There are some 400,000 children in the foster care system, many of whom are prohibited from any parental contact. Of those, about 12 percent are housed in institutional settings or group homes.
These children are typically taken by officials they have never met, without warning, then subjected to intrusive interrogations, medical examinations and sometimes strip searches, wrote Paul Chill, a law professor at the University of Connecticut, in a 2004 article about practices that experts say continue today.
Some three-quarters of cases nationwide involve not abuse, but neglect, a “really broad umbrella” that “often just looks like poverty,” said Christopher Wildeman, a sociologist at Cornell University who studies the effects of paternal incarceration and foster care. “There’s no consistent evidence that removing kids is, on average, beneficial, and there’s substantial evidence that it does harm,” he said.
Even a caretaker’s authorized use of medical marijuana use can be grounds for removing children.
That is from Shaila Dewan at the NYT, with other good points too.