Protecting children. A moral dilemma

Government agencies that are charged with protecting children have earned a bad reputation.  If power corrupts, then power over the fate of children must be the most terrible kind of power.  When it comes to a government agency such as Child Protective Services, strong feelings seems to be the norm; a multitude of horror stories have sullied their reputation even among many leftists:

CPS continues to destroy families and children precisely because well-meaning “get tough” people give them a nod of approval, tax-money and their confidence. Then they turn away with a feeling of achievement and of relief at handing over a messy problem to “the authorities.” They don’t have to confront the nightmare bureaucracy they’ve facilitated. If the nightmare is glimpsed through newspaper accounts of abused children, dead children or kids who are lost in the system, then the messenger is criticized as alarmist or the account is dismissed as an aberration.

One of the characteristics of government is that it demands a monopoly on the use of force.  It also frequently eliminates any competition from services it chooses to provide, either through specific laws or by making competition unviable.  Competition leads to improved services while a monopoly leads to inferior services.  Therefore,  if ever there was a service where competition should be encouraged, it’s the protection of children.  To leave the welfare of our children in the hands of a government monopoly is criminal.
I recently became involved in a situation where a mother was found to be endangering her children through abuse and neglect.  My opinion was sought regarding what course of action to take.  To do nothing would clearly be wrong.  To seek counseling was not a viable option, since this had already been tried and had failed.  To immediately get CPS involved also seemed like a bad idea.  Our conclusion was that the best thing to do would be to get a private organization involved and let them find a solution. It would still be necessary to involve CPS because only their actions would have teeth.  We would then hope that CPS accepts the solution of the private organization.  It is indeed sad when we must seek the aid of government agencies, thus encouraging their reign of terror.

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