the mercy of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS).

To be fair to Lundberg, who is Deputy Speaker and looks a bit like Doc Brown in “Back to the Future” but with better hair, he sponsored more bills about beer than child welfare so at least he’s got his priorities straight.

You would think Littleton who chairs the House Children and Family Affairs Subcommittee would know something about child welfare but she’s as brain dead on the subject as real knuckleheads like Rep. John Rick Eldridge who suggested hiring kids before they even graduate to fill the 500-plus empty caseworker jobs at DCS.

Eldridge is right that you don’t need an education to work for DCS. But you do need to lie easily and shamelessly about the poor families you are supposed to be helping. And you must show an aptitude for filling out paperwork whose sole purpose is to delay, if not prevent, kids taken into custody from ever returning home.

Besides an occasional perjury, the job also requires unquestionable loyalty to DCS Commissioner Jennifer Nichols and the pinch-faced apologists who surround her. Without the compliance of corrupt officials and their acolytes–all the way down to lowly caseworkers–there is no way to keep such a large-scale child trafficking scheme going. The TBI has a task force for that sort of thing. They are going after the wrong guys.

DCS operations cost taxpayers about $1 billion a year. Every year they snatch more poor kids from their families and pay strangers to take care of them. DCS has organized mass child kidnappings and built a huge network of foster homes, half of them run by contractors. Law enforcement and the courts that supply the muscle enforce their business model.

Tennessee lawmakers avert their eyes to what is really going on and every year they keep approving DCS’s requests for more money.  They are in the process of doing that again right now.

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4 Comments

  1. There is a fundamental importance of family; and the potentially damaging effect on children when separated from family.Paternal Grandparents found to be Appropriate Placement-in a court of law & Denied Family Reunification. Judge used the COVID-19 quarantine as reasoning not to grant family reunification.
    42 USC § 675(1) (E) Federal law requires placement of a child with relatives if there is a willing and acceptable relative. The paternal grandparents were found to be an acceptable placement for their grandchildren and denied family reunification as required by federal law 42 USC§ 671(a)(15)(B). The judge in the case had a prior relationship to the foster parent-he was the court appointed attorney when she was a minor. The most important quality a case manager must have is integrity for the position they hold. This family has a story about a case manager and her supervisor‘s dishonesty and complete lack of integrity for Missouri Children’s Division. Because of the actions taken by Children’s Division a family is separated will never hold their grandchildren again. The judge said he cannot go back and redress the wrong done by social services.
    Missouri – Things have to get better in the child welfare system

  2. Why this is outrageous. Can this be true ..what I’m actually seeing and reading? I have a very hard time believing that anybody would be so bold as to put something like this out there.

    It’s something I’ve never actually witnessed in 25 years as a clinical social worker working with children.
    I am absolutely astounded and amazed!
    I am pleasantly surprised !

    I have finally encountered, although not in person somebody willing to document the truth !!
    Wonderful work!
    We have a few things we could talk about that we have in common I bet.

    Feel free to contact me if you would care to have a dialogue .

    I’m always available when there’s an opportunity to talk about the unusual subject of, well.. truth.

    Id love to talk…

    Tj

  3. Obviously lots of challenges with our child welfare system in TN, but this column and commentary seems overly biased.

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