An article by Lynn Arditi in today’s Providence Journal, “Report: Too many teens in state care,” looks likely to be one of those dry, bureaucratic-process-related matters that many readers probably skip over. That would be a mistake:
In her testimony, Field described a system where overloaded caseworkers who don’t have the time or resources to help families are increasingly removing teenagers from their homes and sending them to live in group homes. And group homes are paid only by the numbers of beds filled, so “you’ve got incentives for providers to keep kids to keep those beds filled,” [Tracey Field, director of the child welfare strategy group at the Casey Foundation’s Center for Systems Innovation in Baltimore] said.
To summarize in one sentence what appears to be going on: The state government of Rhode Island is taking children away from their parents in order to maintain a government program, in part because its priorities have led the state government not to adequately fund a responsibility that it arrogated to itself.
That’s a long sentence, and the second half of it goes into the process stuff on which politicians like to focus because they can muddy the water. It’s the first part of the sentence, though, that’s important: “The state government of Rhode Island is taking children away from their parents in order to maintain a government program.”
You don’t get much more ghoulish than that, and you don’t get a much better representation of the progressive style of governance.