Wednesday, June 13, 2018

3 Sneaky Public Relations Tactics used by CPS Agencies in the media to improve their public image


Introduction

If you are ever going to understand CPS and how they get away with what they do, then we must look at it from the big picture perspective as being a 'social service entity' in a world full of people which we'll call 'Society,' and the purpose CPS serves for society as well as the purpose which it states, which is also how it justifies it's existence.
  • The purpose CPS serves - to coordinate and acquire funding for services for targeted at risk children and families. (Those who have CPS in their lives are probably engaging in or soliciting some sort of services, whatever they may be.)
  • The purpose CPS states  - to protect children from abuse and neglect.  (this is also the proclaimed justification for the existence of CPS.)
It must be understood that only a tiny portion of society has been effected by CPS and the rest think that CPS protects children from abuse and neglect and would report you if they disagreed with your parenting for whatever reason.  It doesn't matter that CPS is known for doing horrible things to children and families, with countless stories being shared in the family rights groups on Facebook, the agencies PR people are somehow always able to spin it out into something beneficial for the agencies.

Only once somebody experiences CPS involvement in their lives, does one begin to understand what a monster CPS is, but only from the perspective of an individual who has been singled out and is suffering from a whole range of emotions that comes with the threat of and/or process of having their children taken away and fighting to get them back.  Meanwhile, everybody else thinks that you must have abused and neglected your kids, or why would CPS investigate you or become involved in your lives, because protecting children from abuse and neglect is what they think CPS does.

You would think that most people would be horrified at the thought of a powerful agency like CPS coming to take children away and throwing them into a cold and heartless system, because that's what they really do.  Regardless, CPS has a good public image for the most part, because the public relations departments are able to spin the business of child trafficking by social worker into heroes protecting the sweet innocent children from abuse and neglect.  Even when the agencies are utter failures at protecting kids resulting in a high number of child abuse deaths, the public relations departments have been able to spin it into a need for more workers, more training, more foster homes, more services and whatever other growth opportunities there may be.


PR

Protecting children from abuse and neglect is what CPS wants people to think they're all about.  Not only is it what they want you to think, it's a carefully crafted public image that is put forth through the media under consultation of the Public Relations Departments of the agencies, to educate people regarding getting them on board to help CPS target families and children for CPS involvement as well as housing and caring for the children when they are removed from their homes.

Public Relations is defined as:
the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person. 
~ Google Dictionary
So basically it's peoples jobs to make CPS look good, but how do they do that?  Lets take a look at just a few of the ways.


Special Awareness Raising Events

This is how they reach out to the public.

In order to be pro-active in the community or solicit funds, CPS agencies often hold special fun events to raise awareness about their child abuse prevention efforts, which usually gets more people calling the child abuse hotline, or recruiting foster care providers, or fundraising or something along that line.



During the months of April and May, for example, which are declared National Child Abuse Prevention month and National Foster Care Awareness month respectively, such special events are in full gear all across the country with pinwheel gardens and blue ribbon ceremonies.  These activities are not limited to those two months however because they can take place any time, especially if there is a need for new foster homes due to a spike in child removals.

CPS Agencies often uses these events as an opportunity to spread the CPS propaganda which benefits the people who are trying to grow their businesses working with abused and neglected kids, teaching false doctrines such as the number of calls to the child abuse hotline is what's important.

But most of all, these events make people feel important.  It makes them feel like they've made a difference in the lives of children, and all they had to do was fly a kite or buy a pinwheel to stick in the ground.


Generate Fear and Outrage Against Parents

It's no secret that CPS are fear mongers who like to blow things out of proportion to make the problem of child abuse appear worse than it actually is.  When they really are the worst, then the media might put them under the microscope, but usually they spin it in a way that generates fear and outrage against parents and not against the system that is plagued with systematic failures including the consistent unnecessary tearing apart of families.

They do this by keeping people focused on that one horrible child abuse case that the media has taken off with, rather than the problems that led to that child not getting the protection that they needed.  The agencies are then able to run wild because everybody is focused on that one horrible case.

The way it plays out is this.  A child dies.  CPS could have saved that child but didn't.  Then the PR people kick in, "don't focus on that, focus on the poor abused and neglected child.  You know, the poor little things.  Children shouldn't have to suffer like that, that's why you need to call the child abuse hotline if you suspect anything."

Also, by keeping one focused on some horrible child abuse case that the media has taken off with, the general public tends to demand that the agencies do more to protect kids rather than fix the problems that CPS has, which in turn causes the states governments to pass new laws and throw more money at the problem and make it easier for them to take your kids away, therefore causing a growth opportunity for CPS.

The trick is to divert ones attention away from the failures and corruption of the agencies and instead focused on some horrible child abuse case.  They tell the story in a way that shocks people, moves their hearts or calls them to action to make CPS do more.  This is called manufacturing support.


Foster Care Fairy Tales

One of my many major criticisms of the CPS and Foster Care Systems is that the kids who go in usually come out of it all messed up.  They are often bounced from home to home, sometimes ending up in psychiatric institutions and juvenile detention facilities due to a lack of better placements.  Then when they age out, they do so with nothing, ending up homeless or incarcerated with no high school diploma, no family ties, no real life skills, etc.  Unfortunately, we hear little about this issue in the news media.  The occasional article in the back of the paper maybe.  A video or two once in a while.

What we see much more of is this: the media is painting a pretty picture of the system, selling love and happiness and that nice warm feeling that you get deep inside from knowing that you might have made a difference in a child's life.  There are many more of these stories coming across the news feeds.  They are great at making these people look like heroes.

I like to call this foster care fairy tales, because they always sell you on the happily ever after ending.  Not the struggles and challenge's you will face by getting involved.  This sort of thing tends to hit the people who are looking to adopt or who would consider fostering because their hearts were moved by something they saw on TV.  And when they think of Child Abuse, they think of the sweet little helpless babies, so it's much easier to place smaller children in foster homes than it is teenagers.  Many foster care providers are hoping this might lead to an adoption so they are only willing to take the smaller children leaving teenagers a forgotten group with few options.


Conclusion

As I suggested in the introduction, most people in society have a favorable opinion of CPS and the agencies who work with them.  They can't possibly understand the very real problems that CPS is causing, because they are taught to believe that CPS is good.  They are taught that foster parents are angels among us.

It takes the experience of CPS in your life to get an understanding of what they're all about but by then, you're one of those demonized parents accused of abuse or neglect of a sweet innocent child while CPS are the heroes coming to rescue your kids, often without it being necessary at all.











1 comment:

  1. Perhaps the greater purpose CPS agencies serve is to provide cover and scapegoats for politicians when the inevitable child welfare tragedy story hits the news, and yes, then that story is used to justify more funding (and public outrage against parents) for CPS.

    There are several things that few people realize about those egregious child abuse stories. One is: CPS typically has little to do with them; they are called in by the police afterwards.

    A second thing is: a disproportionate number of these stories of horrible parents are actually NOT real parents. They are foster or adoptive guardians. This is usually difficult to tell from the news reports, because to the media, a guardian IS a parent, and also because CPS isn't going to report horrible situations that they created. (They can get away with this because of the secrecy of their tribunals.)

    A third thing is: CPS is not needed to deal with these. There are criminal laws which come into effect when a crime has been committed. The perpetrators are charged with criminal offenses and then tried in open courts, where they have rights. What a concept!

    CPS is all about enforcing parenting standards, which, conveniently for CPS (but unfortunately for families) are not written down anywhere. The standards vary from case to case, and as you note in another post here, they boil down to "who is the weakest, most vulnerable family to destroy?"

    And that suggests another political purpose for CPS: the basic unit of government since the dawn of humanity has been the family. Perhaps the control freaks in political power are interested in weakening the "competition"?

    Thank you for this blog and its excellent content.

    ReplyDelete

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