These are funny cartoons that include references to actual cases in Riverside County, CA.
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 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.
When you are finished watching this video, please visit: www.savekendall.com
This information is provided courtesy of Vincent W. Davis, Attorney at Law and posted herein with permission. See below post for more information.
10 Things You Should do if CPS or DCFS is Investigating You
1: Take any accusations seriously.
No matter how absurd or unbelievable the CPS/DCFS social worker’s claim(s) may seem, please understand that the social worker is dead serious, and most likely presumes – no… most likely BELIEVES that you are guilty as accused. Even if the social worker doesn’t admit that s/he is at your home to take your children, often times that IS EXACTLY why they are there. It is our experience, over 20+ years, that the majority of CPS social workers develop a cynical view of life and assume that you are UTTERLY GUILTY until YOU PROVE that you are not: the opposite of the way the “justice system” is supposed to operate.
2: Ask what the accusations and charges are.
Most typically, the CPS/DCFS social worker wants to keep you from knowing exactly what you have been accused of — sort of keeping themselves on a “general fishing expedition” — but it is required by state and federal law to tell you the exact details of the accusations at first contact with you. Be wary! Do not settle for the vague and general charges called “neglect” or “abuse.” Neglect and abuse are broad categories – not the legally-required “details” of the accusations or charges! You are entitled to know the “details & specifics” of what you are accused of committing.
3: Say as little as possible. In fact – BE QUIET!
In criminal law it is ALWAYS strongly suggested that you talk to NO ONE but your attorney. Think about it. Virtually ALL CHARGES that CPS or DCFS levels against you are CRIMINAL CHARGES. And while CPS or DCFS is there ONLY to take your kids, the police can and often will show up later for the parents! In fact, open your mouth and tell the CPS investigator just enough to “make their case” and you can start packing an overnight case as the police will be called by CPS who will be at your door to take you away.
Sure, it is totally natural that innocent parents who have nothing to hide will want to explain everything to a CPS social worker because such parents would assume that ANY reasonable person would see that there is nothing wrong going on. But CPS and DCFS social workers are commonly ANYTHING BUT reasonable. They become entrenched in a culture that is uniformly cynical about ALL PARENTS. Frankly, you are presumed guilty by the majority of CPS and DCFS agents. The exhausted, over-worked social worker who just fought the crowded freeways to make it to your home is there on a mission. That mission is most often to find evidence to support what the social worker already believes to be true – that you abused your child just as the neighbor, relative or anonymous tipster claimed.
If you don’t talk to them –just as you are always told to never voluntarily talk with the police if they are accusing you of a crime– you take their power away. They will not be able to use your own admissions, statements, and your very words against you. For example” “Have you ever spanked your toddler?” Do you really think there is a good answer to that question? The majority of CPS and DCFS social workers abhor most any form of parental punishment.
4: The minute you become aware that your family is being investigated, YOU MUST find an attorney who has experience in fighting CPS or DCFS.
An attorney EXPERIENCED in CPS and DCFS cases and courts is mandatory! Juvenile Dependency courts are worlds unto themselves. Your most seasoned and experienced lawyers when first stepping foot into a Juvenile Dependency courtroom are totally dumb struct as if they stepped into It’s a Small World at Disneyland. Most lawyers –even experienced Family Law attorneys– who are not experienced with CPS/DCFS mistakenly think that it is their job (as it would be in any other court setting) to find out what CPS or DCFS wants and then communicate all the details to their clients. Shockingly, doing exactly that often leads to total disaster and the loss of your children.
5: Be courteous and polite to CPS social workers & investigators.
Let’s face it, when a “government investigator” –without any advanced notice– knocks insistently on your door, well-dressed, looking all official with a county badge; exuding the authority of the government; is well-prepared, PRIMED and READY to level accusations of child abuse or neglect against you: most people would be SHOCKED! If you’re human you’d also be scared too. As government is getting bigger and bigger every year they are getting more and more powerful and intrusive in the lives of ordinary citizens. We are all a bit nervous and threatened by the power of the state as we witness weekly examples of government power wielded unfairly on Investigative TV News programs and in the lives of our own families and friends.
What could your reaction possibly be to a surprise home-visit from a government agent? No one appreciates surprise visits by any one! Perhaps the dishes are unwashed; maybe you haven’t cleaned house for a day or two; say that there are a collection of beer bottles on the coffee table from the football game the day before; could be that you’re not dressed in appropriate attire as you would be IF EXPECTING guests… So when you are surprised and ACCUSED TO YOUR FACE of child neglect or child abuse it might be natural that you are shocked, defensive, upset, angry and a little hostile. As Homer Simpson would say: “Do’ah!”
Guess what? An angry demeanor toward the CPS social worker or DCFS investigator is considered evidence of your guilt. Your perfectly natural, upset and angry reaction to being accused of harming your child will very OFTEN BE USED as evidence of your violent and abusive personality.
6: Never invite any CPS or DCFS social worker or investigator into your home unless he or she has a warrant or court order.
If a County CPS/DCFS social worker requests that you invite them into your home politely refuse. If he or she insists or suggests that not allowing entry will work against you or will ensure that your children are taken away from you HOLD YOUR GROUND. Politely ask to see their warrant or court order to come into your home. It the CPS social worker or investigator claims to have a warrant, insist on seeing it: in fact they owe you a copy! Why? Would a Social worker lie? YES. Police and government agents often suggest they have a warrant or outright lie and claim to have a warrant when they do not. It makes their task of finding needed evidence against you so much easier! If the CPS/DCFS government agent cannot produce a warrant, firmly but politely tell them that they will have to remain outside until a warrant is presented. They will be annoyed. But you will be far better off – legally. If the agent says it is an EMERGENCY call their bluff. Insist that they explain how it is an emergency and what constitutes an emergency. Typically, in so-called “emergency situations,” the police and the CPS social workers come together and even then it is not necessarily an emergency but a working relationship that some CPS agents have with associates on the police force.
Do not even open the door to allow the CPS agent look into your home to see your children: they can see something that creates an “emergency situation” even if it is not true.
Be FIRM. You should not waiver nor give in to thinking: “What’s the harm?” There is no compromise here: no exception. If you invite a County CPS investigator or a Los Angeles DCFS social worker into your home, you have just waived your Federally-protected fourth amendment constitutional protection. Just like a police detective intent on hauling you to the police station for questioning would love for you to willingly invite them into your home, a CPS social worker who is openly or secretly intent on taking your children from you WILL FIND SOMETHING IN YOUR HOME TO JUSTIFY THE REMOVAL OF YOUR KIDS.
This happens every day all over America and even more often in Southern California where CPS and DCFS agents are the most ruthless social workers anywhere. The bar for removal is “whatever it needs to be” as far as the social worker is concerned. A legal prescription in your bathroom cabinet, a beer bottle on the coffee table, a kitchen knife not in the drawer, a broken window, a back door without a deadbolt, a missing smoke detector, a swimming pool without its own secondary safety fence: whatever might be necessary to fill out the paperwork to justify removal. If this particular social worker set out to take your child, allowing them innocently into your house will ensure that your child is taken from you. You now have a year or a lifetime of HELL before you.
7: Demand that CPS tape any interrogation of your child.
Subjective reports of what a child said or did not say is hardly ever adequate. Ask that any interrogation be recorded. You could produce your own recorder (as a back-up) just in case the CPS or DCFS investigator “loses” their tape between the interrogation and a subsequent court hearing where you might have “wished” that you had such a tape.
8: If you are accused of physical abuse, immediately have your doctor give your child a thorough physical exam.
Ask your doctor to write a letter stating that there are no bruises or injuries observed, nor any other health-related issues that would raise any concern or suspicion of child abuse or neglect. Obviously go to a doctor whom you trust. If a CPS or DCFS social worker suggests a doctor for you, or suggests that they know where you can see a doctor at NO CHARGE (as attractive as that may be), NEVER visit with a doctor recommended by CPS. What you may not know is that these doctors are a regular part of the CPS system and they are commonly called as expert-testimony witnesses by CPS as a witness against the parents. They are paid handsomely for their testimony.
9: Create a list of relatives and friends who are willing and able to care for your children if CPS takes them.
If your children are removed from your home, or the court is demanding that your children must soon leave your home for some period of time it is always better that your children are taken in by relatives or friends. Are you aware that children placed in foster care are sometimes abused or mistreated by people working the foster care system for a “pay check?” There is the flip side to that where some truly loving foster parents sometimes become smitten with your kids and start their own campaign with the court and petition for adoption! Having your kids in foster care is simply adding one more level of stress and complexity to your plate.
10: Never admit guilt, even if pressured by a CPS social worker to do so in exchange for leniency or getting your kids back.
If you are innocent of neglect or abuse why would you buckle to the pressure of a CPS agent’s demands to have you admit to false accusations? If you are accused or charged with neglect because someone has informed the county CPS system that you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, the social worker who is investigating those accusations may have good-reason to be concerned for your kids’ safety.
Even if you privately agree that maybe you drink too often or too much that does not mean that you have to incriminate yourself in this investigation. Bite your tongue. Admit NOTHING! Even if you recognize that you have a problem that needs to be addressed this is not your DOCTOR; this is not your PRIEST; this is not your LAWYER. Wrong person! Wrong time! This person is not here to HEP YOU. This person is here to collect evidence to support the accusations made against you and to TAKE YOUR KIDS. Period.
Do not admit guilt. Instead, work with your doctor, pastor or even your private CPS defense attorney to find the professional help you might need need (and professional help that the courts will recognize – no sense paying twice because a treatment program is not court-approved). By NOT ADMITTING GUILT, you can then honestly work on any issues you have and work with the court to keep your kids under your roof or to get your kids returned to you when appropriate.
By mistakenly thinking that admitting guilt to a social worker is justified is often a fast trip to jail – removing many of the options that you need right now to get your life in order. In any potentially-criminal situation NEVER voluntarily do anything until you contact an attorney: preferably a compassionate and understanding attorney who works with parents, kids and the Juvenile Dependency Courts on a daily basis. They will offer you frank advice that will be better than unnecessarily sitting locked behind bars. CPS social workers and investigators are not above lying to you to encourage you to confess or admit to something that you might not even be guilty of – just to get you arrested and your kids in their control.
FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING LEGAL ADVICE CONTACT ATTORNEY VINCENT W. DAVIS AT: 888-506-6810
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The Most Important Thing You Must Know At the Beginning of Your Juvenile Dependency Case
I’ve been noticing a shift in the willingness of social workers, and sometimes judges to place foster children with family. It seems that all the political lobbying foster parents are doing in Sacramento and amongst the County social workers is paying off.
It is imperative that you know the following: YOU MUST FIGHT TO PLACE YOUR CHILDREN WITH FRIENDLY RELATIVES at the very beginning of the case; otherwise you risk losing them to adoption to the foster parent. This is rarely fought about during these juvenile dependency cases. And it should be something that should be raised by your attorney at each and every hearing; and if it is not completed (i.e., the child actually placed with a relative), your attorney should have a trial on this, and perhaps other issues, at the Disposition Hearing. Please read, read and re-read California Welfare and Institutions Code section 309. And if necessary have your attorney have a trial on these issues at the Dispositional Hearing.
Here are some actual recent case studies.
The first case from Riverside County. The relatives who wanted the child lived in Oklahoma. They were cousins of the mother. They contacted the social worker at the very beginning of the case, 3 days after the first hearing, the hearing commonly known as the arraignment detention hearing. Short after that hearing, the child was placed with a local foster care family. Turns out, the foster parents were a young couple, who couldn’t have children and wanted to adopt this child. And under a concept in the law called Concurrent Planning, the county social worker supported the foster parents desire to adopt.
The social worker informed them of two important things; both of which were false. First, the social worker said that they could not have the child placed in their home in Oklahoma, at the beginning of the case, because the court would order Family Reunification Services for the parents. And that could not happen until the court terminated Reunification Services 6 to 12 months into the case. This is false, because the child can be placed with the relatives, despite the parents being given Family Reunification Services.
Second, the social worker informed the relatives that the child could not be placed in their home without an Interstate Compact Placement of Children (“ICPC”) approval from Oklahoma. An ICPC is a report prepared by the receiving state social worker approving the Oklahoma relatives. All of this is true. But, the social worker told the relatives that this could not even be requested or initiated until at or after the disposition hearing; which in this case, was months down the road. This was false. ICPC can be initiated at any time. And remember, the foster parents and the child are living and bonding during all this time.
Third, the social worker had the opportunity to initiate and request and Expedited ICPC, which is completed in 30 days. For whatever reason, she did not. Had she done so, the child could have been placed with the relatives quicker and faster.
Instead, the social worker requested and ICPC, which took months and months. Apparently, and as usual, a regular ICPC takes months and months and months. And on top of that there was further delay because the County social worker delayed the process, the California ICPC office delayed processing the request, and then Oklahoma delayed the process because someone went on vacation.
While all of this was pending, the parents’ parental rights were terminated at the Welfare & Institutions Code section 366.26 hearing.
About a month later, the Oklahoma ICPC was approved, but the relatives were no longer legal relatives since the parents lost their parental rights. Relatives are relatives only through the parents; and if the parents lose their rights, the relatives in turn lose their relationship with the children as well.
The relatives did go to court and request that the child still be placed with them, but they were denied. The fact that they were no longer relatives, and the fact that the child had formed a loving bond with the child after all that time, were things used by the juvenile court to justify not giving the child to the Oklahoma relatives.
The next case is out of San Diego County. The child was taken from the parents based on the allegations that mother had mental and emotional deficits, and that the father was responsible for the death of a sibling. The child was placed in a single parent foster home.
As it turns out, the social worker claimed that she was never told of any relatives that wanted the child placed in their home. And as it turned out, there were 3 relative families in San Diego, one in Arizona, one in Colorado, one in Alabama and one in Korea. The Arizona and Korea families were stationed in that locale, as part of the United States Armed forces. It appears that the social worker either spoke to, or had the chance to speak to some of these relatives, but never inquired if they wanted the child; instead waiting for the relative to take some affirmative action to have the child placed in their homes.
This is not the law in California. California Welfare and Institutions Code section 309, requires the social worker to search out and find, and to use “due diligence” to find relatives. If you think about it, this is an onerous burden for the social workers, but it is the law. And the biggest problem is that most attorneys are not familiar with this particular law, or choose not to fight for it, or enforce it at every hearing, especially the disposition hearing. In this case, it was conceded that there was no due diligence filed with the court. And honestly, after 25 years of practice as an attorney in this area, I’ve never seen a due diligence for relatives filed with the court. I take that back, San Francisco uses an outside service to locate relatives, but I don’t think it was filed with the court. But there, one of the relatives informed me that she did get a call, but the caller basically called to talk her out of wanting to have the child placed in her home. And the relative went along with the recommendation that the child not be placed in the relative home.
Yet, despite these facts, the court left the child in the foster home because the child had formed a bond with the foster parent.
The third case is an interesting case out of San Bernardino County. The children were removed from the parents because of allegations of mutual domestic violence. At the beginning of the case, I provided 25 names of relatives to the social worker. After 2 months, the social worker refused to investigate and report to the court about any of the relatives. The children were in foster care, and the recommendation by the social worker, for concurrent planning, was adoption by the foster family.
Here’s the funny part. The number one relatives was the maternal grandparents, who were both medical surgeons from El Salvador. Both traveled to/from the United States frequently, visiting and working in the United States. Both came to the San Bernardino, and the court was informed that they would stay there as long as necessary to keep the children, and to get them out of foster care. Turns out the grandfather had a United States Visa that expired in 2021, and the grandmother had a Visa that expired in 2018.
WIC 309 states that the immigration status of the relative care takers cannot be considered. So if you are undocumented, that cannot be used against you in getting your relative children placed with you. Notwithstanding, the social worker told the grandparents after they arrived in California, that they could not have the children because they weren’t citizens. And the worker’s attorney argued in court that since they were not permanent residents, they children could not be placed with these grandparents. And initially, the court seemed to go along with that, but began reversing when I pressed the matter.
Now, on my recommendation, the grandparents I recommend these grandparents come from El Salvador, and I had section 309 on our side.
After a trial, the judge informed me that the children should be placed with the mother, my client, after her home was checked out, and after we filed a Restraining Order against the father. It seemed that I had pushed the relative placement issue so hard, the court decided just to place the children back with the mother. Maybe it was easier than investigating 25 relatives, and dealing with the Immigration issues.
We offer free initial consultations, and we can offer an extended case analysis and consultation for a nominal fee. Also we are available to represent you in your juvenile dependency matter as a parent, relative or foster parent. Check our website for news on the monthly Juvenile Dependency Law seminars in a city near you.
Vincent W Davis
888 888 6582
THIS POSTING MAY NOT BE COPIED OR REBLOGGED WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM ATTORNEY DAVIS, PLEASE CONTACT SHARON JOYCE-BURNS AT: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will ask Attorney Davis if you can repost or reblog. For now, just use the link to this post if you want to put it on your site. THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND COOPERATION AND COURTESIES IN THIS MATTER.
This code section explains how CPS needs to file another Petition when they remove a child placed with the parents, family or non-relative kinship/guardian (a person somehow related to the family or is a close friend): So, if CPS removed your child but allowed the child to come home but the case is still open and you have to participate in “services”, then they come and remove the child AGAIN, OR your child was removed and placed with, say, your mom, but then CPS comes to remove the child from mom’s house, or if your child was removed and placed with a non-relative kinship and they come to remove the child from them, then they MUST file another document called a 387-Supplemental.
(Every State has rules, laws, statutes, codes or other court regulations that govern CPS court. If I do not have the links on the side under your state, just Google, “CPS laws” or “Child Welfare Statutes” or “Child Protection Codes” and you should be able to find them.)
387. (a) An order changing or modifying a previous order by removing a child from the physical custody of a parent, guardian, relative, or friend and directing placement in a foster home, or commitment to a private or county institution, shall be made only after noticed hearing upon a supplemental petition. (b) The supplemental petition shall be filed by the social worker in the original matter and shall contain a concise statement of facts sufficient to support the conclusion that the previous disposition has not been effective in the rehabilitation or protection of the child or, in the case of a placement with a relative, sufficient to show that the placement is not appropriate in view of the criteria in Section 361.3. (c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), dependency jurisdiction shall be resumed for a child as to whom dependency jurisdiction has been suspended pursuant to Section 366.5 if the jurisdiction established pursuant to Section 601 or 602 is terminated and if, after the issuance of a joint assessment pursuant to Section 366.5, the court determines that the court’s dependency jurisdiction should be resumed. (d) Upon the filing of the supplemental petition, the clerk of the juvenile court shall immediately set the same for hearing within 30 days, and the social worker shall cause notice thereof to be served upon the persons and in the manner prescribed by Sections 290.1 and 291. (e) An order for the detention of the child pending adjudication of the petition may be made only after a hearing is conducted pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 305).
Many people ask about a “388 hearing”, well, here is the California Welfare & Institutions Code for that:
388. (a) (1) Any parent or other person having an interest in a child who is a dependent child of the juvenile court or a nonminor dependent as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, or the child himself or herself or the nonminor dependent through a properly appointed guardian may, upon grounds of change of circumstance or new evidence, petition the court in the same action in which the child was found to be a dependent child of the juvenile court or in which a guardianship was ordered pursuant to Section 360 for a hearing to change, modify, or set aside any order of court previously made or to terminate the jurisdiction of the court. The petition shall be verified and, if made by a person other than the child or the nonminor dependent shall state the petitioner’s relationship to or interest in the child or the nonminor dependent and shall setforth in concise language any change of circumstance or new evidence that is alleged to require the change of order or termination of jurisdiction. (2) When any party, including a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court, petitions the court prior to an order terminating parental rights, to modify the order that reunification services were not needed pursuant to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5, or to modify any orders related to custody or visitation of the subject child, and the court orders a hearing pursuant to subdivision (d), the court shall modify the order that reunification services were not needed pursuant to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5, or any orders related to the custody or visitation of the child for whom reunification services were not ordered pursuant to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5, only if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the proposed change is in the best interests of the child. (b) Any person, including a child or the nonminor dependent who is a dependent of the juvenile court, may petition the court to assert a relationship as a sibling related by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common legal or biological parent to a child who is, or is the subject of a petition for adjudication as, a dependent of the juvenile court, and may request visitation with the dependent child, placement with or near the dependent child, or consideration when determining or implementing a case plan or permanent plan for the dependent child or make any other request for an order which may be shown to be in the best interest of the dependent child. The courtmay appoint a guardian ad litem to file the petition for thedependent child asserting the sibling relationship if the courtdetermines that the appointment is necessary for the best interests of the dependent child. The petition shall be verified and shall set forth the following: (1) Through which parent he or she is related to the dependent child. (2) Whether he or she is related to the dependent child by blood, adoption, or affinity. (3) The request or order that the petitioner is seeking. (4) Why that request or order is in the best interest of thedependent child. (c) (1) Any party, including a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court, may petition the court, prior to the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.21 for a child described by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, or prior to the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (e) ofSection 366.21 for a child described by subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, to terminate court-ordered reunification services provided under subdivision (a) of Section 361.5 only if one of the following conditions exists: (A) It appears that a change of circumstance or new evidenceexists that satisfies a condition set forth in subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 361.5 justifying termination of court-orderedreunification services. (B) The action or inaction of the parent or guardian creates a substantial likelihood that reunification will not occur, including, but not limited to, the parent’s or guardian’s failure to visit the child, or the failure of the parent or guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in a court-ordered treatment plan. (2) In determining whether the parent or guardian has failed to visit the child or participate regularly or make progress in the treatment plan, the court shall consider factors that include but are not limited to, the parent’s or guardian’s incarceration, institutionalization, detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security, deportation, or participation in a court-ordered residential substance abuse treatment program. (3) The court shall terminate reunification services during the above-described time periods only upon a finding by a preponderance of evidence that reasonable services have been offered or provided, and upon a finding of clear and convincing evidence that one of the conditions in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) exists. (4) Any party, including a nonminor dependent, as defined insubdivision (v) of Section 11400, may petition the court prior to the review hearing set pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 366.31 to terminate the continuation of court-ordered family reunification services for a nonminor dependent who has attained 18 years of age. The court shall terminate family reunification services to the parent or guardian if the nonminor dependent or parent or guardian are not in agreement that the continued provision of court-ordered family reunification services is in the best interests of the nonminordependent. (5) If the court terminates reunification services, it shall order that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 be held within 120 days. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent. The court may order a nonminor dependent who is otherwise eligible to AFDC-FC benefits pursuant to Section 11403 to remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement. (d) If it appears that the best interests of the child or the nonminor dependent may be promoted by the proposed change of order, modification of reunification services, custody, or visitation orders concerning a child for whom reunification services were not ordered pursuant to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5, recognition of a sibling relationship, termination of jurisdiction, or clear and convincing evidence supports revocation or termination of court-ordered reunification services, the court shallorder that a hearing be held and shall give prior notice, or cause prior notice to be given, to the persons and in the manner prescribed by Section 386, and, in those instances in which the manner of giving notice is not prescribed by those sections, then in the manner the court prescribes. (e) (1) On and after January 1, 2012, a nonminor who attained 18 years of age while subject to an order for foster care placement and, commencing January 1, 2012, who has not attained 19 years of age, or, commencing January 1, 2013, 20 years of age, or, commencing January 1, 2014, 21 years of age, or as described in Section 10103.5, for whom the court has dismissed dependency jurisdiction pursuant toSection 391, or delinquency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 607.2, or transition jurisdiction pursuant to Section 452, but has retained general jurisdiction under subdivision (b) of Section 303, or the county child welfare services, probation department, or tribal placing agency on behalf of the nonminor, may petition the court in the same action in which the child was found to be a dependent or delinquent child of the juvenile court, for a hearing to resume the dependency jurisdiction over a former dependent or to assume or resume transition jurisdiction over a former delinquent ward pursuant to Section 450. The petition shall be filed within the period that the nonminor is of the age described in this paragraph. If thenonminor has completed the voluntary reentry agreement, as described in subdivision (z) of Section 11400, with the placing agency, the agency shall file the petition on behalf of the nonminor within 15 judicial days of the date the agreement was signed unless the nonminor elects to file the petition at an earlier date. (2) (A) The petition to resume jurisdiction may be filed in the juvenile court that retains general jurisdiction under subdivision (b) of Section 303, or the petition may be submitted to the juvenile court in the county where the youth resides and forwarded to the juvenile court that retained general jurisdiction and filed with that court. The juvenile court having general jurisdiction under Section 303 shall receive the petition from the court where the petition was submitted within five court days of its submission, if the petition is filed in the county of residence. The juvenile court that retained general jurisdiction shall order that a hearing be held within 15 judicial days of the date the petition was filed if there is a prima facie showing that the nonminor satisfies the following criteria: (i) He or she was previously under juvenile court jurisdiction, subject to an order for foster care placement when he or she attained 18 years of age, and has not attained the age limits described in paragraph (1). (ii) He or she intends to satisfy at least one of the conditions set forth in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403. (iii) He or she wants assistance either in maintaining or securing appropriate supervised placement, or is in need of immediate placement and agrees to supervised placement pursuant to the voluntary reentry agreement as described in subdivision (z) of Section 11400. (B) Upon ordering a hearing, the court shall give prior notice, or cause prior notice to be given, to the persons and by the means prescribed by Section 386, except that notice to parents or former guardians shall not be provided unless the nonminor requests, in writing on the face of the petition, notice to the parents or former guardians. (3) The Judicial Council, by January 1, 2012, shall adopt rules of court to allow for telephonic appearances by nonminor former dependents or delinquents in these proceedings, and for telephonic appearances by nonminor dependents in any proceeding in which the nonminor dependent is a party, and he or she declines to appear and elects a telephonic appearance. (4) Prior to the hearing on a petition to resume dependencyjurisdiction or to assume or resume transition jurisdiction, the court shall order the county child welfare or probation department to prepare a report for the court addressing whether the nonminor intends to satisfy at least one of the criteria set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 11403. When the recommendation is for the nonminor dependent to be placed in a setting where minor dependents also reside, the results of a background check of the petitioning nonminor conducted pursuant to Section 16504.5, may be used by the placing agency to determine appropriate placement options for the nonminor. The existence of a criminal conviction is not a bar to eligibility for reentry or resumption of dependency jurisdiction or the assumption or resumption of transition jurisdiction over a nonminor. (5) (A) The court shall resume dependency jurisdiction over a former dependent or assume or resume transition jurisdiction over a former delinquent ward pursuant to Section 450, and order that the nonminor’s placement and care be under the responsibility of the county child welfare services department, the probation department, tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization, if the court finds all of the following: (i) The nonminor was previously under juvenile court jurisdiction subject to an order for foster care placement when he or she attained 18 years of age. (ii) The nonminor has not attained the age limits described in paragraph (1). (iii) Reentry and remaining in foster care are in the nonminor’s best interests. (iv) The nonminor intends to satisfy, and agrees to satisfy, at least one of the criteria set forth in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, and demonstrates his or her agreement to placement in a supervised setting under the placement and care responsibility of the placing agency and to satisfy the criteria by signing the voluntary reentry agreement as described in subdivision (z) of Section 11400. (B) In no event shall the court grant a continuance that would cause the hearing to resume dependency jurisdiction or to assume or resume transition jurisdiction to be completed more than 120 days after the date the petition was filed. (C) The agency made responsible for the nonminor’s placement and care pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall prepare a new transitional independent living case plan within 60 calendar days from the date the nonminor signed the voluntary reentry agreement as described in subdivision (z) of Section 11400 and submit it to the court for the review hearing under Section 366.31, to be held within 70 days of the resumption of dependency jurisdiction or assumption or resumption of transition jurisdiction. In no event shall the review hearing under Section 366.3 be held more than 170 calendar days from the date the nonminor signed the voluntary reentry agreem
U.S. federal laws that govern CPS agencies include:
In 1690, in what is now the United States, there were criminal court cases involving child abuse. In 1692, states and municipalities identified care for abused and neglected children as the responsibility of local government and private institutions.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.
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.
In 1853, the Children’s Aid Society was founded in response to the problem of orphaned or abandoned children living in New York. 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.
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 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.” By 1926, 18 states had some version of county child welfare boards whose purpose was to coordinate public and private child related work. 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.” 
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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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. In 1961, C. Henry Kempe began to further research this issue, eventually identifying and coining the term battered child syndrome. 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.
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 was passed in 1974, which required states “to prevent, identify and treat child abuse and neglect.”
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. 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. In 1980, the Adoption Assistance Act was introduced as a way to manage the high numbers of children in placement. 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. This led to the introduction of the home visitation models, which provided funding to private agencies to provide intensive family preservation services.
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. Several pieces of federal legislation attempted to ease the process of adoption including Adoption Assistance Act; the 1988 Child Abuse Prevention, Adoption, and Family Services Act; and the 1992 Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Adoption, and Family Services Act. 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.
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.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. 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.
Comparison to other similar systems
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.
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.
In Ontario, services are provided by independent Children’s Aid Societies. The societies receive funding from, and are under the supervision of the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. 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.
The Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) is responsible for Child Protection in Costa Rica.
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).
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. Such children are at risk of developing a disorganized attachment.Disorganized attachment is associated with a number of developmental problems, including dissociative symptoms, as well as depressive, anxiety, and acting-out symptoms.
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.
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.
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. Child abuse impacts the most vulnerable populations, with children under age five years accounting for 76% of fatalities. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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), 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.” 
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.”
2008 Raid of 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. 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.
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 of 2004. Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn made a statement in 2006 about the Texas foster care system. 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. 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. Additionally, once they enter foster care, research suggests that they are likely to remain in care longer. 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. The Juvenile Justice system has also been challenged by disproportionate negative contact of minority children. Because of the overlap in these systems, it is likely that this phenomenon within multiple systems may be related.
In May 2007, the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found in Rogers v. County of San Joaquin, No. 05-16071 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 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.
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. 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”.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. DHS said the foster parents deceived child welfare workers during the checkup visits.
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. 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. 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. Officials stated that the lawsuits over Ferrara end up costing the DCF almost $2.26 million. 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.
In a class action lawsuit Charlie and Nadine H. v. McGreevey 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). 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). 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. 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. The same organization filed similar lawsuits against other states in recent years that caused some of the states to start child welfare reforms.
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. The $4.9 million verdict grew to a $9.5 million judgment as the County lost each of its successive appeals. The case finally ended in 2011 when the United States Supreme Court denied Orange County’s request to overturn the verdict.
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. 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.
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.
- Child Welfare
- Cinderella effect
- Foster Care
- Child Abuse
- National Association of Social Workers
- Parenting Coordinator
Similar organizations in other countries
- Bureau Jeugdzorg and Raad voor de Kinderbescherming Netherlands
- Jugendamt Germany and Austria
- Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service England and Wales
- Patronato Nacional de la Infancia in Costa Rica
- Pecora et al. (1992), p. 231.
- Ibid., pp. 230-1.
- Ibid., p. 230.
- Pecora et al. (1992), pp. 230-31; Petr (1998), p. 126.
- Children’s Aid Society. “History”.
- Axinn, June; Levin,Herman (1997). Social Welfare: a history of the American response to need (4th ed.). White Plains, New York: Longman. ISBN 9780801317002.
- 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.
- Crosson-Tower, Cynthia (1999). Understanding child abuse and neglect (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.ISBN 9780205287802.
- Laird & Michael (2006).
- Pecora et al. (1992), p. 232; Petr (1998), p. 126.
- Pecora et al. (1992), pp. 232-3; Petr (1998), pp. 126-7.
- “Child Protective Services – HISTORICAL OVERVIEW, CURRENT SYSTEM”.
- “Reporting Child Abuse – Child Protective Services”.
- Antler, S (1978). “Child Abuse: An emerging social priority”. Social Work 23: 58–61.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lincroft, Y.; Resher, J. (2006). “Undercounted and Underserved: Immigrant and refugee families in the child welfare system”. Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
- 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 . ISSN 0009-4021.
- “About Ontario’s children’s aid societies”. Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
- “Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11”. E-laws.gov.on.ca. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
- “Complaints Against a Children’s Aid Society”. Child and Family Services Review Board. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- 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
- Malinosky-Rummell, R. & Hansen, D.J. (1993) Long term consequences of childhood physical abuse. Psychological Bulletin114, 68-69
- 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
- Solomon, J. & George, C. (Eds.) (1999). Attachment Disorganization. NY: Guilford Press
- 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
- Carlson, E. A. (1988). A prospective longitudinal study of disorganized/disoriented attachment. Child Development 69, 1107-1128
- 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
- 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
- “Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect”. Childwelfare.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Prevent Child Abuse New York. “2007 Child Abuse and Neglect Fact Sheet”.
- American Humane Association. “Emotional Abuse”. Stop Child Abuse.
- “Kids Count Data Center”. The Annie E. Casey Foundation.[citation not found]
- “The AFCARS Report Preliminary FY 2010 Estimates as of June 2011”. http://www.acf.hhs.gov. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- “Child Maltreatment 2009”. http://www.acf.hhs.gov. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- 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.
- Pecora, P. J., Whittaker, J., Maluccio, A., & Barth, R. (2000). The child welfare challenge: Policy, practice, and research. Aldine de Gruyter.
- Wulczyn, F. (2009). “Epidemiological Perspectives on Maltreatment Prevention”. The Future of Children: 39–66.
- Scott, Brenda (1994) Out of Control: Who’s Watching Our Child Protection Agencies? p. 179
- “United States: Serbian Couple Struggles to Get Children Back · Global Voices”. Globalvoicesonline.org. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
- “News – U.S.: Serbian couple fights to get children back”. B92. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
- “Press Online :: Press Green”. Pressonline.rs. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
- “The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services – report by Senator Nancy Schaefer, September 25, 2008”.
- State agency hit with rare sanction for taking custody of Spring infants
- KVUE.com, Richardson group: Polygamists’ children are OK April 18, 2008 by Janet St. James / WFAA-TV
- Crotea, Roger (10 May 2008). “Mental health workers rip CPS over sect”. San Antonio Express-news .
- Comptroller Strayhorn Statement On Foster Care Abuse June 23, 2006
- 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.
- Hill, R. B (2006) Synthesis of research on disproportionality in child welfare: An update. Casey-CSSP Alliance for Racial Equity in Child Welfare.
- Wulczyn, F. Lery, B., Haight, J., (2006) Entry and Exit Disparities in the Tennessee Foster Care System. Chapin Hall Discussion Paper.
- National Incidence Study (NIS), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, (1996)
- Pope, C.E. & Feyerherm, W. (1995) Minorities and the Juvenile Justice System Research Symmary. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
- Rogers v. County of San Joaquin, No. 05-16071
- Title 42 United States Code Section 1983
- “Civil Rights Complaint Guide”.
- “Santosky v. Kramer, 455 US 745 – Supreme Court 1982”.
- “In re TJ, 666 A. 2d 1 – DC: Court of Appeals 1995”.
- “South Bay sex-abuse lawsuit: Ex-foster child awarded $30 million”.
- “Estey & Bomberger announces Jury Awards $30 Million in San Jose Molestation Case”.
- “Gresham foster kids abused despite DHS checks”. The Oregonian. 2009-04-04.
- “Abuse in children’s foster care: State officials call for outside review”. The Oregonian. 2009-09-02.
- “Florida Foster Care Child Molestation”.
- “Foster parent, 79, accused of molesting girls in his care”.
- “Child of rape now 9, yet DCF settlement held up”.
- “Florida Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 60”.
- “Florida Senate – 2010”.
- Charlie and Nadine H. v. McGreevey
- “New Jersey (Charlie and Nadine H. v. Corzine)”.
- “Charlie and Nadine H. v. Corzine”.
- “Legal Documents (Charlie and Nadine H. v. Corzine)”.
- “Results of Reform”.
- “Order Granting Fees Incurred on Appeal”.
- “U.S. Supreme Court Denies Orange County’s (California) Request”.
- “News10 – Couple still unclear why CPS took their baby”.
- Bakalar, Nicholas (2010-10-11). “Doubts Rise Over Child Protective Service Inquiries”. The New York Times.
- 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.
- MacLaren Hall Child Protection Institution Home Site History of Child Protection in America
- U.S. Children’s Bureau (CB), includes:
- Snowfall – One family’s account of CPS action
- Child Welfare League of America
- Child Shield USA
- American Family Rights
- FightCPS.com – Fighting CPS Prosecution of False Allegations
- – Information and Support for Parents Falsely Accused
- German Federal Office of Statistics, Statistics 1995–2012 outlining German Jugendamt activity
What I Know About Room S103
Have you or has anyone in your family been forced to participate in the scheme called Juvenile Dependency Court? If not, here is how it goes at the Southwest Injustice Center located on Auld Road in Murrieta, California:
Social workers from Child Protective Services (DPSS-CPS) illegally confiscate and seize your child(ren). A petition is then filed so they can continue to hold your child hostage. The ransom is your participation in “services” in which they are paid to pretend that you need. You participate in these “services” until their imaginary clock runs out at which time they terminate your parental rights and sell your child to someone else. They call that “adoption”.
They used to give children back to their parents but nowadays they get more money from “adoption incentives” which is money from the federal government to “ensure the child a safe and permanent environment”. However, some children may still go home because they need to show that “reunification” is still the “primary goal”. Often, those homes ARE unsafe so when the child does get hurt they can say, “See the reocurrence of maltreatment with the parents? We need more money!” I’m not saying that if your children are returned that your home is unsafe, you may actually have a social worker with pull and a conscience.
The first “hearing” is called a “Detention Hearing”. You enter the court, get searched and go through a metal detector, then down the hall to S103 and wait outside the rented courtroom with about 10 other families, and wait for the cop to come out and tell you to check in. Your name might be called prior to that to speak to an “attorney” who already knows exactly what the outcome of your case will be because the “judge” (who is on the County’s payroll as a “Hearing Officer”) has already decided what to do. If you are lucky enough to receive a copy of the Detention Report prior to your case being heard, you will find what that outcome is by looking for the page that says, “Recommended Findings and Orders”. The hearing officer simply “adopts” them all without argument from your “attorney”. You will not be advised of what the Petition means, you will not be advised of your rights, your child will not be advised of their rights, your “attorney” will waive all formal readings and will “submit” to the allegations of the Petition. Your children will be “ordered” detained and another hearing will be set. The only things that may be up for discussion are placement and visitation. You must push for placement with family AT THAT FIRST HEARING. Otherwise, good luck getting your child placed with family. You can request placement after that however, they will take their sweet time assessing your family’s home and most likely will come up with some reason not to place your child with your family. Visits will be supervised at the CPS office. You will get to see your kids once or twice a week for an hour or two. Depending on the situation, the visits may increase and/or change location and take place at a foster agency. If your child is a newborn you must request more visits on the grounds that the mother-infant bond must be established. However, if there are any allegations of drug use, your baby will be denied breastmilk.
You will be “ordered” to participate in CPS’s “services” which include:
Drug Testing – Yes, they consider this a “service” to you! Usually, all parents must take time off of work to drug test (even if there are no allegations of drug use);
Parenting Classes – Everyone is forced to learn the most basic parenting skills using videos from the 1970’s
Substance Abuse Counseling – Beware, even if the allegations do not include drugs, they may come up with something ridiculous such as your breath smelling like alcohol, use a very old DUI or other under the influence charge against you or claim that one of your urine drug tests were “diluted” which they say is a “dirty” test because you purposely drank too much water before testing to cover up using drugs or alcohol;
Anger Management – Even if there has not been any domestic violence they may say that the child overheard an argument once or use your justifiable anger and verbal lashing you or the other parent displayed as they were illegally seizing your child against you;
General Counseling – This is across the board. Beware, if you are angry and the injustice against you they may order a psychoanalysis where they will have paid a psychiatrist to write a scathing report about you and make you take medication hoping to deem you unfit due to a severe psychological disorder thus “placing the child at risk”;
Domestic Violence Awareness – If you or your child admit that ANY incident of violence (as minor as grabbing an arm or slap of any kind) you will be forced to attend a victims class;
Home Visits – Yes, they consider this a “service” to you too. Once a month, a social worker will come to your home. Some workers will schedule this a day in advance or simply come unannounced. If they come unannounced, you do not have to answer the door but only do that if you can pass it off that you really are not home or that you are in the shower, sleeping or have headphones on. If your dog is barking and you tell it to be quiet, the TV is on and you suddenly turn down the volume, the phone rings and you answer it, there are children obviously inside or outside playing, there are several cars out front, the garage door is open, etc, it is not a good idea to ignore them. But, like I said, if you can get away with it, make them come back and/or make an appointment next time;
Bus Passes – Even if you don’t really need one, make them give one to you anyway. You can give it to someone who does need it.
The next hearing is called a “Jurisdictional/Dispositional Hearing”. At this hearing your child will be determined to be a “ward of the state” and they have sole discretion to do whatever they want to your child. HOWEVER, YOU DO HAVE RIGHTS! Download this document called the Dependency Quick Guide: DOGBOOK. It will be your best friend throughout your “case”: **Note: the first two pages are blank, so scroll down to the third page.
BE AWARE THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE EXCLUSIVE AUTHORITY TO MEDICATE YOUR CHILD WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT. BUT THEY MIGHT DO IT ANYWAY! How do they get away with it? By having their hired psychiatrist determine that there is an immediate need to medicate your child. Then they will file an “Application” to ask the hearing officer to approve the doping of your child. The hearing officer “approves” this request 99.9% of the time. You can and should OBJECT TO THIS by filling out the proper forms and filing them with the court. Do not expect your court appointed “lawyer” to do it they will tell you that they are too busy. For California dependency cases here is a link to the forms:
Here is the informational sheet regarding this issue and the court:
That is all the time I have today, I have to continue to work on my case WHERE I AM SUING THEM! I promise to provide more information from my experience regarding what to expect from this Kidnapping Circus Court.
All of my efforts and posts are dedicated to my son, Donnelly Keaton Burns. I miss you so much I cry everyday, like RIGHT NOW.
BECAUSE IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERTURN THE TERMINATION OF THEIR RIGHTS! IF YOU ARE STILL GOING TO DEPENDENCY COURT YOU MUST OBJECT TO THE SOCIAL WORKERS’S LIES AND FALSIFIED EVIDENCE ON THE RECORD (IN COURT DURING THE HEARING.) IN ORDER TO HAVE ANY CHANCE ON APPEAL. This is Very important. The courtroom may seem very intimidating but you must speak out! Make yourself heard in court.
SO MANY PEOPLE FEEL THAT THERE IS NO HOPE BECAUSE THE SYSTEM IS SO DEEP IN OT’S OWN AGENDA THAT NO ONE OF AUTHORITY WILL LISTEN OR THEY ARE ALREADY AWARE OF THIS STEALING OF CHILDREN AND LET IT CONTINUE. Thank God for Tim Donnelly, HE IS TRYING TO HELP US! BLESS YOU TIM DONNELLY.
THOUSANDS OF PARENTS WHOSE RIGHTS HAVE BEEN TERMINATED ARE FORCED TO ACCEPT THEIR LOSS AND ARE TOLD BY FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO “JUST GET OVER IT”. HOW THE HELL CAN ANYONE SAY THAT TO A PARENT WHOSE HEART IS SO BROKEN THEY DON’T WANT TO LIVE ANOTHER MINUTE? WOULD IT BE NICE TO SAY THAT TO A PARENT WHOSE CHILD DIED IN A TRAGIC ACCIDENT? OF COURSE NOT! THEN WHY WOULD ANYONE SAY THAT TO A PARENT WHO FEELS THAT THEIR CHILD WAS STOLEN? THE GOVERNMENT F_KS EVERYTHING UP WHY IN GOD’S NAME DOES EVERYONE BELIEVE THAT CPS IS ANY DIFFERENT FROM SAY, TSA?
WARNING!!! RESCUING YOUR CHILD FROM THE ILLEGAL KIDNAPPERS CALLED CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES WILL RESULT IN ILLEGAL CHARGES AGAINST YOU, ILLEGAL ARREST, ILLEGAL PROSECUTION AND ILLEGAL INCARCERATION. I do not recommend this method. Personally, prior to my husband and I doing that, I had never spent any time in jail and had no idea what it was like. I found out that I’d rather miss my son out of jail than miss him AND have to be in jail. But believe me, if I didn’t have another child to live for, I wouldn’t be living right now because losing my son has felt like a death sentence. It’s a good thing my daughter was almost 18 and “aged out” of their system and was able to move back in with me (EVEN BEFORE THE CASE WAS CLOSED HA HA HA HA COLEY!) or else I would have gone all out by now.
So many people have been thinking lately, “How can any of this possibly be legal?” (the taking of children and keeping them without a valid court order) I have no idea. According to California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 248.5, the court clerk is required to prepare a “Findings and Orders After Hearing” document to be signed by the Judge then served upon all parties after every hearing. In California, they even have forms that make it easier such as JV-410, Findings and Orders After Detention Hearing (per Welfare & Institutions Code Section 319), and FL-412, Findings and Orders After Jurisdictional Hearing (per Welfare & Institutions Code Section 356) and so on. In our case, NOT ONE FINDINGS AND ORDERS AFTER HEARING ORDER WAS EVER PRODUCED nor were the Minute Orders ever signed so how in the world can anything in that court be legal?
FOR EXAMPLE, let’s say you go to Family Law Court and the Judge makes an Order giving you full custody but you are not provided an actual piece of paper that proves this nor is one even in the court record. Then let’s say that your ex goes to the school and picks up your child and takes your child home to their house so you call the police because your ex won’t give your child back to you. The police get there and ask if you have an Order and you say yes, the Judge gave me full legal and physical custody. The cop asks to see it but you don’t have it and you can’t even get a copy of it from the courthouse because one does not exist. What is the cop going to do? NOTHING! No Order, No Custody PERIOD!
PLEASE, IF I AM WRONG SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME SO I STOP MAKING A FOOL OF MYSELF!!!!!
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:
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.
I skipped the weekend because I doubt that Judges would check out donnellyjustice.me on their day off!
WHY is it that the ONLY people who say that we are DANGEROUS are those who STOLE OUR CHILD? EVERYONE ELSE, including most of the Deputies that supervised our incarceration, knows that claim is absolutely ABSURD, ridiculous, crazy, ludacris false, and complete defamation of our character. We are not the bad guys, we do not arbitrarily steal thousands and thousands of children each year.
THE RESCUING of OUR OWN SON IN AND OF ITSELF DOES NOT CONSTITUTE “DANGEROUS” BEHAVIOR. HE WAS NOT LEGALLY A “DEPENDENT” OF THE COURT, IF HE HAD BEEN THEN I BELIEVE THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A SIGNED AND SEALED ORDER OF THE COURT AND NONE EXISTED.
WE DID NOT FIGHT OUR “CHILD STEALING” CHARGES BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN LONGER THAN THE TIME WE HAD BEFORE THE TERMINATION OF OUR PARENTAL RIGHTS. What would you choose? Take a deal and get out of jail so you can still fight for your child OR stay in jail for a year or more with NO chance of reunification? Our attorneys traded us off anyway. The DA was obviously a friend of the dependency judge by her appearance at our JV hearing. Our Judge just happened to be very active in the Family Preservation Court which exists solely for CPS cases. We probably would have had better luck of winning the lottery without buying a ticket.
I AM SURE THAT we can gather up at least 30,000 Riverside County citizens, who have been railroaded by the pathological liars who work at Child Protective Services and their collaborative partners, the Juvenile Dependency court cohorts, who would testify to the abuses of CPS and their systematic destruction of families. I would say THAT would be dangerous to their dirty little secret. .
THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO THE HARDWORKING CIVIL SERVANTS AT:
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
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.
View original post 1,315 more words
but he couldn’t be here today. You have no rights anyway so lets get on with the screwing, I mean hearing.
Here is a link to a site for so much information that it is almost overwhelming. If the information you are looking for isn’t here, they provide a link to it. Keep in mind a lot of this information is based on some non-sense, meaning the information that they want you to think and believe however, if you understand how they think, you can use their thinking against them. Hopefully that makes sense. I will post my findings sometime soon hopefully, as I am trying to decipher what is real and what is not. Click “Like” if you understand.
Donnelly Justice writes
These are the laws they don’t want you to know The dog book is refereed to as The dependency quick guide and is a wonderful tool to have. There is an extension in the side box for the dependency quick guide as well as the material below to help you win.
Every parent must read this before going into CPS court, do not back down. I have personally had the minute orders include things that were never said and the transcripts proved it. There have been many cases of transcripts getting changed as well. DO NOT go into this courtroom with the idea that they are ignorant to the constitutionality of CPS because they are the leaders. I can’t tell you to turn your phone on record during these proceedings but I would and I would hang on to it. You have to do what is best for you.
CPS is a,Juvenile court law under ( California rules of civil procedure ), Natural laws do apply. If your lawyer does not follow the law you must file a complaint with the board if your lawyer doesn’t follow your rights. Complain for ineffective counsel Object if he doesn’t object to incorrect statements or allegations. If you do not object you can not file an appeal on those issues and are considered true. Do not let your lawyer run you, he doesn’t care about you or your child the way you do, he does this everyday. Know everything you can in these courts. You are your child’s best interest. Take your time and read through our website if we haven’t written about it then you will find link for it. The dog book is refereed to as The dependency quick guide is a very important guide for these JV courts.
I am mot a lawyer but I would do what ever it takes to protect my child. You do what you feel is best. I am here just to share my experience and find a way for good parents to have fighting chance.
God Bless and may the lord watch and guard you by pacing a hedge of protection around you. The parent is always in the child’s best interest.
Family Law Reference for Parents
This is the first update to a paper written as a guide for parents and legal professionals on family law. Primarily it is the words of the judges themselves, with some commentary to help explain concepts. Upon updating it became so complicated that it needed to be divided into two parts, and this is now the introductory one. If you wish to learn in more depth, this documents big brother (with full case citations) is available to officers of Childs Best Interest, or to judges and state attorney generals when they send a request on their letterhead to: 357 Dove Valley Collierville, TN 38017.
The relation between family and constitutional law needs to be clearly understood. Constitutional law has “bright lines” that identify areas where the state cannot tread. As of today all states’ family law consists of a jumble of rules and practices, many of which have little to no relation to these bright lines. The ensuing disorder allows judges great and improper discretion.
As I update the original paper, and so to with writing the original, no help was provided from legal professionals. We told hundreds of lawyers, judges, appellate justices, law school professors, state representatives and senators, and attorney generals about the problems in family law. None attempted to refute or add to the information. On a better note, many good rulings have recently been released by the Tennessee Middle and Eastern Section Appellate Courts. Nevertheless, it is clear today there is total failure in family law, and the legal profession in general.
Most of the research and development fell to me, with others providing real and useful input. Don, Chuck, and Dennis, of Ohio PACE, Mike “MD/JD” in California, Murray in Virginia, Karen in Alabama, members of Childs Best Interest across the U.S., and shared parenting advocates who acted as sounding boards and provided assistance in other small or large ways. Also help from the kind student librarians at the University of Memphis Law School Library was very useful and appreciated.
Today in most family law cases attorneys are not raising a constitutional shield to protect their clients. And when they fail to do that, a very cruel thing happens. Not only are one or both parent’s ability to parent their child indefinitely suspended with the state taking permanent jurisdiction of their child, but in legal terminology they will be considered to have voluntarily waived their right to parent their child! That’s pretty harsh to say a parent has voluntarily given this up, when it was only the attorney who failed to raise the constitutional arguments, but that’s the legal standard. If you are a parent not in an intact married relationship, or out of one and haven’t been designated the primary caregiver, somewhere along the line you surrendered your right to parent your child.
The following pages are to help all parents understand their rights in relation to raising their children. Having this knowledge will allow you to defend yourself and your child if ever required.
This document may be freely reproduced, and if doing so please credit the author. If you are in an actual case, please remember this information is not legal advice. Every case is unique and must be tailored accordingly by a litigant acting as their own attorney, or an actual one.
Section 1 Controlling Law
Sections of the Constitutions where parental rights derive
The fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Santosky v. Kramer United States Supreme Court (1982)
The rights of parents to the care, custody and nurture of their children is of such character that it cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions, and such right is a fundamental right protected by First, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Doe v. Irwin United States District Court of Michigan (1977)
Tennessee’s historically strong protection of parental rights and the reasoning of federal constitutional cases convince us that parental rights constitute a fundamental liberty interest under Article I, Section 8 of the Tennessee Constitution Hawk v. Hawk Tennessee Supreme Court (1993)
Parents have comparable interests under our state constitutional protections of liberty and privacy rights. “The right to the custody and control of one’s child is a fiercely guarded right in our society and in our law. It is a right that should be infringed upon only under the most compelling circumstances.” Brooks v. Parkerson Georgia Supreme Court (1995)
A parent’s constitutionally protected right to rear his or her children without state interference, has been recognized as a fundamental “liberty” interest protect by the Fourteenth Amendment and also as a fundamental right derived from the privacy rights inherent in the constitution. In re Smith Washington Supreme Court (1998)
[A] parent’s right to the care, custody, and control of his or her children is a fundamental right protected by article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution. Santi v. Santi Iowa Supreme Court (2001)
Parental Autonomy is the condition that exists when a child is not subject to a judge’s jurisdiction
Parental autonomy is grounded in the assumption that natural parents raise their own children in nuclear families, consisting of a married couple and their children. The family has been seen as the “basic building block” of society. Parental autonomy strengthens the family and the entire social fabric “by encouraging parents to raise their children in the best way they can by making them secure in the knowledge that neither the state nor outside individuals may ordinarily intervene.” In re Smith Washington Supreme Court (1998) Note 1: We are aware of 1 parent outside of an intact married family receiving parental autonomy via a consent order. Wickman v. Dixon No.DR-96-1360.01C p.489. Note 2: Presumably parental autonomy exists in adoptive families with either one or two parents, and in natural parents who have sole custody with the other parent’s rights terminated, so it is not tied to married parents.
Parental Rights are Fundamental Liberty Interests
The liberty interest at issue in this case – – the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children — is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court Troxel v. Granville United States Supreme Court (2000)
It is well-settled that parents have a liberty interest in the custody of their children. Hence, any deprivation of that interest by the state must be accomplished by procedures meeting the requirements of due process.” Hooks v. Hooks United States Court of Appeals (1985)
Indeed, the right to rear one’s children is so firmly rooted in our culture that the United States Supreme Court has held it to be a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Hawk v. Hawk Tennessee Supreme Court (1993)
Parental Rights also contain Fundamental Privacy Interests
“[p]rivate realm of family life which the state cannot enter” Prince v. Massachusetts United States Supreme Court (1944)
Throughout this century, this Court also has held that the fundamental right to privacy protects citizens against governmental intrusion in such intimate family matters as procreation, child-rearing, marriage, and contraceptive choice. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey United States Supreme Court (1992)
Statutes and rulings that infringe upon fundamental rights are presumptively unconstitutional, and a substantial burden rests on the state, not citizen, to prove its case
It is well settled that, quite apart from the guarantee of equal protection, if a law “impinges upon a fundamental right explicitly or implicitly secured by the Constitution it is presumptively unconstitutional.” Harris v. McRae United States Supreme Court (1980)
The application of strict scrutiny is not flexible at all, and I can find no case in this state where application of this standard has resulted in upholding the challenged law. With the adoption of strict scrutiny, this Court has forced the State of Tennessee into an “all-or-nothing” scenario, where only the most impeccably drafted legislation withstands the slightest possibility of darkening the constitutional doorway. Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee v. Sundquist Tennessee Supreme Court (2000) Note: This citation goes beyond saying infringements on fundamental parental rights are presumptively unconstitutional, and clearly states essentially no legislative restrictions on parents will be upheld.
If the classification affects fundamental rights however, there is no presumption of constitutionality, and the classification will be sustained only if justified by a compelling state interest. Coles v. Ryan Illinois Appeals Court (1980)
The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees Due Process and Equal Protection to all
“[n]o state shall.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” U.S. Const. Amend. XIV, § 1
The state must meet a threshold prior to infringing upon fundamental rights
First, according to the Washington Supreme Court, the Constitution permits a State to interfere with the right of parents to rear their children only to prevent harm or potential harm to a child. Section 26.10.160(3) fails that standard because it requires no threshold showing of harm. Troxel v. Granville United States Supreme Court (2000)
The right of a parent not to be deprived of parental rights without a showing of fitness, abandonment or substantial neglect is so fundamental and basic as to rank among the rights contained in the State and Federal Constitutions” In re J.P. Utah Supreme Court (1982)
Likewise, following the analysis of the Tennessee Supreme Court in interpreting its state statutes and constitutions, we find that implicit in Georgia cases, statutory and constitutional law is that state interference with parental rights to custody and control of children is permissible only where the health or welfare of a child is threatened. Brooks v. Parkerson Georgia Supreme Court (1995)
For the constitutional requirement to be satisfied, before visitation can be ordered over the objection of the child’s parents, a court must find an actual harm to the child’s health or welfare without such visitation. Williams v. Williams Virginia Supreme Court (1998)
Examples of Tennessee’s threshold standard
In 1993 in a grandparent visitation case the Tennessee Supreme Court held, “we believe that when no substantial harm threatens a child’s welfare, the state lacks a sufficiently compelling justification for the infringement on the fundamental right of parents to raise their children as they see fit.” Hawk v. Hawk Tennessee Supreme Court (1993)
In a 1995 parent vs. third party custody case, “Therefore, in a contest between a parent and a non-parent, a parent cannot be deprived of the custody of a child unless there has been a finding, after notice required by due process, of substantial harm to the child. Only then may a court engage in a “best interest of the child” evaluation in making a determination of custody.” In re Adoption of a Female Child Tennessee Supreme Court (1995)
In a 1999 parental rights termination case, “Therefore Bond stands for the proposition that a natural parent may only be deprived of custody of a child upon a showing of substantial harm to the child.” In re Askew Tennessee (1999)
A July 2001 parental abuse case, “In furtherance of that goal, and in the best interests of Pamela due to a threat of substantial harm, the juvenile court ordered a termination of visitation.” “Although parents’ have a right to raise, care for and have the companionship of their child under both Tennessee and U.S. Constitutions, these rights can be infringed upon if the court finds substantial harm threatens a child’s welfare.” “The court made clear that there must be a threshold finding of harm before the state can intervene in a parent-child relationship; however, once this finding of harm to the child is made, a determination of custody is made based on the “best interest of the child”. This threshold finding of substantial harm was made when Pamela was found by the juvenile court to be abused, dependent, and neglected and removed form the custody of her parents and placed in foster care.” DCS v. Cox Tennessee Appeals Court (2001)
An August 2001 divorced parent v. parent case, “We believe the parents’ constitutional right of privacy as found by our Supreme Court in Hawk is applicable here where we have two fit parents, even if those parents are now divorced. Additionally, we believe the constitutional rights under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as Article I, Section 26 of the Tennessee Constitution are worthy of the same protection as is the constitutional right to privacy discussed in Hawk. Accordingly, the Trial Court could not restrict Father’s otherwise lawful possession of a firearm absent a showing of risk of substantial harm to the child. The Trial Court made no such finding.” Stillwell v. Stillwell Tennessee Appeals Court (2001) Note: This may be the first and only U.S. case where a harm standard was applied to divorced parents.
A standardized threshold (bright-line rule) is needed
Many threshold terms are in use, and the best seems to be “severe harm”. It has a proper sense of urgency which strikes a balance between too low of threshold terms such as “harm” which implies virtually no barrier, and too high of ones like “serious danger” implying an impossible hurdle. When combined with the designation as a “bright line rule” that cuts cleanly and clearly between the state and parents in all circumstances, a trial judge will have no problem properly applying family law to any circumstance that he or she faces.
The state may not apply the best interest of the child standard nor infringe in the parent-child relationship prior to proving that a child is in severe harm
We too, agree that neither the legislature nor a court may properly intervene in parenting decisions absent significant harm to the child from those decisions. In so holding, we approve the logic of Santosky v. Kramer which applied a two-step process to child neglect cases leading to foster family placement. In Santosky, the Supreme Court approved New York’s bifurcated proceeding requiring the state first to establish paternal unfitness before placing a child in foster care. This procedure assures parents that a “best interest of the child” analysis will not pit them against potential foster parents; rather, the state consider a child’s “best interests” until the natural parents have been declared unfit. Hawk v Hawk Tennessee Supreme Court (1993) Note: In a case where parental rights are infringed to a much lesser degree than in a parent v. parent custody case, the Tennessee Supreme Court clearly states parents must be declared “unfit” prior to “best interests” being applied.
The proof in this case supports the trial court’s finding that the father is not unfit to have custody, and that he has developed a substantial relationship with the child. It shows that the child is in no danger of substantial harm. The father, therefore, has a fundamental interest in parenting the child which precludes a “best interest” determination of custody. Petrosky v. Keene Tennessee Supreme Court (1995)
If the threshold of severe harm is found, any orders issued must be so as no less restrictive remedies can be contemplated
To satisfy strict scrutiny, the State must show that a statute furthers a compelling state interest by the least restrictive means practically available. Bernal v. Fainter United States Supreme Court (1984)
Requiring a State to demonstrate a compelling interest and show that it has adopted the least restrictive means of achieving that interest is the most demanding test known to constitutional law. City of Boerne v. Flores United States Supreme Court (1997)
T.C.A. § 36-6-101(a)(1) “In a suit for annulment, divorce or separate maintenance, where the custody of a minor child or minor children is a question, the court may,.award the care, custody and control of such child or children.as the welfare and interest of the child or children may demand” Note: This is Tennessee’s custody statute for divorcing parents. No harm threshold is present, nor any requirement for narrow tailoring. This statute is facially unconstitutional on two grounds.
A statute must be followed as written
When “the language contained within the four corners of a statute is plain, clear and unambiguous, the duty of the courts is simple and obvious, ‘to say sic lex scripta, and obey it.” Hawks v. City of Westmoreland Tennessee Supreme Court (1997)
Thus, a court must “presume that the legislature says in a statute what it means and means in a statute what it says there.” A statute, therefore, must be construed as it is written. Berryhill v. Rhodes Tennessee Supreme Court (2000)
T.C.A. § 36-6-301 After making an award of custody, the court shall, upon request of the non-custodial parent, grant such rights of visitation as will enable the child and the non-custodial parent to maintain a parent-child relationship. Note: A reasonable definition of the clause “enable the child and the non-custodial parent to maintain a parent-child relationship” is two to three overnights per week. Tennessee courts routinely allow moveaways, long stretches (weeks/months/years) where no parenting occurs, and other restrictions such as every other weekend visitation. All of these circumstances violate their own case law, “the language contained within the four corners of a statute is plain, clear and unambiguous, the duty of the courts is simple and obvious, ‘to say sic lex scripta, and obey it.”, and can be challenged on this basis.
Parental rights are identical between natural parents, without regard to gender or marital status
The Constitution protects “the interest of a parent in the companionship, care, custody, and management of his or her children.” Stanley v. Illinois United States Supreme Court (1972)
“The parent and child relationship extends equally to every child and to every parent, regardless of the marital status of the parents.” Johnson v. Calvert California Supreme Court (1993)
The Nales’ position that this Court in Hawk limited the protection of parental rights to an “intact, nuclear family with fit parents” is untenable. Nale v. Robertson Tennessee Supreme Court (1994)
It is clear to this Court that both parents love their children. What concerns this Court most, however, and was apparently a concern to the trial court, is Wife’s blatant attempt to alienate the affections of the children from their father. When loved by both parents, children should be taught to love and respect each parent equally. The reciprocation, in turn, will garner self-respect and a positive self image in the children. The record in this case lends absolutely no reason as to why the children should not be encouraged to respect and love their father. We do not find the record to show that Wife has supported such a healthy relationship between parent and child. Although Wife testified otherwise, her actions speak loud and clear. Varley v. Varley Tennessee Appeals Court (1996)
Effect on the parent-child relationship by being apart
Between parent and child, there is no monster like separateness. It can grow even faster than children, shutting first the heart, then the home, then history. Brooks v. Parkerson Georgia Supreme Court (1995)
Friendly Parent Doctrine
The Court stressed, the parent-child relationship “undeniably warrants deference and, absent a powerful countervailing interest, protection.” Stanley v. Illinois United States Supreme Court (1972)
Custody and visitation arrangements should promote the development of a healthy relationship between children and both their parents. Solima v. Solima Tennessee Appeals Court (1998)
Parent vs. Third Party Custody
Therefore, in a contest between a parent and a non-parent, a parent cannot be deprived of the custody of a child unless there has been a finding, after notice required by due process, of substantial harm to the child. Only then may a court engage in a “best interest of the child” evaluation in making a determination of custody.” In re Adoption of a Female Child Tennessee Supreme Court (1995)
Biological parents have a fundamental liberty interest in the care and custody of their children under both the United States and Tennessee Constitutions. These parental rights are superior to the rights of others and continue without interruption unless a biological parent consents to relinquish them, abandons his or her child, or forfeits his or her parental rights by some conduct that substantially harms the child. O’ Daniel v. Messier Tennessee Appeals Court (1995)
Grandparent/third party visitation
This appeal presents the issue of the constitutionality of Georgia’s “Grandparent Visitation Statute”, OCGA § 19-7-3. We hold that the statute is unconstitutional under both our state and federal constitutions, and reverse the trial court’s order to the contrary. Brooks v. Parkerson Georgia Supreme Court (1995)
Children in state care
Judge Quinones, a Family Court Judge with eight years of experience, described the conditions of detention as follows:
“Then again, Juvenile Center, as much as we might try, is not the most pleasant place in the world. If you put them in detention, you are liable to be exposing these youngsters to all sorts of things. They are liable to be exposed to assault, they are liable to be exposed to sexual assaults. You are taking the risk of putting them together with a youngster that might be much worse than they, possibly might be, and it might have a bad effect in that respect.”
Many other observers of the circumstances of juvenile detention in New York have come to similar conclusions. Schall v. Martin United States Supreme Court (1984)
1st Amendment Protest Guarantees
We have recognized that the First Amendment reflects a “profound national commitment” to the principle that “debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open,” This has led us to scrutinize carefully any restrictions on public issue picketing. Boos v. Barry United States Supreme Court (1988)
The traditional approach sets forth a bright-line rule: any restriction on speech, the application of which turns on the content of the speech, is a content-based restriction regardless of the motivation that lies behind it. Boos v. Barry United States Supreme Court (1988)
Pro-Se litigant’s pleadings
Pro se litigant’s pleadings should not be held to the same high standards of perfection as lawyers. “Significantly, the Haines case involved a pro se complaint – as does the present case – which requires a less stringent reading than one drafted by a lawyer. Puckett v. Cox United States Court of Appeals (1972)
Section 2 Persuasive Arguments
Thus, apart from constitutional problems of using the best interest of the child standard without a prerequisite showing of harm, the vagueness and subjectivity of such a standard lends itself to an invasion of family privacy which is abhorrent to our current society. Kathleen Bean (1985-86) Grandparent Visitation: Can the Parent Refuse? Note: This statement is equally applicable to all invasions of the parent-child relationship.
The bible advises input from both parents; “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and reject not your mother’s teaching;” Proverbs 1:8 Revised Standard Version
Hubin, Donald (1999). Parental Rights and Due Process. University of Utah Journal of Law & Family Studies Volume 1 Number 2, 123-150. Note: The best article on unconstitutionality of family law.
See Childs Best Interest website generally for useful information: http://childsbestinterest.org
Section 3 Traps
When a legal action is initiated which involves a child, if a parent is not residing in the same home as the child, he or she will presumptively be considered as the non-custodial parent. The only way to avoid this trap is to not leave the home, or allow your child to be taken out of it.
When hiring an attorney, one of the first things they do is request financial information. This is because they are mentally figuring how much wealth they will be able to transfer to themselves.
At the filing of a legal action involving a child, if a temporary injunction is issued to maintain the status quo (keep the child under the care of one parent), the excluded parent will presumptively be considered as non-custodial. Any pre-trial orders which impede your ability to parent your child can be immediately appealed. If you wait for trial, you will waive your right to later raise these issues.
Pre-trial if a parent consents to pay child support, the judge and both attorneys will take this as a signal that he or she agrees to be the non-custodial parent.
Any consent order a parent agrees to (even if it comes after a contested hearing) cannot be appealed. You do not have to “consent” to anything, even if your attorney says otherwise. Remember, attorneys are officers of the court, and quite possibly friends with the judge and opposing attorney. They are required to zealously represent you, and to uphold the constitution. Expect neither.
Normally an investigation of the parents will be done. This can be anything from a college volunteer working for CASA, an attorney called a Guardian Ad Litem, a private investigator, up to a pediatric psychologist. The job of all these folks is to invade the privacy of your relationship with your child, and transfer as much wealth as possible to themselves. Also you will either be encouraged or mandated to attend counseling, to achieve the same goals. Using the above constitutional citations you can object to any invasion of your privacy and your child’s. If you fail to object, you waive your rights.
At trial your attorney can have a pre-trial brief prepared which carefully identifies the applicable laws and how your case applies to those laws (including of course constitutional law). Very few attorneys will do this. Most will present your case with no reference to any laws whatsoever, and simply allow the judge to rule as he or she wishes.
Also at trial both parents are considered to be voluntarily submitting the question of child custody to the court. Your attorney can assert that you do not want custody of your child decided by the state. If you don’t do this, it will be considered waived for appeal purposes, as will any applicable state and constitutional laws not raised by your attorney in his or her oral arguments.
If you ask that the law be followed in your case, expect intimidation tactics such as your attorney threatening to resign, or being told visitation with your child will be reduced. If any of this happens, request a brochure or other method whereby you can file a complaint with your state board of responsibility against the unlawful attorney. To make a complaint call: 1-800-486-5714
If you receive an unfavorable decision at trial, your attorney can file a motion to reconsider, or a notice of appeal. If you are appealing there are strict time limits on this, which if not followed will cause your case to be thrown out. If you consent to anything at trial, it will not be appeallable.
Appeals are usually taken to a state appellate court, then if needed an application is filed to your state supreme court (they may be called another name). The state supreme court has discretion whether to take your case or not, and they probably won’t take it. If your state supreme court does not give you a favorable ruling, you can appeal properly preserved constitutional questions to the United State Supreme Court, which virtually never takes a family law case. Wherever your case finally stops, it will be considered final.
Section 4 Legal Primer
There are three types of law, constitutional, statutory, and case. Constitutional law is primarily what this paper consists of, it is written by the people, and everyone must follow it. Statutory law is created by your state legislature, and the judges and all citizens must follow it as written. Case law is the judge’s interpretation of how constitutional and statutory law apply to individual cases. Most libraries will have copies of your state constitution, and statutory laws.
Solima v. Solima 7 S.W.3d 30, at 33 (Tenn.App.1998)
Being able to read case citations is very important as this enables you to look up and verify the original. In the above example the “style” of the case is Solima v. Solima, and these of course are the two parties at odds.
The next part 7 S.W.3d 30 tells you the original decision is contained in the “SouthWest” reporters. If you are unable to find them yourself, the law school librarian can show you where they are at. 7 is the volume number, 3d means third edition, and 30 is the page the case begins on. The at 33 is the specific page where the quote you are referring to is at, and (Tenn.App.1998) tells you the court that issued the decision and year it did so. If you see a case citation that has only the year listed without any court, such as (2000), that is a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. NY or Utah would be a state supreme court, U.S.D.C. is a federal court, and U.S.C.A. is a federal appeals court.
If you are starting from scratch and don’t have a case citation, ask the librarian where the “digests” for your state, or the “Corpus Secundum” are. These allow you to start with a subject, such as “constitutional law”, and look up all of the cases cited in that area.
Parental rights consist of fundamental liberty and privacy interest, which the state can only infringe upon after finding a child is in severe harm, or severe danger of being harmed. You must properly assert your rights at every stage of litigation, or forever waive them, and your ability to parent your child.
As a final note constitutional rights in general, and parental rights in particular, are being regularly eroded. Amendments to the U.S. and state Constitutions must be enacted to reverse this.
Daniel Lee ACFC Associate Director
Children Need BOTH Parents!
The American Coalition for Fathers and Children
For Membership information call 1-800-978-DADS or see ACFC’s homepages at: http://www.acfc.org
To subscribe send a message to: email@example.com Message in subject line: subscribe acfc
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The ACFC List Serve provides timely information to fathers, second wives, and others seeking restoration of fatherhood in America and the world. ACFC does not endorse or approve the views or opinions expressed by contributors, which have been provided only as a service to our list serve subscribers.
No one knows anything about Juvenile Dependency Court, not even those attorneys who handle these cases! I am not joking either. I have found hundreds of instances of malfeasance, nonfeasance, errors, omissions, violations of court rules and procedures, violations of W & I Statutes & Codes, violations of CPS’s own policies and procedures as well as violations of the statutory requirements set forth by the funding sources (listed below). This is why I know that for any of the attorneys to have missed is cause to determine that they are really really stupid or really really corrupt.
So, while you anticipate my posting of all those violations, here’s a site that is very informative so check it out:
FROM ABOVE REFERENCE: Violations of Federal and State Statutes, violations of the California Rules of Civil Procedure, Cal. Rules of Juvenile Court, Superior Court of California, County of Riverside Local Rules, violations of the statutes and regulations required by CAPTA, AFSA, Youkim, SAPT Block Grant, Child Welfare Services Grant (Title IV-B, Subpart 1), PSSF Grant (Title IV-B, Subpart2), Title IV-E, and the SSBG Block Grant.
Blatant disregard for the fundamental rights, privileges and constitutional rights of parents and children. Don’t wait until your children or your friend’s children to be kidnapped by the state, educate yourself and make them do it right!
Social Security IV-E Benefits
Codes, Rules, Regulations
Dpss-cps FAILS CHILDREN AND STEALS GOVERNMENT FUNDING: THEY PRETEND TO DO THESE THINGS BUT THEY DO NOT: (letters and sentences on paper does not constitute child welfare services actually rendered in accordance with funding requirements)
Sec. 421. [42 U.S.C. 621] The purpose of this subpart is to promote State flexibility in the development and expansion of a coordinated child and family services program that utilizes community-based agencies and ensures all children are raised in safe, loving families, by—
(1) protecting and promoting the welfare of all children;
(2) preventing the neglect, abuse, or exploitation of children;
(3) supporting at-risk families through services which allow children, where appropriate, to remain safely with their families or return to their families in a timely manner;
(4) promoting the safety, permanence, and well-being of children in foster care and adoptive families; and
(5) providing training, professional development and support to ensure a well-qualified child welfare workforce.
The red text highlighted part is the ONLY thing they do. They remove children from loving homes and put them in foster care and then adopt them out for more money.
There is something you can do about it
and it is pretty simple.
First, get copies of your Minute Orders. Just get in the Family Law line in the Court’s Clerks Office (the place in the courthouse that has all those windows) and ask for a copy of every SIGNED Order with the Judge’s signature on it. Oh, bring your ID so they know you are a party to the case. Children over 10 have a right to the case file as well and Minor’s Counsel will provide them for free (they should by law). They may tell you to come back another day to pick them up and they will charge copy fees. Shouldn’t be more than a few bucks for just the Minute Orders. So, most likely they will give you unsigned Minute Orders which is very common in California anyway.
When you have the Orders, check out the name of the Court Reporter (not Clerk), it should be in the first few lines, and contact that person to order a copy of the Transcript. Ask how many you can get for one low price but if you have to choose, get the Detention Hearing for sure, Jurisdictional Hearing and/or Disposition Hearing transcripts. California has an online Transcript Request Form you can submit online or by mail. They will contact you, sometimes it takes more than the stated two days, keep bugging them. They will charge approximately $60. I got three hearing transcripts for that price but one would have been the same amount. Go get the money order and send it to the reporter and you should have the transcript in about 2 weeks or sooner if you pay the extra fee.
Now, the FUN part! When they arrive, give yourself an hour of distraction free time. Get a pencil and a highlighter and compare the transcripts to the Minute Orders. Oh, before you start, make extra copies of each so you’re not writing all over the originals. You are trying to find where the Judge does not say the things that the Minute Order says he said. If the Minute Order says,
“Based on the court’s review of the Application and Detention Hearing Report, the court makes the following findings and orders herein:
Notice given/attempted as required by law.
Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that conditions exist that would justify initial assumption of jurisdiction…
Court orders…Court authorizes..Case plan read…
The Department has provided reasonable efforts to maintain the child in the home but continuance in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child…”
but if the transcript does not show that one or all or any of these were actually spoken on the record, that’s your evidence of FRAUD. DPSS is going to turn in the Minute Order to obtain Social Security Title IV-E funding as this document qualifies them for it. If you provide this proof to The Office of the Inspector General (Social Security Auditor) with a complaint about how DPSS and the courts have treated you and has frauded them and they investigate it to be true, you just GAVE IT TO THEM BIG TIME! RIPPED THEIR MONEY RIGHT OUT OF THEIR SLIMMEY DIRTY HANDS! Good Luck!
Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Unreasonable “Reasonable Efforts” Are Common
Click on this link BELOW to learn all about the funding sources. Then go through your case file (get a copy from the court clerk, ask for the entire Transcript including the Reporter’s Transcripts – THIS IS IMPORTANT-MAKE SURE THE DETENTION HEARING TRANSCRIPT IS INCLUDED THIS IS THE VERY FIRST HEARING AND EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT THE JUDGE MAKE CERTAIN FINDINGS AND ORDERS. Look through that transcript, compare to the list of required findings found in this article, highlight on the Minute Orders where they CLAIM to have made these findings, then write a complaint letter to:
US Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Inspector General
ATTN: OIG HOTLINE OPERATIONS
PO Box 23489
Washington, DC 20026
HERE IS THE LINK:
Cute but TRUE.
IF YOUR CASE IS SIMILAR TO THIS, MAKE SURE YOU MAKE YOUR ATTORNEY REFER TO THIS CASE AND IF THEY DON’T ASK FOR A MARSDENS HEARING AND RELIEVE YOUR ATTORNEY, JUST MAKE SURE YOU GET THIS IN THE TRANSCRIPT – PAST DRUG USE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE RISK AND REFER THE COURT TO THIS CASE:
Case Name: In re Destiny S. , District: 2 DCA , Division: 1 , Case #: B239393
Opinion Date: 10/31/2012 , DAR #: 15121
Case Holding: Juvenile court’s order declaring minor dependent was unsupported by a specific defined risk of harm. The 11-year-old minor Destiny was placed with her mother on voluntary maintenance because she was regularly tardy to school and mother had a history of methamphetamine and marijuana abuse. When mother tested positive for those substances, CPS removed Destiny and filed a petition. The evidence showed that Destiny was a healthy, happy, well-cared-for pre-teen. She no longer had problems with tardiness. Nonetheless, the court removed Destiny, finding that she was at risk of harm because mother was in denial as to her drug habit, and Destiny had a previous history of lateness to school. The appellate court reversed the juvenile court orders. No evidence suggested that Destiny was at risk of imminent physical harm because of her mother’s drug use. Further, mother had tested clean for three months prior to the hearing. The evidence did not support the court’s finding that there was a risk of serious physical harm from parental neglect.
Like I promised, here is some really important information for those in California going through the Juvenile Dependency Court. Know your rights. Know the Court’s responsibilities. Know what your lawyer is supposed to do for you. This is another site I wish I would have known about from the beginning of our case.
So, now when you go to court, make sure the Judge is doing what he’s/she’s supposed to, make sure they are all meeting their obligations. The more parents who check the system the less they can railroad you. Good Luck and if you have any questions, go ahead and email me and I will try to help you from my own experience as I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice, I can only tell you what I would do in your situation knowing what I know now.
So here’s the site:
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 truth is, you are fully aware of the horse-and-pony show which performs daily in your “courtroom”. I have estimated that your Three-Ring Circus has almost 10,000 shows a year at each Courthouse in Riverside County. Annually, at approximately 30,000 “hearings” families’ rights are being violated, perpetrated against, in a sick perverted wold known as the Child Welfare Industry. They are often falsely accused, manipulated, coerced, improperly represented, denied due process rights that are supposed to be guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
A few of you are referred to as a “Judge” but excuse me, “Your Honorless”, there is no honor being a circus show actor, a “Ringmaster Puppet” in this federal fund fraudulent menagerie. Your role in dependency is merely an acting contract. You act like you are in charge, you act like you consider all the facts, you act like you have some special power to know what is written in a report without having to actually read it. You act like you make decisions and “orders” but all you do, ultimately, is adopt all of the County’s requested findings and orders so they qualify for the Title IV-E money. The Defense Panel are your circus elephants and clowns that disillusion the patrons while the freak show is playing behind closed doors. Your courtroom cohorts collaborate to steal the wide-eyed, teary-eyed children. This Big Top show is disguised as a legally binding and enforceable proceeding yet every family is scarred for life after attending even just one show.
Do you have any idea how devastating it feels when people, acting under the color of law, hold your children hostage while the huge railroad train called the judicial system runs you over? Then wondering every second of the day if your child is safe?
It is torture for those parents who CARE about their kids and I know MOST of your spectators are caring, loving parents. I know because I have met them in the programs you shoved down my throat.
When the children come to your show, you give them candy, teddy bears and Christmas presents, promising them safety yet you put them in homes of strangers and sexual perpetrators. Let’s be honest here, pedophiles lurk where children are, like those sick men waiting for children to walk by on their way home from school. It is a fact that children are MORE AT RISK IN FOSTER CARE, of getting injured, raped, molested, neglected AND EVEN KILLED in foster care. If you would take the time to research, investigate and deliberate on the actual statistics of the child welfare system, you would know exactly what I am talking about.
But you don’t. The COUNTY’S circus clowns feed on the peanuts that are thrown to them, rewarding them for “buying in” to this COW of a cash generator.
The Child Welfare System and all the “stakeholders” literally swindle children from their parents claiming that the children are not safe and that ripping them away from their homes is “in the child’s best interests”. What a charade! On paper and in the media, the Child Protection and Welfare collaborators boast that they are “Saving abused, neglected children by helping parents overcome their horrible faults but at least giving children a permanent and safe place to live.” However, the children must now also suffer from the trauma of being taken and isolated from their family and they end up with more scars than they would have being left in a home that they feel secure in.
You really need to get down off your IV funded wooden horse and stop this freak show. Stop CPS from falsifying evidence, fabricating documents, committing perjury, and make them provide solid evidence of “reasonable efforts to allow the children to remain in the home”. If you had any moral or ethical bone in your body you would ensure parent’s rights to a fair and unbiased proceeding, ensure competent counsel who are diligent, ensure children’s rights to the same, allow parents to speak for themselves if they wish, ensure all counsel provide their clients with copies of minute orders and that everything you actually said on the record is actually in the record.
There are many things you can do to stop this child stealing whirlwind. Let’s begin with the information packet given to parents regarding the Juvenile Dependency process. This single piece of paper, folded in thirds to look like a leaflet, is the least informative slip I have ever seen. Surely, its real purpose is to limit the information parents receive. Other counties, like San Diego, who were investigated by the Grand Jury, at least provide a detailed timeline of the court process. The lame paper that Riverside County distributes would be more beneficial and informative if it simply said, “YOU’RE SCREWED!” or even, “Just bend over, let us stick it in your ass and, if you pretend to like it, we might return your kids sometime whenever we feel like it.” As a matter of fact, I think I will print that up and pass copies around the hallways and drop some off at the AA meetings.
The Pantomime Petitions and the Derailing Reports that you allow admitted into evidence are rarely properly served upon the parents and in my case, never served to the child who was over the age of 10. You could ask the children to verify whether or not they actually were involved in the case plan and maybe the Social Workers will do it for real. And why don’t you allow the parents to submit responses and declarations on their own behalf? Oh, and this is the waving flag-how come hair follicle test results HAVE to be paid for by CPS to be valid? What a crock of shit that is! Its even more outrageous that those clowns you call the Defense Panel Attorneys NEVER OBJECT to anything nor do they ever prepare a response or answer to the petition. Oh, and how the hell can any of your “Orders” be valid since you NEVER sign them and the Clerk NEVER provides anyone with ANY VALID ORDERS?!
And I don’t know if your clerk has a hearing problem or if she is directed and told to falsify the minute orders when you fail to make important and statutory rulings like “reasonable efforts” and other statements which ensure reimbursement from the various government funding accounts. Your boisterous speeches and assurances of protecting the children may pacify some parents but they are once again kicked while they are already down when CPS shoves a Minute Order in their face that says that your “Orders” are merely “recommendations” and that CPS has ultimate authority and discretion over all decisions.
And how about the gross negligence of the social workers to provide legitimate evidence? Do you actually read the Petitions and Reports? Do you look at the attachments? Most likely not. I highly doubt that someone in your position who has taken an OATH to uphold the law, seek justice for all and ensure people’s rights would be so completely ignorant of a piece of paper, which is THE ULTIMATE DECIDING FACTOR, IN SOME CASES, TO NOT RETURN THE CHILDREN TO THE PARENTS AND/OR TO TERMINATE THEIR PARENTAL RIGHTS, that has NO DONOR NAME, NO DONOR ID, NO SPECIMEN NUMBER, NO COLLECTION SITE, NO COLLECTION TIME, NO LAB NAME, NO ID, NO RECEIPT DATE, NO REPORT DATE, NO CERTIFYING SCIENTIST OR ANY INFORMATION WHATSOEVER LINKING IT TO ANYONE AT ALL.
Again, I wish I could say you are being fooled or ignorant but I can’t. Even if I could say that, either way you would be a lame ass EMPLOYEE WORKING AS A HEARING OFFICER CONTRACTED BY THE COUNTY FOR THE COUNTY.
HERE IS ABSOLUTE PROOF THAT THE JUVENILE DEPENDENCY COURT REALLY IS A CIRCUS!!
Child Protective Services act like they have a free reign to rip your child, literally, from your arms. Most parents believe that if they are not guilty of abusing their children then they have nothing to worry about. They are dead wrong. Most people also believe that if CPS is in your life then there “must be a good reason”. Again, they are wrong.
CPS literally lies, exaggerates, generates false documents and force you into submission. When you get to court, your “attorney”, who also gets paid from the same funding that CPS does, does not object to any of the lies despite any evidence you may have. They give you only ONE option and that is to “buy in” to the case plan to get your child back. This process is supported by the Judge and rules your child a Dependent until completion of the case plan.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PARENT DOES NOT
“BUY IN” TO THIS UNFAIR AND BIAS SYSTEM?
They lose their children.
The stated goal for the Juvenile Dependency Court is for your child to have “Permanency” regardless of where and how the CHILD feels about it. When you do not cooperate with this unfair process (or if there is a hidden agenda to destroy your family initiated by the Director of CPS herself) then the permanency of your child will not be with you. Every case is successful at achieving this goal of “permanency”. Because yes, a parent “permanently” loses all contact with their child. The child is “permanently” scarred. The siblings, the grandparents, the aunts, uncles and cousins are “permanently” scarred. The adoptive parents “permanently” receive adoption assistance including benefits and cash. The parents and siblings are “permanently” in CACI Index.
Through the collaborative efforts of Child Protective Service workers, County Counsel, Minors Counsel, the Defense Panel, the Judge, the clerk and even the courtroom officer, parents are forced to “buy in” to this finely tuned cash generator. It doesn’t matter whether the parents are innocent or guilty of abuse, they can easily use broad generic terms and rule any child to have suffered “neglect” as long as the hearing Minutes contain the correct verbage the system is guaranteed funding.
But I believe Senators, Congressmen and Legislators already know this. Nancy Schaeffer made it very loud and clear just a couple of years ago that CPS agencies across the country are corrupt beyond repair. I am certain that local representatives and those in Washington D.C. receive plenty of phone calls and letters from desperate parents and family members complaining of injustices upon them. Just type in “legal kidnapping” on YouTube and you’ll get over a thousand hits all about the abuses of CPS, or “Child Protective Services abuse” and 2,390 videos come up. There are all types of variations you could use and the horror stories are there. There’s also thousands of websites dedicated to the children taken by the system and parents and family members distraught telling their story. FightCPS.com is very popular as well as Kidjacked.com. The families and children are screaming out for attention to this problem and it seems to be falling on deaf ears. Horrifically, there have been some very loud people permanently “silenced”.
If this problem got half as much attention as Tiger Woods’ extramarital affairs or Justin Beeber throwing up on stage well maybe people would become more aware but the big, controlled, media completely ignores the subject. So what can I possibly say to you today that would motivate those with ability to help American families by changing the way CPS is rewarded for their intentional malicious acts upon children and their families? Is there anything that could possibly promote activism and advocacy throughout Congress and the Senate? If I knew, I would have already said it.
Do I have any suggestions to help correct this enormous problem? I certainly do. Want to hear it?
The most effective thing would be to cut off all the funding. If “saving” children from abuse is such a valuable and noble cause then people will volunteer and donate to the cause. Oh, but that would put so many people out of jobs? That just goes to show you, its all about the money.
I really wish I would have found this publication a long time ago. It is for attorneys representing children and parents but every parent and mature child needs a copy!
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
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:
The Juvenile Dependency Court’s Public Purpose:
As defined in California Welfare & Institutions Code Section § 202:
The purpose of the juvenile court is to secure for each minor under its jurisdiction such care and guidance, preferably in his own home, as will serve the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical welfare of the minor and the best interests of the State; to preserve and strengthen the minor’s family ties whenever possible, removing him from the custody of his parents only when necessary for his welfare or for the safety and protection of the public; and, when the minor is removed from his own family, to secure him custody, care and discipline as nearly as possible equivalent to that which should have been given by his parents.
Interestingly worded! Let’s look at some key points.
Our site’s claims that neither CPS nor the Juvenile Court personnel truly have the “child’s best interests” at heart. W&I Code §202 confirms that they don’t. This says “the best interests of the State”. This also gives the court the power to remove a child from his parents for the safety and protection of the public!
I also notice that the language specifically states “his” when referring to the minor. What happened to the politically correct, “his/her”? This prompts me to research the number of boys removed from parents vs. girls removed. Stay tuned, that and more coming soon.
Sharon Joyce-Burns for donnellyjustice
State’s Child Protection Agencies Collude with Judges to Defraud Federal Government
© Nev Moore Jan. ’02
In 1974 Walter Mondale initiated CAPTA (the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act), the legislation that began feeding federal funding into the state’s child welfare agencies. With remarkable foresight Mondale expressed concerns that the legislation could lead to systemic abuse in that the state agencies might over-process children into the system unnecessarily to keep, and increase, the flow of federal dollars. Shortly after CAPTA was enacted there was a dramatic increase in the number of children in foster care, peaking at around 500,000 during the mid-70′s. George Miller, the Chairman of the federal Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, initiated an intensive investigation of the nation’s foster care system after the effects of CAPTA started to become apparent by the soaring numbers of children who were being placed in foster care. An official at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare admitted to Miller that the government had no idea where many of the nation’s 500,000 foster children where living, what services they were receiving, if any, or if any efforts were being made to reunite them with their families.
To address the obvious free-for-all snatching of children that CAPTA had stimulated, the Committee crafted new federal legislation with the intent of creating accountability and clearer guidelines for the states child welfare agencies. During the crafting of P.L. 96-272 Chairman Miller’s concern was that the federal government was footing the bill for warehousing children in institutions and inappropriate settings without accountability. In 1980 the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, P.L. 96-272, was enacted. The act included provisions that “reasonable efforts” be made to prevent children from being unnecessarily removed from their homes and placed in foster care. Although CPS has always tried to buffalo the media and the public that they are involved with families due to some sort of horrific child abuse or neglect, there has never been any debate among national policy makers, researchers, and federal agencies that the vast majority of CPS cases are due to poverty or frivolous/social reasons and do not contain elements of real child abuse. If the cases did actually involve acts of abuse they would be criminal, identified and investigated by law enforcement, rather than social workers, and would be prosecuted as such. P.L. 96-272 came into effect partly because Congress determined that a large number of children were being unnecessarily removed from their homes, and, once removed, they were lost in the limbo of foster care for years, many until they just grew too old, when they were then put on the streets at the age of 18.
The Child Welfare League of America testified before a senate subcommittee: “In fact, there were many instances then, as now, of children being removed unnecessarily from their families. It is important to recognize that children are almost always traumatized by removal from their own families.” So, accountability from each states child protection agency was also written in. To receive the federal money the states would have to submit an annual report to the federal government, known as an AFCARS report, that specifically accounts for each child in state care. ACLU Children’s Rights Project attorney, Marcia Robinson Lowry, explained in her testimony to Congress: “As a condition of federal funding, states must have a reasonable information system to identify children in federally-funded state custody.” These requirements were implemented in 1980. Up until 1999 some states were still not filing their federally required AFCARS report to the federal government. According to Jeffrey Locke, former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, the excuse to the legislature was that they “couldn’t figure out how to
work their computer system.”
When I called Senator Therese Murray in 1998 to ask how many children had died in foster care in Massachusetts, her aide replied: “We don’t have those statistics.” At that time Senator Murray was the Senate Chair of the Committee on Health & Elderly Affairs, and therefore responsible to oversee the collection and filing of AFCARS data.
The “reasonable efforts” requirements were designed to address these issues by requiring the states child welfare agencies to have specific investigation and assessment policies to minimize frivolous removals, to provide “services” to address and ameliorate conditions that were detrimental to the child’s well-being; to place children with relatives when removal from the home was absolutely necessary; and make efforts to reunite families in a timely fashion. Methods to audit and track compliance with federal requirements were also built in. The states were to establish “citizen review panels” comprised of a specifically designated representation of the population which would include not only members of collateral professional communities involved in child protection, but “parents, foster parents, and former foster children.” Each state was to have at least three citizen review panels. The panels would essentially act as a standing jury of peers and would review CPS cases. Twenty years after P.L. 96- 272 went into effect the citizen review panels have never been established in most states.
Another means of creating accountability was to have the federal authority, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, conduct compliance audits, which are known as Section 427 reviews. The method of enforcement that Congress devised to ensure that the states followed the federal law was to provide incentive funds to the states that documented their compliance with the federal regulations. The states would self-certify compliance, but could be subjected to “periodic” 427 reviews by the Dept. of Health & Human Services. Were the states to find themselves in non-compliance they would simply return the incentive funds. It would seem that providing cash to agencies that are allowed to self-document compliance is a somewhat less than intelligent system. It would be interesting to track down exactly how much money the states child “protective” agencies have returned to the government because they found themselves in non-compliance. Gee, maybe this is rocket science.
Like CAPTA, P.L. 96-272 could only have worked if the federal government demanded compliance and meticulous accountability, and them imposed sanctions for non-compliance. Even better – criminal charges for racketeering for intentional fraud. Mark Soler, director of the National Youth Law Center in California explained:
“The Department of Health & Human Services has failed to promulgate meaningful regulations to implement the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act. It has applied even the minimal federal regulations that were developed in an inconsistent and arbitrary manner, and only token implementation of the laws protecting children.’
Even when HHS finds overwhelming evidence of lack of compliance during 427 reviews, no sanctions are imposed and they continue to keep the fed $$$ pouring in – in violation of their own regulations. Not so much as a slap on the hand or even token admonishment. Certainly explains how CPS developed their arrogance and contempt for any authority – because there is none. Their confidence that they are free from the feds insisting on compliance with the law is well illustrated by the foster care numbers which increased dramatically after CAPTA began feeding federal dollars into the states child protection agencies, then dropped equally dramatically after the enactment of P.L.96-272, which was supposed to create more specific federal regulation and accountability. However, once the state agencies saw that the federal government was not enforcing compliance, the foster care numbers soared once again.
Michael Petit, Deputy Director of the Child Welfare League of America, stated in his testimony before Congress: “A 427 is a meaningless process for most of the states. It represents no kind of sanctions to the states whatsoever for non-compliance.” Marcia Robinson Lowry told Congress: “States are passing HHS audits with systems in which no reasonable person could consider that children are being well treated. It is virtually impossible to fail a 427 audit.”
The initial concept of “reasonable efforts” was the only conclusion that any rational person could come to: rather than disrupt children’s lives, and traumatize them by seizing them from non- abusive situations and placing them with strangers (who are often no better, and sometimes far worse), assist families in overcoming their obstacles and problems by providing support and services. The idea never worked, though, because it has always been more profitable to too many to remove children rather than keep them at home. Rather than offer support and simple, practical services to families CPS forged contracts with vendors. Now private businesses, under the guise of “service providers”, could mushroom into existence knowing that their sugar daddy, CPS, would provide a never-ending flow of coerced clients. The market potential is unlimited – potentially every mother, father, grandparent, and child in the country. Rather than offering practical, meaningful services that are germane to the families circumstances, CPS clients are ordered to engage in “services” with CPS-contracted vendors; special interest groups who are dependent on CPS for their income and profit by maintaining the levels of children in foster care, and whose interests are protected by a bureaucracy intent on securing it’s own survival and protecting unlimited growth.
The extent of which CPS is allowed to continue to operate while being so far out of compliance with the existing state and federal laws is mind boggling. It would be a challenge to find any other agency in our countries history that operated in such gross and blatant violation of the law with absolutely no intervention from the administration. Tens of millions of tax dollars are being squandered on a system that is destroying families and causing lifelong emotional ruin to children – and those are the lucky ones who live through it.
The most egregious area of outright criminal fraud is CPS’s practice of filing their federally required documentation of compliance in secrecy through the courts. The federal foster care reimbursements are channeled through the Title IV-E section of the Social Security Act. Each states child welfare agency enters into a contract with the federal government, which is referred to as their Title IV-E state plan. It is this contract that spells out the responsibilities that CPS must, by law, comply with in order to receive their federal funding. To document compliance with the fed regs CPS must file a form through the courts in each individual case. In Massachusetts these forms are referred to as a “29-C.” 42 U.S. Code, ss 672 reads:
“These requirements are not mere formalities. The Finance Committee of Congress, in preparing its summary for final passage of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, P.L. 96-272, stated; ` The Committee is aware of allegations that the judicial determination requirement (sic: that a judge makes a determination that a child needs to be removed from the home) can become a mere pro forma exercise in paper shuffling to obtain federal funding. While this could occur in some instances, the Committee is unwilling to accept as a general proposition that the judiciaries of the States would so lightly treat a responsibility placed upon them by federal statute for the protection of children.”
1980 U.S. Code Cong. and Admin. News: “A judicial determination of those efforts (reasonable efforts, as defined in the Act) serves to closely examine, in the case of each individual child, whether reasonable efforts were made to keep the family intact.” In accordance with the federal requirements the Massachusetts legislature enacted G.L. c.119 ss 29b, which requires all judges to certify that the Department of Social Services met the obligation grounded in the federal statute of making reasonable efforts to protect the child short of removing him or her from the parents, and, if the child was removed, making it possible for the child to return home in a timely manner. Rather than “closely examining”, in Massachusetts this grave responsibility is carried out by judges by rubber stamping stacks of 29c forms that simply contain three “yes” or “no” check boxes. In many instances making three check marks is even too much work for Massachusetts judges and they rubber stamp the forms while leaving them blank – never mind actually verifying that the “reasonable efforts” were made. In return for these forms DSS receives it’s federal money.
The three questions are:
1. Continuation in the home is contrary to the well being of the child?
2. Reasonable efforts have been made prior to the placement of the child to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from his/her home?
3. Reasonable efforts have been made to make it possible for the child to return to his parent/guardian?
I discussed this issue a few years ago with Veronica Melendez at the Children’s Bureau (the federal authority). She told me that the federal government was under the impression that all parties were present in the court room at the time of the filing of the 29c’s, so that the parents attorneys had the opportunity to object, rebut, or verify the “reasonable efforts.” In reality, no one sees the federal forms except the judges and a representative of DSS’s main legal department. Attorneys ask us how we ever “got our hands on” the 29c forms, as we have never yet met an attorney who has seen the forms, let alone have been notified of the filing hearing. We even have forms on which the “no” boxes were checked, yet the children were still removed from their homes and federal funds collected for them.
By seizing children illegally in violation of the Title IV-E requirements, then filing false documents in secrecy through the courts to obtain federal funding, CPS is defrauding the federal government with intent. CPS should be subject to investigation and prosecution by the U.S. Attorneys Office. They should be held liable for the restitution of all illegally obtained funds, and prosecuted for perjury, obstruction of justice, and the fraudulent collection of federal funds under the False Statements and Accountability Act of 1996, P.L. 104-292 110 stat 3459, 42 U.S.C.S. 670-679a; P.L. 96-272; C.F.R. part 1356; and Title IV-E. I have discussed this issue with the Inspector Generals Office and they felt it could possible be prosecuted under RICO, yet they have also failed to act, possibly because it isn’t just CPS/DSS who is committing federal fraud, but also the judges who are signing the documents.
In 1988 George Miller, the original architect of P.L. 96-272, and Chairman of the congressionally appointed Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families, recognized the fraud being committed in the name of child “protection”, and stated:
“What has been demonstrated here is that you have a system that is simply in contempt. This system has been sued and sued and orders have been issued and they just continue on their merry way. And HHS just continues to look the other way. You have a system that is not only out of control, it’s illegal at this point. What you are really engaged in is state sponsored child abuse.”
I would absolutely love to share my opinion of RIVERSIDE COUNTY CPS JUDGES WITH YOU. But this would take so long to go over all the overwhelming evidence of false evidence being allowed into the courtroom, and not allowing parents on record to defend themselves. Parents and children are being blatantly taken advantage of.
It should be required to disclose Dependency policies and procedures, such as a copy of the Dependency Quick Guide, A Dogbook for Attorneys Representing Children and Parents published by the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts. I personally have seen how the court accepts everything CPS says to be considered clear and convincing without CPS actually presenting any real evidence. Instead, CPS just writes a scathing report stating that they have seen evidence. This is completely bias on the side of CPS to not actually see the real evidence. In my case, CPS presented another mans criminal record as if it was mine and NO ONE noticed and would not listen to me when I said something about it. This is clearly criminal.
Anyone who wants proof all you need do is write me and I will show you overwhelming evidence of fraud through out the CPS, county counsel and the Riverside County CPS court proceedings. Everything I am saying here is completely true so help me god . My law suit when it gets heard and it will is so damaging to all these people.
CPS falsified so many records to steal my child and had the assistance of every single person down the line including CPS attorneys, Judges, and Social Workers licensed and unlicensed. These people all think they are immune, I got news for them, NO ONE is immune from corruption and criminal activities.
Even my appellant attorney did not review the case or he would have seen the obvious, contradictions of their statements miss reporting and false reporting, substitution of reports, cut and pasting of certified documents by a state testing facility. The Attorneys’ unethical and intentional gross misconduct lead to the legal kidnapping of my child.
None of these people have any concern of the child’s real welfare. Every bit of evidence is already being sent to every single congressman, senators, and anyone else who needs to know what is going on here. Please write me, this can not happen to anymore children.
OMG what is going on in this country allowing our most precious gifts given to us by God to take care of and guide into adulthood as a decent person. Children stolen from their home will never understand why this happened to them. There is no medication CPS can force a child to take that will ever take this damage away except returning these children home to their loving parents. Be aware that CPS social workers tell the children that their parents do not care about them. Talk about emotional abuse!
In May 2011 I reported this corruption and legal kidnapping scheme to the FBI. When I informed the Social Worker, AntoineColey, he laughed and said, “The FBI is not going to do anything.” Well, the FBI’s response was, “We are not in the position to challenge CPS.” The FBI is in charge of investigating corruption AND kidnappings. So WHO is in charge of protecting our children besides the parent who gets arrested if they take possession back of their child?
Please share this story and information. The more people who know about this illegal kidnapping ring the less power they will have and could make all the difference in the world to all our American families.
People please pay attention to my words and read them very clearly, it is with the utmost respect for children and to end this abuse of our children and the never ending pain for parents. If people only had the information provided in the Dependency policies and procedures, (Dependency Quick Guide, A Dogbook for Attorneys Representing Children and Parents) published by the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts these kidnappings would not be happening.
In closing. What does this tell you? This is intentional.
What is the reason? Money funding from CAPTA and Title IV-E of the social security act, and Youakim funding.
Far more money and incentives is given for out of home placement placing the child up for adoption then to try to help the family.
Please tell everyone you know to read this. Do not just let anymore children be taken from loving homes. Even if you don’t think this will happen to you.
No one will help you after your child gets taken accept knowledge and preparation for the kind of people you are dealing with. Then you may have a fighting chance.
My motives, I want to finish raising my beautiful baby boy who I love absolutely and completely so very much.
And to stop this from happening to any other children and parents, from going through the heart ace that never ends.
William Ronald Burns
A Southern California mother, Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick, filed a lawsuit against Child Protective Services (CPS). She claimed caseworkers had unjustly taken her children in February 2000. The children were ages 6 and 9 at the time. The accusation against her was that she was telling the children that their father was trying to take them away from her.
Because of this, the children were placed in the Orangewood Children’s Home. The children were kept there for a month, then transferred to a foster home for two months. Eventually they were placed in their father’s custody, and the mother had to endure the humiliation of supervised visits.
Another family destroyed!
But wait! The mother recovered from the injustice done to her enough to file a federal lawsuit based on violations of Constitutional law. With the help of an attorney, Shawn A. McMillan, they went after the Orange County (California) Department of Social Services and three caseworkers.
In the lawsuit the mother alleged the caseworkers intentionally misled the court, fabricated evidence against her, and hid exculpatory evidence. She also alleged that caseworkers withheld information from the judge regarding the emotional distress of the children, who wanted to be with their mother. Also alleged was that a supervisor in the agency refused Kinship Care rights to relatives without good cause, forcing the children to stay longer in foster care.
On March 23, 2007, after a seven-week civil trial, the jury found the Department of Social Services and caseworkers Marcie Vreeken and Helen Dwojak liable for violating the mother’s parental rights and violating the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick was awarded 4.9 million dollars. The jury also awarded her an additional $5,900 in punitive damages. The large settlement was intended to ‘send a message’ to Child Protective Services bureaucrats.
In a press release after the settlement the attorney gave this list of illegal practices of the caseworkers involved:
… detention of children without a finding of imminent danger or serious physical injury;
… interviewing children without a parent present;
… continuing detention after learning there was no basis to do so;
… using trickery and fabricated evidence;
… failing to adequately train employees regarding the Constitutional rights of parents.
The attorney added:
“My client Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick, is satisfied by the Jury’s recognition of the harm that the defendants caused her. But, obviously, no amount of money can ever undo the damage inflicted upon Ms. Fogarty-Hardwick or her children. We expect the Jury‘s 4.9 million dollar verdict will cause the County of Orange and its Department of Social Services to implement procedures to prevent future abuses by County social workers and protect other families.”
My opinion: I consider this to be outrageously good news. More people should be filing charges against CPS, but they don’t, mainly because they have a hard time finding attorneys willing to represent them. The attorneys know that CPS maims families by splitting them up using trumped up, inaccurate, or fictitious accusations. But it seems most attorneys don’t have the guts to fight CPS. Perhaps it isn’t a politically correct move to sue this overly powerful agency, yet this is what needs to be done if we’re ever going to be able to stop caseworkers from unfairly decimating families.