The Lost Child - A voice for those unable to speak for themselves

Dysfunctional Social Services and broken Child Welfare
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Broken Social Services and Child Welfare systems

According to scholars (not orphans), they beleive they have discovered the reason for the dissolution of American Orphanages. A recent Johns Hopkins University report shows:
In response to this article, I state the following:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2013 18:45:52 -0600
Subject: The Rise and Demise of the American Orphanage
Dear Sir,

As a former orphan held captive in Coastal Bend Youth City in Driscoll Texas, there needs to be some revisions to the article published in Johns Hopkins Magazine:

As late as the 1970's, the State of Texas rented-out orphans as an extremely cheap labor source for local farmers and other government offices. The kids (I was one of them) were forced to work in farmers cotton fields, hog farms, trash pick-up, and other menial labor for 12 hours each day, and given little to nothing to eat or drink, and they received none of the payment for their work. Some kids actually died during these work details. Places like Coastal Bend Youth City (forced to close in 2003) were funded by the United Way of Coastal Bend, and kids from all over the country were sent there. Most of them (99%) actually had parents, but the parents were either incarcerated, incapacitated, or unable to care for them financially. For the orphans placed there (like me), life was horrific. Never once being allowed to visit anyone; no Christmas or Thanksgiving. Birthdays were not celebrated at Youth City either. I received no medical or dental care while I lived at Youth City.

Sexual abuse and sexual molestation from the staff was rampant. Rape was a constant threat. Beatings were a regular reality. The local county judge took a personal interest in the young orphan girls such as me; having us taken to his office in the courthouse, and forcing us to perform sexual acts on him. All the while threatening to send us to the State Orphanage if we didn't cooperate, which he claimed was far worse than Coastal Bend Youth City.

Coastal Bend Youth City offered zero life-skills training to prepare us for the outside world. As soon as they could, Youth City  boxed up our things, and called us to the office, asking "Do you have anyone you can call?" knowing full well we were orphans with no family. Then they would say "We're sorry but the government funding we were receiving for you has ended, and you have to go now. I later found out that Youth City was continuing to receive government funding long after I was kicked out. This funding was meant to help me finish school and go to college. I can only assume they simply "Forgot to mention this."

The way I was treated, and what I was fed, and how I had to live in run-down cottages; certainly didn't add up as it relates to the amount of money Youth City received for my care. Several former Directors of Coastal Bend Youth City were later indicted on embezzlement charges for stealing donations and government funding meant for the care of the children there. I would ask that you look at my website: It will help shed some additional light on the travesty that was Coastal Bend Youth City. My own House-Parent Ms. Ida Mustain, originally started her career working at Boy's Town in Harlingen Texas.

To add insult to injury, when I tried to request assistance from Texas regarding the rape, sexual abuse, etc I suffered at Youth City; they claimed that if I was ever at Youth City, my records were destroyed immediately after I departed. Despite the records and evidence I kept and maintained myself, Texas officials refused to assist me.

I welcome your thoughts on this sensitive issue. Personally, I don't think that Coastal Bend Youth City was even remotely similar to the current welfare system that so many people abuse today. It was far, far worse!

Best Regards,

Carolyn MacKenney
My exposure to the many Social Services offices and Child Welfare offices throughout the US, shows a level of dysfunctionality that staggers the imagination. Agencies such as Child Protective Services; Department of Families and Protective Services and other governmental agencies are full of uneducated, unqualified and inexperienced people, who are given powers far beyond their skill set. More often than not, they make decisions not based upon a thorough analysis, or medical diagnosis; but rather through their conscience; simply because they don't know the right thing to do.
A good example of this is the Social Services office in El Paso County Colorado. When my daughter was strung out on meth, she was told she could choose who her children could go to, during her treatment. Her case-worker Kelly Benson (uneducated and inexperienced) recommended that she turn her children over to their father (a known drug-dealer and convicted felon), whom she had recently divorced. Instead of recommending that she give the kids to my husband and I (my husband is a doctor and I am a child advocate) where they would be loved and cared for; Ms. Benson recommends just the opposite. We later discovered that Ms. Benson and our daughters ex-husband were romantically involved.
Ms. Benson should never have been allowed to be our daughters case worker, and she should have been prosecuted for her involvement with a client. Our reports and complaints to Ms. Benson's supervisor went unanswered. This is a true example of the dysfunctionality of the Social Services system.

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Can They Hear Me Crying? (c) 2008-2019 Carolyn Whitbeck