Most state social services agencies are at least partially funded with federal tax dollars. Last fall, in response to the New Jersey DYFS's mishandling of the foster-parent case, the Human Resources Subcommittee of the United States House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee convened a hearing to inquire into whether DYFS was putting federal money to good use. The committee noted that in 2002, federal taxpayers provided the states $3.1 billion to support children in adoptive and foster settings, and an additional $2.8 billion in administrative funding to help vulnerable children. State accountability is imperative.
Before the hearing, Tom Washburne, Director of HSLDA's National Center for Home Education, learned that the president of the union that represents New Jersey social workers planned to blame homeschooling for DYFS's failures in her testimony before the committee.
Washburne asked the committee staff to inform the chairman of homeschoolers' concerns regarding the union leader's unfairly biased speech and its potential impact on their freedom. He wanted the chairman to be aware that based on reports that the foster family was homeschooling, certain legislators had jumped to the conclusion that new homeschool regulations are needed. However, Washburne also pointed out the fallacious logic underlying such dangerous legislative proposals.
In spite of the union leader's testimony, the hearing did not veer off into the side issue of homeschooling. The committee focused on its principal task of investigating the misuse of taxpayer funds by DYFS. Although Washburne was not asked to testify before the committee, because of his knowledge of the workings of Congress, NCHE was able to enter the truth that there is no link between child abuse and homeschooling in the final written record of the hearing.