Why Can’t Foster Parents Carry A Firearm?

 A commentator who raises foster children and wishes to remain anonymous writes . . .

“The children in the foster care system have been taken from their parents and are now wards of the State. The state needs someone to care for them, but not just anyone. Before you can become a foster parent the agency involved will take your fingerprints and run state and FBI background checks. They’ll check your references and conduct a financial audit. Then there’s a home safety inspection: water temp, smoke detectors, pool fencing and chemicals and medications storage, etc. Part of safety, of course, involves firearms . . .

The exact requirements re: firearms varies from state to state. Click here for a run down. Suffice it to say, Pennsylvania and Delaware are the only two states where firearms aren’t specifically mentioned by fostering authorities. The rest vary from firearms tolerant Alaska . . .

If you have guns in your home and you are a foster parent, you need to use and store your firearms in a responsible way in order to prevent injury to children. The regulations specify that in a foster home, firearms need to be stored unloaded and reasonably inaccessible to children. Ammunition is to be stored separately from the guns and in a place that children cannot access.

If an older foster child is allowed to handle a gun, foster parents must submit a firearm safety plan to the licensing worker for approval. You need to put in writing the age, background, emotional stability and maturity of the children you think are able to learn how to use a firearm. You also need to put in writing how you are going to teach the child how to use the gun safely. You also need to request the child’s placement worker to obtain advance permission from the child’s parent before letting a child handle a firearm in your home.

To “gun free” Massachusetts . . .

Any firearm located in the home shall be licensed and registered in accordance with state law and shall be trigger-locked or fully inoperable, and stored without ammunition in a locked area. Ammunition shall be stored in a separate locked area.

Not specified but banned for foster parents in The Bay State (and dozens of other states): concealed carry. Even in the most “gun friendly” U.S. states, anyone who “admits” to a fostering agency that they carry a concealed weapon is asking for a denial. Home carry? Open carry? Not in a million years.

If you’re a law enforcement officer, that’s a different story. Most foster care agencies’ firearms policies have specific exemptions for policemen or women seeking placement of a child.

The foster care agencies’ rules about firearms in foster families are understandable—to a point. The point where safe storage butts-up against the constitution right to keep and bear arms. Bear as in carry. Carry as in protecting the lives and limbs of loved ones. In fact, gun rights and foster care are only incompatible because the state says it’s so. Just as anyone who wants to foster knows that discretion—or submission—is the better part of valor.

I will comply with the rules on firearms because my wife and I think fostering is important. In my life and neighborhood the chance that I’ll need a gun for self-defense are relatively small. But I wonder about a lower income foster parent and or children. Don’t these foster parents deserve the right to exercise their legal right to armed self defense?Why must this right be abdicated to help out these unfortunate children?”

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

76 Responses to Why Can’t Foster Parents Carry A Firearm?

  1. The quoted regulations didn’t say if you admit to owning guns you can forget about becoming a foster parent, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how it works in practice.

    The reason is obvious and it’s the same reason most cops don’t like concealed carry and most university professors don’t want guns on campus.

    You know, if you guys would step outside your little circles of gun lovers who keep telling you you’re right, you might realize a lot of people don’t see things like you do.

    • avatarEthanB says:

      I’m probably asking for it, but I fail to see the obvious reason. Can I get it spelled out so I can understand?

      • avatarJake says:

        He will do no such thing. He will tell you it is plainly obvious and then insult your intelligence. Or he will say facts don’t matter. Or something.

      • avatarIdahoPete says:

        The “obvious reason” is that government bureaucrats, university professors and many cops are power junkies, and they do not feel comfortable with armed peasants.

        So they will grab any chance to exercise their power to disarm you.

        Does that help?

      • avatarParthenon says:

        The most obvious reason I can think of is that people have been taught from an early age that guns cause violence and death and that police officers are the only people who can carry them without killing innocent people.

        They are bombarded with reports of gun violence and accidental shootings but rarely hear about the people who use their weapon to defend themselves from violent attack. When they do it’s usually a case in which the self defense claim is being questioned. Of course they never hear about the millions of people who carry a weapon every day and never hurt anyone.

        Without any other point of reference it’s easy to come to the conclusion that guns are inherently dangerous and that people who carry them are either nuts who are just looking for an excuse to kill someone or nuts who have no regard for people’s safety.

        Social workers and educators generally come from a liberal background and therefore never had any direct contact with firearms. So they will usually have this view about firearms and the people who carry them.

        Even if they don’t they know that their supervisor and most of their coworkers will. And it’s easier to go with the flow then risk your career standing up for the rights of the people in your care.

        As for police officers they are being trained to be suspicious of members of the public, so their is a lot of “us vs them” mentality going around.
        They spend hours in training hearing about officers getting shot on the job and they begin to fear the very public they are protecting.
        Many departments have their own shooting range for officer training. Because of this officers often will never go to a public range. So they never see members of the public using a firearm in safe responsible manner.

        So many officers will only encounter firearms in pubic when they are responding to a crime or they find one while patting down a suspect.

      • avatartmuir says:

        In California the class flatly stated that they were worried that the children would be unstable, damaged.

        The instructors taught that you cannot assume that the foster children have a basic understanding of common human behaviors.

    • avatarJason says:

      Just saying “most cops” doesn’t make it true. How do you know whether or not more than 50% of cops/professors don’t like CCW?

      Please state the obvious reason the gun owners shouldn’t be foster parents. I’d like to see it articulated.

      • You caught me, man. You’re just too sharp for me. All cops like concealed carry for civilians and all professors want to get rid of those ridiculous gun free campuses.

        The Boy Scouts too, they really want everybody to have guns around the little guys.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          “How do you know whether or not more than 50% of cops/professors don’t like CCW?”

          “Please state the obvious reason the gun owners shouldn’t be foster parents.”
          —–
          Just in case ya missed ‘em.

        • The reason the above don’t like that baseless assumption by mikeb is that there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of police officers supporting concealed carry. I’m not aware of any studies or surveys to assess the overall opinion; EDITED; “T” cites a study below citing majority preference for conceal carry by police chiefs.

          You can quote your opinion, but the reason you are constantly criticized on this site is because you constantly claim your opinion as fact, and make assumptions that have no evidence to support it. When you do these things you sound ignorant, and when you sound ignorant people stop listening to you. It’s in your own interest to think about the things you say and how you say them.

        • avatarJason says:

          I asked a question and made a request for further articulation. I never said “All cops” or even stated an opinion.

          When you fail at making up facts you invoke the staw man argument. The “staw man” in this case is you implying that I am making an argument that “all cops like concealed carry”. This is not an argument that I made (I didn’t even make an argument) — it is the straw man you created.

          I’m not afraid of your ideas but please debate in an intellectually honest manner.

        • avatarChas says:

          Classic deflection. You’ve been caught trying to pass your opinion as fact, and what do you do? Try to turn it around on the one who caught you.

          We can read you like a book, Mikey.

        • avatarGS650G says:

          Use of “all” or “most” to describe things is what gets MikeB203000 in trouble. It flows from a lack of facts. Generalizing is an art form, you can try using “many”
          or “some”, even “a lot” without swinging too far to the extreme.
          Oh, what the hell am I doing giving him advice on how to sway opinions.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          GS650G: I specifically addressed this in another post. My comment was that Mikey was chickenshit because he used mealy-mouthed words like most and many, so that if someone takes offense, it’s easy to worm his way out and say “of course I didn’t mean you, I meant all those other hidden criminals.”

          There was another post a few months back where, in two separate comments under the same post, he made the statement that “many” of us were crazy psychopaths itching for a confrontation, and then separately made the statement that “most” of us were reasonable, level-headed individuals. Since both “many” and “most” imply a majority, I was curious how that was mathematically possible. I’m still waiting on an answer.

        • You, sir, are a liar.

          “he made the statement that “many” of us were crazy psychopaths itching for a confrontation”

          Prove that you’re not, I dare you.

        • You sir, are a liar.

          “Use of “all”…”

          Show us examples of where I’ve said “all” in reference to you gun guys. Please. I dare you.

    • avatarT says:

      and that reason is?……….

      66% of Police Chiefs support the citizens right to concealed carry.
      Source = (National Association of Chiefs of Police, 17th Annual National Survey of Police Chiefs & Sheriffs, 2005.)

      You should look up facts before you make up statistics.

      You are entitled to your beliefs just like we are but I doubt you will win over anyone here.

    • avataruncommon_sense says:

      Are you saying that an individual should not do something unless a majority of a society approves of their choice? Wow, that doctrine would have really worked out poorly for black people 100 or so years ago.

      I am still trying to understand the assertion that not having tools to defend myself makes me safer … or saying it another way that being weaker makes me stronger.

      • No, I’m not saying that at all. I’m simply saying that when you guys claim to be in the majority, you’re full of it.

        In another recent post it was the Boy Scouts. The explanation for that one was cool, everyone who disagrees with your fanatical views is in “Condition White.” Could you guys possible be any more arrogant?

        • avatarT says:

          and you are right because? I completely support your right to keep your beliefs, and I do defend them daily, but you need to provide facts, or at least explain things. All you have said is that we are wrong.

        • avatarJake says:

          You’re not saying it… except for the part where you say it.

        • avatarChas says:

          Mikey’s definition of “fanatical”… anyone who doesn’t agree with him.

    • avatarAharon says:

      You need to step outside your own little circle.

      • How can you say that when I spend more time over here with you guys than on my own blog?

        • avatarBill F says:

          Will you or will you not ariculate the “obvious reasons”, just for the sake of clarifying your own ststement?

        • No I won’t because I don’t want to humor you when you try to jerk me around.

        • avatarChas says:

          In other words, you can’t articulate those reasons that are so “obvious”. LMAO.

        • avatarJake says:

          I SEE WUT U DID THAR MIKIE

        • avatarAnthony Meruelo says:

          I used to have a little respect for you, MikeB, for being an anti that constantly hangs here to argue with us. That shred is now gone. The lack of a logical statement or factual citations in your comments disgusts me.

        • Now that really hurts, Anthony. To have disgusted you, I don’t know how I’ll bear the shame.

          Obvious things are obvious to everyone, especially since we’ve been arguing about nothing else for a long time and you’ve heard everything I have to say over and over again.

          After all that, when one of you asks “what do you mean,” FLAME DELETED. You know damn well what I mean.

          Nevertheless, here goes. Guns and kids don’t mix. Many of you gun guys have a mixed up idea of teaching kids gun safety and then slacking off on the parental supervision part. The social workers who have no axes to grind, unlike you, have the child’s interest in mind when they try to determine if a gun owner truly is responsible or not. All of them say they are, but we know that’s not always the case.

          In response to this you fabricate a huge conspiracy in which non-gun folks unfairly discriminate against you poor misunderstood gun owners. It’s paranoia and victimism, nothing more.

        • avatarNate says:

          Citation needed.

          Mike, I respect your opinion, but it’s just that: OPINION. Next time, try to bring some verifiable facts to the table.

        • It’s an opinion, then, no citation needed. Do you disagree with it?

        • avatarTotenglocke says:

          Yes, because as always, you have no factual basis for your views.

        • avatarJake says:

          Oh by all means, take your passage. Leave and be welcome to everywhere else.

    • avatarChas says:

      First of all, please cite your source(s) for your claim that “most cops don’t like concealed carry and most university professors don’t want guns on campus”.

      Second, Just because “a lot of people” don’t see things like we do doesn’t mean we’re wrong, either. BTW, those people are also telling each other they’re right. Doesn’t make it so.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      I would just like to point out that 5 hours after it was originally posted, Mikey has still failed to give any information backing his “obvious” statement, nor his assertion that “most cops don’t like concealed carry and most university professors don’t want guns on campus.” (For the record, I’d guess the latter is much closer to accurate than the former.)

      I’m going to try a little experiment. I’m going to ask every law enforcement officer I encounter for the next 30 days what their personal opinion of concealed carry is. I will stress that I’m not taking names, I’m just settling a bet, basically. If I can get what seems like a reasonable sample size, I will find some way to put the results where y’all can see them.

      • avatarTexas Deputy says:

        Long time law enforcement officer AND a college professor; VERY pro-carry!

        The chief deputy and major that I work with every day are also college faculty, and are both very pro-carry.

        Put us down as +3 pro-carry!

        • Fair enough. And in your opinion are you guys representative of most?

        • avatarTexas Deputy says:

          Here in the FREE and “Republic” State of Texas, YES!

          I have been here for 35 years, and encountered very few anti’s.

          The few that I have encountered were often political hacks appointees in the big cities.

          Unlike the the quasi-socialist home country that you (Mikeb302000) live in, WE still have basic human freedoms in Texas!

          Come and taste freedom – you might surprise yourself and actually enjoy free air for a change!

      • I can’t wait to see that fair and square survey. Hahahaha

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          Why can’t you wait, Mike? Is it because you think I’ll massage the numbers, or is because you think they’ll prove you out to be right?

          I’ve been thinking about how to do it, and what I settled on was recording their answer as accurately as I can remember, and then trying to fit that answer into one of 3-5 categories. Something along the lines of “completely in favor” through “it’s the law, my opinion is irrelevant” through “completely not in favor.”

          I can’t say I directly encounter a huge number of LEOs in my daily life, but I’ll go out of my way to engage the ones I do see to ask them this question. Hopefully I’ll get a decent number of responses.

        • I can’t wait (no sarcasm).

    • avatarIowaJoe says:

      Ignore him, he is a Bloomberg, troll !!

    • avatarhomobangbangamus says:

      That’s because they are absolute morons. And yes, I have thought the matter through and yes, I have been on the other end of a gun more than once and survived, once as a hostage.

      I think the way I think because not to think that way would be illogical and dangerous based upon real world experience. Any other point of view is stupid, provably stupid.

    • avatarTSgt B says:

      Well, Mikey, as a former cop, and retired military, where I served as a cop, I know a LOT of cops, and I can count on one hand the ones who don’t support CCW laws. And none of this group are “line” officers; they are Lt.s captains, and chiefs – almost ALL POLITICAL APPOINTED KNOBSHINERS.

      As to university professors, as I have a few in my family, and know several others, I wouldn’t be surprised at your statement. Most of these folks, if they had a flat tire on a deserted road, would not survive. A good many are among the most highly educated and indoctrinated idiots I’ve ever met. They know very little about the real world, having spent their working and social lives around a bunch of like-thinking elitists. They, as a group, onow virtually NOTHING about firearms, by their own choice (what I call the “intentionally ignorant). I would no sooner ask their advice or consent regarding fireams than I’d ask my physician about rebuilding automatic transmissions.

      By the way, just how much law enforcement experience (aside from wearing handcuffs) or teachung experience do you have?

  2. avataruncommon_sense says:

    This is a really tough topic. All of the children in foster care have deep emotional wounds. These wounds increase the risk that these children act out and harm others or themselves. I totally agree with a strict protocol to keep firearms locked in a safe. (I see no reason to keep ammunition separate.) This is a best practice in general and mandatory whenever people are in the home with emotional wounds.

    As for concealed carry, I don’t think it is necessary to outright ban foster parents from concealed carry. I do, however, think that a more strict protocol is in order. A foster parent that wants to carry must keep their handgun in a retention holster on their hip at all times or in a safe — no exceptions. Storing a handgun in a car or purse or nightstand drawer is not an option. Nor is hiding it or leaving it on a counter while doing something.

    I would hope that anyone who is committed to another person’s care and committed to their personal safety would be able to practice the protocol that I listed. It seems like that arrangement should make everyone happy.

    • avatarAnon in CT says:

      Very well said. The problem is that nobody is perfect, so there will always be a few “exceptions”. Soldiers make mistakes, cops make mistakes and ordinary law-abiding citizens make mistakes. Having a volatile teen around could make one of those mistakes go fatal very quickly.

    • avatarRon says:

      I read your post three (3) times before making this comment in an attempt to make sure there was no misunderstanding on my part.

      If you continue to make comments like the ones above you will have to drop the” un ” from your screen name.

  3. avatarRalph says:

    Kids in foster care have been handed the dirty end of the stick. Some of them will heal with time and care; others are damaged beyond repair and simply cannot ever be trusted. The problem is distinguising the former from the latter.

    I can understand that agencies are concerned about guns around foster kids. To protect the kids from themselves, yes, but also to protect the foster parents from the very children that they’re trying to care for.

    • avatarTom says:

      I went to school with some foster kids who were really a mess. I got to the point where “foster child” = bad news.

    • avatarnapoleon says:

      Thank you, Robert, for highlighting this issue.

      Having been through the process myself and spending a lot of time/money on attorneys specializing in adoption law, I can tell you that the laws vary wickedly from state to state on many issues related to foster care/adoption. The only federal law (besides subsidy) relates to Native American children and has done a lot of harm to a lot of NA and non-NA children over the last 35 years. Additionally, there are a lot of gray area parenting issues/values that are either addressed formally or by the social worker you luck out with that would make any responsible parent sick.

      Improvements to the foster system are needed on many fronts to ensure more and better homes for these kids and ensure the laws focus on the children’s interests and not the adults. But some are very sticky, or at least perceived that way.

      Having been fortunate enough to make the journey armed, I know I would have given up my guns in a heartbeat for my son
      if it was required.

  4. avatarBig J says:

    Wait a minute… So if I store my guns in my custom Ft. Knox safe, behind nearly 1/2 inch of plate steel; I’m still in violation if guns don’t have worthles $0.50 trigger locks on them?

  5. avatarHenry Bowman says:

    “The children in the foster care system have been taken from their parents and are now wards of the State.”

    Children in “foster care” have been immorally kidnapped from their parents. The group of people who claim “authority” to do this “for the good of the children” are the worst kind of authoritarians. Those same authoritarians then claim the “authority” to restrict the property of those who support the vile practice by absconding with the victims. Is that surprising?

    Parents have sole legitimate authority over their children. Defense of others where appropriate is good, but to forcibly remove and exercise authority over a child which is not yours is a grievous over-reach and completely unjust. To then complain about the state restricting gun-rights while accepting the usurpation of parental “authority” by that same state is naive, obtuse, or irrational.

    • avatarirock350 says:

      Right because we should allow parents who: beat, sexually assault, and kill their children to keep them, because they do such a bang up job at it. I teach kids in a title 1 district in rural Texas, and frankly CPS does not do enough. 3 of students have been returned to their abusive parents in the same year, 2 of them made return trips to the hospital for abuse (one into ICU for a month), and the other had to watch as his mother beat his sister to death.

      Fostering children is difficult and taxing on both the children and the foster parents. Sometimes the children are sent to foster parents who are worse than their real parents, other times the children arrive with deep, troubling emotional issues. My wife and I sheltered a student for a week before she could placed in long term facility, by the end of the week we had to take-up all of the sharp objects. It totally makes sense that a government agency would want to prevent any harm by requiring that the firearms be locked up, including the ammo. Not just for the child’s protection, but for the foster parent’s, and the other children.

      • avatarHenry Bowman says:

        It seems that you believe the state can exercise authority over anything it deems fit regardless of constitutionality, morality, justice, or decency.

        At least you’re consistent.

        • avatarGS650G says:

          I think the state should have authority to protect minors who cannot protect themselves, even from their parents. It’s not a blanket grant of authority, teh state has to go to court and show good cause without any other options, like different relatives, before removing.
          It’s one of the few things we need government for, unless you think the neighbors should get involved and yank kids away from bad parents.
          Let’s not take the libertarian theme too far.

    • avataruncommon_sense says:

      Few things enrage me more than when child protective services take away a child from their family for some stupid reason. One of those things that do enrage me more, however, is when child protective services leave children in homes where the DNA donors (I cannot call them parents because that involves more than a reproductive activity) do the things that iroq350 listed.

      It is always a tragedy when an adult faces an attacker. At least they have some options to respond, however bleak the situation. When a DNA donor attacks their own children, however, the children seldom have any options. To stay will result in death, great bodily harm, or great emotional harm. To leave and face the world by themselves will do the same. Anyone who would advocate leaving the children with the parents in that type of situation is a monster. The only option is for someone to remove the child and everyone involved puts forth their best effort to help the child heal and grow up into a functional, healthy adult.

      Anyone interested in criticizing that position — please explain why my daughter that I adopted would have been better off with her biological mother who neglected the infant child and literally caused brain damage.

      • avatarHenry Bowman says:

        Please see my reply to Sanchanim below.

        I don’t think your daughter would be better off with a mother that caused her brain damage. I’m happy that she is now in a good and loving home (an assumption I easily make from your comments).

        However, just as those who advocate disarming the law-abiding, government intervention and force does little to stop actual crime and often creates victims of good people. The foster care system is racked with abuse, fraud, injustice, and pain, both for abused children as well as good families and their kids who are victimized by goverment regulation.

        This may be hard to recognize and accept, but the “for the children” argument regarding foster care is the same one spouted for every other government intrusion into our lives. And it’s validity is the same across the board… ZERO.

  6. avatarKevin T says:

    I’m a foster kid who just started college and a gun collection. I was very lucky to get the foster parents that I did and I learned a lot from them, just nothing about guns, all self-taught. I didn’t realize there’s that much of a process for foster care….

  7. avatarSebudei says:

    I’m going through almost the exact same thing with WI Foster care.

    Relevant WI statute links: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/document/administrativecode/DCF%2056.08

    Home carry is not an option, even for LEOs!
    DCF 56.08(5)(d) (d) If the foster parent is a sworn law enforcement officer who is required to maintain a loaded weapon at all times, the loaded weapon shall be stored and locked in an area not readily accessible to foster children.

    Now, the WI State Constitution: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/wiscon/_10/_28
    ‘The most natural reading of “keep arms” in the 2nd amendment is to have weapons. The natural meaning of “bear arms” is to “wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.”‘

    I am not a lawyer, I haven’t read the case law. I know my legal opinion can’t be trusted.

    But it sure looks like the statute 56 is unconstitutional (state). What do I do? Sue the state? Argh.

  8. avatarGabba says:

    probably because foster kids on average tend to be much sneakier and manipulative than kids in general. kids like to play with guns, it’s just a fact, and foster kids are held in check with far less social control than kids from intact families.

  9. avatarShepherd K says:

    Irock350 and uncommon_sense have already made some of the points I would make as a foster parent and firearms owner myself. The goal of a foster parent is to provide the safest environment for a child who has been taken from their home for any number of reasons…not to indoctrinate them into being a rabid Second Amendment advocate. Do you really think it’s a smart idea to carry a gun round a child who has suffered severe emotional or physical trauma at the hands of their birth family? If so, you are probably thinking a little bit too much about yourself and not enough about the well being of the child.

    In addition to the psychological/emotional well being issues for the children, there is the liability issue for the foster parent. The child is a ward of the state for better or worse. The state entrusts the child into your care, and anything that happens to that child is YOUR responsibility. If something happens that results in physical harm to the child,the foster parent is subject to criminal and civil liability. Why take the chance? Lock the guns and ammo up. Buy a quick access safe for bedside security (like the one demonstrated in Glock’s commercial featuring Arlie Ermy for instance) if you feel the need.

    • avataruncommon_sense says:

      Shepherd K makes a good argument that it could be psychologically harmful to some children if the foster parent carries (openly or concealed) at all times. Of course we want the foster children to respect their foster parents but we certainly don’t want them in fear of their foster parents. It seems to me this is a case-by-case situation.

  10. avatarSanchanim says:

    @Henry Bowman: This is a case where I disagree with you.
    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/04/24/8-year-old-found-sleeping-alone-in-napa-meth-lab-apartment/

    I can understand the laws in regard to wanting to keep kids safe, as we all do. Now I think the inference here is that yes the laws, like Alaska’s seem to make sense, even though you are the foster parent, the state needs to take reasonable steps to ensure the child’s safety, and I think that the person who reported this feels that despite the precautions there is discrimination going on even beyond the meeting the requirements which I don’t doubt.

    I believe in the right for them to home carry or cc. If the children brought into the home are educated, and the other rules are followed, when the gun is not on the person then what is the problem?

    • avatarHenry Bowman says:

      If you believe that the state can exercise authority over our very children, then by extrapolation, you must believe that the state can exercise authority over anything else it wants. That is, at least, if you want to be consistent.

      According to the U.S. Health and Human Services report on child maltreatment, (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm10/cm10.pdf#page=87) in 2010, only 19.2% of the ~500,000 children in foster care were removed from their families due to actual abuse (9.8% physical, 3.2% psychological, 6.2% sexual).

      Almost a full 62% were removed due to “neglect.” Their own definition of NEGLECT is “maltreatment that refers to the failure by the caregiver to provide needed, age-appropriate care although financially able to do so or offered financial or other means to do so.”

      So, ~2/3′s of all children in foster care in 2010 were there based on a intentionally vague criteria of “needed, age-appropriate care” to be determined by a social services bureaucrat. Do you trust the government to determine what your child needs? Do you trust the government to determine what is age-appropriate for your child?

      Children suffering actual abuse need good people to stand up and defend them, but when children are being violently stripped from their parents because they are home-schooled, or haven’t received their “mandatory” vaccines, or have an “age inappropriate” access to guns, a far more vile picture is apparent to those who are willing to see.

      Most of us hold a pretty clear opinion that our government is wasteful, corrupt, inefficient, and often times blatantly malicious… why does that opinion change when it comes to foster care? Follow the money.

      • avataruncommon_sense says:

        Henry I agree with some of your points. There is no question in my mind that child protective services get it wrong — a lot!

        As for the State having authority to remove children, that is certainly tenuous. I believe there is a different way to look at it. I don’t know anyone who wants children that are in truly dangerous homes to stay in those homes. The problem is that if a citizen attempts to intercede all by themselves with a neighbor and the neighbor resists and gets vocal, with whom will the rest of the neighbors or community side and support? The trouble with personal intervention is accountability and assurances that the citizen interceding is impartial. Maybe the person interceding is infertile and wants children and makes up a story to “intercede” and take one from someone else.

        Given the above it seems like the State is the one to intercede. It’s not so much an authority thing. It’s a matter of someone HAS to do it and the State is the best choice. The only down side are the bureaucrat issues and definitions that you stated — and they are big issues.

        • avatarHenry Bowman says:

          The state, in my opinion, has never been “the best choice” for anything.

          In fact, I hold the exact opposite view. The state is the absolute worst choice for everything.

  11. avatarJohn says:

    It really depends on who you are and where you are. In AZ having a CCW is really no problem to foster licensure. (I am in the process right now) Correct storage and care is important for the home study and inspection, but having a CCW and carrying is not in any way a disqualifier. YMMV depending on jurisdiction.

  12. avatarTexas Deputy says:

    One of my daughters who shoots competitive center fire pistol, and has a CHL, is in the process of legally adopting two brothers. She lives in a generally pro-gun state.

    Among the paperwork she had to complete was a question about firearms in the house. Wanting to be truthful and knowing that child protective services probably already knew that she had a CHL, she called protective services to inquire if her handguns in the house would prevent her and her husband from adopting these boys. She was bluntly informed that they did not want to put kids in a house with guns.

    A little annoyed, my daughter asked where she could find the rules prohibiting guns in the home; were they online somewhere?

    She was tersely told that it was an unwritten rule of the department, and her case worker would not approve her home ( a large, new 4BR 2 1/2 bath house) if there were guns in the house.

    My daughter has a small but reasonably secure gun safe where she stores her pistols, except when she is carrying.

    When the case worker came to “inspect” her house, the first question asked was “Where are the guns?” She walked the case worker up stairs to her bedroom, and showed her the locked gun safe. The case worker asked her to open the safe, which she complied with. The protective service worker was appalled that she had handguns in the house, explicitly stating that it was terrible that she had so many guns (4). My daughter closed and locked the safe.

    “Are they all registered?” (There is no mandatory registration in that state, only a 4473 at time of purchase from a dealer). My daughter told her that she purchased them legally. The case worker shook her head, and did a quick walk-through the rest of the house. Never asked about the boys’ intended bedroom, or other relevant questions.

    She was expecting to get custody last fall, as these boys are good kids living in terrible conditions. She has a lawyer handling the adoption, and he can not get a square answer from protective services for the delay. Everything has been completed for months, and verified. She was told that she would have the boys by last Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then in March, and now maybe in May or June.

    I guess that the state officials prefer to have these boys living in a rough urban group home at state expense rather than a nice, new, large home in a very good neighborhood with good schools, and a wholesome environment.

    Having 4 handguns in a gun safe must be more dangerous that letting these boys roam an inner city street.

  13. avatarMark Chamberlain says:

    Social Worker: So, prospective foster parent, last question. What about firearms in your home?

    Applicant: Oh yes, we are safe and secure. We have firearms and they are loaded and ready to aid in the defense of our home.

    • avatarparthenon says:

      Socal worker: *taking notes* Household contains multable loaded weapons and applicant has expressed a desire to commit acts of violence.

  14. avataramy says:

    So what happens when a Foster child gets the gun and shots him self in the head

  15. avatarMatt in FL says:

    So what happens when a Foster child gets the gun and shots him self in the head

    The kid dies? The foster parent goes to jail?

    Nothing like semi-literate non-constructive comments on a month-plus old post. Those are my favorite kind.

  16. avatarUnknown says:

    Me and my wife are currently going through the foster care process here in Ohio (Lucas County) and just had our first home inspection. They said the guns and the ammo must be stored separate and locked, OK, I have no problem with this it makes perfect sense. I then asked about my Ohio CCW and if it is a problem to carry. The social worker told me she thought that it wasn’t allowed. She called my wife back the next day and told her that it isn’t allowed, WITH or WITHOUT the foster child even present. I told them that this is a big deal to me and would make me reconsider fostering (probably was already thrown on a black list for admitting I carry).

    I don’t get it. They stressed in the classes how short they are of good foster homes for these kids and then tell me I can’t carry my firearm LEGALLY with a valid license. They found nothing else major with the home study either. Me and my wife love children and want to help them out and foster, but I am unwilling to relinquish my second amendment rights.

    It’s not like I’m a criminal with a record. I am a law abiding citizen with a valid permit and no history. If it means my 2nd amendment right or fostering, I have to choose 2nd amendment. This is just one way the government wants to disarm citizens of their right.

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