Our Family Torn and Terrorized by CPS (Part 6)


I finally completed Part 6 of our story including getting arrested for a possession of stolen property that was not stolen and more falsified hair follicle tests.

Part 7 should be much more exciting as I will explain what happened in Arizona and show how we “stole” our son back from CPS who never has legal custody of our children because they never had any SIGNED COURT ORDERS!

 

If I Said I Was Sorry Would I Be Forgiven?


If I dedicated my life to Christ and converted to an acceptable religion, would anyone’s views and opinions of me change? Would I then be “accepted”? I doubt it. You know why? Because I don’t need to do those things to be a good or better person. I am a good decent person who made some poor decisions because I MADE THOSE DECISIONS WITH MY HEART. I am trying to change that but it is hard. To become cold and heartless is not in my nature. To look out for only myself is very difficult. But if I promise to try, will I be given a reprieve? Can I pass go and collect the love from people who now despise me based on lies they were told about me? 951-295-6854 If anyone has anything to say to me please call, ask me anything you want. I am an open book. Oops, that is not a good way to “cover my butt” is it? I am thinking with my heart again.

Oh My FREAKING GOD!!!!! Evil SOCIAL WORKERS!!! This is total B.S.


http://medicalkidnap.com/2015/03/20/medical-kidnap-mother-loses-3-children-because-daughter-is-too-short/medicalkidnap

Please Help Save Kendall


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Harassment by Cops and CPS Simply for Speaking Out and Posting Abuse of Power


Child Protective Services aka CPS, Everything you ever wanted to know. The Good, The bad, and The Ugly.


Federal

U.S. federal laws that govern CPS agencies include:

History

In 1690, in what is now the United States, there were criminal court cases involving child abuse.[1] In 1692, states and municipalities identified care for abused and neglected children as the responsibility of local government and private institutions.[2]In 1696, The Kingdom of England first used the legal principle of parens patriae, which gave the royal crown care of “charities, infants, idiots, and lunatics returned to the chancery.” This principal of parens patriae has been identified as the statutory basis for U.S. governmental intervention in families’ child rearing practices.[3]

In 1825, states enacted laws giving social-welfare agencies the right to remove neglected children from their parents and from the streets. These children were placed in almshouses, in orphanages and with other families. In 1835, the Humane Society founded the National Federation of Child Rescue agencies to investigate child maltreatment. In the late-19th century, private child protection agencies – modeled after existing animal protection organizations – developed to investigate reports of child maltreatment, present cases in court and advocate for child welfare legislation.[4]

In 1853, the Children’s Aid Society was founded in response to the problem of orphaned or abandoned children living in New York.[5] Rather than allow these children to become institutionalized or continue to live on the streets, the children were placed in the first “foster” homes, typically with the intention of helping these families work their farms.[6][7]

In 1874, the first case of child abuse was criminally prosecuted in what has come to be known as the “case of Mary Ellen.” Outrage over this case started an organized effort against child maltreatment[8] In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt convened the White House Conference on Child Dependency, which created a publicly funded volunteer organization to “establish and publicize standards of child care.”[6] By 1926, 18 states had some version of county child welfare boards whose purpose was to coordinate public and private child related work.[7] Issues of abuse and neglect were addressed in the Social Security Act in 1930, which provided funding for intervention for “neglected and dependent children in danger of becoming delinquent.” [8]

In 1912, the federal Children’s Bureau was established to manage federal child welfare efforts, including services related to child maltreatment. In 1958, amendments to the Social Security Act mandated that states fund child protection efforts.[9] In 1962, professional and media interest in child maltreatment was sparked by the publication of C. Henry Kempe and associates’ “The battered child syndrome” in JAMA. By the mid-1960s, in response to public concern that resulted from this article, 49 U.S. states passed child-abuse reporting laws.[10] In 1974, these efforts by the states culminated in the passage of the federal “Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act” (CAPTA; Public Law 93-247) providing federal funding for wide-ranging federal and state child-maltreatment research and services.[11] In 1980, Congress passed the first comprehensive federal child protective services act, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-272), which focused on state economic incentives to substantially decrease the length and number of foster care placements.[12]

Partly funded by the federal government, Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies were first established in response to the 1974CAPTA which mandated that all states establish procedures to investigate suspected incidents of child maltreatment.[13]

In the 1940s and 1950s, due to improved technology in diagnostic radiology, the medical profession began to take notice of what they believed to be intentional injuries.[14] In 1961, C. Henry Kempe began to further research this issue, eventually identifying and coining the term battered child syndrome.[14] At this same time, there were also changing views about the role of the child in society, fueled in part by the civil rights movement.[7]

In 1973, Congress took the first steps toward enacting federal legislature to address the issue of child abuse. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act[15] was passed in 1974, which required states “to prevent, identify and treat child abuse and neglect.”[8]

Shortly thereafter, in 1978, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was passed in response to concerns that large numbers of Native American children were being separated from their tribes and placed in foster care.[16] This legislation not only opened the door for consideration of cultural issues while stressing ideas that children should be with their families, leading to the beginnings offamily preservation programs.[17] In 1980, the Adoption Assistance Act[18] was introduced as a way to manage the high numbers of children in placement.[7] Although this legislation addressed some of the complaints from earlier pieces of legislation around ensuring due process for parents, these changes did not alleviate the high numbers of children in placement or continuing delays in permanence.[17] This led to the introduction of the home visitation models, which provided funding to private agencies to provide intensive family preservation services.[7]

In addition to family preservation services, the focus of federal child welfare policy changed to try to address permanence for the large numbers of foster children care.[17] Several pieces of federal legislation attempted to ease the process of adoption including Adoption Assistance Act;[18] the 1988 Child Abuse Prevention, Adoption, and Family Services Act; and the 1992 Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Adoption, and Family Services Act.[19] The 1994 Multi-Ethnic Placement Act, which was revised in 1996 to add the Interethnic Placement Provisions, also attempted to promote permanency through adoption, creating regulations that adoptions could not be delayed or denied due to issues of race, color, or national origin of the child or the adoptive parent.[20]

All of these policies led up to the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), much of which guides current practice. Changes in the Adoptions and Safe Families Act showed an interest in both protecting children’s safety and developing permanency.[20]This law requires counties to provide “reasonable efforts” (treatment) to preserve or reunify families, but also shortened time lines required for permanence, leading to termination of parental rights should these efforts fail.[7][20] ASFA introduced the idea of “concurrent planning” which demonstrated attempts to reunify families as the first plan, but to have a back-up plan so as not to delay permanency for children.[21]

Comparison to other similar systems

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has a comprehensive child welfare system under which Local Authorities have duties and responsibilities towards children in need in their area. This covers provision of advice and services, accommodation and care of children who become uncared for, and also the capacity to initiate proceedings for the removal of children from their parents care/care proceedings. The criteria for the latter is ‘significant harm’ which covers physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. In appropriate cases the Care Plan before the Court will be for adoption. The Local Authorities also run adoption services both for children put up for adoption voluntarily and those becoming available for adoption through Court proceedings. The basic legal principle in all public and private proceedings concerning children, under the Children Act 1989, is that the welfare of the child is paramount. In recognition of attachment issues, social work good practice requires a minimal number of moves and the 1989 Children Act enshrines the principle that delay is inimical to a child’s welfare. Care proceedings have a time frame of 40 weeks and concurrent planning is required. The final Care Plan put forward by the Local Authority is required to provide a plan for permanence, whether with parents, family members, long-term foster parents or adopters. Nevertheless, ‘drift’ and multiple placements still occur as many older children are difficult to place or maintain in placements. The role of Independent Visitor, a voluntary post, was created in the United Kingdom under the 1989 Children Act to befriend and assist children and young people in care.

In England, Wales and Scotland, there never has been a statutory obligation to report alleged child abuse to the Police. However both the Children Act 1989 and 2004 makes clear a statutory obligation on all professionals to report suspected child abuse.

The statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006 created the role of Local Authority Designated Officer, This officer is responsible for managing allegations of abuse against adults who work with children (Teachers, Social Workers,Church leaders, Youth Workers etc.).

Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB’s) are responsible ensuring agencies and professionals,in their area,effectively safeguard and promote the welfare of children. In the event of the death or serious injury of a child, LSCB’s can initiate a ‘Serious Case Review’ aimed at identifying agency failings and improving future practice.

The planned ContactPoint database, under which information on children is shared between professionals, has been halted by the newly elected coalition government (May 2010). The database was aimed at improving information sharing across agencies. Lack of information sharing had been identified as a failing in numerous high profile child death cases. Critics of the scheme claimed it was evidence of a ‘big brother state’ and too expensive to introduce.

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006 (updated in 2010) and the subsequent ‘The Protection of Children in England: A Progress Report’ (Laming, 2009) continue to promote the sharing of data between those working with vulnerable children.[22]

A child in suitable cases can be made a ward of court and no decisions about the child or changes in its life can be made without the leave of the High Court.

In England the Murder of Victoria Climbié was largely responsible for various changes in child protection in England, including the formation of the Every Child Matters programme in 2003. A similar programme – Getting it Right for Every Child – GIRFEC was established in Scotland in 2008.

Canada

In Ontario, services are provided by independent Children’s Aid Societies.[23] The societies receive funding from, and are under the supervision of the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services.[24] However, they are regarded as a Non-governmental organization (NGO) which allows the CAS a large degree of autonomy from interference or direction in the day to day running of CAS by the Ministry. The Child and Family Services Review Board exists to investigate complaints against CAS and maintains authority to act against the societies.[25]

Costa Rica

The Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) is responsible for Child Protection in Costa Rica.[26]

The agency was founded in 1930 by Dr. Luis Felipe Gonzalez Flores, a Costa Rican magnate at the time. It was founded to combat infant mortality, that at the time, was rampant in Costa Rica. The idea was to put infants up for adoption that the mother could not afford to support (abortion is a crime in Costa Rica).[26]

In 1949, after the Costa Rican Civil War, a new constitution was written, it called for the agency to be an autonomous institution in the government, autonomous from any ministry.[26]

Today the focus is on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The agency still favors adoption, since abortion is illegal in Costa Rica.

Effects of early maltreatment on children in child welfare

Children with histories of maltreatment, such as physical and psychological neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse, are at risk of developing psychiatric problems.[27][28] Such children are at risk of developing a disorganized attachment.[29][30][31]Disorganized attachment is associated with a number of developmental problems, including dissociative symptoms,[32] as well as depressive, anxiety, and acting-out symptoms.[33][34]

Standards for Reporting

Generally speaking, a report must be made when an individual knows or has reasonable cause to believe or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect. These standards guide mandatory reporters in deciding whether to make a report to child protective services.[35]

Persons Responsible for the Child

In addition to defining acts or omissions that constitute child abuse or neglect, several states’ statutes provide specific definitions of persons who can get reported to child protective services as perpetrators of abuse or neglect. These are persons who have some relationship or regular responsibility for the child. This generally includes parents, guardians, foster parents, relatives, or legal guardians. Once taken away from home, the stated goal of CPS is to reunite the child with their family. In some cases, due to the nature of abuse children are not able to see or converse with the abusers. If parents fail to complete Court Ordered terms and conditions, the children in care may never return home.[35]

Child Protective Services Statistics

The United States government’s Administration for Children and Families reported that in 2004 approximately 3.5 million children were involved in investigations of alleged abuse or neglect in the US, while an estimated 872,000 children were determined to have been abused or neglected, and an estimated 1,490 children died that year because of abuse or neglect. In 2007, 1,760 children died as the result of child abuse and neglect.[36] Child abuse impacts the most vulnerable populations, with children under age five years accounting for 76% of fatalities.[37] In 2008, 8.3 children per 1000 were victims of child abuse and neglect and 10.2 children per 1000 were in out of home placement.[38]

On September 30, 2010, there were approximately 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S. of which 36% percent were ages 5 and under. During that same period, almost 120,000 birth to five year-olds entered foster care and a little under 100,000 exited foster care.[39] U.S. Child Protective Services (CPS) received a little over 2.5 million reports of child maltreatment in 2009 of which 61.9% were assigned to an investigation.[40] Research using national data on recidivism indicates that 22% of children were rereported within a 2-year period and that 7% of these rereports were substantiated.[41]

Child Protective Services Recidivism in the United States

In order to understand CPS recidivism in the U.S., there are several terms that readers must familiarize themselves with. Two often-used terms in CPS recidivism are rereport (also known as rereferral) and recurrence. Either of the two can occur after an initial report of child abuse or neglect called an index report. Although the definition of rereport and recurrence is not consistent, the general difference is that a rereport is a subsequent report of child abuse or neglect after an initial report (also known as an index report) whereas recurrence refers to a confirmed (also known as substantiated) rereport after an initial report of child abuse and neglect. Borrowing from the definition used by Pecora et al. (2000),[42] recidivism is defined as, “Recurring child abuse and neglect, the subsequent or repeated maltreatment of a child after identification to public authorities.” It is important to highlight that this definition is not all-inclusive because it does not include abused children who are not reported to authorities.[42]

Recidivism Statistics

There are three main sources of recidivism data in the U.S.—the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), and the National Incidence Study (NIS)—and they all have their own respective strengths and weaknesses. NCANDS was established in 1974, and it consists of administrative data of all reports of suspected child abuse and neglect investigated by CPS. NSCAW was established in 1996 and is similar to NCANDS in that it only includes reports of child abuse and neglect investigated by CPS, but it adds clinical measures related to child and family well-being that NCANDS is lacking. NIS was established in 1974, and it consists of data collected from CPS as well. However, it attempts to gather a more comprehensive picture of the incidence of child abuse and neglect by collecting data from other reporting sources called community sentinels.[43]

Criticism

Brenda Scott, in her 1994 book Out of Control: Who’s Watching Our Child Protection Agencies, criticizes CPS, stating, “Child Protective Services is out of control. The system, as it operates today, should be scrapped. If children are to be protected in their homes and in the system, radical new guidelines must be adopted. At the core of the problem is the antifamily mindset of CPS. Removal is the first resort, not the last. With insufficient checks and balances, the system that was designed to protect children has become the greatest perpetrator of harm.”[44]

An ongoing case about the Nastić family living in U.S. has received an intervention from the Serbian government. Children were taken away from their parents after their naked photos were found on the father’s computer. Such photos are common in Serbia culture. Furthermore, parents claim that their ethnic and religious rights have been violated – children are not permitted to speak Serbian, nor to meet with their parents for orthodox Christmas. They can meet only mother once a week. Children have suffered psychological traumas due to their separation from parents. Polygraph showed that father did not abuse children. Trial is set for January 26. Psychologists from Serbia stated that few hours of conversation with children are enough to see whether they have been abused. Children were taken from their family 7 months ago. FBI started an investigation against the CPS.[45][46][47]

Senator Nancy Schaefer stated “The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1998 reported that six times :as many children died in foster care than in the general public and that once removed to official “safety”, these children are far more likely to :suffer abuse, including sexual molestation than in the general population. Think what that number is today ten years later!”

The NCCAN report on “Perpetrators of Maltreatment”provides the following figures
Maltreatment per 100,000 US children CPS Parents
Physical Abuse 160 59
Sexual Abuse 112 13
Neglect 410 241
Medical Neglect 14 12
Fatalities 6.4 1.5

Senator Schaefer also stated

  • “that poor parents very often are targeted to lose their children because they do not have the where-with-all to hire lawyers and fight the system. Being poor does not mean you are not a good parent or that you do not love your child, or that your child should be removed and placed with strangers;
  • that all parents are capable of making mistakes and that making a mistake does not mean your children are to be removed from the home. Even if the home is not perfect, it is home; and that’s where a child is the safest and where he or she wants to be, with family;
  • that parenting classes, anger management classes, counseling referrals, therapy classes and on and on are demanded of parents with no compassion by the system even while the parents are at work and while their children are separated from them. (some times parents are required to pay for the programs) This can take months or even years and it emotionally devastates both children and parents. Parents are victimized by “the system” that makes a profit for holding children longer and “bonuses” for not returning children to their parents;
  • that caseworkers and social workers are very often guilty of fraud. They withhold and destroy evidence. They fabricate evidence and they seek to terminate parental rights unnecessarily. However, when charges are made against Child Protective Services, the charges are ignored;
  • that the separation of families and the “snatching of children” is growing as a business because local governments have grown accustomed to having these taxpayer dollars to balance their ever-expanding budgets;
  • that Child Protective Services and Juvenile Court can always hide behind a confidentiality clause in order to protect their decisions and keep the funds flowing. There should be open records and “court watches”! Look who is being paid!

There are state employees, lawyers, court investigators, guardian ad litems, court personnel, and judges. There are psychologists, and psychiatrists, counselors, caseworkers, therapists, foster parents, adoptive parents, and on and on. All are looking to the children in state custody to provide job security. Parents do not realize that the social workers are the glue that hold “the system” together that funds the court, funds the court appointed attorneys, and the multiple other jobs including the “system’s” psychiatrists, therapists, their own attorneys and others.

  • that The Adoption and the Safe Families Act, set in motion first in 1974 by Walter Mondale and later in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, offered cash “bonuses” to the states for every child they adopted out of foster care. In order to receive the “adoption incentive bonuses” local child protective services need more children. They must have merchandise (children) that sells and you must have plenty so the buyer can choose. Some counties are known to give a $4,000 to $6,000 bonus for each child adopted out to strangers and an additional $2,000 for a “special needs” child. Employees work to keep the federal dollars flowing;
  • State Departments of Human Resources (DHR) and affiliates are given a baseline number of expected adoptions based on population. For every child DHR and CPS can get adopted, there is the bonus of $4,000 or maybe $6,000. But that is only the beginning figure in the formula in which each bonus is multiplied by the percentage that the State has managed to exceed its baseline adoption number. Therefore States and local communities work hard to reach their goals for increased numbers of adoptions for children in foster care.
  • that there is double dipping. The funding continues as long as the child is out of the home. There is funding for foster care then when a child is placed with a new family, then “adoption bonus funds” are available. When a child is placed in a mental health facility and is on 16 drugs per day, like two children of a constituent of mine, more funds are involved and so is Medicaid;
  • As you can see this program is ordered from the very top and run by Health and Human Resources. This is why victims of CPS get no help from their legislators. It explains why my bill, SB 415 suffered such defeat in the Judicial Committee, why I was cut off at every juncture. Legislators and Governors must remember who funds their paychecks.
  • that there are no financial resources and no real drive to unite a family and help keep them together or provide effective care;
  • that the incentive for social workers to return children to their parents quickly after taking them has disappeared and who in protective services will step up to the plate and say, “This must end! No one, because they are all in the system together and a system with no leader and no clear policies will always fail the children. Just look at the waste in government that is forced upon the tax payer;
  • that the “Policy Manuel” is considered “the last word” for CPS/DFCS. However, it is too long, too confusing, poorly written and does not take the law into consideration;
  • that if the lives of children were improved by removing them from their homes, there might be a greater need for protective services, but today children are not safer. Children, of whom I am aware, have been raped and impregnated in foster care;
  • It is a known fact that children are in much more danger in foster care than they are in their own home even though home may not be perfect.
  • that some parents are even told if they want to see their children or grandchildren, they must divorce their spouse. Many, who are under privileged, feeling they have no option, will divorce and then just continue to live together. This is an anti-family policy, but parents will do anything to get their children home with them. However, when the parents cooperate with Child Protective Services, their behavior is interpreted as guilt when nothing could be further from the truth.
  • Fathers, (non-custodial parents) I must add, are often treated as criminals without access to visit or even see their own children and have child support payments strangling the very life out of them;
  • that the Foster Parents Bill of Rights does not stress that a foster parent is there temporarily to care for a child until the child can be returned home. Many foster parents today use the Foster Parent Bill of Rights as a means to hire a lawyer and seek to adopt the child placed in their care from the real parents, who are desperately trying to get their child home and out of the system. Recently in Atlanta, a young couple learning to be new parents and loving it, were told that because of an anonymous complaint, their daughter would be taken into custody by the State DFCS. The couple was devastated and then was required by DFCS to take parenting classes, alcohol counseling and psychological evaluations if they wanted to get their child back. All of the courses cost money for which most parents are required to pay. While in their anxiety and turmoil to get their child home, the baby was left for hours in a car to die in the heat in her car seat by a foster parent who forgot about the child. This should never have happened. It is tragic. In many cases after the parents have jumped through all the hoops, they still do not get their child. As long as the child is not returned, there is money for the agency, for foster parents, for adoptive parents, and for the State.
  • that tax dollars are being used to keep this gigantic system afloat, yet the victims, parents, grandparents, guardians and especially the children, are charged for the system’s services.
  • that grandparents have called from all over the State of Georgia and from other states trying to get custody of their grandchildren. CPS claims relatives are contacted, but there are many many cases that prove differently. Grandparents who lose their grandchildren to strangers have lost their own flesh and blood. The children lose their family heritage and grandparents, and parents too, lose all connections to their heirs.
  • that The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1998 reported that six times as many children died in foster care than in the general public and that once removed to official “safety”, these children are far more likely to suffer abuse, including sexual molestation than in the general population. Think what that number is today ten years later!
  • That according to the California Little Hoover Commission Report in 2003, 30% to 70% of the children in California group homes do not belong there and should not have been removed from their homes.” [48]

Texas

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services had itself been an object of reports of unusual numbers of poisonings, death, rapes and pregnancies of children under its care since 2004. The Texas Family and Protective Services Crisis Management Team was created by executive order after the critical report Forgotten Children of 2004.

Texas Child Protective Services was hit with a rare if not unprecedented legal sanction for a “groundless cause of action” and ordered to pay $32,000 of the Spring family’s attorney fees. Judge Schneider wrote in a 13-page order, “The offensive conduct by (CPS) has significantly interfered with the legitimate exercise of the traditional core functions of this court.”[49]

2008 Raid of YFZ Ranch

Main article: YFZ Ranch

In April 2008, the largest child protection action in American history raised questions as the CPS in Texas removed hundreds of minor children, infants, and women incorrectly believed to be children from the YFZ Ranch polygamist community, with the assistance of heavily armed police with an armored personnel carrier. Investigators, including supervisor Angie Voss convinced a judge that all of the children were at risk of child abuse because they were all being groomed for under-age marriage. The state supreme court disagreed, releasing most children back to their families. Investigations would result in criminal charges against some men in the community.

Gene Grounds of Victim Relief Ministries commended CPS workers in the Texas operation as exhibiting compassion, professionalism and caring concern.[50] However, CPS performance was questioned by workers from the Hill Country Community Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center. One wrote “I have never seen women and children treated this poorly, not to mention their civil rights being disregarded in this manner” after assisting at the emergency shelter. Others who were previously forbidden to discuss conditions working with CPS later produced unsigned written reports expressed anger at the CPS traumatizing the children, and disregarding rights of mothers who appeared to be good parents of healthy, well-behaved children. CPS threatened some MHMR workers with arrest, and the entire mental health support was dismissed the second week due to being “too compassionate.” Workers believed poor sanitary conditions at the shelter allowed respiratory infections and chicken pox to spread.[51]

CPS problem reports

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, as with other states, had itself been an object of reports of unusual numbers of poisonings, death, rapes and pregnancies of children under its care since 2004. The Texas Family and Protective Services Crisis Management Team was created by executive order after the critical report Forgotten Children[52] of 2004. Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn made a statement in 2006 about the Texas foster care system.[53] In Fiscal 2003, 2004 and 2005, respectively 30, 38 and 48 foster children died in the state’s care. The number of foster children in the state’s care increased 24 percent to 32,474 in Fiscal 2005, while the number of deaths increased 60 percent. Compared to the general population, a child is four times more likely to die in the Texas foster care system. In 2004, about 100 children were treated for poisoning from medications; 63 were treated for rape that occurred while under state care including four-year old twin boys, and 142 children gave birth, though others believe Ms. Strayhorn’s report was not scientifically researched, and that major reforms need to be put in place to assure that children in the conservatorship of the state get as much attention as those at risk in their homes.

Disproportionality & Disparity in the Child Welfare System

In the United States, data suggests that a disproportionate number of minority children, particularly African American and Native American children, enter the foster care system.[54] National data in the United States provides evidence that disproportionality may vary throughout the course of a child’s involvement with the child welfare system. Differing rates of disproportionality are seen at key decision points including the reporting of abuse, substantiation of abuse, and placement into foster care.[55] Additionally, once they enter foster care, research suggests that they are likely to remain in care longer.[56] Research has shown that there is no difference in the rate of abuse and neglect among minority populations when compared to Caucasian children that would account for the disparity.[57] The Juvenile Justice system has also been challenged by disproportionate negative contact of minority children.[58] Because of the overlap in these systems, it is likely that this phenomenon within multiple systems may be related.

Constitutional issues

In May 2007, the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found in Rogers v. County of San Joaquin, No. 05-16071[59] that a CPS social worker who removed children from their natural parents into foster care without obtaining judicial authorization was acting without due process and without exigency (emergency conditions) violated the 14th Amendment and Title 42 United State Code Section 1983. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution says that a state may not make a law that abridges “… the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” and no state may “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Title 42 United States Code Section 1983[60] states that citizens can sue in federal courts any person who acting under a color of law to deprive the citizens of their civil rights under the pretext of a regulation of a state, See.[61]

In case of Santosky v. Kramer, 455 US 745, Supreme Court reviewed a case when Department of Social Services removed two younger children from their natural parents only because the parents had been previously found negligent toward their oldest daughter.[62] When the third child was only three days old, DSS transferred him to a foster home on the ground that immediate removal was necessary to avoid imminent danger to his life or health. The Supreme Court vacated previous judgment and stated: “Before a State may sever completely and irrevocably the rights of parents in their natural child, due process requires that the State support its allegations by at least clear and convincing evidence. But until the State proves parental unfitness, the child and his parents share a vital interest in preventing erroneous termination of their natural relationship”.[62]

A District of Columbia Court of Appeals concluded that the lower trial court erred in rejecting the relative custodial arrangement selected by the natural mother who tried to preserve her relationship with the child.[63] The previous judgment granting the foster mother’s adoption petition was reversed, the case remanded to the trial court to vacate the orders granting adoption and denying custody, and to enter an order granting custody to the child’s relative.[63]

Notable lawsuits

In 2010 an ex-foster child was awarded $30 million by jury trial in California (Santa Clara County) for sexual abuse damages that happened to him in foster home from 1995 to 1999.[64][65] The foster parent, John Jackson, was licensed by state despite the fact that he abused his own wife and son, overdosed on drugs and was arrested for drunken driving. In 2006, Jackson was convicted in Santa Clara County of nine counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child by force, violence, duress, menace and fear and seven counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.[64] The sex acts he forced the children in his foster care to perform sent him to prison for 220 years. Later in 2010, Giarretto Institute, the private foster family agency responsible for licensing and monitoring Jackson’s foster home and others, also was found to be negligent and liable for 75 percent of the abuse that was inflicted on the victim, and Jackson was liable for the rest.[64]

In 2009 Oregon Department of Human Services has agreed to pay $2 million into a fund for the future care of twins who were allegedly abused by their foster parents; it was the largest such settlement in the agency’s history.[66] According to the civil rightssuit filed on request of twins’ adoptive mother in December 2007 in U.S. Federal Court, kids were kept in makeshift cages—cribs covered with chicken wire secured by duct tape—in a darkened bedroom known as “the dungeon.” The brother and sister often went without food, water or human touch. The boy, who had a shunt put into his head at birth to drain fluid, didn’t receive medical attention, so when police rescued the twins he was nearly comatose. The same foster family previously took in their care hundreds of other children over nearly four decades.[67] DHS said the foster parents deceived child welfare workers during the checkup visits.[66]

Several lawsuits were brought in 2008 against the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF), accusing it of mishandling reports that Thomas Ferrara, 79, a foster parent, was molesting girls.[68][69] The suits claimed that though there were records of sexual misconduct allegations against Ferrara in 1992, 1996, and 1999, the DCF continued to place foster children with Ferrara and his then-wife until 2000.[68] Ferrara was arrested in 2001 after a 9-year-old girl told detectives he regularly molested her over two years and threatened to hurt her mother if she told anyone. Records show that Ferrara had as many as 400 children go through his home during his 16 years as a licensed foster parent from 1984 to 2000.[68] Officials stated that the lawsuits over Ferrara end up costing the DCF almost $2.26 million.[69] Similarly, in 2007 Florida‘s DCF paid $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged DCF ignored complaints that another mentally challenged Immokalee girl was being raped by her foster father, Bonifacio Velazquez, until the 15-year-old gave birth to a child.[70][71][72]

In a class action lawsuit Charlie and Nadine H. v. McGreevey[73] was filed in federal court by “Children’s Rights” New York organization on behalf of children in the custody of the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS).[74][75] The complaint alleged violations of the children’s constitutional rights and their rights under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, theChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment, 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, theAmericans with Disabilities Act, and the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA).[76] In July 2002, the federal court granted plaintiffs’ experts access to 500 children’s case files, allowing plaintiffs to collect information concerning harm to children in foster care through a case record review.[74] These files revealed numerous cases in which foster children were abused, and DYFS failed to take proper action. On June 9, 2004, the child welfare panel appointed by the parties approved the NJ State’s Reform Plan. The court accepted the plan on June 17, 2004.[75] The same organization filed similar lawsuits against other states in recent years that caused some of the states to start child welfare reforms.[77]

In 2007 Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick obtained a jury verdict against Orange County (California) and two of its social workers for violating her Fourteenth Amendment rights to familial association.[78] The $4.9 million verdict grew to a $9.5 million judgment as the County lost each of its successive appeals.[78] The case finally ended in 2011 when the United States Supreme Court denied Orange County’s request to overturn the verdict.[79]

California

In April 2013, Child Protective Services in Sacramento sent in police to forcibly remove a 5-month-old baby from the care of parents.

Alex and Anna Nikolayev took their baby Sammy out of Sutter Memorial Hospital and sought a second opinion at Kaiser Permanente, a competing hospital, for Sammy’s flu-like symptoms.[80] Police arrived at Kaiser and questioned the couple and doctors. Once Sammy had been fully cleared to leave the hospital, the couple went home, but the following day police arrived and took Sammy. On June 25, 2013 the case against the family was dismissed adn the family filed a lawsuit against CPS and the Sacramento Police Department.[81]

Effectiveness

In a nationwide study, researchers examined children in 595 families over a period of 9 years. They discovered that in the households where child abuse was substantiated by evidence, risk factors remained unchanged during interviews with the families.[82]

See also

Similar organizations in other countries

References

  1. Pecora et al. (1992), p. 231.
  2. Ibid., pp. 230-1.
  3. Ibid., p. 230.
  4. Pecora et al. (1992), pp. 230-31; Petr (1998), p. 126.
  5. Children’s Aid Society. “History”.
  6. Axinn, June; Levin,Herman (1997). Social Welfare: a history of the American response to need (4th ed.). White Plains, New York: Longman. ISBN 9780801317002.
  7. Ellett, Alberta J.; Leighninger, Leslie (10 August 2006). “What Happened? An historical perspective of the de-professionalization of child welfare practice with implications for policy and practice”. Journal of Public Child Welfare 1 (1): 3–34.doi:10.1300/J479v01n01_02.
  8. Crosson-Tower, Cynthia (1999). Understanding child abuse and neglect (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.ISBN 9780205287802.
  9. Laird & Michael (2006).
  10. Pecora et al. (1992), p. 232; Petr (1998), p. 126.
  11. Pecora et al. (1992), pp. 232-3; Petr (1998), pp. 126-7.
  12. “Child Protective Services – HISTORICAL OVERVIEW, CURRENT SYSTEM”.
  13. “Reporting Child Abuse – Child Protective Services”.
  14. Antler, S (1978). “Child Abuse: An emerging social priority”. Social Work 23: 58–61.
  15. Administration for Children & Families. “Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) of 1974 P.L. 93-247”. Child Welfare Information Gateway. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
  16. Limb, GE; Chance, T; Brown, EF (December 2004). “An empirical examination of the Indian Child Welfare Act and its impact on cultural and familial preservation for American Indian children”. Child Abuse & Neglect 28 (12): 1279–89.doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2004.06.012. PMID 15607770.
  17. Mitchell, LB; Barth, RP; Green, R; Wall, A; Biemer, P; Berrick, JD; Webb, MB (Jan–Feb 2005). “Child welfare reform in the United States: findings from a local agency survey.”. Child Welfare 84 (1): 5–24. PMID 15717771.
  18. Administration for Children & Families. “Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 P.L. 96-272”. Child Welfare Information Gateway. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
  19. Administration for Children & Families (2011). “Major Federal Legislation Concerned with Child Protection, Child Welfare, and Adoption”. Child Welfare Information Gateway. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
  20. Lincroft, Y.; Resher, J. (2006). “Undercounted and Underserved: Immigrant and refugee families in the child welfare system”. Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
  21. Mitchell, Lorelei B.; Barth, Richard P.; Green, Rebecca; Wall, Ariana; Biemer, Paul; Berrick, Jill Duerr; Webb, Mary Bruce. “Child Welfare Reform in the United States: Findings from a Local Agency Survey”. Child Welfare 84 (1): 5–24 [20]. ISSN 0009-4021.
  22. DCSF.gov.uk
  23. “About Ontario’s children’s aid societies”. Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  24. “Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11”. E-laws.gov.on.ca. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  25. “Complaints Against a Children’s Aid Society”. Child and Family Services Review Board. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
  26. http://www.pani.go.cr
  27. Gauthier, L., Stollak, G., Messe, L., & Arnoff, J. (1996). Recall of childhood neglect and physical abuse as differential predictors of current psychological functioning. Child Abuse and Neglect 20, 549-559
  28. Malinosky-Rummell, R. & Hansen, D.J. (1993) Long term consequences of childhood physical abuse. Psychological Bulletin114, 68-69
  29. Lyons-Ruth K. & Jacobvitz, D. (1999) Attachment disorganization: unresolved loss, relational violence and lapses in behavioral and attentional strategies. In J. Cassidy & P. Shaver (Eds.) Handbook of Attachment. (pp. 520-554). NY: Guilford Press
  30. Solomon, J. & George, C. (Eds.) (1999). Attachment Disorganization. NY: Guilford Press
  31. Main, M. & Hesse, E. (1990) Parents’ Unresolved Traumatic Experiences are related to infant disorganized attachment status. In M. T. Greenberg, D. Ciccehetti, & E. M. Cummings (Eds), Attachment in the Preschool Years: Theory, Research, and Intervention (pp161-184). Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  32. Carlson, E. A. (1988). A prospective longitudinal study of disorganized/disoriented attachment. Child Development 69, 1107-1128
  33. Lyons-Ruth, K. (1996). Attachment relationships among children with aggressive behavior problems: The role of disorganized early attachment patterns. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 64, 64-73
  34. Lyons-Ruth, K., Alpern, L., & Repacholi, B. (1993). Disorganized infant attachment classification and maternal psychosocial problems as predictors of hostile-aggressive behavior in the preschool classroom. Child Development 64, 572-585
  35. “Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect”. Childwelfare.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  36. Prevent Child Abuse New York. “2007 Child Abuse and Neglect Fact Sheet”.
  37. American Humane Association. “Emotional Abuse”. Stop Child Abuse.
  38. “Kids Count Data Center”. The Annie E. Casey Foundation.[citation not found]
  39. “The AFCARS Report Preliminary FY 2010 Estimates as of June 2011”. http://www.acf.hhs.gov. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  40. “Child Maltreatment 2009”. http://www.acf.hhs.gov. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  41. Fluke, J. D.; Shusterman, G. R., Hollinshead, D. M., & Yuan, Y.-Y. (2008). “Longitudinal analysis of repeated child abuse reporting and victimization: multistate analysis of associated factors”. Child Maltreatment: 76–88.
  42. Pecora, P. J., Whittaker, J., Maluccio, A., & Barth, R. (2000). The child welfare challenge: Policy, practice, and research. Aldine de Gruyter.
  43. Wulczyn, F. (2009). “Epidemiological Perspectives on Maltreatment Prevention”. The Future of Children: 39–66.
  44. Scott, Brenda (1994) Out of Control: Who’s Watching Our Child Protection Agencies? p. 179
  45. “United States: Serbian Couple Struggles to Get Children Back · Global Voices”. Globalvoicesonline.org. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  46. “News – U.S.: Serbian couple fights to get children back”. B92. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  47. “Press Online :: Press Green”. Pressonline.rs. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  48. “The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services – report by Senator Nancy Schaefer, September 25, 2008”.
  49. State agency hit with rare sanction for taking custody of Spring infants
  50. KVUE.com, Richardson group: Polygamists’ children are OK April 18, 2008 by Janet St. James / WFAA-TV
  51. Crotea, Roger (10 May 2008). “Mental health workers rip CPS over sect”. San Antonio Express-news .
  52. Window.state.tx.us
  53. Comptroller Strayhorn Statement On Foster Care Abuse June 23, 2006
  54. Hill R.B. (2004) Institutional racism in child welfare. In J. Everett, S. Chipungu & B. Leashore (Eds.) Child welfare revisited (pp. 57-76). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  55. Hill, R. B (2006) Synthesis of research on disproportionality in child welfare: An update. Casey-CSSP Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare.
  56. Wulczyn, F. Lery, B., Haight, J., (2006) Entry and Exit Disparities in the Tennessee Foster Care System. Chapin Hall Discussion Paper.
  57. National Incidence Study (NIS), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, (1996)
  58. Pope, C.E. & Feyerherm, W. (1995) Minorities and the Juvenile Justice System Research Symmary. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  59. Rogers v. County of San Joaquin, No. 05-16071
  60. Title 42 United States Code Section 1983
  61. “Civil Rights Complaint Guide”.
  62. “Santosky v. Kramer, 455 US 745 – Supreme Court 1982”.
  63. “In re TJ, 666 A. 2d 1 – DC: Court of Appeals 1995”.
  64. “South Bay sex-abuse lawsuit: Ex-foster child awarded $30 million”.
  65. “Estey & Bomberger announces Jury Awards $30 Million in San Jose Molestation Case”.
  66. “Gresham foster kids abused despite DHS checks”. The Oregonian. 2009-04-04.
  67. “Abuse in children’s foster care: State officials call for outside review”. The Oregonian. 2009-09-02.
  68. “Florida Foster Care Child Molestation”.
  69. “Foster parent, 79, accused of molesting girls in his care”.
  70. “Child of rape now 9, yet DCF settlement held up”.
  71. “Florida Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 60”.
  72. “Florida Senate – 2010”.
  73. Charlie and Nadine H. v. McGreevey
  74. “New Jersey (Charlie and Nadine H. v. Corzine)”.
  75. “Charlie and Nadine H. v. Corzine”.
  76. “Legal Documents (Charlie and Nadine H. v. Corzine)”.
  77. “Results of Reform”.
  78. “Order Granting Fees Incurred on Appeal”.
  79. “U.S. Supreme Court Denies Orange County’s (California) Request”.
  80. “News10 – Couple still unclear why CPS took their baby”.
  81. http://archive.news10.net/news/local/article/248770/476/CPS-case-against-Nikolayev-family-dismissed
  82. Bakalar, Nicholas (2010-10-11). “Doubts Rise Over Child Protective Service Inquiries”. The New York Times.

Notes

  • Drake, B. & Jonson-Reid, M. (2007). A response to Melton based on the Best Available Data. Published in: Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 31, Issue 4, April 2007, Pages 343-360.
  • Laird, David and Jennifer Michael (2006). “Budgeting Child Welfare: How will millions cut from the federal budget affect the child welfare system?” Published in: Child Welfare League of America, Children’s Voice, Vol. 15, No. 4 (July/August 2006). Available on-line at: http://www.cwla.org/voice/0607budgeting.htm.
  • Pecora, Peter J., James K. Whittaker, Anthony N. Maluccio, with Richard P. Barth and Robert D. Plotnick (1992). The Child Welfare Challenge: Policy, Practice, and Research. NY:Aldine de Gruyter. ISBN .
  • Petr, Christopher G. (1998). Social Work with Children and their Families: Pragmatic Foundations. NY:Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510607-5.
  • Scott, Brenda (1994), “Out of Control. Who’s Watching Our Child Protection Agencies?”. Huntington House Publishers. ISBN paper. ISBN hardback.

External links

Parents NEED TO KNOW


campaign

CLICK THE IMAGE

Social workers get away with what they do (unreasonably remove children, falsify evidence, commit perjury, exaggerate and/or twist the truth, place kids in unsafe foster homes, etc.)  because the court cohorts do not hold them accountable to the statutes and rules designed to make the proceedings at least somewhat fair. We must educate parents as to the laws, the rules of court, their rights and their children’s rights as well as what their attorneys can but don’t do to help families stay together. We want to produce and print materials that would help parents to hold CPS and the court cohorts responsible for doing their job correctly. Please click on this link and check out our campaign and see if you can help us help parents. You never know, it could be YOU or someone you know someday.

IF THE LINK ABOVE DOES NOT WORK TRY THIS ONE:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/397060/wdgi/3133255

Senator Nancy Schaefer: SHE GAVE HER LIFE TO BRING YOU THIS MESSAGE PLEASE LISTEN


FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH: THE UNITED NATIONS FUNDING CPS TO TARGET ALL AMERICAN FAMILIES.

PLEASE DO NOT THINK IT’S A “CONSPIRACY THEORY”. KEEP AN OPEN MIND, TAKE WHAT I AM TELLING YOU TO HEART.

THE EVIDENCE IS THERE, YOU SHOULD BE VERY INTERESTED IN LOOKING SINCE YOU ARE AN AMERICAN AND MOST LIKELY YOU HAVE A FAMILY.

CHILDREN ARE BEING TARGETED BY CPS. LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE MESSAGE PLEASE. WE CAN NOT ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE. DO NOT BELIEVE THAT ANYONE IN THE COURTROOM WILL HELP YOU IN FACT THEY ARE REALLY AGAINST YOU, EVEN YOUR ATTORNEY. THE JUDGE HAS NO FINANCIAL INTEREST IN YOUR RIGHTS, ALL HE CARES ABOUT IS COUNTY COUNSEL AND WHETHER OR NOT THE PARENT CALLS THE FBI OR NOT. ACT DON’T REACT. PLEASE!

A REAL JUDGE UPHOLDS THE LAW. A REAL JUDGE ENSURES THE PARTIES’ RIGHTS. A REAL JUDGE CARES ABOUT TRUTH, HONESTY, AND CORRECT APPLICATION OF THE LAWS. JUVENILE DEPENDENCY JUDGES, AT LEAST THE ONES I HAVE SEEN LIKE J.M. MONTEROSSO, HAVE BEEN BOUGHT BY CPS. WHEN EVERYONE FINALLY GETS IT, ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING, THESE JUDGES WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS MONSTERS.  THE CHILDREN THAT HE ALLOWS CPS TO TAKE THROUGH PERJURY AND FALSIFIED EVIDENCE, ARE  6 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE IN CPS CARE THAN IF THEY WERE LEFT AT HOME. THESE JUDGES KNOW IT.  I HAVEN’T SEEN A HINT OF ETHICS OR GOOD CONSCIOUS SINCE HE HAS BEEN ON THE BENCH. TO ALLOW A CHILD TO BE TAKEN INTO AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH THEY WILL BE HURT IS OUTRAGEOUS.

REMEMBER, IF CPS OR THE POLICE ARE KNOCKING ON YOUR DOOR, THEY DO NOT HAVE A WARRANT SO THEY HAVE NO REASONABLE CAUSE. DO NOT LET THEM IN. SINCE THEIR BUDGETS HAVE BEEN SEVERELY CUT, THEY ARE RELYING ON FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION INCENTIVE GRANTS. THIS MEANS THAT THEIR ONE AND ONLY GOAL IS TO ADOPT OUT YOUR CHILD, TO STRANGERS ($$$), SO YOU MAY NEVER SEE YOUR CHILD AGAIN IF YOU OPEN UP THAT DOOR.

 

Detention Hearing AUDIT


For California Juvenile Dependency Courts

AUDIT THE HEARINGS! THIS IS A DETENTION HEARING PACKET I PUT TOGETHER. IT CATERS TO NEWBIES BUT ITS GOOD INFORMATION FOR ALL PARENTS AND GUARDIANS STILL GOING TO COURT. YOU CAN GO BACK AND GET THE DETENTION HEARING TRANSCRIPTS & MINUTE ORDER AND DO THE AUDIT NO MATTER WHAT STAGE YOUR CASE IS IN OR EVEN IF IT IS CLOSED.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_PlDs4d_B_lTWRydmRQaThWcU0/edit?usp=sharing

A Canon A Day for Judges Astray-Day 4


A Canon A Day for Judges Astray-Day 4

I skipped the weekend because I doubt that Judges would check out donnellyjustice.me on their day off!

CPS’s “PRIORS”



handcuffed

CPS’s “PRIORS”

A collection of the things CPS has been caught doing. I will continue to collect this information and add it to the document. If you have any links to add, comment on this post.

copsatdoor

These CHILDREN ARE AT RISK IN CALIFORNIA:

http://www.kidsdata.org/data/topic/table/foster_care.aspxcpsabuse

 

Judge Judy used to be a Juvenile Dependency Court Judge!


Published on Jul 28, 2012
Vintage Judge Judith Sheindlin as a Family Court Judge
Something about Judge Judy has always reminded me of my own mother. After watching the personal interviews now she’s EXACTLY like my Mom (the NY accent and all). Although she didn’t allow OBJECTIONS from the attorneys due to the caseload, at least she is REAL. I bet she would have noticed a piece of paper with NO NAME, NO ID, NO SPECIMEN NUMBER, NO LABORATORY NAME, NO COLLECTION SITE, NO CHAIN OF CUSTODY FORM, NO CERTIFYING SCIENTIST which claimed to be a valid hair follicle test document!

Vintage 1993 video footage of Judge Judith

Sheindlin as she sets in as a Family Court Judge in the Bronx in New York City. Watch and see how Judith Sheindlin handles the Children’s Aid, Lawyer, Caseworkers and Foster Homes in her court room.

Aired on 60 Minutes back in 1993 before she became Judge Judy TV Start

A Cannon A Day For Judges Astray – DAY2


etics2

A Cannon A Day For Judges Astray


Image

A Message to a Juvenile Court Judge, Respectfully


The Judge PoliceLetter to Judge from William Burns:

If I were to write to the judge who terminated my parental rights I would tell him that I am so sorry. I’m sorry that he took on more responsibility than he could handle as it is obvious that he has had NO TIME TO READ THE DEPARTMENT’S REPORTS OR QUESTION THEM WHATSOEVER.

reading3

I am also sorry that you believed their bullshit they spewed from their filthy mouths that I was such a bad parent.  If you had the TIME TO READ you may have noticed that Rushton let CPS submit documents that were completely fabricated and forged.  I would also like to apologise for taking up your precious time since you were so busy that you didn’t have it (time) to READ the reports that the social workers wrote or the attachments which included fabrications as well as another man’s criminal record being misrepresented as mine. If you hadn’t been so busy maybe you would have been able to save my son from the loss of his ENTIRE FAMILY and the love he received from them. Maybe if you had the time you would surely noticed that the criminal record submitted by the Department in February 2012, was the wrong William Burns who has a different middle name but same first and last, was born 10 years before me and/or noticing that, in fact, that I was in custody on the date of that man’s latest crime. I am so sorry that CPS mislead you by tricking you into believing that I had a very long drug history by using that man’s record. What a shame, you have been duped, Sir.  You see I have never been charged or convicted of any Health & Safety Codes including under the influence, possession, sales or manufacturing of drugs whatsoever. I submitted test after test the entire time my case was open and not one of them was positive. This is why I was awarded full custody at the end of our first case well, that and I had proven to be a protective parent and the children were safe in my care. In December of 2010 Kristine Vernier submitted a falsified document that didn’t cdt2even have a name on it. In fact there was no information whatsoever that indicated it was any person’s test. No name, no ID, no lab, no specimen ID, no collection site, no certified scientist or doctor, no chain of custody, but the words on it said positive and despite a letter written by Vernier on CPS letterhead and left on my front door which stated, “Your drug test came back  negative.”. I did give my lawyer a copy of this letter but it is not in the official record. I was told that it wasn’t relevant. But that document with no name was the reason Rushton removed my children after having returned them at the detention hearing. I know that you were not on the bench for that hearing but if you were afforded the time to READ the whole case you would 

reading11have surely seen it and questioned the Department because you are a good and decent person and I know you wouldn’t tolerate the Department fabricating evidence. You would never just stand by and let a family go through this kind of torture from malicious acts by people just sucking the federal government dry. That would be immoral and unethical, not to mention a violation of your oath. The stripping of one’s parental rights without reasonable cause or due process (fabricating evidence and committing perjury does not constitute due process, its an abuse of power) is extremely devastating to the parents, of course, but the poor little children are the VICTIMS. The public entrusts that Child Protective Services are REALLY doing what they say and Juvenile Dependency Judges are supposed to ensure parent’s rights, children’s rights and hold the Department accountable. Without enough time to READ you are truly doing the public a DIS-SERVICE. I do have one question though, now that you have been on that bench for over a year, have you been able to get organized read3enough to have more time to READ? I SURE HOPE SO because the most precious gift from God in a parents life, to me,  my wife and my whole family, is their children. I hope you have discovered by now that CPS is so blatantly against people, other than themselves, raising children. That is just what it seems like anyway. But perhaps its just job security that they do what they do.reading2

I have been a parent for 29 years. I have never been an absent parent, I was awarded full custody of ALL six of my children. I have always worked and supported them with the exception of the year that I took off so my second son, Stephen, would not be forced to take Ritalin.  When he was in first grade, a teacher  wanted me to put my son on this drug (which is an amphetamine) but I fought tooth and nail to stop it. CPS got involved too. I would do anything for the safety and protection of my kids so I offered to go to school every single day and help out this teacher. You cannot dispute this fact, just ask Sherron Logan (if you do not know who she is ask McPhee). I can list about one hundred more things that make me a decent father. How the hell could I have ever been considered a “danger” to my son, for what, drugs? Do you have any idea how crazy that is?

 I will be damned if some stressed-out, overworked, unlicensed social worker, being pushed by superiors, comes into my life and within 5 minutes thinks they have some kind of supernatural power to determine that I am a “danger” to my child. But that is not really what they do, they just have a goal which is $$$$$$. So, they steal children for federal funding and images (5)to ensure them the money when they have NO EVIDENCE whatsoever they fabricate it. Meanwhile, they know full well that the children are safe. These people write fantasy reports, creating imaginary people in them because they do not describe the real people. Let’s assume for a moment, that you were falsely accused of doing drugs and perpetrated as a “dangerous” person simply because you rescued your child from these people who completely railroaded you. What would you do, sir, if this had happened to you and YOUR children? Don’t say it wouldn’t happen, just IMAGINE.

Yes, I rescued my son from CPS but you called it “kidnapping” and “abducting” and everyone claimed it happened twice. My father-in-law was there to tell the truth but no one called him to the stand and that was because it would have been detrimental to the Department’s case. With all due respect, that if you paid any attention to the countless abuses and deaths that occur (more often) in foster care you may have done the same in my position. Sir, if you truly have any decency or moral bone in your body, which of course you do, the Department is just tricking you, you would have acknowledged that my acts were that of PROTECTING him, even the cops stated, on the record, that they did not feel he was in “danger”. I was prosecuted, falsely, because Rushton, McPhee, Purnell and Loew made some phone calls. What really baffles me, Sir, is that it appears, from the transcripts, that you were extremely favorable to and bias toward the Department and Purnell, sustaining all of her objections and overruled all of  LaCiliento’s and Casey’s objections. As I re-read these transcripts, it appears that you judged me without any thought about the cause of my extraordinary actions of rescuing my son or whether or not there could be any shared responsibility. Maybe, if the case was before you now and you had more time to READ, you would think to yourself, “Gosh, this man is really attached to his son and for some reason he felt that CPS was not doing the right thing and he was so desperate that he risked his freedom to protect his son possibly from being abused in foster care. I should ask him what the problem was. The child was obviously never hurt or abused and the Department’s entire case rests on “risk” due to an alleged dirty hair follicle test. I should look into this a bit more.”. Maybe now you would have more time to consider my ordinary actions as well such as I like this picturewhether or not I can maintain employment whether employed as a W-4 or a 1099, whether I can and do provide for my family and whether I have other healthy, stable children. Sir, there are far more “causal” alternatives to intentional explanations, and I was faced with a decision to hold people responsible for their behavior. It’s important to me that society stops ignoring the crimes of social services which has directly affected my entire family and me, to the brink of self-destruction. I never assumed I would be “let off the hook” and have no problem with the actual “punishment” of jail but then on top of that I can never see my son, ever, BECAUSE I LOVED HIM AND PROTECTED HIM TOO MUCH. WHY CAN’T ANYONE SEE THAT????? I don’t need a neuroscientific explanation to defend myself either.

Bill Burns with son Donnelly, 3 weeks old.

Bill Burns with son Donnelly, 3 weeks old.


“A better question is “how strong was the relation between the cause (whatever it happened to be) and the effect?” If, hypothetically, only 1 percent of people with a brain malfunction commit a seemingly irrational and extraordinary act, ordinary considerations about blame would still seem relevant. But if 99 percent of them do, you might start to wonder how responsible they really are.”

Five of my six children are now adults. ONLY my youngest was stolen.(According to Mahoney, Donnelly was very “adorable” and “adoptable” and she would have said the same about all the others too if she had been around.) He was stolen by Susan Loew, Bridgette Miller, Kristine Vernier, Antoine Coley, Amanda Spratley, Rushton, McPhee, Mahoney,Vinson and Jamila Purnell by tricking you and creating an imaginary violent person. The ONLY issue was alleged drug use however, I provided the evidence that the hair follicle test was fake yet, NO ONE stood

up for me, NO ONE said, “Look, your Honor, Mr. Burns has evidence that those drug tests were wrong, just take a look.” My evidence was ignored and they tricked you into believing that I was guilty. WHY??? You know why.

Hopefully you are no longer conducting yourself in a manner that appears to be article-new_ds-photo_getty_article_88_153_78480975_XSmore of a prosecutor rather than a Judge. It sure did seem like that last year and as it appears in the transcripts now. Hopefully, for the sake of other children and parents, you have more experience and time to READ so it doesn’t appear that you are favorable to Purnell. I hope you realise now that people are paying attention to your court. I apologise if it is causing you concern or irritating you but I am sure you agree that it must be done if the system is going to have checks and balances. I hope you have had more TIME TO READ THE SOCIAL WORKER’S REPORTS SO YOU WON’T BE DUPED INTO believing their lies. These people wouldn’t even write an honest report about their own mother but I bet they would if you made them. Please, take the MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERATIME TO READ and don’t take what county counsel says as absolute truth, it is not helping children whatsoever. These people do not give a shit about anyone. Driven by greedy Department Directors, motivated by threats from their immediate Supervisors, social workers have plunged into the bottomless pit of denial which has created an entire new breed of humans or maybe just a rejuvenation of a species we thought was dying out. Throughout history, groups of people have targeted children (such as Pharaoh), exploited children for sex and profit (such as Cambodia, Thailand, Brazil and Costa Rica) and the infamous Chinese who duped parents into letting the government take their children during the war to “protect” them from the Japanese invasion. This was not a real invasion threat, it was a way to wash dirty money. The children were put into secret group “foster” homes where they were literally starved and beaten to death. Yeah, that species is no joke and If our country’s social workers are not in denial then they are just downright evil. People are waking up. I have shown about 10,000 people that there appears to be bias in Juvenile Court, especially S103. The people who ask me what kind of person you are I tell them, “Be patient with him, he is still learning how to READ [the reports].” However, it You_Can_Read_Button_200x200has been over a year now so I expect you are learning their ways. I know you are not stupid or ignorant. Respectfully, Sir, please pay attention to the publicity when the media reports crimes that occur in social services. So many social workers have been caught falsifying documents, ignoring apparent abuse and NOT removing children who are truly being abused just so they get hurt and the Department can swing the story to their advantage and ultimately, more funding. I am putting together as much information as I can find about abuses in foster care, funding scams, children molested and killed by adoptive parents, the doping up 3-year-olds, selling children to other countries for work as sex slaves, you name it, Social Services is GUILTY OF IT.

One would think that since the budget was practically cut in half that there would be LESS REMOVALS, LESS JUVENILE DEPENDENCY CASES but what has happened? Don’t you have MORE CASES? 

So, if I were to write to John M. Monterosso, that is what I would say. I’m not sure if it would be so nice and respectful though. That would depend on whether or not I thought that he had TIME TO READ IT.LorenzDogNews2

Written by WILLIAM BURNS and EDITED and REWRITTEN by Sharon Joyce-Burns

(The original words written by my husband might have gotten him in hot water. He doesn’t care about that but I do. I should warn you that he may not even ask me to read his posts before publishing them since I chopped this one all up and thwarted his intention to disrespect the judge which I would NEVER DO! hehehe)

CPS JUDGE WANTS TO TAKE AWAY RIGHT TO WRITE, IT IS ALL I HAVE LEFT


CREDIT WAS GIVEN TO SOMEONE ELSE FOR THE CONTENTS OF DONNELLYJUSTICE. STILL THEY WERE ASKED TO STOP EXPRESSING THEIR (OUR) RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH ABOUT WHAT THAT COURT IS DOING TO THEIR FAMILY.

AS FOR ME AND MY WIFE, THAT SAME COURT AND JUDGE STOLE OUR SON AND ADOPTED HIM OUT.  THIS IS THE ONLY PERSONAL PROTECTION WE HAVE AGAINST THE CORRUPTION AND THE KIDNAPPING BY CPS, JUDGES AND ATTORNEYS. I WILL SEE THIS JUDGE OFF THE BENCH.

Maybe after he retires but I will still see him off the bench. My wife is just wonderful at finding case-law that sets a precedent. Her dedication to fighting for her son is different from mine and that is what makes me so proud of her. We have had so many people telling us thank you for giving them the information so desperately needed helping to beat their CPS cases in every state except California. There is a complete disregard for law in this state and  especially in this county (Riverside)   What these court cohorts just don’t seem to get in their heads is, I cannot be intimidated- ever.  I can even face the threat of losing my life, this is too important and you corrupt people in bed with CPS have stolen my son.  So now you go ahead and do whatever you have to do because in the end, I am still proud of who I am and who my wife is as well.  We are making a stand for FAMILIES IN THE NAME OF OUR SON DONNELLY THE ONE YOU GAVE UP FOR ADOPTION because we stood up to your bias, unfair and CORRUPT system. You are doing it to honest and decent parents, why?  I did not take children and sell them for government funding ever. But what I have done and will keep doing is continue to get your funding removed by being completely honest about your court practices to the OIG and other agencies, until my son comes home.

Everyday I am on this planet is a blessing from God and I do feel truly blessed to have such wonderful children (6 of them, but CPS only stole 1 of them. I was capable of raising 5 others to adulthood without ANY major injuries or hospitalizations, my children are capable, working adults, productive members of society. Isn’t that the GOAL of raising children? How the hell can I have raised them to be who and what they are now if I was abusive or put them “at risk”?) The lord has given and he has taketh away. I should have so much to be happy for. I expect nothing and I cherish everyday he allows me to continue to fight for children and parents.  Threatening me will do no good. The mistake that was already made was not killing me after kidnapping my child.

Suggesting that it is expected that site be taken down, you should make sure that you have the RIGHT person this time. Now ask me again to take my site down.  Do you really think I will?  The last time I was told to take a blog down I created 4 more sites. The data my wife is collecting about CPS, DCFS, (and every other acronym out there), social workers’, attorneys’ and judges’  history of crimes, failures and lawsuits is growing and has already grown so large we may need volunteers to help us. The motivation of parents that have had their children kidnapped by CPS is either completely give up and become a lump of emotional coal or it motivates them to become absolutely obsessed with exposing, indicting, describing, yelling, screaming, informing, litigating every single thing that was wrongfully done to them. My wife and I, obviously, are not lumps of coal.

The sacrifice parents make raising a child and the personal investment could never have a dollar amount value placed on it.. This is an investment of the heart and life over time and any parent who enjoys being a parent as we do, so very much so, can’t ever let that go. Anyone who knows my wife and I,  know without any doubt how much we care about and love our son Donnelly as well as our other children, Our children give us meaning and purpose. Our friends see how much we hurt and know we will never give up. They see our obsession, its all we talk about, my wife is always aware that we may be annoying and tries to be considerate by talking about other things once in a while but the conversation always ends up back on the subject. Many people express that if CPS tried to take away their kid that it would be over their dead body. We felt that way too however, when you are put in a position where they have lied to the police so they take your child at GUNPOINT,  your “dead body” becomes literal. People have no idea how truly corrupt these judges are and the dollar is all they care about. These Judges honestly do not care about the children in their community or anything that happens to them. In our case, CPS and the court cohorts went way out of their way to terminate our rights and prevent our family from getting custody, or even ever being able to see or speak to him, then DID NOT TAKE THE MOST SIMPLE PRECAUTIONS TO ENSURE THAT THE ADOPTIVE PARENT’S INFORMATION BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. So, once they were assured the AFSA, CAPTA and other funds, they cared no more. These Judges know children get abused, killed or neglected all the time in CPS care and even by the adoptive parents. A babysitter will never care for a child the same as biological parents. Don’t misunderstand me, there are parents who are neglectful or abusive but there are far less of them than they try to fool the public into believing but everyone I know agrees they would not want CPS in their home ever, our children are more important than anything. Just this statement alone says so much about our lives. The devastation CPS leaves in their wake is truly more than a parent should endure. Without our friends and family we don’t think we could have made it. The cruelty in which CPS when they relentlessly fabricate stories about many parents is overwhelming. When you experience it for yourself you find that this has been going on for decades yet still swept under the rug.

CPS generates money and is shared with other county departments via the general fund so they are supported by the police, the Board of Supervisors and other county officials. CPS uses the same tactics with every family as I have learned by interviewing people on the courthouse steps but since the police depend on the money from the general fund, they will not do anything about the criminal behavior of social workers. The amount of money the Judge gets for each child varies in each county with Riverside being the most secretive which is why the audit is taking a while. Anyone who has any evidence of the falsification of evidence and perjury must contact the Office of the Inspector General, who oversees social security funding (Title IV-E), and hold them accountable for auditing Riverside County or any county in the US. All you need to do is compare the transcript to the minute orders, attach your evidence of their forgery and perjury, and send it to them. The link was right there. COUNTIES WILL BE REQUIRED TO PAY BACK THE IV FUNDS. I am sure that this will be greatly appreciated by the Directors since the quality of children’s lives are PARAMOUNT right? I couldn’t have felt good sleeping at night without helping the Riverside DPSS/CPS Director, Susan Loew, who began working for CPS in 1999 in the FINANCES & SERVICES department, by ensuring that every dime be accounted for and used for the needs of children. That is the objective right Ms. Loew? I feel bad for not helping sooner with, you know, First 5 auditing, I know how much heat you have taken about that mismanagement and being reprimanded by the Grand Jury and all.

This country can’t survive much more of this corrupt government.  I will continue to do everything I can no matter what . If anything happens to me to change what I do, it isn’t me. God Bless everyone and keep up the pressure. William R. Burns for http://www.donnellyjustice.me

Judge Cited 3 Times for Running Red Lights, Defense Panel Attorney Fails to Yield to Pedestrians!


Its TRUE! A former Riverside County Juvenile Dependency Court Judge has a history of failing to obey red signal /lights and a Defense Panel attorney for children has a history of being cited (twice) for failing to yield to pedestrians!

We have established a well read blog in Riverside county now and have about 10,000 followers and we have been consistently doubling about every 3 months,  A message to the “Defense Panel” over there on Technology Drive, is your definition of saving abused and neglected children defined as: “the act of allowing children to be taken from their families and put into a strange place with strange people where their chances of maltreatment are greatly increased“? Is your definition of a safer community defined as: “that of which 85% percent of these children end up committing felonies and going to prison, getting out on parole and committing more crimes“? Is your definition of family defined as: “a group of non-related people are forced to live together unattached and unable to donate organs to each other when medically necessary to save a life“?

Your malfeasance causes children to lose faith in anything sacred, especially family. Your pathological views and addiction to “fixing people” causes irreversible and permanent damage to approximately 30,000 Riverside County families each year. Some of courtroombullshitthese families may not be your interpretation of perfect but that is up to the family to decide not YOU. The destruction of families is how you earn a living. You all need to get right or be removed from society and locked away to protect the community from your wickedness for you have failed at protecting children.

So from now on I am going to run background checks on you and every cohort of yours. When I find even an unpaid parking ticket, or a citation for running a red light, I am going to direct a lot of attention to it and anything else I can dig up.  You owe these people and it is time you start doing your job.  We will be conducting interviews as well.

I know you don’t like me but if you did your job I wouldn’t be here digging up you life.  I see things that you are doing right now that is disgusting beyond comprehension. I am looking for anything I can get on any SOCIAL WORKER in Riverside County that could be true upon a preponderance. It is time our officials and courts STOP hurting children and start being accountable. You can start with following your own statutes, codes, rules, regulations and behaving like normal people who do their job. If you don’t like your job GET A NEW ONE.  I am sick to death at watching CPS submit faked documents and alleged letters without objection by anyone. What is not real is faked so you all have lost all touch with reality. You and the county make money on the destruction of the family.

Parents have to watch the most cruel terrorism in existence, the kidnapping of their children.  kidhome1Who the hell does this Judge think he is sitting on that Title IV-E funded wooden horse?. I state this as truth and the absolute truth so help me God. There is no point in taking an OATH anymore because it doesn’t mean shit.  This Judge prevents and denies exculpatory evidence the parents have, overrules legally sustainable objections, fails to ensure the rights of parents AND the children, ignores and allows obviously fabricated evidence into the record, makes orders which CPS is allowed to be in contempt of, and will enjoy putting on an elaborate show during the termination of parental rights hearing by grossly overdramatizing cases for the benefit of the prospective adoptive parent.

Taking money for the 3 year term on the CPS bench is illegal due to the fact that everyone, including the Judge, is paid by the County of Riverside who is a party these cases. Many things going on in your courtroom are illegal and we are letting people know about it. Oddly, we all are hoping and praying for you all to gain a conscious.  However, I expect that you will have your friends do something to harass me but I do not really care because you have already sentenced me to a life of loss and heartache because I chose to try and protect my son from CPS.  You didn’t even notice, or maybe you did and allowed it anyway, another mans criminal record into evidence as if it were my record.  I will not just stand by while you continue to destroy families so you are able to afford your Audi’s and your 7 bedroom (empty) houses with the lives you destroy.  You must be held accountable for your actions.  My right as an American citizen is to hold people like you accountable for using the bench on which you sit as your own RACKETEERING BUSINESS.

Dear Juvenile Dependency Judge:


donnellyjustice

Courtroom

Dear HEARING OFFICER WHO IS EMPLOYED BY THE COUNTY TO ADOPT ALL OF THE COUNTY’S REQUESTED “FINDINGS AND ORDERS” WITHOUT REGARD TO THE TRUTH OF THE FACTS AND WITHOUT SUSTAINING ANY OBJECTIONS (IN THE RARE CASE THAT THEY ARE MADE BY A PRIVATE ATTORNEY REPRESENTING A PARENT OR OTHER FAMILY MEMBER), AND PLAYING FAVORITES BY SUSTAINING EVERY OBJECTION MADE BY THE COUNTY:

I have some thoughts that you need to hear, I am expressing this by and through my United States Constitutional Right to  FREE SPEECH.

If anyone reading this has an opinion and would like to comment, that is also YOUR RIGHT, so exercise it!

Now, I wish I could say that you are completely ignorant, unaware of the strings attached to you like a puppet.  I wish I could say that you are being manipulated and/or coerced into doing what you do. Sadly, I cannot say either.

The…

View original post 1,315 more words

A GREAT ATTORNEY TAKING DOWN JUDGES FOR CONFLICT OF INTEREST


This works for JV courts as well. They are on the payroll of CPS and receive money through HHS General Fund. These judges are doing the same thing in Riverside County, I am talking about the CPS judges mainly but you know as well as I do this apply’s to all. It is about time these judges heads started to roll for the Innocent families and lives that have been destroyed by people who care about nothing other than their selfish BS. I will publish everything I find on these judges, attorney’s, and social workers. What makes them get busted and how it was done. I said it before CPS and the criminal court who works for you, I will never give up, I will see the end of this criminal system kidnapping children, count on it, Mr. Coley and Vinson

Perverted Family Law Judge Gets Lienient Suspension


The perverts lurk where there are children. Like the creep in his car along the route children walk to and from school, this “Judge” looked at porn between hearing cases! Talk about creepy! A 60 day suspension is far too easy and does not match the offense, at least that is MY opinion. People who look at porn in the privacy of their home or other areas of their private life is no one’s business as long as it is confined to that arena but in chambers, dealing with FAMILIES AND THE CUSTODY OF CHILDREN? Come on now! You know he’s not the only one either!

http://www.suntimes.com/17948665-761/porn-addicted-judge-suspended-for-two-months.htmlpervjudge

Judge Imagod CPS court room


but he couldn’t be here today. You have no rights anyway so lets get on with the screwing, I mean hearing.

Reasonable Efforts Rulings – Script Lines to Assure Funding


Written by a California Juvenile Dependency Court Judge, this is a good explanation of how the Juvenile Court Judges simply say things for the record just to secure funding,  regardless of the truth or legitimacy. Judges basically have memorized a “script”; simply saying  formalities for receiving federal and state funding. For anyone recently attacked by the Juvenile Dependency con artists, this is a MUST read. Make sure you make your attorney objects to Reasonable Efforts claimed by CPS if CPS really did not offer any services prior to removing your children. If your attorney refuses, SPEAK UP! My husband and I REGRET NOT SPEAKING UP. We know it is hard because they rush you right through like cattle and the proceedings can be very intimidating, especially when they have your kids. We were afraid to “rock the boat” in the courtroom. Besides, they always depicted us in such a negative light, a tool they use to demoralize you and strip you of your self-esteem so you don’t fight them.

This is not the complete summary, click on the link at the bottom to see the entire summary.

Reasonable Efforts: A Judicial Perspective

 Judge Leonard Edwards, Judge-in-Residence

Center for Families, Children and the Courts

California Administrative Office of the Courts

Summary

 Judges must address the reasonable efforts issue. If an agency is to be held accountable for its actions, judges must provide rigorous oversight of agency decisions and actions at critical junctures in each child-protection case.

Juvenile and family court judges have been given significant responsibilities with regards to each state’s child welfare system. Pursuant to federal and state laws, judges must oversee many important social-worker decisions in child protection cases. Judges must decide whether an agency acted properly when it removed a child from parental care, whether it provided parents with adequate supportive services during the reunification period and whether it took appropriate actions to ensure a child was placed in a permanent home.

Judges fulfill their responsibilities by finding that the agency either did or did not exercise reasonable efforts in performing its legal duties. For example, at the shelter care hearing or initial hearing, the technical legal findings that a judge might make are either that:

 •Reasonable efforts have been made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal.

•Reasonable efforts have not been made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal.

 Reasonable efforts is a legal term describing the services and assistance offered by a social service or child protection agency to a child and family members during the life of a child welfare case. It is a term of art, first written into a federal statute—Public Law 96-272, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980—and modified in 1997 by the Adoptions and Safe Families Act (ASFA). Those laws state that a court must make reasonable efforts findings at several critical junctures in each child protection case. First, when a child has been removed from parental care, did the state provide services to eliminate the need for removing the child from the parent?

Second, did the state agency make reasonable efforts to enable the child to be safely reunited with his family?

Third, when the child could not be returned to the parent, did the agency make reasonable efforts to ensure a timely, permanent placement?

Additionally, ASFA added a section that permits states to bypass offering reunification services (reasonable efforts) to parents if parental conduct was so egregious that such efforts would be futile.

In each of these situations, the court has a choice. The court can find that the agency fulfilled its legal obligations to provide adequate services and rule that the agency had made reasonable efforts. If the court finds that the agency did not provide sufficient services or assistance to a child or family, the court would make a finding of no reasonable efforts. Such a finding would have significant fiscal implications for the agency. If federal audits determine that the juvenile court has made no reasonable efforts findings or similar facts indicating that the agency has failed in its obligations to the child and family, the federal government will request reimbursement for some of the Title IV-E funding that it provides to each state to support foster children.

 There is no definition of reasonable efforts in the federal law.

What is reasonable depends on the time, place, and circumstances. What may be reasonable in one community may not be in another. It is the judiciary that ultimately determines what is reasonable. The first decision is rendered by the trial judge and—if the issue is appealed—the appellate court will review that finding.

Case law from several states indicates that, on occasion, the legal process has been used to address the reasonableness of services. For example, in a Rhode Island case, the agency removed children from two homeless families. The trial court ordered the Department for Children and Their Families (DCF) to provide housing assistance as a part of the family reunification plan. DCF objected, claiming that the court had no authority to make such an order and that the cost would be prohibitive. The Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed the trial court finding that housing subsidies were consistent with the purpose of family reunification services.

The supreme court referred to the legislative history and concluded that “Without the power to remedy inadequacies, this check would be illusory.”

In a California case, an incarcerated father was not offered or provided any reunification services after his children had been removed from their mother’s care. When the agency moved to terminate his right to reunification services and moved towards termination of parental rights and adoption, he objected. The court of appeals agreed with the father’s position, stating that “there was no substantial evidence reasonable reunification services were offered or provided to the father at any point during the reunification period.”

Without such services, the case could not go forward. The court of appeals ordered the case back to the trial court for further proceedings.

For several reasons, judges rarely make no reasonable efforts findings.

First, some judges are not aware of the necessity of reasonable efforts findings. The finding is embedded in the orders that they sign after each court hearing.

Second, because the consequences are so severe for the state, many judges are reluctant to make a no reasonable efforts finding. After all, their own state may stand to lose millions of dollars.

Third, attorneys rarely raise the issue in court. Many believe the issue will not assist their clients and will only waste court time.

Judges must address the reasonable efforts issue. Simply rubber-stamping approval of the agency’s actions ignores the law. If an agency is to be held accountable for its actions, judges must provide rigorous oversight of agency decisions and actions at critical junctures in each child-protection case. Moreover, careful judicial oversight of the agency does not mean that the judge will make numerous no reasonable efforts findings. Some judges have been known to use the threat of such a finding to great effect. One author refers to it as “the art of the no reasonable efforts finding.” Thus a judge might make a no reasonable efforts finding, but suspend or withhold the finding for a short time period, giving the agency the opportunity to address the failure to provide services. If the agency responds appropriately, the judge can delete the finding. Judges can also assist the agency in its efforts to persuade the legislative branch to increase funding for families. Sending a letter to legislators and other community leaders about the impact of a no reasonable efforts finding can be effective.

FOR THE REST OF THE SUMMARY GO TO:

http://www.casaforchildren.org/atf/cf/%7B9928CF18-EDE9-4AEB-9B1B-3FAA416A6C7B%7D/0710_reasonable_efforts_in_the_dependency_court_issue_0119.pdf