Yikes. This is why correlation science can often times run amok. Looking at large swaths of statistical data one can draw correlations with many things.
The real issue with why poverty precipitates out in this way, unfortunately, is because you will find a higher number of people who are poor and who abuse. Often this isn't due to the poverty of course, it is due to poor self control (issues with executive functioning, impulsivity, reactivity etc) which might lead to both being poor and being abusive. Much like the propensity to abuse, being poor is a factor of that struggle with self control and not due to being poor in and of itself. So basically, more people who abuse will be poor because being reactive and impulsive or having low grit and perserverence does not often lead to high educational attainment or the steps necessary to love into a higher income bracket. However, this does not work the other way around (people who are poor are not more likely to abuse) because being poor isn't always due to an inability to delay gratification long enough to get ahead. Sometimes it is a choice to choose a low paying career, sometimes it is health related, sometimes it is sacrifice to be with the children...this is not a situation that often leads to abuse. Trying to take human behavior and distilling it down into a mathematical function is just not helpful at all. This is exactly how biases and prejudices begin to precipitate within a culture. It is gross and strips people of their dignity.
While I would agree about your arguments about impulse control and abuse, I believe you are conflating a lot of factors with regard to poverty. Since that's where you start, it gives the appearance that that is what you believe the main cause of poverty to be. Is that accurate?
WIth regard to CPS referrals, this line of argument omits the fact that CPS referrals include charges of neglect, not just abuse.
Neglect includes things like not having enough food in the refrigerator when a social worker comes to inspect (how might that be related to poverty?, not having heat in the home (how might that be related to poverty? leaving the kids home alone while the parent works ( Your argument appears to assume that poverty is a result of not working, yet a parent could work full time at a minimum wage job and be below the poverty line. How will they also pay for babysitting?) Many families are one job loss away from poverty level living. Furthermore, just as wealth tends to beget wealth, poverty tends to beget poverty. Had our family ever been in bad straits, due to loss of income, etc. we have two sets of grandparents who could have supported us. Many people who live in poverty have relatives in the same boat, so there is no family safety net either. Or there are one or two family members who were able to climb out and they keep their distance because they can't help everyone and need to be their own safety net.
In the article, the second description (of the 14 year old) sounds like pure poverty and someone being reported because they are poor. If the social worker finds that poverty is the reason for the conditions (and not for instance, that the parents eat fine but their children don't) then she's supposed to refer them to ta-dah: the agencies in the community that can help with income issues such as ones that provide heat in the winter, food stamps, etc. But if the family follows through on that, their "risk score" increases!
And the points that middle class families may have the same needs but be getting them met privately (through private mental health, financial supplementation from families, etc.) means this is absolutely a discriminatory tool that will raise the risk profile and the likelihood of a CPS investigation of those who are poor. The article is one of the few that note that a CPS investigation is not benign and can have devastating and permanent effects even if in the end no abuse is substantiated.
Edited by Laurie4b, 20 January 2018 - 05:26 PM.