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Yes, I believe that parental rights should be constitutionally protected through the proposed Parental Rights Amendment:

SECTION 1

The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a

fundamental right.

SECTION 2

Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without

demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest

order and not otherwise served.

SECTION 3

No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to

supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.

To sign this petition please go to www.parentalrights.org. I encourage everybody to look at this petition.

 

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FORMER CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES CASE WORKER SPEAKS OUT

Posted by Diane Vigil on November 24, 2013 at 2:40 AM Comments comments (0)


PHOENIX - A former Child Protective Services caseworker is speaking out claiming the lack of accountability is the reason why Arizona’s CPS system is broken.

This CPS employee asked to remain anonymous but says the state has a responsibility to protect children.

"It's the mission of the government to keep kids safe," she said.

We asked her if when she worked for CPS, if she felt like children slipped through the cracks. "Absolutely," she said.

The worker says during her time with CPS, she says she was shocked at the confessions her colleagues would make.

"Drive-bys are literally when you drive by the house. You don't actually stop. You don't do what's called due diligence," she said.

She said a couple of her co-workers asked her if she would actually go out and knock on the door.

"And I'm like 'yeah,' and they would say, 'Oh...well, I do drive-bys.' And I’m like 'What's a drive-by?' 'Oh I just drive down the street.' 'You don't knock?' 'No this case isn't anything, this report isn't anything.'"

The case worker recalls one situation where she claims a child, under state custody, died from natural causes and the case worker didn't know anything about it.

"He didn't know the sex of the kid. He didn't even know the kid passed away."

But CPS Child Welfare Program Administrator Deborah Harper disagreed with those claims in an April interview.

We asked, "Do you feel like children slip through the cracks?" "In my perspective no," Harper replied.

ABC15 has also uncovered court paperwork supporting the claims of some parents who say caseworkers abused their power.

We found court transcripts of an open case where a judge goes on the record claiming a case worker made up her mind to take away the children because she didn't like that the parents didn't react quickly enough during the initial visit.

The judge accuses the case worker of quote "getting ticked off." The judge says he believes that's why the kids were taken away.

This former CPS employee says that's not an isolated case.

"They know they have power. People have perceived power and when you have the ability to do those things and someone pisses you off. Yeah it happens. Should it happen? No absolutely not."

But in a past interview with Department of Economic Security Director Clarence Carter, he told ABC15 abuse of power doesn't exist with his agency.

"Is there a generic issue with abuse of power?" "There is not," he said.

The caseworker we spoke to says while there are some that break the rules, there are others who really care about what they do and the children and practice due diligence.

 

 

Read more: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_phoenix_metro/central_phoenix/former-child-protective-services-case-worker-speaks-out#ixzz2lXxzeGPq

Is OC?s Child Protective Services A ?System of Lies

Posted by Diane Vigil on October 1, 2013 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)


It's a chilling scene caught on camera: Armed police officers stripping a baby from his mother's arms.

 

No warrant.

 

No court order.

 

They just walk into a private home at take the child … all on the say-so of a social worker.

 

The Sacramento video clearly illustrated the power vested in Child Protective Services' social workers.

 

Only two entities – that we know of -- have the power to deprive people of their liberties:

 

Law enforcement and Child Protective Services.

 

It is an awesome power that demands rigorous oversight and scrutiny. Police abuse of that power regularly makes headlines. But social worker abuse? The very phrase sounds offense. These professionals dedicate their careers to helping people.

 

Then Fox 11 investigators began hearing from parents. Desperate parents. They said social workers had taken their children. They said social workers were lying, falsifying reports, perjuring themselves in court.

 

Frankly, the stories sounded paranoid. But there were so many parents telling such similar stories, we began investigating these reports for our series, "Lost in the System."

 

I met with several – let's call them court insiders. Veterans still working in Southern California's Family and Dependency courts. They confirmed what the parents were saying.

 

They told us that social workers were regularly lying and perjuring themselves – terribly abusing innocent families in the process. Why, that is a complex answer we hope to bring you in future reports.

 

Most families we talked to are so devastated – financially and emotionally – they have little chance of fighting back against multi-billion-dollar government agency.

 

But a few have found the strength and resources to fight back … and dedicated attorneys – like Shawn McMillan – willing to join for them.

 

"System of Lies" tells the stories of Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick, Jill Randall and Marcus and Raelyn Stokes.

 

Each of them sued Orange County and their allegedly abusive social workers. Deanna won a jury verdict. Randall and the Stokes forced the county to settle for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 

Despite all of that, Orange County officials still deny any wrong doing.

 

They claim the full facts never came out in court – though the clearest decision went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Maybe they're right. If we knew more, we could understand.

 

But we can't know more. And critics say that's a big part of the problem. Social workers for Child Protective Services mostly operate behind a shroud of secrecy. Unlike criminal cases, the public – even friends and relatives – usually are barred from the courtrooms where social workers' most difficult cases are heard, Dependency Court. Records are off limits to all but parents and attorneys involved in the cases.

 

The secrecy does protect children's privacy. But it also protects government workers.

Pre-crime precautionary principle

Posted by Diane Vigil on September 26, 2013 at 3:05 AM Comments comments (0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.April 28, 2013 at 6:37pm

 

 

 

This is one of many articles written for social workers by industry engineers which guide them to report almost any form of child abuse imaginable. A social workers training which instructs them on how to report abuse, is ambiguous and often confuses them to react without realizing what it is they are looking to report.

 

Today's social worker is not trained well enough to distinguish between many forms of abuse versus a perceived notion of abuse. Hence, why the precautionary principle is often used, without merit to secure cases when evidence cannot be found or does not exist.

 

SSEC - SOCIAL SERVICE ECONOMIC CRIMES (research)

social service crimes research

 

 

 

 

Making the Tough Call: Social Workers as Mandated Reporters, Part I

 

Written by Kathryn Krase, Ph.D., J.D., MSW

 

 

Part I: What Does It Mean That I'm a Mandated Reporter?

Editor’s Note: “Making the Tough Call” is a special series of articles that will address social workers’ questions about mandated reporting of suspected child abuse. This is the first part of the series. Please welcome series writer Kathryn Krase.

 

You notice an awkward bruise on the upper arm of a child you’re working with. Or perhaps while you’re shopping at the mall, you see a parent grab a young child by the arm and spank them for touching something off limits. As a social worker, you’ve heard about child abuse and neglect, and probably learned about it, but what are you supposed to do in these situations?

 

 

You may have heard the term “mandated reporter” and wondered: Am I a mandated reporter? What exactly is a mandated reporter? What am I mandated to do? What am I supposed to report? The simple answer to the first question is “yes.” If you are a social worker, you are a mandated reporter. To answer the other questions, we need some context and more detail. This article will explain what a mandated reporter is and why there are mandated reporters. We’ll also discuss the social worker’s role as mandated reporter and tease out when you’re a mandated reporter, and when you’re not. Other articles in this series will provide more detail on what, when, and how to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect.

 

What is a mandated reporter?

 

Mandated reporters are individuals required by the law of a given state to report concerning suspicions. Most often the term “mandated reporter” refers to individuals required to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect, but in some states the law may require some people to report elder abuse, institutional corruption, or other behaviors. For the purposes of this article and series, we’ll be focusing on the role of social workers as mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect.

 

Why are there mandated reporters?

 

Most social workers in practice today have always been mandated reporters, but mandated reporting itself is only about 50 years old, and the role of mandated reporter is constantly evolving. For the first 75 years of child protective systems in the United States, private agencies like the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children provided the means through which abused children were identified and protected from further harm. State and federal governments were largely removed from these processes until societal pressure required governmental response in the mid-twentieth century.

In 1962, an important research article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association began a movement that demanded governmental response (Kempe, Silverman, Steele, Droegemueller, & Silver, 1962). This article, written by a group of doctors led by C. Henry Kempe, reported on a study of pediatric x-rays that found an alarming number of children with a history of unexplained fractures. The only possible explanation the doctors could agree on was abuse. Abuse was once thought to be the problem of impoverished immigrant families with alcoholic fathers, but this study showed that abused children came from all walks of life.

In response to the discovery that child abuse was more prevalent than believed for generations, professional medical associations and other concerned constituencies lobbied state and federal governments for responsive legislation. One of the most popular policy proposals was mandating medical personnel to report suspicions of abuse to the police. The idea was that if medical personnel could identify and report suspicions of child abuse, the government could step in and prevent irreversible harm to the child, or even death. As a result of these advocacy efforts, by 1967 all 50 states and the District of Columbia had passed legislation that made medical personnel mandated reporters. The new policy was considered a great success. In New York State, for instance, within five years after passing the first mandated reporting law, child fatalities dropped by 50%.

 

Who are mandated reporters?

 

A criticism of early mandated reporter laws was that they were narrow and specific. For instance, the first laws only required medical personnel (such as doctors and nurses) to report their suspicions. It quickly became apparent that if the goal of mandating reporting was to prevent child abuse and resulting fatalities, then coverage under the law should extend to other professionals with regular contact with children and families, including teachers and social service workers. As a result of advocacy efforts from professional and child welfare organizations, the definition of mandated reporter has grown substantially over the past 50 years. Law enforcement officials, social service workers, educational personnel, and mental health professionals are among those mandated to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect in most, if not all, states. Social workers are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect in all fifty states.

 

Social workers as mandated reporters

 

Since social workers work with children and families in a variety of settings and roles, it makes sense that the law in all 50 states requires social workers to report their suspicions of child abuse and neglect. Although some social work settings—such as schools, hospitals, and mental health clinics—are more likely than others, like nursing homes, to yield suspicions of child maltreatment, all social workers regardless of setting are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect. As mandated reporters and ethical professionals, social workers have a professional obligation to seek out information to understand their legal requirement to report.

There were more than three million reports of suspected child abuse and neglect in 2011, yet there is no way of knowing exactly how many reports are based on the suspicions of social workers. However, more than one-half of all reports of suspected child abuse or neglect are made by professional reporters, including child care providers, educational personnel, law enforcement personnel, medical personnel, mental health professionals, and social services personnel (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, 2011). Since social workers serve communities in a variety of roles, reports from social workers could be classified into many of the categories listed above.

 

Are you ALWAYS a mandated reporter?

 

A frequent question of new social workers is: Am I always a mandated reporter? In other words, do social workers have to report suspicions of child maltreatment that involve friends, neighbors, or family members? What about the stranger on the street you suspect is abusing or neglecting his/her child? The answer to this question is completely dependent on what state you are in when your suspicion is developed.

For social workers in thirty-two (32) states, the answer is “no,” you are not always a mandated reporter. If you live in a state where there is a list of professional titles that are deemed mandated reporters, then you are only required to make a report when the suspicions you have regarding child abuse or neglect rise from your role as that professional. In other words: in these states, when you’re “wearing your social worker hat” in your social worker job, you are a mandated reporter. When you’re concerned with family members, friends, or neighbors, or when you’re helping the troubled family you see on the street, even if it’s on the way to work, you’re not in your professional role, and therefore not required to make that report. If your suspicions of child maltreatment develop outside the confines of your professional obligations, then you are not a mandated reporter. When you have suspicions that arise outside of your professional role, you CAN make a report, but you are NOT REQUIRED to make a report.

For social workers in eighteen (18) states (Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming), you are always a mandated reporter. As of March 2013, these 18 states and Puerto Rico require all adults, regardless of professional role, to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect. In these states, you must report the suspicions you have concerning family, friends, neighbors, and that family you see on your way to work.

All states, regardless of who is required to report suspicions in that state, provide legal protections for those who report suspected child abuse or neglect. Each state provides some level of confidentiality of reporter identity and has laws designed to protect reporters from lawsuits by families who are reported. In order to benefit from these protections, the reporters must make the report in “good faith.” This means that the reporter made the report because he/she was concerned about the welfare of a child based on information provided or his/her own observations. These protections extend to the reporter even if the resulting investigation fails to find evidence of abuse or neglect.

 

The next article in this series will parse out the social worker’s responsibility to client confidentiality, with the legal requirement to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect.

 

 

Reference

 

Kempe, C. H., Silverman, F. N., Steele, B. F., Droegemueller, W., & Silver, H. K. (1962). The battered-child syndrome. Journal of the American Medical Association, 181 (1), 17.

 

Internet Resources

 

Child Welfare Information Gateway http://www.childwelfare.gov

A service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children and Families, United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Child Welfare Information Gateway connects child welfare and related professionals to information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.

 

Prevent Child Abuse America

http://www.preventchildabuse.org

A private, nonprofit organization with the goal of protecting children through the prevention of child maltreatment at the local, state, and national levels.

 

Kathryn S. Krase, Ph.D., J.D., MSW, is an assistant professor of social work at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her Ph.D. in social work, her Juris Doctor, and her Master of Social Work from Fordham University. She has written and presented extensively on mandated reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. She previously served as Associate Director of Fordham University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Family and Child, as well as Clinical Social Work Supervisor for the Family Defense Clinic at New York University Law School.

This article appeared in THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER, Spring 2013, Vol. 20, No. 2. Copyright White Hat Communications. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without express written permission of the publisher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The PRE-CRIME PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE: How social workers are instructed to report what they see or what they believe they saw.

 

April 28, 2013 at 6:37pm

 

 

 

This is one of many articles written for social workers by industry engineers which guide them to report almost any form of child abuse imaginable. A social workers training which instructs them on how to report abuse, is ambiguous and often confuses them to react without realizing what it is they are looking to report.

 

Today's social worker is not trained well enough to distinguish between many forms of abuse versus a perceived notion of abuse. Hence, why the precautionary principle is often used, without merit to secure cases when evidence cannot be found or does not exist.

 

SSEC - SOCIAL SERVICE ECONOMIC CRIMES (research)

social service crimes research

 

 

 

 

Making the Tough Call: Social Workers as Mandated Reporters, Part I

 

Written by Kathryn Krase, Ph.D., J.D., MSW

 

 

Part I: What Does It Mean That I'm a Mandated Reporter?

Editor’s Note: “Making the Tough Call” is a special series of articles that will address social workers’ questions about mandated reporting of suspected child abuse. This is the first part of the series. Please welcome series writer Kathryn Krase.

 

You notice an awkward bruise on the upper arm of a child you’re working with. Or perhaps while you’re shopping at the mall, you see a parent grab a young child by the arm and spank them for touching something off limits. As a social worker, you’ve heard about child abuse and neglect, and probably learned about it, but what are you supposed to do in these situations?

 

 

You may have heard the term “mandated reporter” and wondered: Am I a mandated reporter? What exactly is a mandated reporter? What am I mandated to do? What am I supposed to report? The simple answer to the first question is “yes.” If you are a social worker, you are a mandated reporter. To answer the other questions, we need some context and more detail. This article will explain what a mandated reporter is and why there are mandated reporters. We’ll also discuss the social worker’s role as mandated reporter and tease out when you’re a mandated reporter, and when you’re not. Other articles in this series will provide more detail on what, when, and how to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect.

 

What is a mandated reporter?

 

Mandated reporters are individuals required by the law of a given state to report concerning suspicions. Most often the term “mandated reporter” refers to individuals required to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect, but in some states the law may require some people to report elder abuse, institutional corruption, or other behaviors. For the purposes of this article and series, we’ll be focusing on the role of social workers as mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect.

 

Why are there mandated reporters?

 

Most social workers in practice today have always been mandated reporters, but mandated reporting itself is only about 50 years old, and the role of mandated reporter is constantly evolving. For the first 75 years of child protective systems in the United States, private agencies like the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children provided the means through which abused children were identified and protected from further harm. State and federal governments were largely removed from these processes until societal pressure required governmental response in the mid-twentieth century.

In 1962, an important research article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association began a movement that demanded governmental response (Kempe, Silverman, Steele, Droegemueller, & Silver, 1962). This article, written by a group of doctors led by C. Henry Kempe, reported on a study of pediatric x-rays that found an alarming number of children with a history of unexplained fractures. The only possible explanation the doctors could agree on was abuse. Abuse was once thought to be the problem of impoverished immigrant families with alcoholic fathers, but this study showed that abused children came from all walks of life.

In response to the discovery that child abuse was more prevalent than believed for generations, professional medical associations and other concerned constituencies lobbied state and federal governments for responsive legislation. One of the most popular policy proposals was mandating medical personnel to report suspicions of abuse to the police. The idea was that if medical personnel could identify and report suspicions of child abuse, the government could step in and prevent irreversible harm to the child, or even death. As a result of these advocacy efforts, by 1967 all 50 states and the District of Columbia had passed legislation that made medical personnel mandated reporters. The new policy was considered a great success. In New York State, for instance, within five years after passing the first mandated reporting law, child fatalities dropped by 50%.

 

Who are mandated reporters?

 

A criticism of early mandated reporter laws was that they were narrow and specific. For instance, the first laws only required medical personnel (such as doctors and nurses) to report their suspicions. It quickly became apparent that if the goal of mandating reporting was to prevent child abuse and resulting fatalities, then coverage under the law should extend to other professionals with regular contact with children and families, including teachers and social service workers. As a result of advocacy efforts from professional and child welfare organizations, the definition of mandated reporter has grown substantially over the past 50 years. Law enforcement officials, social service workers, educational personnel, and mental health professionals are among those mandated to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect in most, if not all, states. Social workers are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect in all fifty states.

 

Social workers as mandated reporters

 

Since social workers work with children and families in a variety of settings and roles, it makes sense that the law in all 50 states requires social workers to report their suspicions of child abuse and neglect. Although some social work settings—such as schools, hospitals, and mental health clinics—are more likely than others, like nursing homes, to yield suspicions of child maltreatment, all social workers regardless of setting are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect. As mandated reporters and ethical professionals, social workers have a professional obligation to seek out information to understand their legal requirement to report.

There were more than three million reports of suspected child abuse and neglect in 2011, yet there is no way of knowing exactly how many reports are based on the suspicions of social workers. However, more than one-half of all reports of suspected child abuse or neglect are made by professional reporters, including child care providers, educational personnel, law enforcement personnel, medical personnel, mental health professionals, and social services personnel (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, 2011). Since social workers serve communities in a variety of roles, reports from social workers could be classified into many of the categories listed above.

 

Are you ALWAYS a mandated reporter?

 

A frequent question of new social workers is: Am I always a mandated reporter? In other words, do social workers have to report suspicions of child maltreatment that involve friends, neighbors, or family members? What about the stranger on the street you suspect is abusing or neglecting his/her child? The answer to this question is completely dependent on what state you are in when your suspicion is developed.

For social workers in thirty-two (32) states, the answer is “no,” you are not always a mandated reporter. If you live in a state where there is a list of professional titles that are deemed mandated reporters, then you are only required to make a report when the suspicions you have regarding child abuse or neglect rise from your role as that professional. In other words: in these states, when you’re “wearing your social worker hat” in your social worker job, you are a mandated reporter. When you’re concerned with family members, friends, or neighbors, or when you’re helping the troubled family you see on the street, even if it’s on the way to work, you’re not in your professional role, and therefore not required to make that report. If your suspicions of child maltreatment develop outside the confines of your professional obligations, then you are not a mandated reporter. When you have suspicions that arise outside of your professional role, you CAN make a report, but you are NOT REQUIRED to make a report.

For social workers in eighteen (18) states (Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming), you are always a mandated reporter. As of March 2013, these 18 states and Puerto Rico require all adults, regardless of professional role, to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect. In these states, you must report the suspicions you have concerning family, friends, neighbors, and that family you see on your way to work.

All states, regardless of who is required to report suspicions in that state, provide legal protections for those who report suspected child abuse or neglect. Each state provides some level of confidentiality of reporter identity and has laws designed to protect reporters from lawsuits by families who are reported. In order to benefit from these protections, the reporters must make the report in “good faith.” This means that the reporter made the report because he/she was concerned about the welfare of a child based on information provided or his/her own observations. These protections extend to the reporter even if the resulting investigation fails to find evidence of abuse or neglect.

 

The next article in this series will parse out the social worker’s responsibility to client confidentiality, with the legal requirement to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect.

 

 

Reference

 

Kempe, C. H., Silverman, F. N., Steele, B. F., Droegemueller, W., & Silver, H. K. (1962). The battered-child syndrome. Journal of the American Medical Association, 181 (1), 17.

 

Internet Resources

 

Child Welfare Information Gateway http://www.childwelfare.gov

A service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children and Families, United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Child Welfare Information Gateway connects child welfare and related professionals to information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.

 

Prevent Child Abuse America

http://www.preventchildabuse.org

A private, nonprofit organization with the goal of protecting children through the prevention of child maltreatment at the local, state, and national levels.

 

Kathryn S. Krase, Ph.D., J.D., MSW, is an assistant professor of social work at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her Ph.D. in social work, her Juris Doctor, and her Master of Social Work from Fordham University. She has written and presented extensively on mandated reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. She previously served as Associate Director of Fordham University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Family and Child, as well as Clinical Social Work Supervisor for the Family Defense Clinic at New York University Law School.

This article appeared in THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER, Spring 2013, Vol. 20, No. 2. Copyright White Hat Communications. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without express written permission of the publisher.

 

3 Investigators arrested

Posted by Diane Vigil on September 26, 2013 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Three current or former Child Protective Services investigators were arrested in Hunt County on Tuesday on tampering with evidence charges. The arrests are reportedly related to the case of Alicia Moore, a Greenville teenager who was murdered after walking off her school bus last year.

 

Details of the allegations have not been disclosed. The indictments against the workers are sealed. Law enforcement officials in Hunt County either declined to comment to didn’t immediately return messages.

 

But District Attorney Noble Walker told the Greenville Herald Banner that the arrests were “in relation to the Alicia Moore case,” though not to her murder.

 

The three workers arrested were Laura Marsh Ard, 60; Rebekah Lynn Ross, 34, and Natalie Ausbie Reynolds, 34. Reynolds is supervisor for the state agency and is based out of the Dallas office. Ross and Ard were both investigators and recently left the agency.

 

Ard retired in March after a 21-year career. Ross resigned on July 31.

 

CPS officials said they are working to find out more about the case.

 

“We just learned about this today and we don’t have any information about what is in those indictments,” said spokesman Patrick Crimmins.

 

All three women have been charged with tampering with physical evidence. Reynolds and Ross have also been charged with official oppression, a charge that can be levied against a public servant who unlawfully mistreats or arrests someone, denies a person of his rights or sexual harasses someone.

 

Moore, who was 16, disappeared on Nov. 2 sometime after she walked off her school bus in a Greenville neighborhood. Her nude body was found days later inside a wicker trunk in Hunt County. Her uncle, Michael Vincent Moore, was arrested in May and charged with the murder. Court documents indicate that DNA evidence implicated him in the crime.

 

A few months before her murder, another man was accused of sexually assaulting her. That man, 49-year-old Terry Dwayne Ramsire, remains in the Hunt County Jail on multiple charges of indecency with a child.

 

Strained Foster Care System

Posted by Diane Vigil on September 24, 2013 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Claudia Felder lives in Chino, Calif., with her parents. It's a wholesome scene: nice house, three dogs and a parrot and happy family pictures everywhere.

 

You'd have no idea that the composed, cheerful, articulate young woman got off to a rough start in life.

 

Felder spent much of her childhood in foster care, starting when she was 3 years old. She's 21 now, and has been living happily with her adoptive family. But memories of an abusive past still haunt her.

 

"To this day, every now and then, I'll have a nightmare," Felder tells NPR's Arun Rath. "It's my biological mom getting the crap beat out of her in a motel room. She had long hair, but her face is always fuzzed out, so I never remember what she looks like, I can't recall that."

 

Claudia Felder, 21, was in and out of the U.S. foster care system for nearly 10 years before she found a permanent family. Her difficult story ended happily, but that's not always the case for the 400,000 kids in foster care in America.Enlarge image

Claudia Felder, 21, was in and out of the U.S. foster care system for nearly 10 years before she found a permanent family. Her difficult story ended happily, but that's not always the case for the 400,000 kids in foster care in America.

 

Daniel Hajek/NPR

After that incident, Felder entered the foster care system, where she spent the better part of the next 10 years.

 

Felder says she remember the homes and some of the names of the parents from when she first went into foster care. This is all she knew; always moving, never knowing when she was going to leave.

 

This tumultuous life mirrors that of other children in the U.S. There are about 400,000 kids in foster care in the U.S. — roughly the equivalent of all of the kids in Chicago Public Schools. Preventing their precarious home lives would be ideal, but the system itself still needs help, according to those who work in and research foster care.

 

'All We Had'

 

When Felder was in foster care, she was not completely alone. Her sister was with her, too. Felder's sister is three years younger than she, just a baby at the time.

 

"I raised my little sister through foster care," she says. "That's all we had was each other. She was a baby, [but] that still meant more to me than anything. Somebody I at least knew going through all these other changes in my life."

 

And there were plenty of changes. Felder says they were moving in-and-out of foster homes, not knowing where they'd end up next or how long they'd have to stay.

 

"I had about six foster homes, and all but one were physically and sexually abusive," she says. "So I experienced it with my biological parents and then five other homes. It was like an ongoing thing."

 

When Felder was adopted, it seemed like the nightmare would finally come to an end. By the age of 6, she had already been in five foster homes. She says it was difficult to adjust to home life and she got into trouble in school.

 

"I had a lot of trust issues [and] a lot of abandonment issues," she says.

 

After four years in that house, Felder says the family wanted her out. At age 10, they sent her back into foster care. But she left alone; the family wanted to keep her younger sister. It was devastating.

 

A Meter Of Society's Problems

 

Cris Beam, the author of the book To The End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, says this is the sort of life cycle of kids in foster care.

 

"They'll get pulled from their home at five or six and a van will come to them in the middle of the night, they'll take the kid, the kid is terrified, and they'll be put with a stranger," Beam says. "Imagine being five years old and suddenly being surrounded by strangers. They don't understand what's happening."

 

Beam has spent years researching foster care in America and is a foster parent herself. She says that all too often, these bewildered children will act out in various ways that can scare off ill-prepared foster parents who might otherwise adopt.

 

Beam says that the problems foster kids face are so intractable because they are also society's problems. She says it is impossible to address the foster care problem without tackling broader issues of drug abuse, domestic and sexual abuse, and poverty.

 

"They are a meter of our social problems," Beam says. "[But] not just a meter of how child welfare is failing or succeeding, they're a meter of how we are failing or succeeding as a society."

 

Not Enough Families

 

Alex Morales, the CEO of the Children's Bureau of Southern California, says the U.S. needs to focus on how it's going to prevent this problem in the first place.

 

"How do you reduce the situation so that you don't have 140,000 reports going on in a year?" Morales says. "You try to start very early with families ... prevention is ultimately the direction we need to invest in."

 

While prevention may be the key, Morales says there's still a crisis going on with Los Angeles Foster Care. There just aren't enough homes to take in kids, and that ongoing crisis in Los Angeles is one that reflects a national problem.

 

"The issue is, there are only about 3,000 foster homes," he says. "Not more than about five years ago, there were twice as many homes. The children have no place to go when they come into the care of the government or courts. Where do we put them?"

 

The answer is institutions and group homes. These aren't the old orphanages out of Charles Dickens, but according to Morales, the conditions in many group homes can be just as bleak. With overcrowding, kids end up sleeping in cots in adoption agencies; essentially office buildings become home.

 

Most social workers agree that even the best group home is no match for a real family, and it doesn't need to be a traditional one. Morales says that only a family can give these kids the kind of support they need.

 

"They're the final defenders of a child's future by saying, 'Look, the family has failed them, the system has failed them, and we're going to try to step in and be the last solution to catch this child before they go off the cliff into homelessness and jails,' " he says.

 

The Value Of A Home

 

After her first adoption failed, Claudia Felder spent almost seven months in a new foster home. She says it wasn't perfect, but it's where she met a new social worker. Someone she could trust. They talked about what Felder wanted.

 

"I remember talking about ... kids at school talking about sleepovers. What are they? I've always wanted to have a sleepover with a friend," Felder says. "The little things that a lot of people take for granted, it's like the things that a lot of kids and myself at that age longed for."

 

That social worker turned her life around, and eventually became Felder's mom.

"I always say, I'm a really bad foster parent, because once they walk into the door, that's it, they're not leaving," says Kim Felder.

 

She could have adopted without the added difficulty of the foster care system, but says that she and her husband liked the challenge.

 

"Even when Claudia would pull some of her things, you would get frustrated," Kim Felder says, "[but] then when they do the little amazing thing like the first band concert or they graduate from high school, inside you're saying, 'Oh my God, have you seen how far this child has come? Can you see what they can do?' "

 

Kim and her husband have had that feeling over and over. They have eight kids, including Claudia — six of whom are adopted.

 

Claudia Felder's story has a happy ending, but that is not the story for a lot of kids. Researcher Cris Beam says that for many older kids who don't end up with families, cynicism sets in, and around 12 or 13 years old, they decide to run out the clock and wait for emancipation. Once they turn 18, they can go out on their own. Beam says being independent without strong family support is dangerous.

 

"The reality is they need someone to fall back on. They need parents when they're 20 or 23," Beam says. "Think about when you had your first heartbreak, your first job loss, your first crush, your first crash, your first anything. When kids hit any little stumble at all ... they need to have someone they can call upon. What we really need to be finding for them are families."

 

Today, Claudia Felder does outreach work with foster kids, and she's trying to help them understand why they need that support.

 

"A lot of these kids are just like I was. They don't want to be adopted," Felder says. "You need to have somebody in your life."

The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services

Posted by Diane Vigil on September 21, 2013 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)


 

By Nancy Schaefer

Georgia State Senate, 50th District

revised September 25, 2008

 

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 a 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 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 to the southeast. 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 never completely recovered. The mother has rights but the father still has custody of the children.

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 across the state of Georgia and in many other States because their children were taken for no cause and they have 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 across this land.

In this report, I have focused mainly 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 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 Services (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.

However, this report is concerned with the children and parents caught up in “legal kidnapping,” ineffective policies, and an agency that on certain occasions would not remove a child (or children) when the child was enduring torment and abuse.

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 of homes. In one county a private drug testing business was operating within the agency’s department that required many, many drug tests from parents and individuals for profit. It has already made over $100,000.

Due to being exposed, several employees in this particular 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 evil deeds.

Having worked with probably 300 cases statewide, and now hundreds and hundreds across this nation and in nearly every state, I am convinced there is no responsibility and no accountability in Child Protective Services system.

I have come to the conclusion:

· 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 Manual” 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 oftentimes 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.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. Call for an independent audit of all State Child Protective Services (CPS) and for a Federal Congressional hearing on Child Protective Services nationwide.

2. Activate immediate change. Every day that passes means more families and children are subject to being held hostage and their lives destroyed.

3. Abolish the Federal and State financial incentives that have turned Child Protective Services into a business that separate families for money.

4. Grant to parents their rights verbally and in writing.

5. Mandate a search for family members to be given the opportunity to adopt their own relatives if children need to be removed permanently.

6. Mandate a jury trial where every piece of evidence is presented before permanently removing a child from his or her parents. Open family court. Remove the secrecy. Allow the press and family members access. Give parents the opportunity in court to speak and be a part of their children’s future.

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 made available to parents.

FINAL REMARKS

On my desk are scores of cases of exhausted families and terrified children. It has been beyond me to turn my back on these suffering, crying, and beaten down individuals. We are mistreating the most innocent. Child Protective Services have become an adult centered business to the detriment of children. No longer is judgment based on what the child needs or who the child wants to be or with whom, 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 the social workers.

I have witnessed such injustice and harm brought to so many 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

Stop CPS Abuse

Posted by Diane Vigil on September 18, 2013 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (0)


May 25

Do you know that if you are a child caught in Sacramento CPS and the juvenile court system,

 

(1) You may not retain your own attorney for your hearings or trial. You are assigned an attorney, who is on contract with CPS and thus works hand-in-hand with CPS?

(2) You may not request an open trial as in other cities, but must conduct all hearings and trials behind closed doors, with no family members, media, or interested citizens permitted to following the proceedings?

(3) You may not seek help for CPS wrongs against you except from the Foster Care Ombudsman, an entity WITHIN the Department of Social Services, whose aim is to protect CPS? The Foster Care Ombudsman comes with a warning: “Proceed with a complaint at your own risk. Your identity will not be protected and you will face retaliation for complaining.”

 

Do you know that if you are a family member of a child caught in CPS and the juvenile court system,

 

(1) You have no right to inquire about the case nor do you have a right to be interviewed for any knowledge you might have? Yet you can be quoted and lied about in court documents as "evidence"? Evidence enters by "stipulation" (all parties must agree--yeah, right) or by CPS stapling its "evidence" to the back of the court document. This is known as the "staple-on" rule.

(2) You can be threatened with a restraining order JUST for calling and asking about the child or youth?

(3) You can be denied ALL contact with the child or youth, EVEN if a 17-year-old has been rushed for emergency surgery for a life-threatening condition to a major medical center and is asking repeatedly for you? And CPS has to give NO reasons why you are not allowed contact.

 

Do you know that if you are a therapist, an educator, a CASA worker, mandated reporter, or any professional or caring adult in the child’s life, ALL of the ABOVE can also happen to YOU??? And do you know you will have NO recourse? That there is not one law to protect you from the power of CPS against you?

 

Do you know that CPS can threaten you, libel you, slander you, restrain you, forbid you complete contact for 18 years, and enter court documents deliberately filled with lies WITHOUT EVER EVEN SPEAKING TO YOU??? Even if the child or family member who is part of the proceedings is pleading with his social worker to speak to you?

 

Every one of these things happened to our family because we cared about an abused 15-year-old needing help. He told us not to go to CPS--he knew better. His mother was a former CPS emergency social worker, and he knew what would happen if he became caught in that system. So we didn't. We just gave him emotional support. But when someone DID contact CPS, he experienced every one of these things and more. CPS can do WHATEVER it wants. It has unlimited, unchecked power, carte blanche. How did it get the kind of power that can trample due process and hold itself above the law? FROM THE LAW!!!!! The laws MUST be changed! You may not have fallen into the jurisdiction of CPS and the juvenile courts, but one day you may, and then what? You might make the "mistake" we did and actually care about a child being abused. You might think that child protective services actually protects children. You will be in for the surprise of your life. And then it will be too late. Don’t wait for YOUR freedoms to be ripped from you along with the child's. ACT NOW!

 

This youth is now 18. He is meeting with legislators with eight suggested reforms of the law:

 

1. Create independent ombudsman agency for youth in CPS

2. Create complaint process that does not bring harm or retaliation to reporting youth

3. Allow open court hearings and trial if requested by youth

4. Allow evidence into court without having to be vetted by CPS and require CPS to substantiate all evidence and allegations on more than just hearsay

and say-so

5. Mandate training for social workers on questioning techniques and on emotional abuse under WIC 300

6. Record all interviews with youth, parents, and third parties so court documents cannot be distorted and falsified

7. Establish due process protection for mandated reporters, family members, and concerned third parties to prevent CPS abuse of power and intimidation

8. Allow sibling visitation if in best interest of the youth

 

Fight with us for these legislative reforms! They will protect all of us

california Parents File Federal Racketeering Lawsuit against Family Court Judges; Charge Criminal Extortion, Bribery, Abuse of Offi

Posted by Diane Vigil on September 16, 2013 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

August 20, 2013 — San Diego, CA – In its continuing campaign to end the harassment, fraud, and abuse rampant in California State Family Courts, a parents’ rights group, the California Coalition for Families and Children, has filed a lawsuit today in federal court charging the San Diego County courts, social workers, divorce attorneys, and psychologists with federal criminal racketeering.

 

“The abuses of parents and children by Family Courts, social workers, and family law attorneys have harmed parents and children for far too long. We intend to end that abuse.” says CCFC President Colbern Stuart. “Family court is designed by its makers to be probably the most dangerous life event parents and children can endure. It enables and profits from every inhumane instinct known to man—greed, hate, resentment, fear—resulting in abundant cash flow for the divorce industry and a fallout of parent and children’s misery.”

 

“And behind the curtain of this machine of misery we’ve uncovered its cause—the multi-billion dollar divorce industry, populated by judges, attorneys, and a machinery of tax-dollar fed “judicial administrators,” social workers that George Orwell would marvel at.” “We’ve been delivering that message kindly for years now, yet the tide keeps rising on families in crisis. We’ve appealed to the county courts, state and local politicians, state judicial oversight bodies, United States Representatives, and just plain old human dignity, but the harassment and abuse of parents and children has only increased. A resort to federal court intervention in the widespread criminal collusion in state government was the next logical step.”

 

“It’s time to recognize Family Court for what it is—a corporate crime ring raiding parents and children of financial and psychological well-being, and devouring our children’s futures. And its not just divorce lawyers—its judges, “judicial administrators,” psychologists, cops and prosecutors—people we should be able to trust—in a modern day criminal cabal using county courtrooms and sheriff’s deputies as the machinery of organized crime.” Say Stuart. “Since state officials’ hands are too deep into the cookie jar to stop their own abuse, we’re seeking the assistance of federal oversight.”

 

CCFC has been active in past years uncovering fraud and abuse of families and children in state courts, including the consumer fraud case of Dr. Stephen Doyne, the most notable child custody elevator in San Diego. “They not only let Doyne run wild for years, they actively protected his abuse of parents and children. In my mind, the industry is a godless abomination” says Stuart. “One of our parents who challenged Doyne and lost was ordered—by the same court that employs Doyne—to pay Doyne’s attorneys fees—over $380,000—for calling out his undisputed fraud. It’s outrageous, and its going to stop.”

 

CCFC’s Complaint details both civil and criminal charges. “We’ve alleged over 34 specific federal crimes in the complaint, and we’re turning our evidence over to the F.B.I. and U.S. Attorney for further investigation.” Says Stuart.

 

The Complaint is available online through its facebook page at www.facebook.com/ccfconline details.

 

Quotes:

 

“The present-day suffering of so many parents and children has and is being wrought within a larger system characterized by a widespread institutional failure of—indeed contempt for—the rule of law.”“California legal institutions such as family courts and the legal community, professional institutions such as the state bar and psychology boards, and criminal justice institutions have in the recent decade gradually combined to cultivate a joint enterprise forum in which widespread “family practice” exceptions to the rule of law are not only tolerated, but increasingly encouraged. Professional behavior that would only a few years ago be recognized as unethical, illegal, or otherwise intolerable by American legal, psychological, law enforcement, or social work professionals has increasingly achieved acceptance—indeed applause—from institutional interests which benefit from a joint enterprise enforcing the unwritten law of “who you know is more important than what you know.” “In this lawless behavior’s most crass infestation, California Superior Court Family Division judges are regularly heard to announce, in open court, “I am the law” and proceed to act accordingly with impunity, indifference, and without shame.”

 

“The effect on parents and children seeking social support within this coalescing “family law” forum has not been as advertised by courts and professionals—a new healing—but instead a new affliction: an ‘imposed disability’ of de rigueur deprivation of fundamental rights in the name of ‘therapeutic jurisprudence’ funded by converting college funds into a bloated ministry of the bar leaving families and their children with mere crumbs of their own success.”

 

The case centers on the April 15, 2010 assault of CCFC’s President, Cole Stuart, at the San Diego County Bar Association meeting of family court judges and attorneys. Stuart was attending the meeting of family court judges and attorneys on behalf of CCFC. SDCBA recognized Stuart as the President of the Parents’ Rights group and ordered fifteen armed bar association security to tackle him, handcuff him, and throw him out.

 

According to Stuart, around ten CCFC parents and children attended the seminar to advance their reform efforts and send a message of “doctor, heal thyself.” The San Diego County Bar Association meeting of judges and attorneys chose a theme critical of their own clients: calling them “Litigants Behaving Badly.” CCFC chose a counter-theme: CCFC parents and children carried signs stating “JUDGES BEHAVING BADLY; if YOU don’t follow the law, why would WE?”

 

“Judge Judy may be entertaining daytime television for some, but that indignity has no place in our justice system—even in what they consider to be “low-brow” family court. Yet many family court judges regularly administer such obnoxious ‘renegade’ justice every day, in open defiance of the rule of law. ‘Sober as a judge’ these days has a whole new meaning.” Says Stuart—“I’ve been a successful lawyer for 18 years and seen both excellence and failure, but I’ve never been ashamed of my profession until the days I walked out of family court.” “I decided then that this lawless rolling train wreck of shame to my profession and harm to my community must stop. And for that inspiration, they sent me to jail.”

 

CCFC and Stuart are suing SDCBA and the dozen judges and lawyers who organized the seminar. “They were well aware of our intent to be present at the Seminar–and had fifteen Sheriff’s Deputies and a paddy wagon waiting to welcome us when we arrived. We had been in court to seek sanctions against them in the morning, then they assault me that very evening.

 

According to the CCFC Complaint: “Family Courts, including judges, blame “Litigants Behaving Badly” for harms enabled—indeed largely manufactured—by the Domestic Dispute Industry’s own longstanding predatory commercial practices. CCFC saw the “Litigants Behaving Badly” theme as part of the self-delusional propaganda engaged in by so many [divorce industry] members who, rather than recognizing the harm their industry enables and “healing themselves”, instead blame their own clients, who, quite true, do regularly abuse process, their loved ones, and even themselves—in perfect compliance with [divorce industry] instructions.”

 

The lawsuit alleges that divorce lawyers illegally conspire with judges to steal from parents as part of a racketeering criminal enterprise—and brings over 30 claims of federally-indictable crime. “Civil rights violations, fraud, and obstruction of justice are federal crimes—even for judges.”

 

The lawsuit seeks to hold judges and courts personally responsible for overseeing the crime committed by the attorneys and social workers in their courtroom. “Judges have a legal and ethical duty to ‘ensure rights’ under the judicial canons of conduct. It’s just not possible that intelligent lawyers like judges don’t understand exactly what goes on in their courtrooms, yet they allow it to continue. In CCFC’s opinion, this judicial collusion is far more serious crime than even the fraud of divorce attorneys themselves” says Stuart.

 

CCFC has filed a motion for a protective order preventing the San Diego Defendants from harassing them “Since they’ve known about CCFC and its reform toward the more humane family dispute resolution solutions we offer, they’ve treated us as enemies of the state. When we thought we’d be welcomed, or at least heard, we’ve instead become targets of prosecution and terrorist threats–They assaulted me, harassed our members including threatening “gun cock” and death threat late night phone calls, attacked our businesses, professional licenses, and threatened to jail and extort us with further crime. It’s outrageous that our own government allows this to happen, and we’re asking the federal court to protect our members as we pursue the civil and criminal charges against the courts.”

 

A complete set of filings and exhibits is available from CCFC’s Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ccfconline

 

About: CCFC is a nonprofit organization of parents-both men and women-who have experienced marital dissolution proceeding in San Diego, Orange, or Los Angeles Counties, Our members are professionals or others who are highly motivated to improving governmental and justice system process addressing domestic relations, parentage, custody, and abuse.

 

CCFC seeks to promote the health and success of all families–parents and children equally and alike. We perceive that parents and children presently lack effective and independent advocates within government and the civil and criminal justice system, and as such their rights and interests are regularly compromised in favor of the institutionalized interests of others, including government, private attorneys and professional service providers, and the enormous domestic dispute industry. CCFC organizers, officers, and affiliates are professionals dedicated to improving social, governmental, and justice system processes concerning domestic relations, child rearing, parenting, constitutional law, child custody, and domestic violence. Many of CCFC’s members are mothers, fathers, and children who have withstood abundant hardship resulting from the current practices of what is generally described as the “Family Law Community.” These injuries and insults include fraudulent, inefficient, harmful, and even dangerous services; an institutionalized culture of indifference to “clearly-established” liberties; insults to the autonomy and dignity of parents and children; extortion, robbery, abuse, and more, delivered at the hands of eager operators within the divorce industry.

 

Click here to read the entire complaint: CCFC V. SDCBA VERIFIED COMPLAINT AND COVER SHEET FOR FILING-signed-redacted 5

Riverside County foster family agency CEO charged w/ embezzlement

Posted by Diane Vigil on September 15, 2013 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Vivian Benn, of Temecula, is shown in a booking photo.

Vivian Benn, of Temecula, is shown in a booking photo. (KABC Photo)

TAGS:arrest, riverside county, inland empire news

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- The owner and CEO of a Riverside foster family agency has been charged with embezzlement and misappropriation of funds.

 

Riverside County deputies arrested Vivian Benn, of Temecula, during a traffic stop on Wednesday.

 

Benn, who owns the Family Hope Foster Family Agency (FFA), is suspected of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of county money.

 

In May 2009, the Riverside County Auditor-Controller's Office conducted an audit of the Department of Public Social Services, focusing specifically on several foster family group homes and FFAs, including Family Hope. The audit showed that about $1.2 million in payments made to Family Hope by the Department of Public Social Services was unaccounted for.

 

This discrepancy led to an investigation that started in June 2012 by the Riverside County District Attorney's Office into Family Hope.

 

The investigation found that Benn embezzled about $400,000 from January 2004 to November 2009. Investigators say Benn used the funds for her personal use. The probe also revealed that Benn embezzled and misappropriated an additional $125,000 from April 2007 to September 2009 by transferring funds into a bank account she created called Brooklyn Financial.

 

Authorities say Benn used this account as a "shell company" created under her daughter's name to hide money and avoid paying the Internal Revenue Service.

 

She was charged with six counts of embezzlement by a public officer, and one count each of embezzling property by a public officer and money laundering.

 

Her arraignment was scheduled in Riverside on Friday.

 

(Copyright ©2013 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Louisiana foster care system to undergo new initiativ

Posted by Diane Vigil on August 31, 2013 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)


Posted on 21 March, 2013 by Michael Doughty

bildeThe Louisiana Division of Children and Household Solutions is carrying out a new effort in the state's foster care system called Faith in Households, according to DCFS Assistant Suzy Sonnier.

 

The goal is to safely lower the number of children in the state's foster care program and reduce the quantity of time children spend in the system. It additionally is geared toward helping every child find a permanent connection prior to they leave the foster system.

 

Faith in Families looks for to decrease the lot of children in Louisiana's foster care program by 25 percent, or roughly 1,000 children, by 2015.

 

"By 2015, we desire 85 percent of our children to exit foster care within 24 months of getting in either with reintegration with family or adoption," Sonnier stated when she revealed the program today in Shreveport. "We wish to meet the national standard of 75.2 percent of children being met again with their family within 12 months.".

 

Sonnier shared a story of a young woman who aged from the foster system at 18, almost a many years ago. She is now a well-adjusted and totally used adult; however, the female still is sorry for that she never had the ability to make a household hookup.

 

"Here she was 27, had a fantastic profession in front of her and no one to share it with. When she got an advertising, she had no one to call.".

 

Louisiana has 706 children ages 15 to 17 in foster care. Over the next 3 years, numerous of them will age out of the system, leaving them with no choice to find work or a place to live.

 

"I dislike to say it. Unless they were in a very great foster house when they aged out who enables them to come back and be a household source for them, then they are just out there on the street," said Kelli Todd, program supervisor of Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children. "They have no idea how to fill out college applications, they constantly call our office to help them get their birth certificate or Social Security card, they do not have the resources they require.".

 

 

 

The Faith in Families effort will be phased into the foster program over 3 years, from now till 2015.


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