I have no illusions that CPS will just give up committing crimes against children, but this tells the court that you are not an idiot and you know perfectly well what CPS and the JV court Judges are doing. They are guilty of the most OUTRAGEOUS crimes harming children.
Be on your game and have a number of relatives/witnesses with you when you appear in JV court. Make sure that the Court is aware that they are there to testify for the child’s best interests. That is their golden word. Below is evidence and investigation reports which any reasonable person would find overwhelming yet do not expect this court to be reasonable. Be at your best, be firm, do not be pushed around, know your rights, and most of all, know that your attorney is not looking out for you. If you live in California, find our link to the Dependency Quick Guide, this will tell you what your attorney is supposed to do. If you can not it, email me and I will send you a direct link. In Court, be intelligent, be respectful to the Judge, listen carefully and object to anything said on record that is not correct no matter how little or insignificant. The county’s attorney will be vicious (she would literally cut your throat if she could). Your child’s attorney is a terrible actor pretending to look out for your child’s “best interests” but really they are best friends with county counsel. Remember, these people work together everyday for the same goal (the best interests of the state). So OBJECT yourself if your attorney doesn’t. IF YOU EVER WANT ANY CHANCE IN APPELLATE COURT YOU MUST GET OBJECTIONS TO EVERYTHING THAT IS UNREASONABLE AND FALSE ON THE RECORD. OPEN YOUR MOUTH EVEN IF ITS SCARY AND IT CAN BE VERY INTIMIDATING. They count on that.
This is your only time to get the truth on record, and your time to shine for your family, I can’t state this point enough no matter what your attorney has said to you, you must look out for you and your children no one else will do it for you. If you listen to anything in your life listen to this PLEASE OBJECT TO ANYTHING THAT IS SAID BY ANYONE IN THAT COURTROOM THAT IS NOT CORRECT OR NOT TRUE (YOU MUST). If you do not it will be “on the record” as unopposed and is held as correct, do not let anyone tell you different. You need APPEALABLE ISSUES and you will get those when you OBJECT. It does not matter how the Judge rules it, overruled or sustained, as long as it is on the record. If your lawyer tells you different you can throw my name in his face. I have read courtroom procedure and it is stamped on my brain. I want only the best for anyone fight for their life in this court and make no mistake when you lose your child they might as well have taken your life as well because that is the way you will feel afterwards. Justice does not always prevail but if you follow these guidelines you will have grounds for an appeal. IF YOU ARE A DECENT PARENT THEN YOU ARE IN YOUR CHILD’S BEST INTERESTS AND YOUR CHILD IS YOUR BEST INTEREST AS WELL. I TRULY HOPE THESE REPORTS HELP YOU.
GOD BLESS AND GOOD LUCK
These reports prove why CPS kidnaps your children. They are not looking out for the child’s best interest. This information is all documented and CPS, as well as the courts, already have these reports. THIS IS ALL FACT AND IF THE JUDGE TRULY CARES ABOUT YOUR KIDS HE WILL CONSIDER THIS INFORMATION. The likelihood he has not read this report is slim in none. CPS will know that you know the truth. Your child is not to be held as a hostage so the county can make money off of the destruction of your family. File a timely appeal and whether you win or lose, SUE SUE SUE and take no prisoners. Hold them accountable for their actions. (They have been getting away with this for so long that they need help to control their own behavior.)
THE CORRUPT BUSINESS OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES BY: Nancy Schaefer Senator, 50th District
My introduction into child protective service cases was due to a grandmother in an adjoining state who called me with her tragic story. Her two granddaughters had been taken from her daughter who lived in my district. Her daughter was told wrongly that if she wanted to see her children again she should sign a paper and give up her children. Frightened and young, the daughter did. I have since discovered that parents are often threatened into cooperation of permanent separation of their children.
The children were taken to another county and placed in foster care. The foster parents were told wrongly that they could adopt the children. The grandmother then jumped through every hoop known to man in order to get her granddaughters. When the case finally came to court it was made evident by one of the foster parent’s children that the foster parents had, at any given time, 18 foster children and that the foster mother had an inappropriate relationship with the caseworker.
In the courtroom, the juvenile judge, acted as though she was shocked and said the two girls would be removed quickly. They were not removed. Finally, after much pressure being applied to the Department of Family and Children Services of Georgia (DFCS), the children were driven to South Georgia to meet their grandmother who gladly drove to meet them. After being with their grandmother two or three days, the judge, quite out of the blue, wrote up a new order to send the girls to their father, who previously had no interest in the case and who lived on the West Coast. The father was in “adult entertainment”. His girlfriend worked – 2 – as an “escort” and his brother, who also worked in the business, had a sexual charge brought against him. Within a couple of days the father was knocking on the grandmother’s door and took the girls kicking and screaming to California.
The father developed an unusual relationship with the former foster parents and soon moved back to the southeast, and the foster parents began driving to the father’s residence and picking up the little girls for visits. The oldest child had told her mother and grandmother on two different occasions that the foster father molested her.
To this day after five years, this loving, caring blood relative grandmother does not even have visitation privileges with the children. The little girls are in my opinion permanently traumatized and the young mother of the girls was so traumatized with shock when the girls were first removed from her that she has not recovered.
Throughout this case and through the process of dealing with multiple other mismanaged cases of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), I have worked with other desperate parents and children across the state because they have no rights and no one with whom to turn. I have witnessed ruthless behavior from many caseworkers, social workers, investigators, lawyers, judges, therapists, and others such as those who “pick up” the children. I have been stunned by what I have seen and heard from victims all over the state of Georgia.
In this report, I am focusing on the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). However, I believe Child Protective Services nationwide has become corrupt and that the entire system is broken almost beyond repair. I am convinced parents and families should be warned of the dangers.
The Department of Child Protective Services, known as the Department of Family and Children Service (DFCS) in Georgia and other titles in other states, has become a “protected empire” built on taking children and separating families. This is not to say that there are not those children who do need to be removed from wretched situations and need protection. This report is concerned with the children and parents caught up in “legal kidnapping,” ineffective policies, and DFCS who do does not remove a child or children when a child is enduring torment and abuse. (See Exhibit A and Exhibit B)
In one county in my District, I arranged a meeting for thirty-seven families to speak freely and without fear. These poor parents and grandparents spoke of their painful, heart wrenching encounters with DFCS. Their suffering was overwhelming. They wept and cried. Some did not know where their children were and had not seen them in years. I had witnessed the “Gestapo” at work and I witnessed the deceitful conditions under which children were taken in the middle of the night, out of hospitals, off of school buses, and out – 3 – of homes.
In one county a private drug testing business was operating within the DFCS department that required many, many drug tests from parents and individuals for profit. In another county children were not removed when they were enduring the worst possible abuse. Due to being exposed, several employees in a particular DFCS office were fired. However, they have now been rehired either in neighboring counties or in the same county again. According to the calls I am now receiving, the conditions in that county are returning to the same practices that they had before the light was shown on their deeds.
Having worked with probably 300 cases statewide, I am convinced there is no responsibility and no accountability in the system. I have come to the conclusion:
• that poor parents often times 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 always 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 they are at work and while their children are separated from them. 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;
• that caseworkers and social workers are oftentimes guilty of fraud. They withhold evidence. They fabricate evidence and they seek to terminate parental rights. However, when charges are made against them, the charges are ignored;
• that the separation of families is growing as a business because local governments have grown accustomed to having taxpayer dollars to balance their ever-expanding budgets;
• that Child Protective Service 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! – 4 – There are state employees, lawyers, court investigators, 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 social workers are the glue that holds “the system” together that funds the court, the child’s attorney, and the multiple other jobs including DFCS’s attorney.
• that The Adoption and the Safe Families Act, set in motion 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 sell and you must have plenty of them so the buyer can choose. Some counties are known to give a $4,000 bonus for each child adopted and an additional $2,000 for a “special needs” child. Employees work to keep the federal dollars flowing;
• that there is double dipping. The funding continues as long as the child is out of the home. When a child in foster care 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;
• that there is double dipping. The funding continues as long as the child is out of the home. When a child in foster care 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; • that there are no financial resources and no real drive to unite a family and help keep them together; • 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. Look at the waste in government that is forced upon the tax payer; • that the “Policy Manuel” is considered “the last word” for 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 all children are not safer.
Children, of whom I am aware, have been raped and impregnated in foster care and the head of a Foster Parents Association in my District was recently arrested because of child molestation; • 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 – 5 – then just continue to live together. This is an anti-family policy, but parents will do anything to get their children home with them.
• fathers, (non-custodial parents) I must add, are oftentimes treated as criminals without access to their own children and have child support payments strangling the very life out of them; • that the Foster Parents Bill of Rights does not bring out that a foster parent is there only to care for a child until the child can be returned home. Many Foster Parents today use the Foster Parent Bill of Rights to hire a lawyer and seek to adopt the child from the real parents, who are desperately trying to get their child home and out of the system;
• 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 trying to get custody of their grandchildren. DFCS claims relatives are contacted, but there are 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. • 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. Please continue: (See Final Remarks next page) -
\6 – FINAL REMARKS On my desk are scores of cases of exhausted families and troubled children. It has been beyond me to turn my back on these suffering, crying, and sometimes beaten down individuals. We are mistreating the most innocent.
Child Protective Services have become adult centered to the detriment of children. No longer is judgment based on what the child needs or who the child wants to be with or what is really best for the whole family; it is some adult or bureaucrat who makes the decisions, based often on just hearsay, without ever consulting a family member, or just what is convenient, profitable, or less troublesome for a director of DFCS.
I have witnessed such injustice and harm brought to these families that I am not sure if I even believe reform of the system is possible! The system cannot be trusted. It does not serve the people. It obliterates families and children simply because it has the power to do so. Children deserve better. Families deserve better. It’s time to pull back the curtain and set our children and families free. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy” Proverbs 31:8-9 Please continue to read: Recommendations Exhibit A Exhibit B – 7
- RECOMMENDATIONS1. Call for an independent audit of the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) to expose corruption and fraud.
2. Activate immediate change. Every day that passes means more families and children are subject to being held hostage
. 3. End the financial incentives that separate families.
4. Grant to parents their rights in writing.
5. Mandate a search for family members to be given the opportunity to adopt their own relatives.
6. Mandate a jury trial where every piece of evidence is presented before removing a child from his or her parents.
7. Require a warrant or a positive emergency circumstance before removing children from their parents. (Judge Arthur G. Christean, Utah Bar Journal, January, 1997 reported that “except in emergency circumstances, including the need for immediate medical care, require warrants upon affidavits of probable cause before entry upon private property is permitted for the forcible removal of children from their parents.”)
8. Uphold the laws when someone fabricates or presents false evidence. If a parent alleges fraud, hold a hearing with the right to discovery of all evidence.
Senator Nancy Schaefer 50th District of Georgia Continue to Exhibit A next page – 8 – EXHIBIT A December 5, 2006 Jeremy’s Story( Some names withheld due to future hearings) As told to Senator Nancy Schaefer by Sandra (XXXX), a foster parent of Jeremy for 2 ½ years. My husband and I received Jeremy when he was 2 weeks old and we have been the only parents he has really ever known. He lived with us for 27 months. (XXXX) is the grandfather of Jeremy, and he is known for molesting his own children, for molesting Jeremy and has been court ordered not to be around Jeremy. (XXXX) is the mother of Jeremy, who has been diagnosed to be mentally ill, and also is known to have molested Jeremy. (XXXX) and Jeremy’s uncle is a registered sex offender and (XXXX) is the biological father, who is a drug addict and alcoholic and who continues to be in and out of jail. Having just described Jeremy’s world, all of these adults are not to be any part of Jeremy’s life, yet for years DFCS has known that they are. DFCS had to test (XXXX) (the grandfather) and his son (XXXX) (the uncle) and (XXXX) to determine the real father. (XXXX) is the biological father although any of them might have been. In court, it appeared from the case study, that everyone involved knew that this little boy had been molested by family members, even by his own mother, (XXXX). In court, (XXX), the mother of Jeremy, admitted to having had sex with (XXXX) (the grandfather) and (XXXX) (her own brother) that morning. Judge (XXXX) and DFCS gave Jeremy to his grandmother that same day. (XXXX), the grandmother, is over 300 lbs., is unable to drive, and is unable to take care of Jeremy due to physical problems.
She also has been in a mental hospital several times due to her behavior. Even though it was ordered by the court that the grandfather (XXXX), the uncle (XXXX) (a convicted sex offender), (XXXX) his mother who molested him and (XXXX) his biological father, a convicted drug addict, were not to have anything to do with the child, they all continue to come and go as they please at (XXXX address), where Jeremy has been “sentenced to live” for years. This residence has no bathroom and little heat.
The front door and the windows are boarded. (See pictures) This home should have been condemned years ago. I have been in this home. No child should ever have to live like this or with such people. Jeremy was taken from us at age 2 ½ years after (XXXX) obtained attorney (XXXX), who was the same attorney who represented him in a large settlement from an auto accident. I am told, that attorney (XXXX), as grandfather’s attorney, is known to have repeatedly gotten (XXXX) off of several criminal charges in White County.
This is a matter of record and is – 9 – known by many in White County. I have copies of some records. (XXXX grandfather), through (XXXX attorney’s) work, got (XXXX), the grandmother of Jeremy, legal custody of Jeremy. (XXXX grandfather) who cannot read or write also got his daughter (XXXX) and son (XXXX) diagnosed by government agencies as mentally ill. (XXXX grandfather), through legal channels, has taken upon himself all control of the family and is able to take possession of any government funding coming to these people. It was during this time that Jeremy was to have a six-month transitional period between (XXXX grandmother) and my family as we were to give him up. The court ordered agreement was to have been 4 days at our house and 3 days at (XXXX grandmother).
DFCS stopped the visits within 2 weeks. The reason given by DFCS was the child was too traumatized going back and forth. In truth, Jeremy begged us and screamed never to be taken back to (XXXX his grandmother) house, which we have on video.
We, as a family, have seen Jeremy in stores time to time with (XXXX grandmother) and the very people he is not to be around. At each meeting Jeremy continues to run to us wherever he sees us and it is clear he is suffering. This child is in a desperate situation and this is why I am writing, and begging you Senator Schaefer, to do something in this child’s behalf. Jeremy can clearly describe in detail his sexual molestation by every member of this family and this sexual abuse continues to this day.
When Jeremy was 5 years of age I took him to Dr. (XXXX) of Habersham County who did indeed agree that Jeremy’s rectum was black and blue and the physical damage to the child was clearly a case of sexual molestation . Early in Jeremy’s life, when he was in such bad physical condition, we took him to Egleston Children Hospital where at two months of age therapy was to begin three times a week. DFCS decided that the (XXXX grandparent family) should participate in his therapy. However, the therapist complained over and over that the (XXXX grandparent family) would not even wash their hands and would cause Jeremy to cry during these sessions. (XXXX the grandmother), after receiving custody no longer allowed the therapy because it was an inconvenience.
The therapist reported that this would be a terrible thing to do to this child. Therapy was stopped and it was detrimental to the health of Jeremy. During (XXXX grandmother) custody, (XXXX uncle) has shot Jeremy with a BB gun and there is a report at (XXXX) County Sheriff’s office. There are several amber alerts at Cornelia Wal-Mart, Commerce Wal-Mart, and a 911 report from (XXXX) County Sheriff’s Department when Jeremy was lost. (XXXX grandmother), to teach Jeremy a lesson, took thorn bush limbs and beat the bottoms of his feet. Jeremy’s feet got infected and his feet had to be lanced by Dr. (XXXX). Then Judy called me to pick him up after about 4 days to take back him to the doctor because of intense pain. I took Jeremy to – 10 – Dr. (XXXX) in Gainesville. Dr. (XXXX) said surgery was needed immediately and a cast was added.
After returning home, (XXXX), his grandfather and (XXXX), his uncle, took him into the hog lot and allowed him to walk in the filth. Jeremy’s feet became so infected for a 2nd time that he was again taken back to Dr. (XXXX) and the hospital. No one in the hospital could believe this child’s living conditions. Jeremy is threatened to keep quiet and not say anything to anyone.
I have videos, reports, arrest records and almost anything you might need to help Jeremy. Please call my husband, Wendell, or me at any time.Sandra and (XXXX) husband (XXXX) Continue – Exhibit B EXHIBIT B Failure of DFCSto remove six desperate children A brief report regarding six children that Habersham County DFCS director failed to remove as disclosed to Senator Nancy Schaefer by Sheriff Deray Fincher of Habersham County. Sheriff Deray Fincher, Chief of Police Don Ford and Chief Investigator Lt. Greg Bowen Chief called me to meet with them immediately, which I did on Tuesday, October 16, 2007 Sheriff Fincher, after contacting the Director of Habersham County DFCS several times to remove six children from being horribly abused, finally had to get a court order to remove the children himself with the help of two police officers. The children, four boys and two girls, were not just being abused; they were being tortured by a monster father.
The six children and a live in girl friend were terrified of this man, the abuser. The children never slept in a bed, but always on the floor. The place where they lived was unfit for human habitation. The father on one occasion hit one of the boys across his head with a bat and cut the boy’s head open. The father then proceeded to hold the boy down and sew up the child’s head with a needle and red thread. However, even with beatings and burnings, this is only a fraction of what the father did to these children and to the live-in girlfriend.
- 11 – Sheriff Fincher has pictures of the abuse and condition of one of the boys and at the writing of this report, he has the father in jail in Habersham County. It should be noted that when the DFCS director found out that Sheriff Fincher was going to remove the children, she called the father and warned him to flee. This is not the only time this DFCS director failed to remove a child when she needed to do so. (See Exhibit A)
The egregious acts and abhorrent behavior of officials who are supposed to protect children can no longer be tolerated. Senator Nancy Schaefer
THE FOLLOWING IS FROM WIKIPEDIA:
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 anti-family 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.
Despite the benefits of the services of CPS, in the last two decades, they have come under intense private and public scrutiny as an institution than can and has caused great harm in the name of protection. Although child welfare agencies are generally viewed positively, there has been an increase in the amount of cases where critics believe CPS have reacted out of their bounds.
A notable recent case is the family of Gary and Melissa Gates in Texas. The school called the local CPS and requested the Child Protective Services forcibly remove all thirteen of the Gates children and take them to foster homes under a court order which allowed an Emergency Removal, when there is clear evidence of danger to the physical health & safety of the child. The local CPS gave the explanation that they felt, quote, “Mr. Gates was uncooperative and his uncooperativeness with us put the children at risk.” Even though the court ordered the children to be returned, CPS continues to classify the Gates as child abusers. Some have accused the CPS of having too much immediate power leaving the parents feeling lost and aggravated. The CPS has been accused of prejudging parents before proper investigations were done.
An ongoing case about Nastic family living in U.S. has received an intervention from the Serbia 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.
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.”
Georgia State Senator Nancy Schaefer published a report “The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services” making many claims against CPS including. Senator Nancy Schaefer and her husband were shot and killed shortly after she had appeared before congress and exposed the national child pediphile, prostitution, and pornography ring working out of the Child Protective Services Industry.
The late Senator had exposed the CPS underbelly running from California, Arizona, Texas, Ohio, New york just to name a few. Senator Schaefer was calling for the permanent end of the Child Protection Racketeering. According to the investigation done by the late senator in her 5 year long investigation no CHILD EVER LEAVES CPS UNSCAVED, that the child protection industry was mob of Judges, politicians, senators and everyone involved in the CPS courts system was guilty of Kidnapping Children and putting them into an horrific environment..
Unfair judgement of families, especially those most unable to defend themselves. Without compassion, unreasonable and impossible demands that separate families and cause stress are made of parents.
Local governments accustomed to resulting flow of taxpayer dollars to balance growing budgets routinely ignore charges against Child Protective Services. Funding continues as long as children are out of their home, adoption bonuses are also available, but no incentive remains to return children home.
On top of $4000–$6000 per child is a multiplying factor based on the percentage that a state exceeds its baseline adoption goal.
Bonuses and incentives cause employees to work diligently to exploit children for government money while parents are charged for the cost of their care. Fraud, fabrication, withholding, and destroying of evidence, unnecessary termination of parental rights, and double dipping are common while confidentiality clause is used to protect the beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries include state employees, lawyers, court investigators, guardian ad litems, court personnel, judges, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, caseworkers, therapists, foster parents, adoptive parents, and others. Incentives to put children on more drugs per day involve additional funds and Medicaid.
Parents are sometimes pressured by CPS agents to divorce their spouse in order to see their children again. Parental cooperation is often interpreted as guilt, and parents separated from their children are treated as criminals often without access to visit or even see their children.
Child protective services is a wasteful bureaucracy with no clear leader and unclear policies. State legislators are generally powerless to correct the federally mandated system.
Tragedies happen where children die in CPS custody due to neglect or abuse while parents are trying hard to regain custody of their children. Such tragedies should never happen.
While CPS claims relatives are contacted, there are very many cases that proves false, where grandparents and other relatives attempt to get custody and are denied. Parents and grandparents lose all connections to their heirs while children lose their heritage.
The California Little Hoover Commission Report in 2003 reported that 30% to 70% of the children in California group homes neither belong there nor should have been removed from their own homes.
Children are in far greater danger in CPS custody today than in imperfect homes. The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect reported in 1998 that six times as many children died in foster care than in the general public. Children removed to official “safety” are far more likely to suffer sexual molestation and other abuse than in the general population.
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.
Responsibility for misconduct
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 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 “abridge 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 a person that deprives them of their rights under the pretext of a regulation of a state.
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 rights suit 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 JerseyDivision 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, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment, 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans 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. Litigated by a team of attorneys: Shawn McMillan, Sondra Sutherland and Jodi Hausman, Law Offices of Donnie Cox , Donnie Cox and Dennis B. Atchley.