Thursday, November 29, 2007
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 11.27.2007
After nearly a year of intense public scrutiny following the deaths of three Tucson children, Child Protective Services faces the prospect of legislative changes and possible funding cuts.
The agency is in the midst of public hearings about its handling of cases involving three Tucson children who allegedly were killed by their parents.
Legislators want to hold a hearing in December on how CPS handled the case of 5-year-old Brandon Williams, an autistic boy who was killed in March, allegedly by his mother and a friend. That follows a September hearing on how the agency handled the case of 4-year-old Ariana Payne and her 5-year-old brother, Tyler, who were killed last year, allegedly by their father and his girlfriend
Some of the legislative changes under consideration would make CPS case records more open, allow CPS workers to file missing persons reports, give them greater access to criminal history records and open state employee records to the public in the same way as municipal and county employee records.
But with the state roughly a billion dollars in the red, there is also the prospect that the beleaguered agency will take a funding hit, even as it tries to meet public expectations for improvement.
"The governor has indicated it is her intent to hold children's services harmless from the majority of the reductions that would have to occur in agencies to meet the budget deficit," said Ken Deibert, deputy director of the Department of Economic Security, which oversees CPS.
"Any significant budget cuts for our services would certainly have some very concerning repercussions," Diebert said.
State Rep. Jonathan Paton, a Tucson Republican who has taken the lead in the legislative hearings on CPS, said he expects cuts across all state agencies, but he does not want to see a reduction in CPS workers.
"I don't necessarily think things are going to be improved if you lose more caseworkers," Paton said.
Low morale, high turnover
Against that backdrop of controversy and scrutiny, CPS workers continue to push on, handling roughly 35,000 reports a year.
For workers in Pima County, the year has been marked by high turnover and low morale, said Ilene Stern, a program supervisor and investigator.
"Morale is … seriously affected by workload, by media, by criticisms, by high turnover," she said. "It hasn't been good for a while."
Stern mostly handles reports involving children who have been placed with relatives or in foster care. She also oversees an investigator in Ajo and picks up reports on the side, partly because of staffing shortages.
CPS currently has 13 openings in Pima County.
"There are very few of us here for more than five years," Stern said. "I'm here 17 and a half, and I will retire here."
In that time the agency has evolved. Workers have less family contact and more case management, she said. Methamphetamine is prevalent in many cases. There is also an emphasis on in-home services, essentially referrals to family services such as counseling and parenting classes, as a way to keep children with families.
This emphasis on family is also seen in the agency's push for workers to take a more global approach to investigations, essentially looking beyond the black-and-white world of allegations to see what services or needs a family might require.
A recent independent review of the agency's handling of the Payne and Williams cases faulted CPS workers for being too focused on whether the allegations were true rather than the broader family situations and risks that existed.
To encourage a shift in philosophy, the agency has adopted a new assessment tool, which some workers have criticized because of its length. A sample version is roughly 80 pages.
Stern was diplomatic about the new tool, saying that while it took more time to fill out, the fieldwork didn't change, or at least it shouldn't.
"Your face-to-face time shouldn't be affected by your documentation," she said.
In her own handling of cases, Stern adopted this broader investigative approach.
On a warm, late October morning she treks out to White Elementary School on Tucson's far Southwest Side to investigate a report from the school of a young boy with a cut on his ear. Reportedly his father shot him with a disc gun, a small toy gun that fires plastic discs.
Stern interviews the boy about the cut, as well as his two older brothers, who are also students at the school. Her focus, however, quickly shifts from the cut, which is fairly small and clearly accidental, to concerns about a gun in the home and the employment situations of the parents.
After about an hour and a half interviewing the three children separately, she heads to the parents' house.
Neither parent is working full time. The mother goes to beauty school. The father works construction jobs but has been staying home to watch their young daughter. Stern gives them a referral for day-care services, which would allow the father to work more.
"They were very cooperative," she said. "This job is often sorting through who is pointing the finger at who. Part of my job is to put that information together."
In the public eye
There is no doubt public pressure about the handling of the Payne and Williams cases affected morale at the agency.
During the ride-along, Stern remarked that the Arizona Daily Star's coverage of the cases did not reflect the personal side of the work, or the workers.
And this summer, after the Star ran an article quoting state Rep. Steve Farley — a Tucson Democrat who took a ride-along with a CPS worker and has been supportive of the agency — a number of CPS workers forwarded the article by e-mail, commenting on how they had found a supporter.
"So often we only get the very negative media, and while some of that is included here, we now have someone supporting us," wrote Karin Kline of the DES public information office.
Lillian Downing, who heads CPS in Pima County, remarked via e-mail that perhaps the comments from Farley would help "turn the tide."
But Paton said the public scrutiny has brought about some needed changes to the agency, notably the requirements for workers to check court records and not to date clients or former clients — policy changes that he hopes to make law.
"You can see the results of an agency that's kind of been hidden away, and there have been some really bad things that happened," he said. "At the end of the day you see that because of the public's attention on what's going on, that scrutiny ultimately led to changes that they've made in their policies."
● Contact reporter Josh Brodesky at 807-7789 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of this writting there are 27 comments on this story -
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Child Protective Services faces legislative changes, may see its funding cut www.azstarnet.com ®
November 16, 2007
THE CORRUPT BUSINESS OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
BY: Nancy Schaefer
Senator, 50th District
My introduction into child protective service cases was due to a grandmother in an adjoining state who called me with her tragic story. Her two granddaughters had been taken from her daughter who lived in my district. Her daughter was told wrongly that if she wanted to see her children again she should sign a paper and give up her children. Frightened and young, the daughter did. I have since discovered that parents are often threatened into cooperation of permanent separation of their children.
The children were taken to another county and placed in foster care. The foster parents were told wrongly that they could adopt the children. The grandmother then jumped through every hoop known to man in order to get her granddaughters. When the case finally came to court it was made evident by one of the foster parent’s children that the foster parents had, at any given time, 18 foster children and that the foster mother had an inappropriate relationship with the caseworker.
In the courtroom, the juvenile judge, acted as though she was shocked and said the two girls would be removed quickly. They were not removed. Finally, after much pressure being applied to the Department of Family and Children Services of Georgia (DFCS), the children were driven to South Georgia to meet their grandmother who gladly drove to meet them.
After being with their grandmother two or three days, the judge, quite out of the blue, wrote up a new order to send the girls to their father, who previously had no interest in the case and who lived on the West Coast. The father was in “adult entertainment”. His girlfriend worked 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.
I have witnessed such injustice and harm brought to these families that I am not sure if I even believe reform of the system is possible! The system cannot be trusted. It does not serve the people. It obliterates families and children simply because it has the power to do so.
Children deserve better. Families deserve better. It’s time to pull back the curtain and set our children and families free.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy” Proverbs 31:8-9
Please continue to read:
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.
To read the Exhibits and thank Senator Nancy Schaefer
Click here Senator Nancy Schaefer: ...because integrity matters.
REFRESH - Go to Home-Page
November 29, 2007
Senator Diane Savino
36 Richmond Terrace,
Staten Island, New York 10301
Tel: (718) 727-9406
Fax: (718) 727-9426
Good afternoon Senator Savino:
Last week I sent you copies of letters I had written to the DOJ, the D.A. and Judge Minardo asking for a special prosecutor to investigate the “legal“ kidnapping of the children in the Uccio v Argenziano apparent politically connected case.
I also sent you before and after pictures of my children, I am sure it was clear these children need someone to intervene.
Due to ACSs fraudulent practices, as well my estranged husband’s apparent political connections to Judge Panepinto, my children have been emotionally abused repeatedly for the last five years.
Now my Divorce/custody case is before Judge Panepinto and she is refusing to recuse herself, while acting like a street thug on the bench using arm gestures more likely to be found in a gang fight. Judge Panepinto is claiming there is no connection and that after 17+ years of working under Jospeh Panepinto; he and my husband have never met, nor does Mr. Panepinto know my estranged husbands last name. Judge Panepinto also stated my estranged husbands live in alleged child pornography photographer girlfriend Aggie Panepinto is not a relative to Judge Panepinto’s husband.
The system is broken, and I know that you are aware of this.
I also know that you are aware of the Amber James ACS “legal” kidnapping case. The targets of ACS have come together, [including an ex case worker] and have been exposing the fraud destroying our families. Please help us with your powerful and respected voice; as the Senator in the enclosed article has helped those targeted in her district.
I respectfully ask that you begin an investigation by a special prosecutor with these two cases [Uccio v Argenziano] and [Amber James] into the fraudulent practices of ACS and give our families a chance to become the next generation of functioning healthy Americans.
There are many other families that are victims of the rampant abuse of power in our country today, please be a voice for these children, and say enough is enough.
November 29, 2007 9:03 AM EST
The Toccoa Record State Sen. Nancy Schaefer last week called for an overhaul of the state’s child protection services provided through the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS).
Among the recommendations by Schaefer, who represents the 50th District which includes Stephens County, was that a jury trial be held when a child is taken from their parents.Schaefer also called for the requirement of a warrant signed by a judge before removing a child from their parents, except in an emergency situation such as a medical crisis.
“The Department of Family and Children’s Service, known as the Department of Child Protective Services in other states, has become a protected empire built on taking children and separating families,” Schaefer said in a lengthy e-mail.
“This is not to say there are not children who do need to be removed from wretched situations and need protection,” Schaefer said. “This report is concerned with the children and parents caught in legal kidnapping, ineffective policies and DFCS that does not remove a child or children when a child is enduring torment and abuse.”
Schaefer offered as an example an unnamed county in her district where she met with 37 families to discuss the “gestapo” tactics of the DFCS.“I witnessed the deceitful conditions under which children were taken in the middle of the night, out of hospitals and off school busses,” Schaefer said. “Having worked with probably 300 cases statewide, I am convinced there is no responsibility and no accountability in the system.”
Among Schaefer’s conclusions:
Poor parents are targeted to lose their children because they do not have the wherewithal 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,” Schaefer said.
All parents are capable of making mistakes and that making a mistake does not mean children should be removed from the home.
Parenting classes, anger management classes, counseling referrals, therapy classes, etc. are demanded of parents with no compassion by the system while they are at work and while their children are separated from them.
Caseworkers and social workers are often 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,” Schaefer said.
Separation of families is a growing business because local governments have grown accustomed to having taxpayer dollars to balance their ever-expanding budgets.
DFCS and juvenile court can always hide behind a confidentiality clause in order to protect their decisions.
There are no financial resources and no real drive to unite a family and help keep them together.
The incentive for social workers to return children to their parents quickly after taking them has disappeared.
The policy manual for DFCS is considered the last word.“The manual is too long, too confusing, poorly written and doesn’t take the law into consideration,” Schaefer said.
Children removed from homes may not be safer in foster care.“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,” Schaefer said.
Grandparents are not often contacted by DFCS when children are removed from homes.
“Grandparents who lose their grandchildren to strangers have lost their own flesh and blood. The children lose their family heritage, and grandparents lose all connections to their heirs,” Schaefer said.
Schaefer is calling for an independent audit of DFCS to expose possible “corruption and fraud.”
She also called for immediate change. “Every day that passes means more families and children are subject to being held hostage.”
Schaefer said any financial incentives to separate families should end, and parents should be given their rights in writing.
She also called for a required search for family members to be given the opportunity to adopt their own relatives, and when someone fabricates or presents false evidence, a hearing should be held with the right to discovery of all evidence.
Original Article - The Toccoa Record: Top Stories
This is a disgrace,and like the woman in this story I've asked the Governer to please open an investigation into this apparent political "legal" kidnapping of my babies!
This is a special plea for justice from an abuse survivor to Oregon's Governor. Does hope exist in Oregon's legal system? This is a story every one should know. Part One in a special series.
(DALLAS, Ore.) - After surviving years of childhood and marital abuse and neglect, a woman suffers a physical collapse and severe mental/nervous breakdown. While in a near catatonic state, the woman is physically assaulted and raped. She becomes pregnant.
Toward the final stages of her pregnancy, she fully recovers from her breakdown. She births her baby, and mother and baby enjoy bonding and breastfeeding. The mother cherishes her newborn son. After undergoing several psychiatric tests and evaluations, her physicians state that she is well.
Her abuser, the father of the child, manipulates the judicial system and seeks custody of the baby. With intervention from the religious community and testimony about the mother's prior mental history, the father is awarded custody of the nursing infant. The mother is ordered to pay her rapist/abuser exorbitant child support while suffering from homelessness and disabilities. She is no longer allowed contact with her child. When the baby is abruptly taken away, the mother goes into shock.
The 'father of the child' has committed crimes against the mother according to Oregon statutes and laws (Chapter 743, Oregon Laws 1971, 163.375), but is embraced and rewarded in our judicial and religious system. The victim becomes the criminal. I am this woman; this baby is my child; and the father of this child is my ex-husband.
November 26, 2007
Dear Governor Ted Kulongoski, Attorney General Hardy Meyers, Governor’s Council on Domestic Violence, Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, citizens and lawmakers of Oregon:
I am writing you because something has gone terribly wrong in your backyard, specifically: The Polk, Marion and Wasco County courts and district attorney offices. When I sought safety and help in Oregon’s judicial system, I was not prepared for the horrors I experienced these past 12 years. I am requesting that the acts of disrespect, dishonesty and violence against me be acknowledged and resolved.
The ideology and belief system in Oregon’s judicial system have given power and legal rights for certain individuals to act inhumanely, including judges and district attorneys. This power must have checks and balances. In my case, there are no checks and balances. I cannot find help to correct this injustice. I repeat, no help.
This “Open Letter” is intended to demonstrate that wealthy perpetrators, supported by Oregon’s judicial system and attorneys, can continue to commit crimes of violence against their victims by harassing them and stalking them through the courts. My case history supports this fact. When you do not have monies for your own legal defense, you can be victimized indefinitely. Oregon’s legal system has given numerous individuals the legal right to commit criminal, depraved and inhumane acts against me.
According to Euro-American history, women and children were considered legal property, the chattel, of the father or husband. By taking his name, the wife 'belonged' to her husband.
Today, women and children are not legal property, but attitudes have been slow to keep up with the law and many men still believe it is their right or privilege to control women. I experienced this first hand, when I sought safety from my ex husband, Mr. Marty Warner, in Polk County, Oregon in 1995.
In 1999, I wrote a letter to Governor Kitzhaber that was included in the first chapter of my published book and true-life story, BONSHEA: Making Light of the Dark. I asked him “where should I go for help? I never received a response.
Today, I am not asking you “where I should go for help,” because I know, now, that there is “no help” elsewhere. So I am simply asking you “to help.”
I want to be free from the ongoing “legal stalking” by my ex husband who has been supported by what I believe is a corrupt Oregon judicial system. My health is frail and can no longer continue to endure this systematic form of legal terrorism. I want emancipated from my former husband, Mr. V. Martin Warner, and the Oregon judicial system.
I want my children to have access to psychological help as was recommended by Judge Paula Brownhill at the 2003 court hearing. I am distraught over the fact that I have been forced to give up my children so they can remain in a dysfunctional household fraught with abuse. I believe if there is no intervention for them in the near future, my children will learn the art of manipulation and lies to survive. They will be conditioned and will learn to keep family and church secrets. I want the cycle of violence to stop.
I have extensive documentation, including affidavits from physicians, co-workers and neighbors, court transcripts of nearly 42 court related hearings, tapes and videos, medical and mental reports and witnesses to substantiate and elaborate on this story. I believe when this case comes to light, someone will have to answer for the abuse and silent violence I have suffered in the Polk, Marion, and Wasco County courts. Martial and ritual abuse has evolved into legal abuse.
My “Open Letter” is also an effort to expose the fact that the advocacy system, as is, can offer no help or assistance in cases like mine. I have not received any help with my case from local, state, or from anyone or group on a national level, even though my case history in Oregon courts has been documented by many advocates, including my counselor and mentor, Dr. Barbara May, Professor of Nursing, Linfield College, as one of Oregon’s most violent and obscene cases.
Even though I have written hundreds of letters throughout the years to Oregon state legislators, to the media, lawyers and legal advocates, to the Governor of Oregon’s Council on Domestic Violence and Attorney General Hardy Meyers Sexual Assault Task Force in an effort to seek help and promote awareness for the need for better laws for women and children escaping domestic violence and abusive situations, there is often no response.
The letters received from the Oregon State Bar and the Governor’s Council on Domestic Violence was shocking. Legal aid cannot and will not help and U.S. Staff Attorney for Domestic Violence, Poverty and Homelessness, Naomi Sterns, in Washington DC, was of no help either.
Many people have been perplexed by this lack of help. Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson has written of my case, "BONSHEA also illustrates the degree to which the legal system can also be used as a vehicle to further perpetuate abuse even after the victim has chosen to take a stand against the abuse"
I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on court and legal fees and ordered to pay child support that soon amounted to twice my income, to my wealthy ex husband. I live below poverty level, have a disability due to the abuse I have suffered in my marriage and from the many years of ongoing court trauma. I have had no legal representation for the past 10 years. There is presently a $6,100 Summary Judgment against me through the Polk County District Attorney’s office for back child support based on income I never earned and errors throughout the years in the courts. My passport has also been revoked until all child support is paid.
Many people wonder why this is happening to me, when I was a victim of a crime, have a disability and have no contact with my children. It is not money that Mr. Warner wants. He wants vengeance and power and control over me.
have not had visitation privileges with my children for nine years, and was ordered in December 2003 by Judge Paula Brownhill that I could not visit, phone, write or send gifts to my children. I had to give away the Christmas presents that I had purchased for my children that year due to Judge Paula Brownhill’s court order. My children have been actively discouraged from having a relationship with me. They have been severely brainwashed by my ex husband, his family, attorneys, school and religious educators.
LIFE Magazine, USA Today and many other organizations have featured articles on women in prison in America. They report that women prisoners are allowed to keep their babies with them for eighteen months while serving their sentences (Florida Statute 944.24). I am haunted by this single question. Why was I treated lower than a criminal in America and I have no criminal record and have no history of alcohol, drug or child abuse?
I was physically and mentally incapacitated during the time of my illness and unable to consent, and suffered repeated sexual assaults by my husband, Mr. Warner. My children were allowed to remain with the man accused of these crimes. My contact with them was completely, suddenly and arbitrarily removed.
Marital rape can be defined as any unwanted intercourse or penetration (vaginal, anal or oral) obtained by force, threat of force, or WHEN THE WIFE IS UNABLE TO CONSENT [mentally and/or physically incapacitated] (Bergen, 1996; Pagelow, 1984; Russell, 1990).
On July 5, 1993, marital rape became a crime in all 50 states, under at least one section of the sexual offense codes. In 17 states and the District of Columbia, there are NO EXEMPTIONS FROM RAPE PROSECUTION GRANTED TO HUSBANDS. Oregon is one of the 17 states.
I want District Attorney John Fisher and Deputy District Attorney Martha Hill investigated in regards to this criminal and civil matter in Polk County. I want the civil judgments and my case with the Polk County District Attorney’s office dismissed. I want protected from my abusers, Mr. Marty Warner and the Polk County judicial system. No woman who has been raped and suffered the abuse I have endured should be forced to pay her wealthy abuser and rapist monies.
In situations similar to mine, impoverished women have spent years in jail for owing back child support after losing their young children to their wealthy ex husbands. Their only crime: poverty.
I wonder what “is next” for me in the Polk County justice system.
I have risked and lost everything to escape my ex-husband, but I have never been more sure that the choices I made were the only choices I could make and survive.
Dr. Barbara May has been involved in my case since 1997. Throughout these past years she shared extraordinary wisdom and insights with me that helped transform my life from victim to survivor.
She writes, “Coral A. Theill is an abuse survivor who has been resourceful on her own behalf against all odds. She lives below poverty level income and has had to live out of her car at times in the past. Unfortunately, she has continued to be systematically beaten down and broken down in a variety of ways by other individuals, by her family, by her community, and by society despite her efforts to try and eke out a so called, ‘normal life.’ Anyone, even the strongest person, reaches a breaking point, especially when all avenues turn into dead ends and you are let down, rejected, turned away by everyone again and again. An excerpt of a letter I sent to District Attorney John W. Fisher, JD of Polk County Oregon on August 2, 2006 typifies just one example of many I have on how the system failed Ms. Theill.""Having just heard the news from Coral that she will have to appear at a court hearing next month, I am appalled by what is happening to her in the name of the law. I am extremely concerned about her mental health which is what prompted my letter. I appeal to your sense of humanity to please see what you can do to seek true justice in this matter." (I received no response to this plea from D.A. Fisher and Ms. Theill was required to appear in court). --- Barbara A. May, PhD, APRN, BC, Adult Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Professor of Nursing, Linfield College
Maureen T. Hannah, Ph.D., Chair, Battered Mother’s Custody Conference, has written of my true-life story, "As shocking as it may be, Coral's story resonates with the truth. I hear pleas for help from protective mothers like Coral every day, week after week, year after year--all of them pleading for their very birthright, their greatest right, which is to be a mother. She pinpoints, with heart-piercing accuracy, the historical hatred of females and of the feminine that has permeated societies, including our present one, for eons. Her personal story of living with and divorcing an abusive "religious" man who was cheered on by the community's religious, governmental, and legal authorities mirrors the persecution of all women who, like Coral, choose to say "no" to male dominance and power. Coral also calls out for the only true cure for the dark side of human nature, and that is to live in the light."
"Coral's work is a special blessing for me and for my sisters throughout this country. Not a single particle of the wisdom Coral shares misses the mark. BONSHEA pierces through the darkness that hides the legal system's routine abuse of mothers and children.”
Patricia Evans, nationally known author of the books, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out, Controlling People, The Verbally Abusive Man-Can He Change, has commented, “Coral's story is extremely common in the U.S. today. Hundreds of thousands of fine, intelligent, loving, giving mothers have lost their children via the family court system. When I watched a good friend die when her immune system collapsed after ten years of her ex husband’s constant law suits, aimed at totally taking away her children; after I stood next to a woman who trembled from head to toe, in a room filled with women who had all lost their children as had she; after I talk with one of the thousands of women who tell me how they are abused, and that they cannot leave because they've been told, "If you leave, you'll never see the kids again," I know that abusive men, will, if they have money and are so inclined, say and do anything to get back at their wives for leaving them. I have also seen a psychopathic woman of wealth do this to her husband.
”How can this enslavement be happening in the United States? Because power over the innocent is condoned. Power over those who have what one wants is condoned. Power over the poor is condoned. Furthermore, there is no oversight of the family court system, nor is there any standard for determining justice in custody cases.” See the Website: VerbalAbuse.com.
Oregon NOW Advocate, Anna Goldreyer, who has followed Coral's story since 2003 writes, “What is being seen over and over is that mothers are routinely prohibited from having even the most basic contact with their own children, not because they were unfit parents, but because they were outspent, out represented, and out-maneuvered in a court atmosphere not prepared to understand the needs of families dealing with domestic violence.
”To unnecessarily and violently separate a woman and her young children can represent the gravest form of abuse, with major social ramifications in generations to come.
”To harass and exhaust a victim through repeated, frivolous court actions aimed at punishing and controlling her, beyond the point where a victim is physically, mentally, or financially able to defend herself, can evolve into a form of legal stalking. The family court system as it is does not yet recognize this, and the advocacy system is literally not financially able to help these survivors spend thousands and thousands of dollars defending themselves year after year in court.
”In the controversial documentary "Breaking the Silence, Children's Stories" aired by OPB last year, which illustrated some of the ways a wealthy abuser can use the system as a tool of abuse, a non custodial mother remarks: "to lose one's children in such a way would unmake any woman." And it is true. Taking a woman's children is the last great punishment an abuser can scar them with. To be publicly and permanently branded 'unfit' is a new scarlet letter. It can and will scar an entire family for life.
“Awareness that such things can even happen is the first step. For stories by some of the children who have survived being taken from their mothers by abusers, some of whom brought lawsuits against their parents, see the website: courageouskids.net. For stories of the many other mothers and children in Coral's position and those trying to help them, as well as information and resources on this issue, please see her websites at the end of this story.
You can visit the National NOW Family Law Advisory Ad Hoc Committee Website here: nowfoundation.org/issues/family
In April of 2007, prayers were answered when Tim King printed an article on my life story at Salem-News on May 12, 2007, Abuse Under the Watch of the Oregon Justice System. Tim King’s outstanding article received national attention. People from all over the world were truly outraged by the circumstances surrounding my Oregon court case and story. One commenter on Tim King’s original article, Rachel, South of the Border, May 15, 2007 1:30 PM (Pacific time) wrote: “An extraordinary piece. I cannot believe, with all the domestic violence organizations and money spent via NFP's, politicians, and organizations that no one has yet gotten Coral's children back to her. Yes, the outrage is what happened, but the secondary outrage is the lack of help even the domestic violence community lends to its victims. We can give victims all the well wishes and support in the world, but unless we give them proper legal care first, and then proper trauma care second, then the system is still a failure. Domestic violence advocacy has been watered down to grant writing, politics, and lots of talking at the victims' expense, while leaving women like Coral no better off than before millions were spent to 'study' this phenomenon.”
A U.S. Marine on the front lines in Iraq wrote this comment in response to Tim King’s article: May 14, 2007 3:15 pm (Pacific time) COMMENT “We receive so many comments from people back in the states 'Thanking us for their freedom.” Well, the thought of some of those people being the ones who put Mrs. Coral through what she has been through makes me ask the question; What the hell are we over here fighting for, so the American Man will have the freedom to do what? Abuse, rape, torture not only strangers but their own wives! And we fight so certain public figures will have to right to protect them. One lady compared the treatment of American women to those of other countries and I can tell you as bad as Iraq and Afghanistan is towards their women (and I have seen them both first hand) I have never heard of a story as bad as this one and because of that it's even sadder. We as a society have the technology to put 'Men on the Moon' but we, as a society can't fix the problem of 'lack of support' for victims of domestic abuse. I will go on patrol tomorrow here in Iraq and risk my life and the lives of my fellow Marines so Mr. Warner and all those supporting him can continue to do what they do! 'Only in America.” Mrs. Coral, keep your head up 'Change is going to come,” 'SEMPER FI'
The U.S. Marine’s profound comment reminded me of the Cheyenne Proverb, “A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its woman are on the ground. Then it is done; no matter how brave its warriors, nor how strong their weapons.”
(To be continued)
REFRESH - Go to Home-Page
By CURTIS KRUEGER, Times Staff WriterPublished November 24, 2007
Greg Pound protests outside the criminal courts complex early Friday morning. Greg Pound believes the whole foster care system is corrupt. He regularly complains about the foster care system outside of the criminal courts complex, right near the main entrance. He just had his parental rights "terminated,'' meaning he has no legal right to raise his five children anymore.
Gregory Pound has battled the foster care system for years, ever since a purported "wolf dog" bit his 2-week-old baby in 2004 and child welfare workers took away his children.
He fought back in court, and has become increasingly visible by founding a Web site (www.rescuemykids.com) and staging regular protests outside Pinellas County's criminal courthouse. He even demonstrated outside a St. Petersburg church because a judge in his case worships there.
Now he has lost in court.
This month a judge terminated his parental rights - meaning he no longer has a legal right to raise his five children, ages 2 to 7.
"They called me today and told me that I have no more visits with my children," Pound, 51, said recently.
His wife's parental rights were severed earlier in the battle, he said. Melissa Pound disappeared last year, along with the couple's youngest child.
Gregory Pound said he plans to appeal.
"Love never gets up," he said, adding: "Me and Melissa both love our children, despite what they say."
The Pounds' four oldest children live in Seminole with Melissa's parents, Linda and Stephen Steenberge.
The Steenberges said they assumed at first the Pounds would complete a list of tasks known as a "case plan" to get their children back. But now that the Pounds' parental rights have been taken away, they said they intend to adopt the children.
"It's a tragic situation in the sense that it could have pretty much been avoided," said Stephen Steenberge, 64.
Tampa Bay news media covered the dog bite case in 2004, widely reporting that the Pounds' 2-week-old baby was bitten in the face by a "wolf hybrid." The dog was destroyed.
Since then, Pound has said that the dog belonged to his sister, who denied it was a wolf hybrid.
Soon after the bite, child welfare authorities removed the Pounds' four children from their home. The exact reasons are not clear because the records are not public.
Pound said child welfare officials claimed Melissa was suffering from depression, but he denied that. Pound also said he was asked to take a domestic violence class as part of a case plan in order to get his children back.
The Pounds completed parts of their case plans, but also fought unsuccessfully in court to prove the children should never have been taken away.
When Melissa gave birth to their fifth child last year, they named him Moses, after another baby whose mother sent him on a journey. Shortly after his 2006 birth, Melissa and the infant disappeared.
Pound was jailed for contempt of court for a month last year for failing to reveal her whereabouts, although he insisted he did not know where to find her.
Now, factions of the family are cut off from each other. Greg and Melissa Pound do not have a legal right to visit their four oldest children, who are living with the Steenberges.
Linda Steenberge, meanwhile, said she has not heard from her daughter Melissa and has not laid eyes on her grandchild, Moses.
"That would make me happy, just a phone call from her," Linda Steenberge said.
On the Web site, Pound claims that foster care workers remove children from families for money.
But Pinellas County sheriff's Capt. George Steffen said child abuse investigators work hard to find alternatives to removing children from their homes. "It's the absolute last resort," Steffen said.
When children are removed, foster care workers try to help moms and dads complete their case plans and bring their children home, said April Putzulu, a spokeswoman for the local foster care agency called the Safe Children Coalition.
"We are totally invested in returning children home to safe environments," she said.
Original Article where you can read comments..
Southpinellas: Father of five loses battle for parental rights
Two children were grounded for misbehaving. On August 23, 2007, while riding their bicycles in the back yard, the 12 and 13 year-old brothers decided to go to the playground without permission.
Across the street from the playground is a junkyard. There were three other boys messing around at this junkyard, so Austin and Dilon joined them.
Austin and Dilon's parents and siblings were frantically looking for the boys and when they could not locate them, their mother called the police. As we know, we live in a sick world and bad things can happen to children in a split-second. In an attempt to protect her children, mom called the San Antonio police.
The police found Austin and Dilon at the junkyard. The police officer allegedly told the three other boys to go home. Austin and Dilon were arrested for breaking into a building.
Click on the pictures below [In the link Hope4Kids] to get a better idea of what this supposed Junkyard looks like.
What is so important about this junkyard that violates every single City Code in San Antonio Texas? Austin and Dilon are being charged with felony breaking and entering.
The photographer must have broken and entered as well. There is no gate, no fence, nothing to prevent children from walking across the street from the playground and getting seriously injured in this junkyard.
The police may have been frustrated at having to look for children who are misbehaving, but knowing these two boys have very serious special needs, it is reasonable to understand why Dawn would call the police to help her find her two sons.
When this writer was a child, we went to the junkyard and thought we had hit the jackpot! The seats of those cars have $change$ that had fallen out of someone's pocket prior to the car being junked.
These two little boys have since been taken into CPS custody. Dawn is charged with neglectful supervision. Attorney Dennis Morino is representing Dawn in Judge Sakai's courtroom on Tuesday, November 13, 2007.
One child is in Houston, another has been sitting in the San Antonio Juvenile Detention Center since Sept. 14, 2007, and the youngest child, who was not involved, is in an unknown placement. Dawn is not able to see her children and cannot speak to the youngest child.....
What message does this send to parents?
Welcome to Justice, Texas Style!
Please Note: This story will continue to be updated. -http://www.hope4kidz.org/junkyard.html
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Federal funding that's how...
Ban on spanking
By Laurel J. Sweet
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Parents who spank their kids - even in their own homes - would be slapped by the long arm of the law under an Arlington nurses proposal to make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to outlaw corporal punishment.
Kathleen Wolf's proposed legislation will be debated at a State House hearing tomorrow morning.
If signed into law, parents would be prohibited from forcefully laying a hand on any child under age 18 unless it was to wrest them from danger, lest they be charged with abuse or neglect.Rep.
Jay Kaufman, a Lexington Democrat, submitted the 61-year-old Wolf's petition at her request, but is not taking a position for or against corporal punishment.
He does recognize and understand the concern many would have on legislating parental rights, said Sean Fitzgerald, Kaufmans chief of staff, but the problem is the boundary is often overstepped. The right to hit should never be the right to hurt.
Charles Enloe, 45, of Plymouth, knows a little something about that. In 2005, he was infamously arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon for taking a belt to his then 12-year-old son during an argument over homework.
The charges were later dropped and Enloe told the Herald yesterday the experience didn't change my views at all.
I believe discipline starts at home. Are they going to start legislating that you can't raise your voice to your kids? That you can't tell them when to go to bed? We'll be communists then.
The state Supreme Judicial Court agreed in principle when it ruled in 1999 that parents can spank their kids provided they don't threaten bodily injury.
Corporal punishment in the home is already illegal in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the Ukraine.In 1979, Sweden became the first country in the world to ban spanking. Anders Erickson, spokesman for the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C., said in the 1960s 53 percent of Swedes backed corporal punishment of children. By the 1990s, that number was less than 10 percent.
There are other ways and means to bring up children than to beat them,Erickson said. Much better ways.
An ombudsman is available to children in Sweden to report allegations of corporal punishment. Parents face jail time if its found they've stepped out of line.
I have been following this story on a personal level.
Vanessa and Marvin James are two amazing people, even in the face of what ACS is doing to them.
I have personally sat through most of their court dates since becoming aware of this family and I can say first hand, this case is a disgrace!
First they accused this woman of a personality problem, then when two of thier psychiatrists ruled out any abnormalities in either parent, the court still refused to give back their baby.
Moreover, the judge sitting on this case began to incorperate fabricated hearsay which is not true in the best interest of the courts rediculous ruling. NOT in the best interest of this baby Amber James!
Below is a story written but another amazing womanthat is trying desperately to find justice in this case Karlene Gordan.
SAVE AMBER JAMES FROM ACS
Just when we thought it could never get any worse.Just when we thought ACS, the Administration forChildren Services, could not hurt Amber James any morethan they already had. Just when we thought or ratherprayed that ACS would do the right thing and returnAmber to her loving family.... Amber was released fromKings County Psychiatric Hospital and placed in yetanother foster home. Nobody knows where she is orrather, no one, namely ACS, is telling the parentswhere their 6 year old daughter, Amber, is.
By the way, Why isn't Amber James placed with Kinship?Where is Amber and why is she missing again? Why isshe being hidden from her parents again? Who isresponsible to stop this "ACS Kidnapping and tortureof Amber James".
Who is responsible to put an end tothe irreparable emotional, psychological and physicaldamage to this family. WHO???
Mr. and Mrs. James are frantic with despair,especially following the latest revelation wherein Amber stated to her caseworker Adrian Prichette 'youleft me and I was scared and I was looking for you'. Amber's statement was upsetting enough to her parentsand those people present, but nothing prepared themfor the caseworkers response to little Amber...."wellyou were sleeping and it was late, it was 12:00, I hadto get home to my family". By the way, she was notreferring to 12:00 noon, but 12:00 midnight. Yes youdid read right, 12:00 midnight, Amber James was leftalone sleeping on a chair in the emergency room ofKings County Psychiatric Hospital, unsupervised,unprotected. Amber awoke frightened to find herself inthe midst of strangers and the one person she knew,the person responsible for taking her to the hospital,the person in whose care Amber was trusted, wasnowhere to be found. Amber went in search of Ms.Prichette and roamed the inside and outside of thehospital looking for Adrian Prichette. Amber wasfinally found by a hospital personal outside the frontof the hospital...she was identified by the triageband she wore.
Now let me see if I understand the Amber James' caseproperly. Let me try to understand who is endangeringwhom, who is placing whom in imminent danger.
OK, here we go.....On August 24th, 2007 ACS removedAmber from the stability of a loving nucleus family, supportive relatives, and neighbors because herparents sought medical attention for her pre-existingcondition. Mr. and Mrs. James' only offense was theaudacity to question Dr. Julia Garber who prescribedthe wrong medication for Amber. In a cowardly andcriminal effort to divert attention from hermalpactice, Dr. Julia Garber made a false report toACS claiming Mrs. James "suffered from Munchausen byProxy" and the couple was displaying "strange andunusual behavior". Dr. Julia Garber's criminal intentcontinued when she falsely misrepresented herself as aPsychiatric to ensure credibility and ensure that hercharges against Mr. and Mrs. James would stick. Theunethical and criminal behavior of Dr. Julia Garberwas revealed under oath during a court hearing whereshe admitted that she had met the James only one timeand had only spent 3-4 minutes with them. She alsoadmitted she was not a Psychiatrist as she had clearlystated in the report to ACS. Dr. Garber's maliciousreport lead to the 'kidnapping/removal of Amber Jamesby ACS. Yet, Dr. Julia Garber was never charged withendangering the welfare of a child or placing thischild in imminent danger.
The initial evaluating ACS, caseworker, Ms. GeraldineFowler, accurately noted the loving, stable,well-balanced family to which Amber belonged, yet at alater date she visited the James while they were out,and claimed she was denied access to their home...shewas unable to reach them by phone as the James' phonecompany filed bankrucy and went out of business. StillMs. Fowler reported to the family court that AmberJames was in imminant danger. The court removed Amber and placed her with a fostercare matron who beat her so badly, that her wails,bruises, black eyes were recorded, photographed andreported. Yet, no one was charged with endangeringthe welfare of this child...no one was charge withplacing this child in imminent danger. Instead, Amberwas moved to another foster care chamber where she wassexually abused and the abuser was allowed to explainthe penetration of Amber as "an accident", yet no onewas charged with endangering the welfare of a child,nor was anyone charged with placing this child inimminent danger. To add insult to injury,St.Vincent's caseworker, Andrian Prichette responsedto the parents' outrage by informing them that she,Prichette, had known the foster care Abuser for 4yrsand would do everything to protect her. Question is,who is Adrian Prichette hired to protect, the child orthe adult? Neither the sexual abuser foster person norAdrian Prichette were ever charged with endangeringthe welfare of a child, nor charged with placing thischild in emminent danger.
To smoke screen the issue again and avoid liabilty,ACS, once again moved Amber to yet another foster careholding pend. There, Amber was so neglected andmalnourished that her dramatic weight lose lead to yetanother move to yet another foster care holding pend.Needless to say, no one was charge with endangeringthe welfare of a child, nor was anyone charge withplacing this child in imminent danger.
The abuse and torture in foster care so traumatizedthis child that 6 years old Amber James suffered aPsychiatric breakdown that resulted in her adimissionto Kings County Psychiactric Unit. It was during theprocessing stage at the Kings County Psychiatricemergency room where Amber was abandoned by St.Vincent's caseworker Adrian Prichette, in whose careAmber was trusted. Adrian Prichette admitted that sheleft the sleeping child in the emergency roomunprotected because it was 12:00 midnight and she,Prichette, had to get home to her own family. YetAdrian Prichette was not charged with endangering thewelfare of a child, nor was she charged with placingthis child in imminent danger.
Instead, Amber and her parents were punished forrevealing this incredible negligence and exposingAdrian Prichette. Without any warning Amber wasdischarged from the hospital and placed in yet anotherundisclosed foster care chamber. Three(3) weeks later,Amber's whereabouts is still being withheld from herparents. Mr. and Mrs. James suspect that Amber mayhave sustained addition visible injuries and isdiliberatly being kept from her picture takingparents.
ACS' criminal charade continues in the ongoing 1028hearing, which was to take place within 72 hours ofAmber's removal, yet 3 months later this hearing isstill in process. On November 21st, Ms. Jamestestimony refuted every single charge that ACS hauledat her in a methodical and compelling way. At thispoint, it is unclear what ACS's charges are because itsimply create new charges as each charge is refuted.
During this hearing, ACS reported that on FridayNovember 16th, while playing with the foster carewoman's 12 year old son, Amber James collaped withchest pains. The foster care woman failed to reviveAmber and 911 was called. NYC Fire department werethe first to arrived and revived Amber, stablized andplaced her on oxygen until EMS arrived. Hearing of her daughter's collapse, Ms. James, stillon the witness stand, broke down and sob unconsolably,while Mr. James so overcomed with emotion that, withtears running down his cheeks, he stormed out of thecourtroom, openly accusing all involved of being'evil' and 'devil' to continue to subject his daughterto this torture.
Faced with the powerful and totally credible testimonyof Ms. James, Judge Richroath, ordered that AmberJames be placed in Kinship immediately, beforeThanksgiving.Thankgiving can and went and still Amber is not withher kin in Kinship.
cruel, criminal and unjust removal of Amber Jameshas cause irreparable emotional, psychological andphysical damages to this family. When will theirtorturous nightmare come to an end? When will thosewho have blatantly endanged the welfare of Amber Jamesand willfully placed her in Imminant danger becharged. When will justice be served and Amber Jamesbe released and returned to the safety and security ofher loving Parents and family. When?
AMBER JAMES MUST BE SAVED, PLEASE HELP TO SAVE AMBER JAMES AND ALL THE OTHER AMBERS HELD CAPTIVE IN THE DUNGEONSOF ACS. PLEASE SAVE AMBER JAMES. ............................
Outside the courthouse, the parents of Amber James slammed the judge's decision, saying it put their daughter at risk, and brandished bottles of the child's medication and hospital records as tangible proof of her ailments.
"Our daughter is constantly being hurt. She's been hospitalized and she's being deteriorated," wailed Vanessa James, 40, following Monday's ruling. "And they keep saying it's us."
The Daily News reported on Nov. 8 that investigators were looking into charges Amber was sexually abused while in city care.
The "constant efforts to prove their daughter is not a well child," by bringing her to doctors' offices put the girl "at imminent risk if returned to the home," the judge said.
Richroath still urged the city's Administration for Children's Services to immediately decide whether a family friend was fit for custody.
Today the court will rule whether a godmother can take guardianship of Amber.
Richroath backed a diagnosis that Amber is healthy, but according to St. Vincent's Services, the foster agency with which she was placed, the girl was hospitalized on Nov. 16.
The foster parent who called 911 said she "collapsed." When she came to, Amber indicated via sign language that she had chest pains.
Family health records show that immediately after birth, Amber suffered a stroke and a seizure.
"Blood tests showed several abnormalities that have not been identified," said Diana Kelly, attorney for Vanessa James, in a bid to discredit testimony by Dr. Julia Garber of Queens Health Center, who called ACS.
Garber said she feared the mother suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare disease in which the sufferer believes their child is sick - or makes him or her sick - to get attention.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
20th November 2007
A mother-to-be has fled her home after social workers threatened to take her baby within minutes of the birth.
Fran Lyon, 22, hopes a new local authority will take a different approach.
She insists that the mental health problems she had as a teenager -she started self-harming at 15 and has been treated at psychiatric hospitals for borderline personality disorder - are now behind her and there is no evidence she will harm her child.
Miss Lyon moved out of Hexham after receiving a copy of her "birth plan" from social services at Northumberland County Council.
It says she will be given a maximum of 15 minutes with her baby - who she has already named Molly - before she is taken into care.
She is now in the Birmingham Yardley constituency of Liberal DemocratMP John Hemming, who has taken up her case and is campaigning tooverturn the decision.
Miss Lyon said she had been hounded out of her home by a "barbaric"decision and felt she had no choice but to move if she is to have anychance of keeping her baby.
She added: "It is a sad indictment of a local authority in the waythey have dealt with an expectant mother who has tried to co-operatewith some of the most extreme measures imaginable."
Miss Lyon said social workers fear she is likely to develop Munchausen's syndrome by proxy.
The controversial condition is said tolead mothers to seek attention by harming their child or claiming it is ill.
"I have been told that I am not even to breastfeed my child in case I try to poison her," she said.
"As far as I am concerned, the birth plan is abusive and I will jus tnot stand for it.
It would leave Molly isolated from anybody who loves her from the first few minutes of her life.
It is barbaric and it deprives her of a basic right."
She hopes Birmingham City Council will review the case, but admitted: "I don't know what's going to happen. It's a waiting game at the moment."
Miss Lyon became involved with social services in July after adomestic incident involving her former partner.At a subsequent meeting, she revealed her history of mental health problems and was told they would be taking action to remove her child once she is born in January.
Munchausen's - first identified by Sir Roy Meadow during the 1970s -has been at the heart of a series of miscarriages of justice.
Sir Roy was responsible for evidence that led to the wrongful convictions of Angela Cannings and Sally Clark for murdering their children. Mrs Clark died earlier this year.
Miss Lyon has appealed for a place in a mother and baby unit so she can look after her child under supervision.
Northumberland County Council said last night: "Where a child or unborn baby is subject to a child protection plan and they move to another local authority area, responsibility would normally pass to the new authority."
"A transfer conference is arranged as soon as possible and the family and their support are usually invited to attend. The existing plan is discussed, but the new authority makes its own decisions about how to proceed."
"Northumberland County Council would make sure the new authority has all the relevant information it needs to make informed decisions."
Mr Hemming is chairman of the Justice for Families organisation and believes councils are now taking more babies to meet Government adoption targets.
He said of Miss Lyon's case: "What could be more traumatic than for amother to have her baby taken away at birth? It's monstrous."
That, in itself, can cause mental health problems which are then usedby social services against the mother as a reason not to return the baby. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
"There has been a massive increase in younger babies being taken intocare before there is even any evidence of harm."
The MP, married with four children, made headlines in 2005 when hefathered a love child after a six-year affair with his personal assistant.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
As anyone that has spent more than 5 min on my page they will know that I have been royal ^$#!@ by our wonderful system.
In my reasearch I've come accross some sick stuff- children have no chance in this world today!
If their parents don't screw them up the system will- so my advice is don't have children until they get this nightmare under control or you will one day think back to this blog and say "Oh man she warned me- I should have listened!"
Although the original writer of the blog below talks mostly about divorce I also add child protective services to the main list to NOT HAVE CHILDREN!
With that I bring you the original article..
Advice to Young Men: Do Not Marry, Do Not Have Children Marriage is a foundation of civilized life. No advanced civilization has ever existed without the married, two-parent family. Those who argue that our civilization needs healthy marriages to survive are not exaggerating. And yet I cannot, in good conscience, urge young men to marry today. For many men (and some women), marriage has become nothing less than a one-way ticket to jail. Even the New York Times has reported on how easily "the divorce court leads to a jail cell," mostly for men. In fact, if I have one urgent piece of practical advice for young men today it is this: Do not marry and do not have children.
Spreading this message may also, in the long run, be the most effective method of saving marriage as an institution. For until we understand that the principal threat to marriage today is not cultural but political, and that it comes not from homosexuals but from heterosexuals, we will never reverse the decline of marriage. The main destroyer of marriage, it should be obvious, is divorce. Michael McManus of Marriage Savers points out that "divorce is a far more grievous blow to marriage than today's challenge by gays." The central problem is the divorce laws.
It is well known that half of all marriages end in divorce. But widespread misconceptions lead many to believe it cannot happen to them. Many conscientious people think they will never be divorced because they do not believe in it. In fact, it is likely to happen to you whether you wish it or not.
First, you do not have to agree to the divorce or commit any legal transgression. Under "no-fault" divorce laws, your spouse can divorce you unilaterally without giving any reasons. The judge will then grant the divorce automatically without any questions.
But further, not only does your spouse incur no penalty for breaking faith; she can actually profit enormously. Simply by filing for divorce, your spouse can take everything you have, also without giving any reasons. First, she will almost certainly get automatic and sole custody of your children and exclude you from them, without having to show that you have done anything wrong. Then any unauthorized contact with your children is a crime. Yes, for seeing your own children you will be subject to arrest.
There is no burden of proof on the court to justify why they are seizing control of your children and allowing your spouse to forcibly keep you from them. The burden of proof (and the financial burden) is on you to show why you should be allowed to see your children.
The divorce industry thus makes it very attractive for your spouse to divorce you and take your children. (All this earns money for lawyers whose bar associations control the careers of judges.) While property divisions and spousal support certainly favor women, the largest windfall comes through the children. With custody, she can then demand "child support" that may amount to half, two-thirds, or more of your income. (The amount is set by committees consisting of feminists, lawyers, and enforcement agents - all of whom have a vested interest in setting the payments as high as possible.) She may spend it however she wishes. You pay the taxes on it, but she gets the tax deduction.
You could easily be left with monthly income of a few hundred dollars and be forced to move in with relatives or sleep in your car. Once you have sold everything you own, borrowed from relatives, and maximized your credit cards, they then call you a "deadbeat dad" and take you away in handcuffs. You are told you have "abandoned" your children and incarcerated without trial.
Evidence indicates that, as men discover all this, they have already begun an impromptu marriage "strike:" refusing to marry or start families, knowing they can be criminalized if their wife files for divorce. "Have anti-father family court policies led to a men's marriage strike?" ask Glenn Sacks and Dianna Thompson in the Philadelphia Enquirer. In Britain, fathers tour university campuses warning young men not to start families. In his book, From Courtship to Courtroom, Attorney Jed Abraham concludes that the only protection for men to avoid losing their children and everything else is not to start families in the first place.
Is it wise to disseminate such advice? If people stop marrying, what will become of the family and our civilization? Marriage is already all but dead, legally speaking, and divorce is the principal reason. The fall in the Western birth rate is directly connected with divorce law.
It is also likely that same-sex marriage is being demanded only because of how heterosexuals have already debased marriage through divorce law. "The world of no-strings heterosexual hookups and 50% divorce rates preceded gay marriage," advocate Andrew Sullivan points out. "All homosexuals are saying . . . is that, under the current definition, there's no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead. But until you do, the exclusion of gays is simply an anomaly - and a denial of basic civil equality.
" We will not restore marriage by burying our heads in the sand; nor simply by preaching to young people to marry, as the Bush administration's government therapy programs now do. The way to restore marriage as an institution in which young people can place their trust, their children, and their lives is to make it an enforceable contract. We urgently need a national debate about divorce, child custody, and the terms under which the government can forcibly sunder the bonds between parents and their children. We owe it to future generations, if there are to be any.
Original article - Political Correctness Watch
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Social workers are alleging abuses in Kentucky’s Child Protective Services.
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.
“I did what I felt like I had to do,” Moore said. “It was the right thing to do and I stand by the complaint.”
When Moore found that two foster parents had criminal records, a son living with them had multiple felonies, and a convicted sex offender visited and, sometimes, cared for the children, she refused to arrange an adoption.
Her supervisors responded to her complaint with a memo suggesting the adoption proceed quickly.
“Our theory is that the basis for this is the tie to the federal money,” Moore’s attorney, Tom Beiting said. “That every time a child is not placed in the home comma the state of Kentucky through its Cabinet is losing money”
After she was fired, Moore filed suit and last month, the Commonwealth paid $380,000 to settle it.
The high-adoption trend apparently began in 2004, when adoptions in Kentucky ballooned to 724 while the federal bonus money more than doubled from $452,000 the previous year to more than $1 million.
“The Cabinet puts pressure on stats because federal and state money come from statistics,” said another social worker who wants her identity concealed for fear of retaliation against her family. “You get praised. The Cabinet praises you for terminating rights and adopting kids out immediately.”
She said the concerted effort to take children away and put them up for adoption was so brazen, she actually saw someone successfully place an order for children.
“Someone could not have a child and wanted a child so within the community,” the social worker said. “This person saw a family in distress, having a hard time, relayed to workers that they would like those children, and that’s exactly what has happened.”
And a former CPS supervisor, who also wants anonymity for fear of retaliation, said if an order for a child was delayed or denied, her supervisors would overturn local decisions.
“This one family was promised a child, and when it happened that this child was going to be reunified with the parent, they called our regional office, and our regional office came in our county and they harassed the birth parents and that kind of thing because they didn’t agree with our decision,” the former supervisor said.
Vanessa Shanks had her kids taken away and, when she fought back, her relatives had their children taken away. Then, after she won in court, her attorney’s child was taken away.
The former CPS workers said that kind of retaliatory power is common and, in the secretive, one-sided system, they can take anyone’s kids away on a moment’s notice - and get away with it.
According to data just released, there’s a huge disparity between counties on adoption rates. Some counties reunify 100 percent of children taken with their families. Other counties adopted out as many as 82 percent of children taken from their homes.
Original article - Social Workers Allege Child Protection Service Abuses - Print This Story News Story - WLKY Louisville « TN Family Court In Ne...
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Here's an excerpt..
Abraham Lincoln would not have been able to educate himself in front of the fireplace because a government agency would have determined that his living conditions were substandard
Heres the actual article-
Richard Disney » Are Child Protective Services Authorities Too Powerful?
Connecticut DCF Watch
Hartford, CT - Because of over zealous and abusive social workers innocent children are ripped out of loving homes every day because of rumors or anonymous reports. The federal court even stated that risk of harm or possibility of harm is NOT probable cause to remove any child. There must be credible evident of imminent "physical" danger in order to remove any child.
Parents need to teach their children that if anyone at school pulls you out of your class and wants to question you about your home, parents and siblings, they need to refuse to cooperate with those individuals unless mom or dad is present. The federal court in Doe v. Heck agrees and ruled that questioning a child by DCF or the police without the consent of the parent is an unreasonable search and seizure of the child and prohibited by law and a 4th and 14th Amendment violation.
In one court case the judge ruled that Severance of the parent-child relationship is “tantamount to imposition of a civil death penalty” Drury v. Lang, 105 Nev. 430, 433, 776 P.2d 843, 845 (1989)
New York Supreme Court Judge Brian Lindsay stated, “There is no system ever devised by mankind that is guaranteed to rip husband and wife or father, mother and child apart so bitterly than our present Family Court System.”
Judge Watson L. White from Cobb County, Georgia said, “There is something bad happening to our children in family courts today that is causing them more harm than drugs, more harm than crime and even more harm than child molestation.”
Parents need to teach their children that anyone from DCF (Dept. of Children and Family) are very dangerous individuals and are inhuman and they seek to take them away from their family for no legal reason so it is important never to speak with them unless mom or dad is there to defend them as their legal guardian. They will lie in court in order to harm them and the parents.
DCF will also suborn perjury from the child if the child denies abuse ever took place. They will harass the child repeatedly in fostercare and tells the child they can go home if they admit there was abuse of some kind even when there was never abuse or neglect.
Parents need to educate and empower their children they can assert their right to remain silent and they have their parents permission not to cooperate with DCF, police or any school personal who ask inappropriate questions dealing with the child or family. The child needs to say they are not answering any questions unless their parents are present as ruled by the federal court. Parents or children are free not to cooperate with any government official or employee of the school.
DCF workers as ruled by the Federal court are government officials in the eyes of the court and constitution, them being unlicensed social workers is not relevant to the court and the constitutional protections of the parents. The court went on further to say that the "Constitution is NOT limited to one type of government official", it applies to all government officials including DCF employees.
Thomas M. Dutkiewicz, President
Special Family Advocate
Connecticut DCF Watch
P.O. Box 9775Forestville, CT 06011-9775860-833-4127
P.S. Check out our web site for the FREE handbook on parental rights. There is also a manual on "reasonable efforts" with sections for Attorneys, Judges and Agencies.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel claims that Janssen engaged in a direct, illegal, nationwide program of promotion of the use of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal for non-medically necessary uses. McDaniel accused the companies of deceptive marketing practices that pushed doctors to prescribe Risperdal much more than necessary. The lawsuit also accuses drugmakers of not including warnings on Risperdal's bottle about adverse effects such as neurological problems, weight gain and diabetes.
For articles and lawsuits on all the state lawsuits filed so far, see here: www.psychsearch.net/lawsuits.html
9 states have sued Eli Lilly regarding Zyprexa - Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.5 states have sued Janssen regarding Risperdal - Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvana2 states have sued AstraZeneca regarding Seroquel - Pennsylvania, South Carolina
Arkansas AG Suing JNJ Over Anti-Psychotic Drug Marketing
November 21, 2007: 06:36 AM EST
LITTLE ROCK (AP)--Drug companies improperly marketed an anti-psychotic drug, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel claimed Tuesday as he asked a state judge to force the firms to repay millions shelled out by the state's Medicaid program for unnecessary prescriptions.
McDaniel filed a lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc., Janssen LP and Johnson & Johnson Inc. (JNJ). In the filing, McDaniel said the companies "engaged in a direct, illegal, nationwide program of promotion of the use of Risperdal for non-medically necessary uses."
New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson is the parent company of both Janssen Pharmaceutica and Janssen LP.
The lawsuit did not specify how much the state is seeking, but McDaniel has estimated that the state's Medicaid program spent about $200 million over eight years to pay for prescriptions for Zyprexa, Seroquel and Risperdal. The lawsuit filed Tuesday focuses solely on Risperdal.
Gabe Holmstrom, a spokesman for McDaniel's office, said the state will file similar complaints about the marketing of the other drugs. McDaniel has said other companies that will be targeted include Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY) of Indianapolis and AstraZeneca PLC (AZN), a joint venture by a British firm and a Swedish firm.
McDaniel has said the drugs were prescribed for uses not approved by federal regulators or indicated in labeling. McDaniel accused the companies of deceptive marketing practices that pushed doctors to prescribe Risperdal much more than necessary.
The lawsuit also accuses drugmakers of not including warnings on Risperdal's bottle about adverse effects such as neurological problems, weight gain and diabetes.
Ambre Morley, a spokeswoman for Janssen, defended the company and said it fully disclosed all information about Risperdal to doctors and government agencies.
23,729 petition signatures against TeenScreen: http://www.petitiononline.com/TScreen/petition.html Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfU9puZQKBY