Friday, November 30, 2007
Foster home crisis left dozens with no beds, little food
Dozens of abused and neglected children taken into protective custody in Wayne County have slept overnight in a state office building because of a shortage of foster homes, the Free Press has learned.
Children removed from their homes have a difficult road ahead, and the state’s system for handling them can add to their pain. Too many are shifted among foster homes, some are forgotten, and others exit state care on their 18th birthday with nowhere to go and no one to help them.
Looks more like a cover-up to me.
Little children play in the street,
Laughing as they hide and seek,
But none of them are you.
With sparkling eyes, smiling faces,
None of them are you.
No, none of them are you.
Other children's arms may hug me,
Their tender lips kiss me on the cheek,
But no more embraces come from you.
Others come to visit me at home,
Or I can go to stay with them,
But I never can see you two.
Dark curls bouncing on a small girl's head,
Brown eyes in a young boy's gaze
Bring memories of the you I knew.
Though knowing you are growing up,
Would no longer look the same,
My eyes search for you every day.
I don't know where you are.
And I don't know how far.
My heart beats 'round a hole.
And I'm afraid you're all alone.
Please, God, help me -
Written for two of my grandchildren, taken by their father in November, 1996, never seen or heard from by us since.
Empty swings swaying in the breeze,
While ghost children play in memory,
Bring thoughts of shining stars
Painted on midnight skies -
Laughter and happiness now
Disappeared into the past.
Dead leaves dance in the whining wind,
Scattering like children playing
Hide and seek on a summer's day,
As angry clouds shoot lightning bolts
Whizzing through the charged air,
A war of furious sound.
Rain drops drown tear stains on cheeks
Raised to the heavens in sorrow.
Questions too agonizing to ask
Cry in supplication for help not coming.
The why's echo without relief
With the storm streaming overhead.
Memories meander through my mind
often, though, without lingering long.
Like messages written in the sand,
the tide takes them tumbling out to sea.
Some recollections, scrambled, tossed,
I can never clearly see or taste -
but a few burst upon my brain bright
with light that doesn't dim.
One such souvenir of time gone by
rests upon a wall, close to the floor,
not far from where I sit and rest,
a memento that brings a sigh, a tear.
For there in pencil, in scribbled letters
a young girl wrote a message of love;
she said those words were for me,
that I can never erase, never wash away.
How could I have known then
that the scribbling would be left
while the tide of life tumbled and tore
her out to sea and away from me?
Scribbled letters still cry out
the words she said she wrote
those many years ago:
I love you, Granny, I love you.
The "Perfect" Cup of Tea
Ahhh, the fragrance wraps itself
Around my musing mind
As I sip the bouquet
Teasing my taste buds.
The dark, golden-brown brew
Simmering in the heavy mug
Tempts my imagination.
While I listen to the winter wind
Whistling through the cracks
Hidden in the house walls,
I cuddle 'neath a quilt
Left behind by my grandson
And remember the love
We shared before that day
He was taken from my life.
The "perfect" cup of tea
On a winter night
Would be one shared
Once more with him.
These poems are copyrighted by Vivian Gilbert Zabel
After teaching composition for years and becoming an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ a site for Poetry, Vivian Gilbert Zabel produced Hidden Lies and Other Stores, Walking the Earth, The Base Stealers Club, and Case of the Missing Coach, found on Amazon.com.
Too many abused and neglected children in Utah are spending too much time in shelters - a problem that will persist even if lawmakers end a ban on emergency kinship placements.
That's the prediction of the court-appointed monitor overseeing reform of Utah's foster care system, who urged state officials in October to reduce their reliance on shelters or eliminate them.
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 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 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! 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 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 always 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 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.
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.
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:
1. 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.
Continue to Exhibit A
December 5, 2006
( 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 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 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
Failure of DFCS to 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.
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
50th District of Georgia
Senator Nancy Schaefer302 B Coverdell Office Building18 Capitol Square, SWAtlanta, Georgia 30334Phone: 404-463-1367Fax: 404-657-3217 Senator Nancy SchaeferDistrict OfficeP O Box 294Turnerville, Georgia 30580Phone: 706-754-1998Fax: 706-754-1803
Please forward to anyone interested
Source: website of Senator Nancy Schaefer http://www.senatornancyschaefer.com/
The now three-year-old girl disappeared from her foster home in Jun. of 2006. Leads to her whereabouts dried up shortly thereafter. But now, her court appointed guardian ad-litem plans to re-energize the investigation.
Child Protective Services' mission statement calls for the reunification of families, but a Kerrville couple wonders if the department has other ideas when it comes to their kids.
Two weeks after a three year old foster child drowns in her foster home, police are still investigating what exactly happened.
WTEV CBS 47 Jacksonville • Nov. 19, 2007. 12:09 AM EST
She was taken from her home by the state because it says she was being neglected. But instead of being safe now, the 3 year old girl is dead. She drowned in a bathtub.
WTEV CBS 47 Jacksonville • Nov. 20, 2007. 12:29 PM EST
A 3-year-old Jacksonville girl drowned in a bathtub over the weekend while she was in state protective custody.
DCF Releases Records in Death of 3-Year-Old in Protective Custody
WTEV CBS 47 Jacksonville • Nov. 20, 2007. 05:36 PM EST
A 3-year-old Jacksonville girl drowned in a bathtub over the weekend while she was in state protective custody. Now the state is investigating to determine who was in charge of the protection of the litle girl.
Team 8 investigator Alan Cohn obtained internal DCF documents that revealed a shocking case of abuse inside a Stratford foster home. An investigator at DCF called the abuse of a two year old girl 'cruel' after she was found in a playpen covered with a wood board, secured by bungee cords that were hooked into holes on the top and bottom of the playpen.
The Lewis family (name changed to protect privacy) in Colorado Springs received a visit from a case worker who claimed she was there to “make sure [their daughter] was safe in the home.” Mrs. Lewis, who answered the door, knew better than to let the case worker in her home. Mrs. Lewis proceeded to ask what the allegations were, but the caseworker refused to say.
My daughter had a job until the time of her pregnancy. She worked in maintenance as a cleaner part time. The father took off to Europe not even knowing he was going to have a child. She had to go on Social Services and usually can collect this until the child is at least in school because it doesn't pay to get sitters on a part time job. She also got just over $260 dollars a month which all mothers get in Canada depending on their income.
A housing authority person went to my daughter's home when he was only 3 months old. Please keep in mind that the woman was with housing, but asked my daughter if he had his immunization, to which she said, “no, not yet.” My daughter’s pelvis was out of alignment after having him and could not get about very well. From there it escalated. They kept coming to the home. I must say they came often. When they appeared at her door at times she showed her displeasure and cussed them.
When my grandson was apprehended, the $260 and sum dollars went to the foster parent. Foster parents also get 800.00 a month for each child as well. After her rent and heat is paid my daughter now has just $206.00 a month to live on.
My daughter was taking him to physio, as he showed signs of being delayed, as well as to infant development sessions. They finally took him, saying she is also slow. Part of her problem is that she is very insecure. She never explains herself well and this is why a lot of the problem now exists with CAS. However, her problem is more of a nervous condition when around people, she talks with clenched teeth. Here also lies a catch 22 situation. We can try for a disability for her which will certainly go against her because they say that about her now.
CAS also made statements about my daughter smoking, yet I smell smoke on the foster parent, who also smokes. There seems to be two sets of rules that apply when it comes to foster parents and biological parents. It doesn't seem to matter what happens in foster care to the child.
My grandson had no bruising whatsoever when taken, but now, because he has “self abusive tendencies,” he has bruises on his head. When on supervised visits, my daughter has to jump up to stop him from banging his head or they say she doesn't respond fast enough. He is only 3 years old for heaven's sake.
He also has somewhat of a flat head which they blame her for by saying, “You left him laying for too long.” My Grandson could not sit because of his delays. He had to be propped up but was not unduly left to lie there for hours as they are trying to say. I have since done some research on flat heads. I have found out that because of SIDS, children now should be laid on their backs more, and because of that, there is indeed a higher incidence of flat heads especially in boys. Also if they were so concerned, we found out that they could have recommended a helmet to help with the flattened head.
The deposition is full of, let's say, "untruths" the gospel according to CAS. It is full of statements taken out of context. At the hearings, we are not allowed to give oral testimony, only that which is related through the lawyer.
I have since been told that I cannot have visitations. I was overheard on the monitor discussing some of the case and they tell me it's not good for my grandson. Right now, he can only visit with my daughter.
There is one judge who was sympathetic to our cause. He noted that my daughter has walked about 7 miles one way one way in the cold up here in Northern Canada, to visit with my grandson, because she does not always have bus fare. She has not missed one appointment in over a year. He stated that some parents involved with the system didn't bother to visit regularly, or missed visits altogether. However because of all of this we still can expect to lose him forever.
I also have another grandson at the age of 19. CAS was in her life years ago, checking him out, once because the father called them. Nothing ever became of this matter. When he was in school though, he had problems when he inappropriately touched a school mate. He told the teacher that someone abused him when visiting with his father. CAS was called then, but we were not informed about this nor did CAS call police to investigate this apparent abuse. We only found out about this when CAS mentioned it in the court deposition. There does seem to be some substance to this as the father has since been charged with child pornography. When I mentioned this to them I was told they'd look into it, but never got back to me about this incident. Everyone including the lawyer and judge seems to have missed the boat on that.
They are going for the jugular on this one and our lawyer who seems so be doing nothing but sitting back asked me what good would it do to recall the incident of about 12 years ago.
I have had no use for CAS since I can remember and my feelings right now is that they are liars, manipulators and that there is an ulterior motive for "legally kidnapping children". I have used this exact term myself. In our town there is a trial going on concerning a severely abused child. Many people saw the 2 and 1/2 month old child with severe cuts and bruises that are testifying to this fact. When one witness said she called the police they said CAS knew about this and was involved. Well, it was a bit too late for this little one who now lies languishing in hospital in a vegetative state. And how about the Child that drowned while in foster care in Toronto? Good thing it didn't drown while in it's mom's care.
I am so tempted to go to the media like investigative reports or fifty minutes in the end with all of this.
Do you have any suggestions to help us, please. There is only my other daughter and myself in the immediate family that the lawyer would like to see take him. However, even though I want to I have health problems and my other daughter is raising a child and must work full time to pay for a home. Please, please, help if you can. Thank you
Thursday, November 29, 2007
A foster father for a 2-year-old girl who suffered brain injuries has been indicted on a first-degree assault charge.
A woman who works for CPS and whose job it is to protect kids has her own foster child taken away. Three other children were taken from a relative's home.
"They're on one hand telling her we think you're a party to this child being hurt, but we think its okay for you to come in and make decisions about other people's kids," Winans says.
The Lewis family in Colorado Springs received a visit from a case worker who claimed she was there to “make sure [their daughter] was safe in the home.” Mrs. Lewis, who answered the door, knew better than to let the case worker in her home. Mrs. Lewis proceeded to ask what the allegations were, but the caseworker refused to say.
I have 4 children and quite the story on Child Welfare Services (CWS). That's what they call CPS in California. It's supposed to be more politically correct.
Only one of my children is in the custody of the state. Although the county has tried many times to get my other 3 children, ICWA intervened with my two youngest children (daughter now 4 and son now 3) and my oldest son (now 8) is quite capable of handling interviews by the social workers. They tried to get him to say we abuse him and he kept turning the questions back on them. He's also epileptic and they tried to get him removed by having a psychologist say I made his epilepsy up. My son reminded them that it is his choice to take the medication, I don't force him to. He described a seizure to that worker, an honest one. After she spoke to the neurologist she closed that referral which had been made by another social worker.
So now I get to the part about my daughter. My oldest child is now 10. she has been in 'protective custody' since December 12, 2006 when she was removed from a psychiatric ward where she had been placed for a 21 day evaluation. It was day 11. From December 1, 2006 my daughter has been out of my direct care. She was raging, trying to bash out the windows of the car and making suicidal and homicidal threats.
Then she decided she didn't want to be there anymore and said two men 'touched her'. Well, my county jumped all over these statements. They used that to have her discharged from the hospital. They took her off her medication for over 24 hours, then questioned her. They manipulated her into saying what they wanted to hear. What she said doesn't fall into the realm of 'clear and convincing' evidence. It was paraphrased by a social worker who was not present for an interview that wasn't recorded.
What they have on that recording is my daughter's face, but no audio. I have had 2 social workers who lied and manipulated the court. The one I currently have tried to give custody to my ex-husband who hadn't seen his daughter in over 3 years. CWS gave him my address and at one point he went AWOL from the Army. Then he text messaged a commanding officer something that led the Army to believe he was homicidal and suicidal. They contacted me and pointed out he knew where I lived and that I might want to find a safer location for me and my 3 children as well as the two men my daughter made those statements about. They caught him and sent him back to base.
While in foster care my daughter has gone through 8 foster homes. She has run away once. She has had law enforcement called on her 3 times and been physically restrained on at least 2 occasions. Currently, my daughter is in a level 12 group home for challenging children. They currently have her on Risperdal.
I have been through 2 parenting classes (that were useless). I have taken one class through NAMI voluntarily on how to deal with your mentally ill family member. That class taught me a lot. My daughter was diagnosed Bipolar at age 7 after years of unknown behavior. She was hospitalized to determine if that was in fact correct. Now they tell me she is ADHD with reactive tendencies (the definition of pediatric Bipolar Disorder). They go and get orders for medications after supervisors promise me they won't.
I have been waiting for them to get the psychiatric evaluation from **** for her and they are dragging their feet. In the meantime, I get to see her for 8 hours a month, her siblings are only allowed to see her for 6 of those hours. My second case worker is going on maternity leave this week, so I will be getting worker number 3. This one at least is a parent herself.
I have tried getting my file, and been told that a loop hole to the 1974 law protects them. I have tried to get my Assemblyman involved. They don't know what they can do to help me because CWS is an entity unto themselves. I have been assured that I would see my daughter's medical file, that has never happened. I have been retaliated against and there is no recourse that I know of to help me. I have tried to record the CWS meetings and am being told by their office that I can get a written summary, but I can't record it because of juvenile laws of confidentiality. I have asked for questions to be answered in writing and been told it is not the practice of CWS to put anything in writing.
They used my psychological evaluation which is half truths and mixed up facts to limit my visitation. They have threatened to cut off services to me. They lie and commit perjury as needed to fit them. I have yet to be honestly represented. They tell me to do something, then turn around and tag me for doing it.
For the record, law enforcement did not follow through with anything other than turning a report over to the DA's office which dropped the case.
I finally got the detective's statement on my daughter's interview. Something no one wanted me read (including my attorney). My current worker didn't even know what was said. They tell me I have to acknowledge and accept my daughter's statement. Yet they didn't know what they were telling me to accept. According to one statement I had seven children and only knew the location of 2 kids. (I know where all four of my children are.) I'd really like to meet the other 3. In another statement the babysitter bruised my daughter with a wet noodle. In the final statement, this one the detective took, the men in question would have to be aliens from outer space.
And I should remember that CWS claimed my daughter was in immanent danger in the hospital.
This was sent to me in an email.
No names will be used. These stories are private. If you wish to leave a comment for her, please do so here.
ON THE day of her death, a 12-year-old girl in foster care lay in the dirt outside her Darwin home, delirious with pain and covered in ants, a court heard yesterday.
Death of foster care girl, 12, 'like Third World'
A MEDICAL specialist has likened the condition of a Northern Territory girl who died in foster care to sickness he had seen "in Third World countries"
There is nothing more important to childhood development than self-expression. A child must be able to express what he or she wants and how he or she feels with freedom and safety. Children that do not grow up in an environment of respect, love, and compassion often find difficulty opening up to others as they grow up and often experience many different mental and emotional pitfalls. It’s no secret that allowing your child to express his or her feelings, emotions, thoughts, and creativity in a safe environment is one of the most beneficial parts to raising a child.
One of the best ways that kids express themselves is through artistic means. Painting, finger-painting, drawing, sketching, coloring, and writing all have been proven to provide a solid outlet for many of the strong emotions that children deal with. Many psychologists and therapists find stunning information about a child within the drawings or artwork of that child, making creativity one of the most enlightening and though-provoking experiences of a child’s life.
Allowing a child to paint or draw with freedom and without boundaries is a critical component to childhood development because it opens the mind and frees the spirit. Within a few moments of coloring or drawing seemingly unrelated objects or shapes on a page, a child can form thoughts and ideas that may be surprising to the parent. This process is incredibly important in the development of communication skills, emotional skills, and psychological awareness.
Another great way to help kids express themselves is through playful expression. Allowing children to safely and securely play with one another, whether through sports or other recreational pursuits, is a great way to help teach cooperation, relationship skills, and respect for others. By setting up reasonable boundaries and rules for playtime, a parent can safely guide their children through the motions of responsible play and activity without interfering with their development.
There are many great board games and interactive games to play with children that enhance the creative energy and create positive influences. Parking the child in front of the television is a poor choice for a number of reasons, the least of which is that television is a one-way medium and does not encourage any creative or critical thinking on behalf of the child. If television is a must, the parent should watch television with the child so as to provide some sort of platform for genuine interaction.
A final example of a great way to promote self-expression in children is through the building of objects. Dollhouses, model cars, and other objects that require construction are great ways to promote natural progression and creativity within a certain set of boundaries. As the child learns to follow the instructions for putting together the dollhouse or model car, he or she becomes aware of the role of instructions and guidelines and is able to employ creative techniques to produce the end result.
Creativity through the guidelines of building an object, such as a dollhouse, is an important facet of life for children to learn, as many of the real-life situations they will find themselves in will call upon the skills learned through early childhood development.
Learn more about the fascinating world of miniatures. Visit TheMagicalDollhouse.com today for a great selection of doll houses and dollhouse accessories from top miniature companies.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The parents of a Queens girl alleged to be physically and sexually abused while in foster care were denied custody in Queens Family Court on Monday.
The incident report says 53 year-old former body builder Kenneth Wayne Taylor got into an argument with 16 year-old Jordan Shelton at his home in Morristown on Saturday.
Investigators say Taylor grabbed Shelton's arm, and chocked him to the ground.
Shelton died later at U.T. Medical Center.
Note:This link is slow.
Man accused of killing foster son to appear in court
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
It's been more than two years since the death and disappearance of 7-year-old Ricky Holland, a foster child in Williamston, Michigan.
It took more than a year for investigators to find his body, after his foster parents Tim and Lisa Holland reported him missing. They since have both been tried and sentenced, and are currently serving life sentences in prison for Ricky's death.
Monday, November 26, 2007
An investigation into why a 2-year-old foster child ended up injured has uncovered what may be disturbing problems in the way the state selects its foster parents. KATU's Bob Heye reports
An interesting blog post.
The father of a 3-year-old girl found dead in a car trunk says he sought custody of the girl after authorities closed an investigation into abuse allegations against her mother without filing charges.
The body of Jacqueline Gonzalez was found Monday night in a plastic container in the trunk of her mother's car.
CPS checks of dead girl's mom involved burn to child, slapping
Foster family nurses heartbreak (awwwww)
On Saturday, Cory was taken abruptly from Amy and Brian Lewis to be reunited with his mother, Michelle Dawn Richardson, 28, who a year ago delivered him alone, tied his umbilical cord with a shoestring, wrapped him in a red blanket and left him in a bathroom stall at a McDonald's restaurant in Zebulon.
A judge ruled that the state should pay some of the legal fees for a family that was awarded just $2 in a civil lawsuit over their son being removed from their custody.
As a mental health professional and a mandated reporter of child abuse, I must speak out about the Missouri laws regarding the reporting of abuse and neglect and the problems it creates for all professionals. The law is vague and subjective, leaving the interpretation open to the individual reporter. In reviewing the current law, it remains unclear why any of the professionals who have been charged with failure to report abuse, then cleared of the charges, have been subjected to public scrutiny of their integrity and professional ability. Lawmakers need to understand the urgent need to write specific laws that will prevent more people from character and professional assassination. It will also allow successful prosecution of those who actually make a conscious decision to do nothing regarding the abuse.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Who Will Tell Our Stories? We're just kids....
They are the stories no one wants to hear -- children, abused and neglected, some to the point of death.Many of them must leave their families to go into shelters or foster care. Often these children leave their homes with only a garbage bag to hold their clothes and favorite toys, the most are routinely tossed from one temporary placement to another, often ten or twenty times during their most formative, vulnerable years.This is the continuing saga of crimes against children under the care of a state agency. Children are dying, inside and out...
They were under the care of a state agency, but that didn't prevent their deaths.
Who protects those who can't protect themselves? Who Will Tell Our Stories? If somebody ask you why we died....please tell them we're just kids, please tell them about us.....
Tell Our Stories Let's NOT allow these precious children's death to be in vain - in the news one day, forgotten the next. The only way to create change is to bring it to the public's attention. It is about the children! Please hear the childrens' cry ! http://suncanaa.com/ In the name of those innocent children please sign PETITION
Friday, November 23, 2007
The demand for child custody advice has risen dramatically over the last 40 years. The reason for this sharp increase for information is that more and more married couples are seeking legal separation or divorce. This can mean a great deal of pain for children involved - unless the parents can keep their "fight" away from their children's eyes and ears. It also points to the great need for good legal advice for each parent.
It seems that most parents would agree that the most gut wrenching, and heartbreaking consequence of divorce is deciding the details of the custody of their children. The parents may not love each other anymore but, they still strongly love their children and feel a need to protect them - this means a need to physically be with them, and that means wanting custody.
As a result then, in cases of marital dispute, the custody of the children becomes paramount in the minds of the parents. Due to the high emotional pain this decision can inflict, it can quickly take the separation or divorce from an amicable discussion, to one of very heated strife.
A good lawyer, who considers not just the end result of custody, but also the welfare of the children during the court proceedings, should do his/her best to shelter the children from the pain of the custody battle. It is important for parents to keep in mind that the end (custody) doesn't always justify the means (painful battling where the child suffers).
Despite the common sense notion to keep the kids out of it though, many parents will blindly do "whatever it takes". In the worse case scenario then, tragically, the children can become a weapon used by the parents to inflict hurt and pain on each other. Unfortunately, when this occurs the children may well become the most traumatized mentally and emotionally of all concerned. When this occurs, the parents should seek the advice of qualified professionals, to guide them in providing help for the children.
Fortunately most children are very resilient, but even the strongest may need additional help from all concerned in the divorce or separation. The parents need to remember that they are the primary caregivers for the children whether they are married or not. This means using good lawyers who don't need to slander and torture the other spouse to reach a reasonable settlement.
It's also a good idea, where possible, to get legal advice before a separation occurs. If one is considering a separation or divorce, a visit to a lawyer can often be very helpful in knowing one's rights. Advice about who will likely get what based on your current living situation an financial ability can be quiet enlightening and also can prevent simple mistakes.
For example, the parent living in the family home can be more likely to get custody of the children. Whether this is the case in your state or province is very important to note if you are thinking of "moving out" and letting your spouse keep the home. What may seem like a kind gesture may come back to bite you later. Early child custody advice can prevent such mistakes from happening.
Kris Rise is a strongly involved parent who shares a favorite (and surprising) child custody advic3e resource on this blog at www.childcustodyadvic3e.com. Don't be the parent who "didn't know".
Thursday, November 22, 2007
There is a major shakeup in Clark County Child Protective Services. This time a high-ranking assistant director has asked for a voluntary demotion after years of outcry.
The drowning death of a 2-year-old girl in a Victorville foster home last year underscores the need for more training and greater supervision of the growing number of foster parents certified by private agencies, according to a lawsuit and an Inland foster-parent group.
State officials say they don't have the evidence to go through with firing central Kentucky social service workers who were accused of falsifying records and inappropriate conduct in child welfare cases.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The foster parent, Timothy Joe Mountford, 49, Grove, was charged in Delaware County district court with one count each of rape and child sexual abuse.
My biggest fear about this whole thing wasn’t so much how this particular incident itself would play out. I reluctantly allowed the sheriff’s deputies to inspect my home and interview my kids, to their complete satisfaction. But what concerned me was that there was now a report out there, which I haven’t seen and which might some day be used against me should one of my kids fall out of a tree or otherwise hurt themselves in a normal childhood accident.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
A gavel slams down tolling the destruction of another family. A child cries in the night missing their daddy or mommy. A parent sits with tears streaming down their cheeks screaming at God, “Why, why God?! What did I do to deserve this?!” A social worker, Children’s Protective Service, Department of Children’s Service worker all sit smugly behind their desk and close the file on another family destroyed “in the best interest of the child.” A judge and Guardian Ad Litem shuffle their paper work moving on to the next case forgetting about the last family they destroyed.
The estate of Connre Dixon is asking for a new trial in the Huron County Common Pleas Court where a jury would determine a new award for damages in regards to the foster girl's death.
IN another shameful episode for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, an audit released this week found that employees usurped money meant for foster children and spent it on personal entertainment.
Miami abuse investigators were found to have routinely closed investigations prematurely to improve their performance numbers, putting children at risk.
Mother of five Phyllis Wilson fights back tears.
She says a representative from Daniel, a child services organization, showed up at her door this weekend telling her the worst of news that her 3 year old, Brittany Hampton, drowned in a bathtub at a foster home.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
A King County Superior Court jury ordered the state to pay $6.2 million Tuesday to four siblings who were repeatedly abused in foster care, the latest in a string of legal troubles for the state Department of Social and Health Services.
News 4 has uncovered disturbing information about a baby who died in foster care and the possibility that Child Protective Services failed to investigate a report of abuse. The boy's death has been ruled a homicide, but abuse was reported in that foster home even before the child died.
The reality is that states and counties receive $30,000 for each child removed from the home and put into the system. Those funds go up to between $40,000 and $150,000 if the child has special needs. If you think that kind of money doesn't breed corruption, think again. In March 2003 the city of San Francisco had 75,000 children in their system. 75,000 children at $30,000 each (that is assuming none of them were handicapped) is $2,250,000,000! Foster families receive between $3,000 and $8300 a year for fostering a child depending on the state. That is a nice little profit being made even after you account for salaries and other overhead. It would be interesting to know where several million dollars each year is going.
I'm surprised they didn't mention foster parents in this article. However it does show indirectly why children are more likely to be abused in foster care than in their own homes.
It also says something for single parents.
Far too many people become foster parents not to provide safe temporary homes for the kids placed in their charge but in a deranged form of meat market as they seek kids to steal for themselves.
Such fosters routinely undermine reunification and drag separation out as long as they can so that they can claim to have 'bonded' with the kids and to put forth this claim as justification to terminate the rights of the real parents so that the fosters can then adopt.
DHS officals plan to send a 2-year-old foster child to live with his grandmother in Mexo, but the boy's foster parents said their fight to keep him has just begun.
Cecilia Martinez's four children are grown, and while one landed in prison, another is a doctor and one is studying nursing. "All my children are grown, and Gabrielito will be like my own that I can raise again," she said.
For the rest of the story Click Here!
A foster mother who abused a 2-year-old girl to death in a Gresham duplex has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and no-contest to criminal mistreatment.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The ability of caseworkers to predict future abuse is a bunch of BS.
If they can't even screen effectively among Fosters, who willingly undergo rigorous testing and evals, what makes you think the same stuff would work when they are IMPOSING it on unwilling targets?
Friday, November 16, 2007
In a follow-up to a 3-year investigation of CPS, NewsChannel 32 interviewed a group of Kentucky social workers who alleged families are harassed and workers are pressured in efforts to boost adoption numbers.
Pat Moore said she was a state social worker until she was fired for not ignoring half a dozen allegations of abuse in a foster home.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Parents who claim children have been wrongly put up for adoption to meet government targets plan to demonstrate outside the Sheffield Law Courts.
News report of the state of child protection money making industry.
Although my daughter resides with me, she has had very limited contact with her brother (less than 8 hours). I have had none.
From day one, when a protection worker first stepped into my home, they have been a cure looking for a disease.
My son had been placed in a foster home by the children's aid society. He has recently been removed from there. Now he is in a Youth Crisis Center.
I am sure he is there because he is acting out his frustration caused by the emotional abuse of being taken away from his family.
This was a happy kid living in a happy home!
When social workers make mistakes it becomes more and more about covering up sloppy work and the integrety of the agency, and less and less about a "child's best interest"
False allegations, and findings being made with no evidence, must come to a stop.
I put up this video to expose the impact of Child Protective Services and the secrecy of the Family Court have on loving families.
I miss you my little man!
A young sydney family claims it's been terrorised by police and welfare authorities because of neigbourhood gossip. Mum and dad are in hiding tonight fearing their baby son will be taken away again.
Police broke down the front door of a suburban home with some workers from the NSW Department of Community Services. They're armed with an order to take a five month old boy from his now distraught parents, his father pushed around, his mother in tears.
It's understood only a few hours before Docs had been told by a neighbour that the child was being neglected, little more than skin and bones with sunken eyes.
The parents who have set up a webiste for their child deny the allegations and in any case insist this is the first time they have dealt with the Department, ever.
In a short statement police have told us that they were acting within the law and under the instruction of the Department of Community Sevices. Welfare workers intern say they had the best interest of the child at heart.
The baby is now back with his parents.
“The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Public Law 93-247) provides federal funding to States in support of prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment activities and also provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for demonstration programs and projects.” (3) This law provided the funds for the Child Protective system that we have today. Although well meaning when enacted, as nobody could righteously deny the need to protect children from abuse or neglect, this law has been abused by those looking for a profit. Even today innocent families are being destroyed at the hands of these sadistic profiteers who stand to gain from keeping kids in the system. “Far more common are cases in which a family’s poverty is confused with child “neglect.” Several studies have found for example, that one-third of foster children could be back home right now if their parents simply had adequate housing.” (4)
Instead the poor have become easy targets due to their inability to fight by providing themselves with the best lawyers against a system with so much inside and outside influence, that it was in turn fluffing the numbers in an effort to grow their businesses. Those who can afford it, spend thousands on lawyers, therapists and psychological and parenting assessments in their fights to get their children back. Many foster children have suffered heartwrenchingly difficult lives while caught up in the system that wants to keep them safe from loving parents based on the money that those who control their lives get from the federal and state governmens for doing so. For example, lawyers who are appointed to look after a childs best interest as Guardian Ad Litem, are given contracts by the states and paid to look out for their best interest. The longer that kid is caught up in the system, the longer their contract lasts, it’s as simple as that. Psychiatrists and Private Therapists are able to get medicade payments. Foster children are also much more likely to be found to have special needs and be medicated with psyciatropic drugs then are non foster children. Most commonly diagnosises of ADHD and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are made.
Although it would be much cheaper to keep a kid in the home, it is much more profitable for those who are against the parents to get and keep them in foster care. “The estimated average cost of providing preventive services is $8,000 a year per family. The average cost of keeping a child in foster care: $20,000.” (5)
Foster parents are also paid monthly payments to keep these children in their homes, although many have complained that it’s not enough. Many foster parents take in several children at a time and of course a foster parent can earn even more if the child is special needs. “Eligible foster parents can earn $22,000 a year plus medical benefits for caring for a developmentally disabled child through the program. In some cases, a family taking an additional such child may be paid a total of $35,000 a year.” (6)
Lets also not forget the Group Homes and Treatment Facilities which deal with children with special needs. In one state alone, “Residential child caring institution - Foster care payments range from $80 to $250 per day.” (7)
All of these financial incentives have caused the children to be stuck in foster care, even the ones who otherwise could have gone home if the families had simply been provided the services that they needed to be better able to care for their children
Then in 1997 President Clinton passed the "Adoption and Safe Families Act." (8) This new law was supposed to correct the problems of children languishing in the foster care system for years, by providing bonuses and tax credits for the successful adoptions of foster children. This provided a whole new set of target dollars to shoot for. For example, “Today's award of nearly $20 million in adoption bonuses to States demonstrates the dramatic success of our efforts to move more children from the foster care system to loving homes they can call their own.” (9) With the passage of this law, a lot of this money went to the adoption agencies, many of which are for profit businesses. At the same time, lots of birth parents, many of whom fought tooth and nail to regain custody of their children, lost them permanently as the agencies pushed the courts in an effort to get the adoption bonus.
Death of 2-year-old sparks cry for more training, supervision
The drowning death of a 2-year-old girl in a Victorville foster home last year underscores the need for more training and greater supervision of the growing number of foster parents certified by private agencies, according to a lawsuit and an Inland foster-parent group.
A Grove man, accused of raping and impregnating his 14-year-old foster daughter, is free on $150,000 bail, court officials said Tuesday.
The white social worker looked at the dark spots on the black child's body and assumed the youngster had been beaten. The family denied it, but the social worker insisted.
"People resort to making a claim, legitimately or not, if they believe they're up against the wall," Davis said. "While it helps one, it can destroy the other person. Once the system's gears get turning, not only is it next to impossible to stop them, the name of the accused stays in the state Management Information System indefinitely."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Kentucky is one of 21 states that still close child protection proceedings. But there is a growing movement to open them after the Inspector General of Kentucky documented widespread abuses within the child protection system.
Investigators are looking into charges that a 5-year-old Queens girl was sexually abused by her foster family even as her birth parents were frantically trying to regain custody.
It began to seep into the national conscious with the tawdry tale of Mary Kay Laterneau and her then teenaged lover Vili Fualaau. Most recently, middle school teacher Kelsey Peterson took a young student across state lines and into Mexico so that she could enjoy a sexual liaison with the boy away from the prying eyes of small town residents in the community they both lived.
Improper student teacher relationships are nothing new, and it’s certain that these stories commanded so much attention due to the fact that the teachers involved are women. Abusive, innocence stealing and morally corrupt teachers of both sexes have been taking advantage of student’s youth since the dawn of mankind. Of course, it’s no reflection on the profession as a whole, as a percentage from any other profession would undoubtedly be just as guilty were they exposed to children as part of their vocation. In fact, there’s no evidence to prove that it’s happening more frequently, only that it’s being publicized more widely in the current age of investigative media exposure.
What is apparent, however, is an unfortunate change in the way larger and larger segments of society perceive these relationships. This itself is a further indicator of the “dumbing down” of the US population and how an unhealthy dose of double standards have managed to remain in place while moral standards fall by the wayside.
Type in the name of almost any female teacher convicted of this crime and you’ll undoubtedly come across comment fields on blogs and under news feeds, most of which are rife with opinions on how society shouldn’t stand in the way of true love. Since when did a twelve or thirteen year old know what true love is? Some adults have no idea what it means to truly love someone, including themselves, which is why things of this nature happen in the first place. It’s awfully presumptuous to state that a couple must have found “true love” simply because the relationship has lasted. Battered women are often found to stay in abusive relationships, which no one condones. The fact that one form of abuse is more visible than another doesn’t make the latter any less damaging to the victim.
Another popular argument is that young boys, as opposed to young girls, are mature enough to know what they are doing. This is not only a generalized falsehood, but even if it is true between individuals of the same or opposite sex on a case by case basis, it doesn’t make the situation acceptable.
There are many children who are remarkably mature for their age in some respects, but never in all respects. More importantly, it’s amazing how people can assume a level of emotional maturity based solely on physical maturity. Just because a person s capable of doing something doesn’t mean they are ready, or are ready for the associated consequences.
That’s why we have laws to keep underage kids from drinking. Those laws are not only meant to protect children from the misuse of alcohol at an age where situations can quickly become out of control, but also to protect them from the future consequences of their present actions even if they are able to handle the consumption of alcohol. Can a child physically have sex with an adult? Certainly, but that doesn’t mean that any child is capable of dealing with the emotional consequences of experiencing sexual intercourse before they are ready, much less with an adult who is supposed to be in charge of their well being. Young boys in war torn regions of Africa often find themselves with a gun in their hand committing acts of brutal violence against innocent civilians. Does the fact that their trigger fingers are mature enough to work in the same way that an adults can make that situation acceptable?
If the public reacted to these occurrences with well deserved, universal disdain, it’s likely more of the few teachers who engage in this despicable behavior would think twice before doing so. If people continue to condone teachers having sex with their underage students, regardless of the gender teachers and students involved, it can only lead to more pain and suffering for not only the victims, but society as a whole.
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Monday, November 12, 2007
My 16 year old was here last night. Sometimes, even though the Kids are all wonderful Kids, I want to flush them all down the toilet. They send me absolutely NUTS with their refusal to clean up after themselves, and their fighting. I nag myself into a stupor, and into total exhaustion many days, because they are all bigger than me, and figure they don't have to do what I ask of them. (This is a result of the wrongful apprehension that 'child protective services' did a few years ago, when they told my children that if they didn't feel comfortable doing what I asked them to do, they didn't have to do it - no lie! - when I had been falsely accused of child abuse. The accusations were proved to be unfounded, but the kids were messed up from what happened anyway.)
A mom blogs about her troubles with CPS.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The coroner's inquest into the case of Savannah Hall, a three-year-old who died in 2001 while in foster care in Prince George, B.C., has returned a verdict of homicide and 26 recommendations for changes.
“I am still close with birth-family members as well,” she said. “I couldn’t grow up in my home because of safety reasons, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them.”
A Manitoba First Nation has kicked child-welfare workers off the reserve, saying its members are tired of their heavy-handed efforts.
Two hundred members of the Bloodvein First Nation handed a petition to their band council in late October, demanding Southeast Child and Family Services workers be ordered off the reserve.
The district attorney's office will decide whether to launch a criminal investigation into the report's findings that workers used for themselves gift cards and theater tickets meant for foster child.
"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once."
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Foster Children at Risk, and an Opportunity Lost
Answers About New York Foster Care, Part 2
In Foster Care Review, Vows of Help and Vigilance
It ought to take more than a phone call to send the State marching into a family's home with orders for one parent to move out or have the children taken from the home. Yet mere reasonable suspicion is all it takes in Illinois and many other states to permit the social welfare workers from forcing a family part.
The contempt petition offers a litany of shortcomings in the city's child welfare system. Among the most important: A 55 percent drop in the number of foster homes since 2001 - from more than 3,000 to fewer than 1,330 - has pushed more children into group homes, up from about 830 in 2001 to more than 1,700 in 2006.