THE FIRST THING TO UNDERSTAND IS THIS: Child Protective Services DOES NOT REALLY CARE ABOUT THE CHILDREN! Now you know why they do the mean things they do.
THE SECOND THING TO UNDERSTAND IS: CPS only cares about FUNDING. This is what drives them to do ANYTHING.
My top ten list of advice and information:
1. STAY CALM AND COLLECTED. When you yell, argue, and/or make threats of any kind, they have the ammunition to accuse you of being violent and/or claim that the children would not be safe in a “volatile environment”. Always be polite and courteous to everyone who has anything to do with your case. Yelling and arguing only incites them to make up more crap about you and an excuse to refuse to return your children. When I say be polite and courteous, I mean play it up big by saying things like, “Thank you so much for your help and concern with the welfare of my family. I really appreciate everything that the Department is doing for us. We strive to become better parents, regardless of how. We are learning a lot and are dedicated to completing our case plan.” YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MEAN IT! I know how you really feel about them. This is normal. Heck, if I said all the things I thought about social workers, well, I would have a lot of problems to deal with. That is all I will say. My mom always used to say, “Kill them with kindness.” Best advice she ever gave me yet, in this situation, I understand how difficult it is to do. However, it is well worth the efforts as this has a great deal to do with if and when they return your child(ren). This is not a guarantee but it is very important that your social worker LIKES YOU.
2. Stop fighting them. UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CAN NOT BEAT THEM IN COURT – EVER! What I mean by that is this: The case will not be dismissed for lack of evidence. It will NOT be dismissed once you prove your innocence. It just will not happen so let’s move on. [ALTHOUGH IT IS POSSIBLE IF A BRAVE LAWYER OR GROUP OF LAWYERS HAS ENOUGH YOU-KNOW-WHAT TO PRESENT A DEFENSE THAT EXPOSES THE ABUNDANT CODES, STATUTES AND REGULATORY ACTS WHICH ARE VIOLATED IN EVERY CASE. If every parent hired a private attorney or if there was a program through the BAR Association where pro bono services were provided to defendants in Juvenile Dependency cases, the court cohorts would not be able to collaborate and collect our kids for cash!] However, there is a lawyer named Vincent Davis who has been educating and preparing parents and guardians for court.
When I say stop fighting them, I do not mean that you shouldn’t get objections on the record. This is extremely important for appeal. So, file a Declaration or Objections to the Detention or similar document that clearly objects to the false allegations, the fabricated evidence and the perjury the social worker has made and submitted to the court in the form of written testimony (the Detention Report and or any other report the county has filed).There are things you can prove with providing your “attorney” proof of in the form of documents and testimony. This may alleviate requirements of some of their case plan programs but it will not get your case dismissed.
Once you get your children back and the case CLOSED, you can and should sue them. But check your local and state rules regarding claims against a government agency. You may have to file an administrative complaint FIRST. A Federal 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 complaint for violating your 14th Amendment rights and your child’s 4th Amendment rights is a good way to go however, it is not the only way.
3. .Complete the case plan without complaining or arguing. If you don’t feel you should have to go to any Domestic Violence classes, you need to tell your lawyer to negotiate that requirement if there has been no domestic violence. YOU CAN BARGAIN WITH CPS but you must get it approved by a CPS supervisor and/or the Court.
4. GET EVERY PROMISE IN WRITING. Whether it is to place your children with family, increase your visits, close your case early, or to relieve you from drug testing, write up a promise agreement and have them sign it.
5. RECORD AND DIARY EVERYTHING. Al;ways make sure to get names, dates and times or every communication with CPS and your lawyer. This will be particularly beneficial when you sue them as well as be able to politely disagree with social workers when they tell you something different that they told you previously.
6. NEVER MISS A VISIT WITH YOUR CHILDREN. EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO START WALKING THE NIGHT BEFORE, GET THERE SOMEHOW. IF YOU MISS A VISIT THEY COULD TAKE YOUR VISITS AWAY BY SAYING THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN VISITING.
7. If you do need to complain, do it in writing and send copies to those in higher positions. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO WRITE TO THE DEPARTMENT’S DIRECTOR! This will ALWAYS GET THEIR ATTENTION and most times your complaint is duly acknowledged and something is corrected.
8. IF THE ALLEGATIONS WERE EVEN SLIGHTLY TRUE, STOP THE BEHAVIOR PERMANENTLY. If they said you were doing drugs, STOP USING DRUGS! If they said there was domestic violence and it is true, EITHER FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET ALONG OR SEPARATE. When you can’t prove you were not on drugs or that there was no domestic violence, the quickest way to get the children returned is to separate immediately and make sure that CPS has NO KNOWLEDGE OR SUSPICIONS THAT YOU BOTH ARE COMMUNICATING. That means do not talk on the phone, do not email, do not meet them in public places during the day. Make sure when you do talk or see one another that you are not followed. Take extra precautions to ensure that whatever actions you have taken to convince CPS that the children are or will be “safe” stays that way according to them. WHAT THEY DO NOT KNOW WILL NOT HURT YOU. Also, do not tell anyone anything different than what you tell CPS.
9. Always file an appeal regardless of what your “attorney” says. You never know what the appellate court will be able to argue. However, you MUST GET OBJECTIONS ON THE RECORD!
10. ,MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE FOSTER MOTHER/FATHER. This can prove to be your most valuable ally.
CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO BE DIRECTED TO MY GOOGLE DRIVE. YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT.
Now, this was timely filed in LA Childrens’ Court and properly served to all parties. The attorney for the parent who filed it PULLED IT OUT OF THE RECORD, CLAIMING THAT THE PARENT COULDN’T FILE THINGS WITHOUT HIS KNOWLEDGE. IT WAS FILED BEFORE HE BECAME ATTORNEY OF RECORD. AND HOW IN GOD’S NAME COULD A FILING JUST BE TAKEN OUT OF THE CLERK’S FILE? SHOWS YOU RIGHT THERE THEY DO WHATEVER THEY WANT I BELIEVE THIS DOCUMENT WAS A VERY SERIOUS THREAT TO THE DEPARTMENT AND EVERYONE IN THE COURT, SINCE THEY ARE ALL ON CPS’S SIDE. WE ARE GOING TO TRY TO GET IT FILED AGAIN, MAYBE I SHOULD JUST PUT THE LAWYER’S NAME AT THE TOP AND MAKE IT LOOK LIKE HE PREPARED IT, I BET THAT WOULD REALLY GET HIM IN TROUBLE! AND ME AS WELL SO I WON’T ACTUALLY DO THAT. IF ANYONE HAS ANY IDEAS, LET ME KNOW. THIS CASE IS SOMETHING OFF THE CHARTS, SIMILAR TO THE IN RE: DF.
SO, IF YOU PREPARE OBJECTIONS BEWARE THAT IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO FILE IT. I WILL KEEP EVERYONE APPRISED REGARDING THE FILING OF THIS DOCUMENT. WISH US LUCK!
If your child is hurt while in foster care or you believe there is a “substantial risk” that your child will be hurt in foster care (AS THEY HAVE APPLIED IT TO YOU being a PREPONDERANCE of evidence) MAKE A REPORT TO THE HOTLINE, REPORT TO LOCAL POLICE, REPORT TO THE DA’S OFFICE and to the Foster Family Agency. IF THEY DO NOTHING make ABSOLUTELY SURE YOU FILE COMPLAINTS WITH SECRETARY OF STATE, ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND TO HHS (Health and Human Services). After researching the number of children maltreated in foster care, it is obvious that the injuries and maltreatment in foster care ARE NOT being reported anymore and swept under the rug as a part of their “Improvement Plan”. We parents and family members know that our kids are being hurt and mistreated in foster care so we also know that their reported “No maltreatment in foster care” numbers are bullshit. We all need to report the abuses so they stop lying, making themselves out to be better than us. If, during a visit, your child has a bruise, a cut, a lump, lock of hair missing, is dirty, is wearing the same clothes to every visit, has lost weight, acts differently, winches at sudden movements, tells you about being hit or yelled at all the time, or screams when it is time for them to leave with the foster person, MAKE A REPORT. Remember, FOSTER HOMES ARE SUPPOSEDLY PERFECT AND BETTER THAN YOU. We all know that no one is perfect but they are claiming to be, DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES FOR THE FOSTER PARENTS BECAUSE YOU MAY UNDERSTAND BEING A PARENT MEANS THAT CHILDREN FALL OR GET PICKED ON BY OTHER CHILDREN, do not believe anything they say as the reason your child has that bruise or cut or chunk of hair missing, assume that they are being abused. That’s how parents are treated right?
File these reports with anyone who will listen. This county has been falsifying reports of treatment in foster care basically glorifying foster care and anyone of us can tell you nightmares about foster care by people who just get paid to be a babysitter. The last person these courts would ever consider listening to is the victims of CPS and these CPS workers know it and abuse it to get as much federal funding to the county as possible.
If anyone is truly representing children and FAMILIES you can’t tell by the wealth of information which is given out for foster parents and people looking to adopt children from the system. If you read all the appellate decisions you will find that 98% of the appeals in California do not rule in favor of the parents. Dependency cases are so class bias with evidence in support of parent completely ignored.
For those parents and original caregivers who have recently been intimidated by CPS and they removed your child(ren), and if I were to experience that again knowing what I know now, I would object to everything untrue said in the reports, provide evidence to the contrary and file it with the clerk. When doing so, you must serve all parties with it and then file a Proof of Service with the clerk. Nothing you have to say will ever get on record unless you do this AND YOUR ATTORNEY WILL NOT DO IT EITHER. If I could do it all over again, I will drill this into my head and NEVER UNDERESTIMATE DPSS’s creativity when it comes to making shit up about you. They are very sick people out to get you so don’t let them get away with ruining your reputation along with ruining your family. PARENTS DO NOT RECEIVE PROPER REPRESENTATION. EVER. It is up to you to be put on record to have any chance at beating them. BUT UNDERSTAND THAT they will coerce you into ‘submitting’ to the allegations and cooperating with the ‘case plan’. If you are fighting them tooth and nail they will ‘amend’ the petition but only slightly. Then they will bring up all the issues that were stricken from it and use it against you again. Appealable issues must be raised at each hearing. We will post more about that soon. Even if you lose getting your self on record with a good argument has a much higher chance of ruining their self-esteem which comes from in part by the arrogance they get from railroading the parents on the record without a fight. Look for our article, “Hit ‘Em Where it Hurts” which explains how to remove the funding they receive in your case. This will weaken them and end the tyranny of the JV court.