A family from Missouri’s traveling from state to state, accusing child welfare agencies of being too quick to take a kid away from his or her parents. Cheryl Barnes, the national director of Child Protective Services Watch, got involved after one of her children was taken away by state officials. Barnes, who is from Branson, Missouri, says it took 22 months to get her son back. She says Iowa’s child welfare system isn’t much better than Missouri’s. After the death of Spirit Lake toddler Shelby Duis and the severe abuse of an Oskaloosa child, the Iowa Department of Human Services was criticized for not removing those children from abusive homes. Barnes says social workers are not trained well enough to make judgements.Barnes says data from 1996, ’97 and ’98 shows Iowa social workers are more inclined to remove a kid from a home and ask questions later. Barnes met this afternoon with about two dozen Iowa parents who say state officials took their children away from them, for no good cause. Barnes will travel to Jefferson City, Missouri, for a similar rally at the state capitol on Friday. Barnes, her husband, and their nine children have traveled to 21 other state capitols since January 2nd and intend to visit all 48 contiguous states by mid-April to make their case.
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