Sunday, May 31, 2009

7 men arrested in Houston child predator sting

And more are expected, authorities say

Seven men were arrested on Friday in a sting targeting child predators and more arrests are expected, authorities said.

Over the past two weeks, investigators with the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children have posed as teenagers in online chat rooms while talking to men.

“We never initiate conversations with the individuals. They suggest meeting for sex,” said Eric Devlin, of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, part of the federally funded task force.

“We tell them that we’re a 13-year-old female from Houston,” Devlin said. “They go, ‘Oh that’s great. That’s what I’m looking for.' ”

Before agreeing to meet, the investigators asked the men to give their names and describe themselves.

“Most of these guys sent us pictures, so we knew exactly who was coming,” Devlin said.

Suspect Travis Chapman, 39, brought his roommate to a location in Spring where investigators were waiting, officials said.

Also arrested was Joshua Clayton, 18, who claimed during an online chat session to be a woman and former porn actress, authorities said.

“He wanted us to go on the webcam and model. He said he would pay us for it,” Devlin said.

Omair Khan, 26, lives with his parents in Houston and asked them to drop him off at a north Harris County Dairy Queen, where he thought an underage girl was waiting for him, officials said.

Mark Edward Welch, 21, and James Raymond Watters, 26, were also arrested.

The names of the others were not available.

The men were all charged with multiple counts of online solicitation of a minor. Some have been released on bail while others remain in custody at the Harris County Jail.

More may follow 7 arrests in Houston child predator sting Houston & Texas News - Houston Chronicle

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Court takes child of ‘stupid’ mother

May 31, 2009

By, Daniel Foggo

WHEN Rachel celebrated her daughter’s third birthday three weeks ago the little girl was a picture of happiness. Yet for her mother it was a bittersweet occasion.

Rachel had to squeeze in the celebrations with family court hearings in the morning and the afternoon. The judge was to decide whether to reduce Rachel’s contact with her daughter in the run-up to her adoption in three months’ time.

The verdict came back days later. “The judge said I should have my contact with my daughter reduced from once a fortnight to once a month, with the amount of time going down from an hour-and-a-half to just five minutes,” said Rachel.

“Then, when she is with the adoptive family, that will be it. I will never see her again.”

The 24-year-old single mother has never been accused of physically or emotionally harming her daughter, who for legal reasons can be referred to only as K. Even those set on taking her away concede that she harbours nothing but love for the girl.

She has been denied the right to keep her only child because she has been deemed to be mentally incapable of caring for her. She is simply “too stupid”, it was decided.

Rachel protested and secured a solicitor to give her a voice in the family court. But by the time of the crucial placement hearing her pleas had been silenced. This was because her “stupidity” had been used as a means to deny her something else: the right to instruct a lawyer.

Instead, the official solicitor was brought in to speak for Rachel. Alastair Pitblado, the government-funded official, is appointed by the courts to represent the interests of those who cannot make their own case, such as mentally incapacitated people.

In Rachel’s case it was decided that her interests were best served by agreeing with Nottingham city council’s application to have her daughter adopted.

Rachel’s protests over her treatment were dismissed. The official solicitor had acted “entirely properly” in capitulating to the council since Rachel’s case was “unarguable”, the Court of Appeal ruled.

The decisions of the family court and the appeal court relied upon reports drawn up by a psychologist whose verdict that Rachel had low intelligence and learning disabilities had led to K being put up for adoption and the appointment of the official solicitor.

Rachel’s “fundamental learning difficulties”, said the appeal court, meant “whilst [her] love for her daughter is not doubted, her capacity to care for her independently is seriously deficient”.

However, according to a new report by a leading psychiatrist, Rachel is far from deficient. He said she had “demonstrated that she has more than an adequate knowledge of court

“She has good literacy and numeracy and her general intellectual abilities appear to be within normal range,” he wrote in a report.

“She has no previous history of learning disability or mental illness and did not receive special or remedial education.

“Rachel fully understands the nature of the current court proceedings, can retain them, weigh the information and can communicate both verbally and in writing.”

The psychiatrist’s report, ordered by the court last year to assess whether she could continue to represent her case for continuing contact with K, was a reversal of the previous expert’s opinion.

While it was accepted by the family court as evidence of her legal astuteness, it has cut no ice with the family court judge in respect of her ability to look after her daughter.

In a separate study last year, Rachel’s overall IQ was rated at 71, although her processing speed was scored higher at 84. She was categorised as “border-line”, one level below low average intelligence. Someone with Down’s syndrome would typically have an IQ of 50-60. The IQ of an “average” adult is 90-109.

Now Rachel is pinning her hopes on a last-ditch appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, but time is running out. Once K has been placed with her adoptive family, any realistic hope of Rachel seeing her again will vanish.

Rachel’s potential to be a sufficient parent was first placed in doubt soon after her daughter was born prematurely in 2006. “She had breathing problems and needed operations on her bowel, eye, heart and throat,” recalled Rachel.

Social workers were sceptical about Rachel as a mother. They were “concerned” that initially she was visiting K in the hospital for only a couple of hours a day.

When K was released from hospital she went straight into care and a psychologist was appointed to assess Rachel. “[Rachel] has a significant learning disability, and she will always need a high level of support in caring for [her daughter],” the psychologist wrote.

“If she were not receiving this support she would pose a high level of risk to [the girl’s] wellbeing, which is not due to any desire on her part to hurt [her daughter], but to her limitations.”

Rachel’s brother Andrew and their parents all offered their services but were rejected for reasons varying from being too old to having played truant from school.

Andrew, an articulate 27-year-old, said: “The guardian that the court appointed for K even said that I have learning difficulties, although she had never met me. These people are ridiculous. What’s worse, the judges overlook it and still think they are credible professionals.”

Court takes child of ‘stupid’ mother - Times Online

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My two cents-

This is what it is people open your eyes!

DISGRACEFUL doesn't even cut it!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is Your Child Being Pulled Away From You?

Book Review: A Family's Heartbreak:

A Parent's Introduction to Parental AlienationBy Rick Ortiz, Editor of

The very nature of the form of abuse called Parental Alienation is one that has the power to turn every aspect of the lives it touches seemingly upside-down. Powered by subtle and not so subtle, conscious and unconscious implementation of mind-control and brainwashing, the alienating parent systematically turns a child against the "target" parent.

In their book A Family's Heartbreak: A Parent's Introduction to Parental Alienation, Michael Jeffries and Dr. Joel Davies present for alienated parents a case study that offers several perspectives on this upside-down world that the entire, fractured family begins inhabiting at the onset of this form of abuse.


DadsDivorce Live: A Family's Heartbreak Interview

DadsDivorce editor, Rick Ortiz, discusses the book, A Family's Heartbreak: A Parent's Introduction To Parental Alienation Syndrome with author Mike Jeffries.
Jeffries documents the painful experience of watching a beloved child be pulled away through the mind control of a parent who is set on forcing the child to align with them while alienating the non-custodial parent.

Our discussion centers around the author's ongoing struggle to make sense of his situation and remain connected to his child, the technical aspects of writing a book that helps make sense of this bizarre form of abuse to others who are experiencing it, and his hope for the future of his own family and the disintegrated families of other victims of PAS.

Watch the Interview...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Family Fears Little Adolf Hitler Won't Come Home

The Campbell children: Adolf Hitler Campbell (blue shirt), JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell (pink shirt) and Honszylynn Hinter Jeannie Campbell
Adolf Hitler Campbell's family is afraid he and his sisters will be put up for adoption
Little Adolf Hitler Campbell’s future may be shaped by two huge events he had no control over -the name his parents gave him and the day last December when a grocery store refused to put that name on his birthday cake. Adolf was only three. Now, his family says the fury over the cake episode may cost Adolf and his young sisters the one thing kids count on the most -- their parents.
Adolf’s sisters also have names associated with Nazis : JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszylynn Hinter Jeannie Campbell. After the controversial birthday cake story made headlines around the world in January, the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services took all three kids out of their parents’ Milford home.
An aunt, speaking on behalf of the family, says they’re all afraid now that the children will be put up for adoption. The big question is: Why?

"I think the names were a big part of it. Adolf Hitler, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation? Their names had a lot to do with ther being taken," Jeannie Coverdale told NBC10's Doug Shimell Wednesday. She is speaking on behalf of the couple so they don't break the gag order in the case.

Parents Deborah and
Heath Campbell, who received death threats after defending the birthday cake request, said in January they heard rumors that someone made an anonymous and what Heath called a false allegation of child abuse against them.

Right now, the Campbells get to visit their kids twice a week but Coverdale say five months after the kids were taken away, no one has given them any kind of detailed explanation.
"They're not giving Heath and Debbie any information or telling them how to gain their kids back," Covendale said. "I truthfully think that Youth Services will put the kids up for adoption."
State officials are not supposed to talk publicly about cases involving minors in order to protect the children. Dad, Heath Campbell said the agency told him in January the children were removed because they were in "imminent danger."

The Campbells, in interviews, have continually denied being Nazi sympathizers or anything of the sort. The couple has defended the names of their children saying they found them in baby books and reserve the right to name their children whatever they like.
Coverdale also defended the names earlier this year with this analogy:
“What about tomorrow night when the President of the United States stands up and says, is forced to say, my name is Barack Hussein Obama. How’s that going to hit the world?” Coverdale said. "I'm saying the one with the middle name he has, was a terrorist.”
She says it’s “no different” than having a name like Adolf Hitler.

“A name is a name,” Heath Campbell said last December.
Related Stories -

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Higest Court Critizes DYFUS

In a unanimous decision today, New Jersey’s Supreme Court criticized the state Division of Youth and Family Services for ending an investigation of a woman who had “abused and neglected” her two children.

DYFS should have decided in court where the children could live, free from harm, instead of awarding custody to the woman’s ex-husband, said the justices.

“Rather than relying on the wishes of the children, the division should have focused on whether the children could be safely returned to the custody of the mother,” Justice John Wallace wrote for the court.

The case involves a custody battle between a Hunterdon County woman and her ex-husband, who now lives in Florida, over their two children. All of the individuals’ names are protected by the court and were not released.

One night in March 2006, the daughter texted her father, saying that she was having an argument with her mother. From Florida, the ex-husband called New Jersey State Police, who came to the woman’s home and allegedly found her drunk. The daughter had scratches on her arm and had become sick after her mom grabbed her and choked her.

State Police Trooper Kelly Bene called the Division of Youth and Family Services and a case worker came to the home that night. Both children told her that their mother drank every day. The case worker temporarily moved the children to a neighbor’s home.

Through DYFS, the woman accepted substance abuse treatment and counseling, while the kids were temporarily sent to Florida, to live with their father. Eight months after DYFS got involved in the case, the trial court followed the agency’s recommendation and awarded permanent custody of the two kids to the father, in Florida.

A state appeals court previously ruled DYFS and the trial court had made a mistake because they had not weighed the evidence — and the woman’s progress — when deciding where it was safest for the children to live. Now a lower court will have to do that in deciding which parent will get custody.

Mary Fuchs is a reporter for The Star-Ledger. She may be reached at

In a unanimous decision today, New Jersey’s Supreme Court criticized the state Division of Youth and Family Services for ending an investigation of a woman who had “abused and neglected” her two children.

DYFS should have decided in court where the children could live, free from harm, instead of awarding custody to the woman’s ex-husband, said the justices.

“Rather than relying on the wishes of the children, the division should have focused on whether the children could be safely returned to the custody of the mother,” Justice John Wallace wrote for the court.

The case involves a custody battle between a Hunterdon County woman and her ex-husband, who now lives in Florida, over their two children. All of the individuals’ names are protected by the court and were not released.

One night in March 2006, the daughter texted her father, saying that she was having an argument with her mother. From Florida, the ex-husband called New Jersey State Police, who came to the woman’s home and allegedly found her drunk. The daughter had scratches on her arm and had become sick after her mom grabbed her and choked her.

State Police Trooper Kelly Bene called the Division of Youth and Family Services and a case worker came to the home that night. Both children told her that their mother drank every day. The case worker temporarily moved the children to a neighbor’s home.

Through DYFS, the woman accepted substance abuse treatment and counseling, while the kids were temporarily sent to Florida, to live with their father. Eight months after DYFS got involved in the case, the trial court followed the agency’s recommendation and awarded permanent custody of the two kids to the father, in Florida.

A state appeals court previously ruled DYFS and the trial court had made a mistake because they had not weighed the evidence — and the woman’s progress — when deciding where it was safest for the children to live. Now a lower court will have to do that in deciding which parent will get custody.

New Jersey Supreme Court and DYFS-CPS

Mary Fuchs is a reporter for The Star-Ledger. She may be reached at

Written by admin on April 7, 2009 in:
Child Protective Services, Weird News Stories

Highest court criticizes DYFS

Tuesday, April 7, 2009




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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

DCF Worker Charged Forging Judge's Signature With Forgery

May 23, 2009 12:57:00 AM
By Rob Young/Appeal-Democrat

A Sutter County Child Protective Services employee has been charged with forging a court record and a judge's signature, the Appeal-Democrat has learned.

Sarah J. Powell, 35, will be arraigned June 1 in Sutter County Superior Court, said Assistant District Attorney Fred Schroeder.

Powell is also charged with forging the seal of the state of California on a document, he said.

Schroeder said he could not comment on the motive behind the alleged forgery. He did not disclose which judge's signature Powell is charged with forging.

Powell and Child Protective Services officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The three charges were filed May 12. Powell was not arrested but was sent a letter ordering her to appear in court, Schroeder said.

There are no other defendants in the case, he said.

Child Protective Services workers are county employees.

Sutter County spokesman Chuck Smith said he learned of the case from the Appeal-Democrat.

"I have no idea what her job status is," Smith said.

Contact Appeal-Democrat reporter Rob Young at 749-4710 or at\tml<\html

Thanks - Connecticut DCF Watch for sharing this article

National Civil Rights Advocates For Families
P.O. Box 9775Forestville, CT


Left Brain vs Right Brain Thinking Test

Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world and the chief glory of man"

Principles of Social Reconstruction by Bertand Russell (1916)

You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake up in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

" Morpheus to Neo in "The Matrix" (1999)

How To Think Critically

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test PerthNow

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.


Uses logic, detail oriented, facts rule, words and language, present and past, math and science, can comprehend, knowing, acknowledges, order/pattern perception, knows object name, reality based, forms strategies, practical, safe


Uses feeling,"big picture" oriented, imagination rules, symbols and images, present and future, philosophy & religion, can "get it" (i.e. meaning), believes, appreciates, spatial perception, knows object function, fantasy based, presents possibilities, impetuous,
risk taking

I took this test and saw her moving clock wise. So I try to see it another way .. couldn't do it.

THEN - I begin reading the article and voila- as I'm deep into reading.. I see her from the corner of my eye dancing THE OTHER WAY!

I pick up my head to check it out ...and the witch is dancing once again clockwise..

Ok fine.. I go back to reading and when i'm deep into reading it again she does the same thing! Begins to dance counter clockwise.

I guess it would be fair to say that.. when I'm just thinking about nothing I think with my creative side. However, when I'm serious and THINKING - I work with the left side of my brain - the LOGICAL side!

Wow this test blew me away!

Let me know what you SEE and how your brain works.. this is interesting I want to see others opinions of what they see.

Copy her - Open her in a new window - do what ever you have to do to be able to see her out of the corner of your eye while reading something that will stimulate your mind where you would have to think clearly. See what happens.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Doctors rarely give a diagnosis of personality disorder to children on the grounds that children...

Most of you know I'm in the process of writing a book.

With that in mind.. I have been on many mental health sites to make sure I've crossed my T's and doted my i's.

I found something very interesting today that I'd like to share with you..

Most of my readers have children that are either alienated or in the system..

Most children in these situations have been put on psychotropic drugs for alleged eemotional disorders..

Hmmm I've said right along that these kids are to young to be put on these drugs..

Then I find this.. on one of the pages (from the encylopedia of Mental Disorders) speaking about personality disorders..

As a group, these disorders are described by DSM-IV-TRas "enduring pattern[s] of inner experience and behavior" that are sufficiently rigid and deep-seated to bring a person into repeated conflicts with his or her social and occupational environment. DSM-IV-TRspecifies that these dysfunctional patterns must be regarded as nonconforming or deviant by the person's culture, and cause significant emotional pain and/or difficulties in relationships and occupational performance.

To meet the diagnosis of a personality disorder, the patient's problematic behaviors must appear in two or more of the following areas:

perception and interpretation of the self and other people

intensity and duration of feelings and their appropriateness to situations

relationships with others

ability to control impulses

It is important to note that all the personality disorders are considered to have their onset in late adolescence or early adulthood. Doctors rarely give a diagnosis of personality disorder to children on the grounds that children's personalities are still in process of formation and may change considerably by the time they are in their late teens.

Narcissistic personality disorder - Definition, Description, Causes and symptoms, Demographics, Diagnosis, Treatments, Progno...

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Similarities between Ireland and the USA: the same plague?

By Henry Chu

May 21, 2009

Reporting from London " Boys and girls in Ireland were beaten, sexually abused and emotionally terrorized for decades in workhouse-style schools run by the Roman Catholic Church where a "culture of silence" protected victimizers rather than the children in their care, according to a long-awaited report.

For more than half a century, chronic, excessive and arbitrary punishment created "a climate of fear" in which students at schools administered by Catholic religious orders lived "with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from."

Through it all, the report says, government inspectors failed to stop what was going on. The neglect came despite attempts by some individuals to bring their abusers to account in an effort to lessen the trauma victims suffered for years afterward and that still haunts many today.

These are some of the findings of the controversial 2,600-page report unveiled in Dublin on Wednesday after a nine-year investigation by Ireland's Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse. Drawing on the testimony of nearly 2,000 witnesses, men and women who attended more than 200 Catholic-run schools from the 1930s until the 1990s, the commission painted a damning picture of a church engaged too often in covering up misdeeds instead of rooting out their perpetrators.

The five-volume report is a major rebuke to a religious institution that continues to wield significant, albeit declining, influence on Irish society, especially on moral issues such as divorce and abortion. But the church's standing has been weakened since the abuse scandals began to become public in the mid-1990s, by which time many of the schools had closed. This loss of stature has undermined the church's ability to counter a rise in secularism that accompanied Ireland's leap in prosperity.

The investigating panel found that sexual molestation was "endemic" in the church, committed by offenders who were often transferred to other institutions rather than dismissed or turned over to authorities.

Nonetheless, the report was not tough enough for some of the victims. Many are angry that it includes no names of alleged offenders, an omission that one of the religious orders under investigation fought for and won in court. Only pseudonyms are used, making slim the chances of criminal prosecution based on the report's findings.

"We expected that these people would be named and shamed and that some of them would be convicted," John Barrett, who testified before the commission, told Irish radio station Today FM.

"At the end of the day, some of us won't sleep tonight. We're still nowhere near the truth," said Barrett, 55, who was sexually abused in the 1960s while at a school for boys with learning disabilities run by the Brothers of Charity in County Cork.

Cardinal Sean Brady, the leader of Ireland's 4 million Catholics, offered an apology Wednesday for the abuses found by the commission.

"I am profoundly sorry and deeply ashamed that children suffered in such awful ways in these institutions," Brady said in a statement released by the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. "Children deserved better, and especially from those caring for them in the name of Jesus Christ."

Edmund Garvey, a spokesman for the Christian Brothers, whose 2004 lawsuit against the commission resulted in the shielding of names in the final report, told RTE Radio that the order was "deeply sorry, deeply regretful."

The Catholic Church sponsored scores of reformatories, orphanages and industrial schools where more than 30,000 boys and girls deemed to be delinquent or incorrigible were sent from the 1930s until the end of the 20th century. In some instances, the children's only "fault" was to be born out of wedlock.

The commission found that corporal punishment and other forms of physical abuse were standard practice at many institutions for dealing with any perceived misbehavior.

"Extreme punishment was a feature of the boys' schools. Prolonged, excessive beatings with implements intended to cause maximum pain occurred with the knowledge of staff management," the report says.

Girls also were subject to "ritualized beatings," often administered by the nuns in a way calculated to "increase anguish and humiliation," the report found. "One way of doing this was for children to be left waiting for long periods to be beaten. Another was when it was accompanied by denigrating or humiliating language."

Some victims told the commission that seeing or hearing other children being beaten was a terrifying experience that has haunted them ever since.

"It's something you never forget," Tom Sweeney told Irish television, referring to the five years he spent in industrial schools, including two years at Artane, a facility run by the Christian Brothers in Dublin.

"Things didn't happen in your life after that," said Sweeney, 63. "Your life fell apart. Your marriage fell apart. Your communication with your children fell apart, and it all stems [from] being in Artane. We never got closure, and we never will get closure."

Sexual abuse was also rife, especially in boys' facilities, the report says. The religious authorities knew that such misconduct was a persistent problem, but children who complained were ignored or blamed for what had occurred.

When dealt with by school authorities, their cases were examined in isolation and secrecy, with "no attempt to address the underlying systemic nature of the problem," the commission found. Punishment for an offender often meant transfer to another institution, where, "in many instances, he was free to abuse again."

Leaders of the religious orders have contended that the claims of widespread abuse are exaggerated. They also have argued to the commission that, according to the mores of the day, the sexual abuse of children was not regarded as a criminal offense but rather a moral failing.

But the report notes that when laypeople were found to have abused children, the orders would turn those cases over to the police, whereas accusations against members of the order were dealt with internally.

The commission also blamed secular authorities for failure to protect the children in the Catholic-run facilities. Visits by Department of Education inspectors were announced in advance. And while the department should have realized that the problem of physical violence was endemic, its staff preferred to defer to the religious authorities, the report says.

The Irish government has already taken steps to compensate abuse victims, making payments of about $87,000, on average, to 12,000 people, the Associated Press reported. Claims from a further 2,000 people await adjudication.

Several hundred people have refused payments because they would have been required to waive their right to sue their alleged abusers.

Christine Buckley, 63, called the report a vindication for the victims. Buckley's allegations about abuse she endured at the Goldenbridge Orphanage run by the Sisters of Mercy helped spark the inquiry.

"We have been vindicated. I acknowledge that," she said. "I may sound angry today, and I am very angry today, because over the last few days we were rehashing hurt."

Special correspondent Donald Mahoney in Dublin contributed to this report.,0,538239.story

From the Los Angeles Times

Thank you Rolando for sharing this article!

Changes Reshape the Florida Foster Care...

Tuesday May 5, 2009

Redesign means taking kids less often, but is that the best option?

It was a staggering statistic that child welfare leaders had to confront: Children in Northeast Florida were removed from their homes and placed in foster care at double the rate of children in the rest of the state.

Worst of all, so many kids were coming into foster care that workers were running out of places to put them.

It was late 2006, and new research was indicating foster care could be more emotionally damaging for kids than staying home with neglectful parents.

By 2007, the Florida Department of Children and Families and Family Support Services, the lead foster care agency in Duval and Nassau counties, were embarking on something they call "foster care redesign." The plan: Remove kids from their homes less often, more quickly decide whether to reunify families or adopt out kids who did go into foster care, and beef up prevention services - everything from parenting classes to employment help - for all families.

It worked: In two years, the number of kids in foster care in Northeast Florida has been cut in half. Adoptions surged, to 578 in one year, a record.

"This is a huge cultural change for the Department of Children and Families and for the case managing entities," said Nancy Dreicer, who oversees the local DCF region. "We're coming at it from the standpoint of strengthening families rather than yanking kids out."

New flexibility

Using a special federal waiver - granted only to Florida and Los Angeles County in California - agencies got a lump sum of money to use flexibly. Before, the federal government doled out cash based on a head count of kids in foster care, making it costly to help families stay together.

"That waiver," said Jim Adams, CEO of Family Support Services, "has allowed us to step in and get that flexibility to reduce the number of kids in foster care."

Now, instead of having to keep tabs on 35 kids, case workers now have about 17, Adams said. The number of runaways has gone down dramatically, because case workers can keep a better eye on kids in care, he said. The new system saves money, too. But, primarily, the DCF says, it is better for kids.

"Kids that go into foster care have worse outcomes, believe it or not, than kids that stay with maltreating parents," Dreicer said.

The research they cite, however, is not universally accepted by professionals in the field.

"It's promising but not proven," said Bruce McIntosh, director of the First Coast Child Protection Team, which is a medical unit that evaluates the area's most serious cases of child abuse.

Pendulum swings too far?

McIntosh said the research has promise for older children and teens, but there's nothing to prove the new strategy works with kids younger than 5. And it's a risk: Children younger than 5 make up more than 80 percent of abuse-related child deaths in the state. Physically, it's easier to harm a 1-year-old than a 12-year-old.

"The younger, more vulnerable children still need to be managed with the traditional protections," McIntosh said. The protection team has expressed its concerns to DCF, he said, and has received a positive response.

So if the pendulum previously had swung too far in the direction of taking kids away from their parents, is there a chance that it could now go too far in the opposite direction, leading to tragedy? Dreicer said there is a constant discussion about getting it right.

Perhaps it's even greater since the death of Kyla Hall, a 22-month-old killed in November. She had been abused before but was ultimately reunited with her father, who is awaiting trial for murder.

Finding the best option

Foster care workers say they are certain of one thing: The changes weren't responsible for Kyla's death.

Those changes are intended to address less severe cases, such as families with substance-abuse problems, inadequate supervision or economic circumstances such as homelessness that can lead kids to go into foster care, Dreicer said. In those situations, it can be better to help the family instead of tearing it apart.

For others, she said, foster care is the safest and best option.

When asked about Kyla - she was evaluated by the CPT the first time she was hurt - McIntosh said he couldn't comment on individual cases.

Dreicer said the agency is seeking a grant to bring an independent researcher in to study the plan's results. But there's a chance some of those changes could be wiped out before there's a chance to study them.

Legislative budget wrangling was threatening to cut so much from the budget that it might violate the state's agreement with the federal government, said Mike Cusick, president of the Florida Children's Coalition. It has to do with the agreement made to get the waiver in the first place.

"We went to the feds and said, 'we'll agree to cap the amount of money you give us every year ... and in exchange we get the flexibility to spend money on other things, so we can show you that other things work,' " Cusick said. But part of that agreement was that the state had to pitch in a certain amount. If the state violates that, the federal government could take away the waiver.

New budget information released Monday has Cusick feeling much more optimistic that the waiver will be preserved.

If it is, it's certain to be a relief for Adams, who worried that such a move would undo the work done to reform the system and halt the ongoing changes.

"Do we still have leaps and bounds to go?" Adams said "Of course.",

(904) 359-4504

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Thing This Morning!

Yanoo, I've had an interesting life.

Ha, interesting is an understatement!

Ok so big shit who cares?

If you had a half a brain you would not only care, you would open you eyes and listen like you've never listened to anything before in your life. Get a pen or open your word pad I don’t care if you lick it onto your arm just pay attention and take notes.

Pay really close attention to this topic, it could make or break ya!

There I go again, being so blunt and downright nasty, what is up with that?

I don't get it!

Nooo, I REALLY don't get it!

Life is such an amazing teacher, yet life's students are so flippin stuck in misery that they refuse to learn from it.

I have to ask, why?

Why is it so hard for people to take a step back and see how they get in their own way of happiness?

Notice, I said take a step back. Why did I say that?

Well, ever try to see a GIANT painting on the wall from one inch way from it? It’s not possible, you’re to close. In order to SEE that painting of your life you have to stand back and be objective.

Lets for a moment imagine you are an art appraiser. You boss hands you an assignment to go to Mr. Blah Blah’s home and appraise his work. You recognized the name and address. It’s you old neighbor, the one you couldn’t get along with that caused you to move to another neighborhood. But now you are called upon by your employer to go to this gentleman’s home and evaluate the art work. You’d like to think your objective enough to be fair. Your NOT! You walked into this man’s home with a negative attitude before you even got to his neighborhood. As it turns out Mr. Blah blah is moving, his home is in chaos (imagine this is your life in chaos), there’s furniture (chaos - equal to the people, places and things in your own life) everywhere it’s hard to get a good look at this painting (your life).

You need room to step back in order to see it. But there’s clutter everywhere. (no one is giving you room in your life- they only cause more and more drama so that your in a fog)

Do you think you can objectively asses this painting? Or is it more likely that the preconceived bias, drama and chaos would cloud your assessment?

Now on a conscious level most of ya are saying.. well not me! I am always unbiased. Well, how about if that bias is not a negative bias, how about if it were a positive bias. Now imagine for a moment that Mr. Blah Blah was your brother.

You did the appraisal, now the art is appraised a lil more than it was really worth, or a lot more than it was worth. (similar to the way you see players in your life using the same kind of bias) Now your boss found out and you lose your job and get blackballed in your field. Can you see how not assessing this situation correctly could ruin your career? How you could have gotten in your own way?

Why is it that I can hear the excuses now.. I hear you thinking from all the way in bum (&&^% where ever it is that you live…

I don't get in my own way.. Mr. blah blah.. ABC or XYZ .. Yeah yeah blah!

Not me it's Sara, Paul, Frank, John.

Or, if Harry did or didn't..

Or it's Mary she's so blah blah...

I'm doing the best I can...

Or, Tom he's always whining... or doing whatever..

Notice the pattern here? It's always someone else?

Now sometimes as in the case I'm gonna describe below IT IS SOMEONE ELSE.. or more than one someone else!

But I play a major role in it.. I'M HERE TO WITNESS IT!

So that in and of itself is MY PROBLEM!

With that said.. at least I'm learning.. I'm learning from my own insanity! And well.. as long as ya learn from your own insanity .. your on the right track.

So.. it's 6 flippin thirty in the morning.. what the hell has my (&^% in such an uproar?

Who pissed me off enough already that I'm online venting before my coffee got cold?

Well, right this minute it's my mother..

My negative mother!

That woman spends 99% if not 100% of her day thinking negatively.. causing her own drama!!

First thought this morning was NEGATIVE last thought last nite was NEGATIVE!!
Yesterday and the day before .. Last week and the week before .. NEGATIVE NEGATIVE NEGATIVE …IT'S DRAINING.... EXAUSTING.. DRAINING ...ABUSIVE.. DRAINING...!!!!!

They steal my positive energy! They wont stop until I snap on them! They force me into some kind of (&^% that they need me to be to PLAY OUT their miserable childhoods!

I refuse to play when I see it coming..



They either have to stop causing their own misery and writing me into the script or they have to GO AWAY!!

Yeah some of em.. are outrageously awesome GOOD or good hearted people..but when they're stressed.. their favorite victim stance is EXHAUSTING!!

They allow themselves to get involved in the psychobabble of their pasts.. they stress then they short circuit and off they go …


Ok so if this is about my mother.. why blog..

Because it's NOT just about my mother.. its about ...Et all... Et all???

(excuse me a moment while my ID (mr f&^% it) my EGO (mr I'll make it go away) and my SUPER EGO (make sure society accepts my behavior) fight.

Ok, et all? Yeah et all!

So many people in my life are exactly the same.. as they are in YOUR LIFE!

Yes the people we surround ourselves with.. are EXACTLY like we are! So take a look at the person you choose to spend the most time (COMFORTABLY) not someone you are with out of no fault of your own… such as a coworker or a tenant or a neighbor..

I’m talking about someone you call “friend or partner” and SEE YOURSELF!

Unless the person you are looking in the mirror for has been in long term therapy- then you may be exactly like they WERE.. (ready for change) and NOW it's YOUR TURN- to become more aware!

Ever hear that saying? Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who YOU are?

Pfttt of course if your friends and people you choose to spend time with are trouble makers.. or whiny drama queens/kings, you're probably sitting there saying.. oh this chick has no idea what she's talking about..

YEAH RIGHT! Wake the &^$% up!

It's YOU that I'm speaking the loudest to.

Ummm that's not fair is it? *&^_y&% YEAH it's fair..

Well how can it be fair?

Your thinking.. I'm such a good person, if it wasn't for me.. then blah blah blah (insert some natural or man made disaster the eternal victim wants to imagine here).

Ok whatever.. this post isn't for you so go see how you can get in your own way today..

Let the ones that are ready to "get it" read the rest of this post.

Yeah that's right.. if right about now your pointing fingers at anyone other than yourself..

Go away.. your not ready!

You obviously haven't figured out how you are your own worst enemy.. and you need to do more damage to your life before you get it.

Come back after you've shot yourself in the foot five or six more times and then re-read this post!

Ahhhh good.. I've gotten rid of all the negative energy in the area!

Now, for the rest of ya. I'm gonna ask you to use critical thinking for this exorcise..

That means.. put some emotional distance between your thoughts.. when coming up with answers.. think logically!

Take emotion out.. you can never come to an honest answer using emotions...

Emotions cloud our judgment.. it's that whole baggage thing our dysfunctional parents instilled in us.. that Fear Obligation Guilt thing, manipulators use against us.. Keeping us in a FOG!

Because of my own dysfunctional thinking my entire life.. I gravitated to others that thought just as dysfunctionally as I did.

Well DUH.. do any of your own research and that's a no brainer!

But wait a min.. I'm NOT suppose to know that.. Well DUH again.

Of course your not suppose to know that.. it wasn't written in the original contract that you would never "get it"

Umm hello! Stop fighting with yourself and get on with the blog post Louise..

Ok ok ok back to this morning.. I've put myself in a bad situation.

Yeah that's putting it mildly! (forgive ID, EGO and SUPER EGO- they're out of control today)

I left home at 12.. 12? Yeah 12 years old!

My mother is one of the most dysfunctional beings on the planet... living under her control was DANGEROUS and EXHAUSTING!

Ok.. and you're telling these nice people this why?

Oh shushhhhh the voices in my head dayum it.. I'm trying to post here.. shut them up already!

That woman could have drained the cement out that was used to build the wall of China simply with her emotional negative DRAINING energy!

Yeah I know, you all know people like that.. perhaps YOU are like that?

Yeah right.. I'd love to see your face right now as you search your life to put that blame on someone else!

Your not draining.. like I said earlier ... it's (insert name) ANY NAME BUT YOUR NAME!!!!!! (eye roll)

Ok back to the queen of drama MY mother.

So if I left at 12.. obviously I didn't have this awesome relationship with her.. why the hell would I be still whining about her today.. almost 9000 years later?

WHY? Because I left myself vulnerable and put myself in a position that I felt I had no choice than to temporarily set up camp under the same roof as her for as short a time as possible.

But notice here.. I accepted responsibility for MY SCREW UP and how I ended up back here..

I spent years not talking to her while I got my thoughts together.. It wasn’t possible to keep her in my life while I worked thought the drama of who what where and how I ended up where I was.. I couldn’t see clearly with her negative energy draining my brain cells.

Anywho.. that's not the issue here.. or is it?

I moved away and went on my merry way and found… happiness?


Ya don’t leave an abusive home and EVER find happiness until “YOU GET IT”
So nooooooo I went into one dysfunctional relationship after the next..

Within the last 10 years.. I did get it.. I had to hit rock bottom with this parent alienation and abuse of power thing but I hit rock bottom and began to crawl out.. I refused to stop searching for answers until I “GOT IT”

Here comes the really messed up part. I had made such amazing friends while I was still very dysfunctional and had zero awareness.

Friends that I couldn’t understand what it was that brought us together, they seemed so functional, as did their families.

Check out this link for the method to that mind set and how it really works..

Click here: Mental Health - Repetition Compulsion Simplified and Conquered

Anywho.. Some of the dear friends I’ve made while “finding the truth out about myself” did so many amazing things for me.. They treated me and others like gold. What was I to do when I figured out that YES THEY DID TREAT ME AND OTHERS LIKE GOLD.. But while they were building me or others the bridge to the moon.. They didn’t notice they threw me or others under the ladder they were using and I or others was/were crushed in the interim. I can’t deny those dysfunctional friends would do anything for me or anyone else and then some.. And they DID on the one hand! But like I said .. They were blind to the damage they were causing with the other hand... because of their own dysfunction..

At one point in my travels.. I was forced to leave a situation I was in.. against my hearts wishes.. I left part of my heart there but I had to get my body out - it was toxic!

However, I couldn’t think with my heart that’s how abusers “get in” we allow people to abuse us at times through another person that can‘t keep the gate closed..

The situations I've put myself in when I wasn't thinking healthy weren't healthy.. because of all of the negative thinking.. transference of anger.. and really bad choices that were being so many players, which I found myself the unhappy target of..more than once with more than one person. I spent all of my energy and many years trying to come up with a grey area that would work..

When all was said and done abuse was still getting in.. and I had to make the healthy choice of not allowing it to happen anymore..

Someone attempted to point the finger at me.. saying.. I was the one with the negative all or nothing thinking since I chose to leave..

This was an all or nothing decision after I had spent countless hours/days/weeks/months/years assessing the big picture, using critical thinking and staring down the truth.. The changes that were being made weren’t enough to stop the pain..
And when all was said and done, the pain was to much to bare..

Gotta free yourself of that emotional pain or it’ll kill ya from the inside out!

And I've died inside to many times to allow it ever again!

Now when you find yourself the target of an over abundance of negativity it's almost impossible not to react! Then.. well... you end up playing on the " Victim triangle - Karpman drama triangle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" a place I refuse to visit again.

But I found myself there even after I'd begun to "get it".. well what the *&^% ... how did that happen?

I'll tell ya man... the human mind is un(&&%ing believable!

But didn’t I just say I’m here with my mother in another TOXIC place?

So, didn’t I know she was toxic and wouldn’t have changed..

In other words what makes THIS toxic place a better place than other toxic plaes I've been?

Other toxic places had lots of transferred anger meant for someone else firing at me what felt like 24/7.

This toxic place.. There isn’t anyone in therapy and so the toxic energy isn’t being misplaced on ME! It’s just over dramatic chaos.. Which I can avoid!

In the other toxic places the shots to my mind, body and soul were unavoidable..

I tried .. and tried.. the people I tried to share awareness with weren’t ready to see it!

FACTS ARE - when one comes from dysfunction (defined in so many ways - I couldn’t possibly get into them all here.. but physical abuse is only the tip of the iceberg- dominating parent[s] intrusive parent[s] overbearing parent[s] self absorbed parent[s] also known as the narcissists/psychopaths Characteristics of narcissistic mothers also fit right in there with abusive - actually they are the worst.. cuz it's not what one would "label" abusive. enmeshed (to lose for comfort - everyone knows what everyone else is doing WRONG in the eyes of the enmeshed leader)

That the kind of abuse ya don't easily identify as abuse, but it's abuse nonetheless!

Anyway.. as I was saying.. when one comes from abuse they are UNCONCIOUSLY attracted to abusers or others that can recreate the drama from their childhood!

No flippin way! Shut this chick up.. she has no idea what she's talking about!

THINK AGAIN! This time use critical thinking.. put space between your loved parent and yourself.. then think..

(1) Does my parent think negatively? (Use this link to see what negative thinking really is -

(Do you indulge in "Stinkin' Thinking"? - Mental Health - - only this time read it without pointing fingers at anyone but YOURSLEF - if you want to free yourself from your own hell the PATTERNS you play out that keep you stuck in misery -

Our Pathway Home, Emotional Healing: People, Pain and Patterns

Excerpt - Patterns are repetitive behaviors or modes of response, created by frozen or denied pain. They are mostly outside our conscious awareness, existing in our blind spot, although often fairly easy for others to identify in us.

Patterns are both,a way of behaving in the world,and a way of seeing the world.

(2) Does my parent cause their own drama?

(3) Did my parent[s] raise me to feel good about myself?

(4) Do I have internal anger waiting to be released on anyone at any moment including myself (depression is anger without the energy)

If any of this looks or sounds familiar after evaluating it from a stance of emotional distance when reading it..

STOP the misery merry- go- *&%- round of your life..

STOP lying to yourself!












Read- educate yourself.. make as much change as is necessary to NOT ALLOW in the troublemakers- the negative thinking that drain you and get in your way of happiness!

Baby steps WON’T WORK with abusers!!

Baby steps to rid your life of drama, chaos and negativity.. wont work if you haven’t looked within and realized that you are carying the baggage they forced you to carry ..

You are stuck .. stuck in a negative thought pattern.

Once you begin to see this .. try to make larger steps..

There needs to be MAJOR changes to your thinking!! If you are the child of anyone of the abusive types then you think NEGATIVELY and that has been the ONLY WAY YOU KNOW HOW TO THINK..

That’s going to take a very conscious effort to stop!

It’s hard as hell to change negative thinking to positive thinking..

But start by thinking about your thinking..

Yeah right .. Say that five times fast!

No, dayum it that wasn’t funny..

Think about how you came to a resolution..

Then think about that..

Was it based on FACTS?

Was it based on “feelings” well I’ll bet you my kidneys.. Your first thought or first conclusion is ALWAYS based on feelings..

And if you don’t give that thought any more thought..

And then more though ton that thought.. Guess what?

You left yourself open to being a victim!







The really sad part here .. Is that emotional vampires won’t look within.. The problem is everyone else in their life..

Check these links out..

How to spot an Emotional Vampire

Emotional energy healing is a technique that transforms our beliefs habits that we have been conditioned with

Browsing Search Results for emotional vampires // BlogCatalog

The Emotional Vampire Suvivial Guide: Emotional Freedom in Action by Judith Orloff, M.D. brought to you by Kajama.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

CPS Involved in Child Trafficking Rings Explains Senator Nancy Schaefer

You Tube Videos:

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CPS Involved In Child Trafficking Rings Explains Senator Schaefer 2 of 4

CPS Involved In Child Trafficking Rings Explains Senator Schaefer 3 of 4

CPS Involved In Child Trafficking Rings Explains Senator Schaefer 4 of 4

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Stephen Baskerville Speaks out about Family Court

Dr. Stephen Baskerville speaks out about the fear the Family courts put in all law biding parents......... Needlessly.

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The Wall Street Journal, Children's Use Of Psychiatric Drugs Begins To Decelerate

By David Armstrong
May 18, 2009
The growth in antipsychotic-drug prescriptions for children is slowing as state Medicaid agencies heighten their scrutiny of usage and doctors grow more wary of the powerful medications.

The softening in sales for children is the first sign that litigation, reaction to improper marketing tactics, and concern about side effects may be affecting what had been a fast-growing children's drug segment.

The six so-called atypical antipsychotics that dominate the market have limited approval from the FDA to treat patients under 18 years of age. Only one is cleared for children under age 10 -- risperidone, branded by Johnson & Johnson as Risperdal -- to treat irritability associated with autism.

But doctors can prescribe drugs as they see fit, and many have turned to the atypicals to treat serious mental conditions in children, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Use of Risperidone by those 18 and under accounts for about 25% of the drug's sales, while SDI Health, a medical market-research company that gathers sales information from drugstores, estimates that sales of all antipsychotics to that age group account for 15% of the drugs' sales, or $2.18 billion.

Data on use among children are hard to come by, but SDI's figures show that antipsychotic prescriptions for children under 18 rose 5.2% between 2007 and 2008, compared with an increase of 8.73% in the year-earlier period.

The slowdown is more pronounced among younger children. The nation's second largest pharmacy-benefits manager,
Medco Health Solutions Inc., which handles 586 million prescriptions a year, estimates that prescriptions for antipsychotics for patients under 10 fell 4% last year. From 2001 through 2007, use in that age group increased 85%, Medco says.

SDI Health estimates that prescriptions for psychiatric drugs for children under 10 increased 3.5% last year. In contrast, between 2002 and 2007, such prescriptions rose 44.6%, it says. SDI also says it saw a 1% drop in prescriptions for those under seven last year.

"I was never a big prescriber to begin with, but I have definitely been more careful as information has come to light about the serious side effects being downplayed in the marketing of these drugs," says Michael Houston, a child psychiatrist in Chevy Chase, Md.
Others who treat children with serious and dangerous behavioral problems worry that misconceptions about the drugs will prompt some parents or doctors to balk at their use.

"For those children who are seriously mentally ill, although these side effects can be potentially significant, the benefits far outweigh the side effects," says Louis Kraus, the chief of child psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Antipsychotics have faced heightened scrutiny and investigation over the past year. In November, a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee asked the FDA to research children's use of the drugs and expressed concern about possible side effects such as weight gain and increased diabetes risk. And 11 state attorneys general are investigating alleged marketing of
Eli Lilly & Co.'s antipsychotic Zyprexa for uses the FDA hasn't approved.

In January, Eli Lilly agreed to pay $1.4 billion to settle allegations it improperly marketed Zyprexa. The company also agreed to plead guilty to a criminal charge of promoting the drug for unapproved uses.

A Lilly spokesman declined to comment on ongoing litigation and said the company doesn't track the drug's use in children.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. agreed to pay $515 million in September 2007 to settle allegations it promoted Abilify for use in children. The FDA didn't approve of the use of the drug in children older than 10 until 2008.

State Medicaid agencies began to question "off label" use of antipsychotics after the December 2006 death of Rebecca Riley, a four-year-old Massachusetts girl whose family received Medicaid benefits. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age two, she was prescribed a cocktail of drugs, includingan antipsychotic, court records show.

Some states began moving to require special approval before they would cover a claim for an antipsychotic. A group of 16 states started studying the use of psychiatric medication in children in 2007 in an effort they dubbed "too many, too much, too young," says Jeffrey Thompson, the medical director of the Washington state Medicaid program.

In California, the number of children six and under using psychiatric medications has fallen to 4,200 from 5,686 since a 2006 prior-authorization plan was put in place, the state's top Medicaid official says.

Florida's state Medicaid agency says the number of prescriptions for atypical antipsychotics written for children under age six in the second half of last year dropped to 1,137 from 3,167 a year earlier.

The agency says the decline was the result of a state program started last year under which prescriptions for children under six are reviewed for appropriateness by state-hired psychiatric consultants before Medicaid will cover them.

Washington has created a system to flag the use of psychiatric drugs that may contain too high a dose for young children or have side effects that it regards as particularly dangerous. From May 2006 to April 2008, the system flagged 1,032 cases for review by outside consultants.


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Sunday, May 17, 2009

I came accross this fantastic post on Parent Alienation and had to share..

by Despina Vassiliou
Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling,
McGill University 3700 McTavish, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1Y2

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Educational Psychology


This qualitative study examines alienated parents’ perceptions of their own experience of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). The participants were five fathers and one mother. The data were collected via semi-structured, open-ended interview questionnaires.

A qualitative analysis of the data was performed for each participant in an attempt to answer the following questions:

(1) Are there characteristics (e.g., number of children, number of marriages, etc.) common to alienated families?

(2) Are there common themes or issues among the conflicts between couples that contribute to marriage dissolution?

(3) From the lost parent’s perspective, are there commonalities in the underlying causes of the alienation?

(4) Are there common themes in the participants’ experience of the alienation process?

(5) Given the opportunity what are some things that the lost parents perceive they might do differently? The findings are discussed and the limitations of the present study are given.


Dr. Richard A. Gardner, a forensic and child psychiatrist, has conducted evaluations regarding the custody of children following divorce (Rand, 1997). Through his case work he observed that many divorcing families shared common characteristics which he labeled as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). PAS was defined as a syndrome where one parent (usually the custodial parent) alienates the child or children from the other parent. PAS includes the alienating parent engaging the child in a series of conscious and subconscious techniques like brainwashing in an attempt to denigrate the other parent. Further, the child also contributes to the denigration of the allegedly hated parent (Cartwright, 1993; Gardner, 1992). The general pattern of characteristics PAS children display during and after the divorce have been described by Gardner (1992) as follows:

1. Campaign of denigration: PAS children denigrate the “lost” parent completely, particularly in the presence of the alienating parent. The children express a profuse hatred for the lost parent. Initially, the children may denigrate each parent in the presence of the other. Eventually they learn that the denigration of the non-custodial or alienated parent is beneficial within the custodial home (Cartwright, 1993; Gardner, 1992). Subsequently, the child rejects the lost parent completely.

2. The children’s unfounded rationalizations: The children base their denigration on rationalizations that are weak or frivolous, e.g. “she snores in her sleep”. Statements such as these are often made with a complete lack of ambivalence by the children. The alienating parent, as well, does not question such statements as the bases for denigration and further uses the children’s statements as evidence of the lost parent’s inadequacy (Cartwright, 1993; Gardner, 1992).

3. Dichotomization of the parents: The alienating parent is perceived by the child as encompassing only positive qualities and as such the children attempt to express themselves as “perfect little photocopies” (Goldwater, 1991 p. 126) of the alienating parent. On the other hand, the lost parent is believed to encompass only negative qualities. This negative attitude is generalized to events that the children and lost parent have shared. Even events that the children once enjoyed are now remembered as being forced, not enjoyed, or never even remembered (Cartwright, 1993; Gardner, 1992).

4. The independent thinker phenomenon: The children present the decision to reject the parent as their own. The alienating parent reinforces this contention by making such statements as “I can’t force her to see her dad, if she does not want to”. Further, the claim that the decision to reject the parent was the child’s own is made suspect by the child’s use of language and phrases that are developmentally inappropriate and indicative of the alienating parent’s influence (Cartwright, 1993; Gardner, 1992).

5. Automatic love of the alienating parent: the children automatically and reflexively support the alienating parent. This automatic love may be a consequence of the belief that the alienating parent is an ideal or perfect person or that the children perceive that parent as weak and in need of support and defending (Cartwright, 1993; Gardner, 1992).

6. Absence of guilt: The children do not express any feelings of guilt about the circumstances surrounding the relationship with the lost parent. There is a lack of gratitude for any gifts, favours, etc.. This lack of guilt cannot be attributed solely to cognitive immaturity but is related to the brainwashing done by the alienating parent (Cartwright, 1993; Gardner, 1992).

7. Borrowed scenarios: The children use language and expressions that are clearly not their own. The quality with which they express their beliefs appears to be coached and rehearsed, and the only source of the borrowed scenarios appears to be the alienating parent (Cartwright, 1993; Gardner, 1992). For instance, a five year old borrows the alienating mother’s words and say “Daddy’s new girlfriend is a whore!” (Cartwright, 1993, p. 207).

8. Generalization of animosity: The lost parent’s extended family is also included in the animosity. These individuals are also perceived as encompassing negative qualities or inappropriate actions since they are associated with the lost parent. For instance, any attempt by the extended family to counter the denigration of the lost parent is viewed by the children as an attack on their beliefs that they must defend (Cartwright, 1993; Gardner, 1992).

Further, Cartwright, 1993 postulated that often allegations of abuse associated with PAS may be virtual. Virtual allegations refer to cases where the abuse is simply suggested in order to cast aspersions the lost parent’s character without the alienating parent having to fabricate real incidents of alleged abuse. For example, in one case, the mother hinted at an allegation of sexual abuse by accusing the father of renting a videotape containing pornography for the child. The mother reported in court that the child was disappointed with the movie because it was “suggestive, erotic, and pornographic”. The movie, a Hollywood comedy starring Chevy Chase, was chosen by the child at a family video store. The judge proceeded to interview the child extensively and, disagreeing with the mother, found that the child was not disappointed in the movie because it was pornographic but rather because it was not funny. Virtual allegations are subtle and, as a result, difficult to prove or disprove. Therefore, Cartwright, 1993 postulates that as lawyers and judges become more aware of PAS and become more skilled at detecting it, the incidence of virtual allegations will increase.

As in most disorders, the severity of PAS can range from mild to severe. As a result, Gardner (1991, conference) has described three levels in the continuum of severity of the syndrome as mild, moderate, and severe. Using these anchor points, Gardner (1992) described the characteristics of the alienating parent and the child.

In a Severe level of PAS, the alienating parent demonstrates paranoid thoughts that may be limited to the lost parent or may generalize to other circumstances. Prior to the divorce, however, the alienating parent may not have demonstrated any paranoia. Another characteristic includes the alienating parent’s obsession with preventing the lost parent from having or exercising any visitation rights. The alienating parent will use any means necessary to ensure this goal. Further, alienating parents project their own negative qualities onto the lost parents, reinforcing their own paranoia and portraying themselves as victims. As a result of this paranoia, alienating parents do not respond with appeals to logic or reason, or even to confrontations with reality. Those who do not support the alienating parents’ beliefs, whether they are mental health professionals, lawyers, etc., are believed either to be against them or to be paid by the lost parent. The children in severe cases of PAS share the alienating parent’s paranoia about the lost parent. They will refuse to visit the lost parent and often demonstrate panic and hostility that renders visits impossible. Further, if visitation does occur, once they are in the lost parent’s home they may run away, become paralyzed with fear, or become destructive to the extent that they must be removed from the home.

The Moderate level of PAS includes alienating parents who exhibit more rage than paranoid tendencies. They are able to make some distinction between a child’s preposterous allegations and those which may have some validity. However, as in severe cases, an alienating parent in a moderate case of PAS will also undertake a campaign of denigration against the lost parent and will tend to prevent the lost parent’s exercise of visitation rights. Prior to the divorce, the moderate alienating parent is more likely to have been a good child rearer. The children of moderate PAS tend to be less persistent with their campaigns of denigration, and are more likely to abandon them in the presence of the lost parents, especially after long periods of time. In this type of case campaigns of denigration by younger children in the presence of their lost parents can only be sustained with the help of older siblings who function as surrogate parents during visitation. The alienated children’s primary motives for maintaining campaigns of denigration are to maintain “healthy” psychological bonds with the alienating parents.

The Mild level of PAS, the parents have generally healthy psychological bonds with their children. They respond to logic and reason in that they recognize that the alienation of the non-custodial parent is not beneficial for the children. Therefore, the alienating parent will be willing to take a conciliatory approach towards the lost parent’s requests. Gardner (1992) also notes that mild cases of PAS require considerablyless therapy than the more severe cases. Further, the children may become healthier when the intervention simply requires the child to remain in the presence of the lost parent over time.

Cartwright (1993) noted that the time that is spent alienating the child may be an indicator of the degree to which the child is alienated; the longer the alienation, the more alienated the child. Further, the excessive alienation may “build up” or increase the risk of mental illness in the child. As a result, the sooner the children are removed from the alienating situation, the healthier it is for the lost parent and the PAS children. It is, therefore, important to gain a better understanding of parental alienation, its development, and its termination, because of the devastating consequences of PAS to the family members who experience it.

Operational Definitions

Alienator or Alienating Parent. The terms “alienator” and “alienating parent” are used to designate the parent who influences the child or children to turn against the other parent.

Lost or Hated or Absent Parent. The lost (and usually non-custodial) parent is the one who is the target of the alienator.

Conflict. This term signifies opposing ideas and beliefs that members of the family experience in the form of arguments that may or may not become violent.

Alienation: This term signifies any actions, whether physical or psychological, that lead to the negative perception of a parent. Specifically, the term alienation refers to tactics utilized in order to induce PAS.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gov. Gregoire Said: "Refocus On What Is Important" After Seeing Ombudsman's Report On Colville

Spokesman Review

Child Welfare System In Colville Faces Criticism

COLVILLE, WA - A new Ombudsman report is critical of the child welfare system in Colville, Washington. The report seems to confirm what community leaders have been saying for months. Austin Jenkins has this report.

It’s a spring evening in Colville. Leigh Roubideaux’s daughters - ages 7 and 4 – are playing on their swing set in their front yard. It was a very different picture last August. That’s when Roubideaux’s kids strayed into the busy street in front of their house. Someone called the police and soon Child Protective Services was knocking at the door. Roubideaux - who has developmental disabilities – remembers that day well.

Leigh Roubideaux, Mother: “I was petrified. I was in tears.”

CPS took the kids away. It took three weeks and the support of friends and neighbors – like local businesswoman Lisa Shinn - for Roubideaux to get her daughters back. Shinn thinks CPS discriminated against Roubideaux because of her disability and the fact she’s Native American.

Lisa Shinn: “We would all have our children taken away if someone saw them playing in the street everyone would have their children taken by CPS if that is the criteria.”

This is just one example of a litany of complaints against Children and Family Services in Northeast Washington. Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen sits in an easy chair in his living room with two accordion files at his feet. In those files are the stories of people who feel they’ve been wronged by state child welfare officials.

Tim Rasmussen: “There’s a lot of human tragedy here. There’s a lot of tragic, tragic situations.”

For the past months – at the request of a state lawmaker - Rasmussen has collected accounts of what he calls a “pattern of misconduct” by the Colville, Washington office of Children and Family Services. In one of the more high profile cases, five children were removed from the home of a well-known foster family. A judge later called it a “slap in the face” and an “overreaction” that resulted in “tremendous upheaval” for the children. Rasmussen’s theory is that caseworkers overreacted because of something horrible that happened in Colville back in 2005. A 7-year-old boy named Tyler DeLeon was starved to death by his foster mother.

Tim Rasmussen: “What’s happening now is just a different chapter in the book if you would. Tyler DeLeon is one chapter and they missed the mark in one direction and in some of the current cases they appear to have missed the mark in another direction.”

Prosecutor Rasmussen recently wrote a letter to Governor Chris Gregoire that says he believes there’s a “culture of deceit and deception” within the Colville child welfare office. He’s even considering criminal charges against a CPS worker for violating a court order. Rasmussen isn’t the only one critical of Children and Family Services. Patty Markel runs the CASA program in Stevens County. These are the Court Appointed Special Advocates who represent the children in child dependency cases. She alleges that CPS caseworkers act in a “willy-nilly” fashion that’s personality driven and motivated by a fear of lawsuits.

Patty Markel: “What I see now is more liability-driven decision making. And that’s concerning because that’s not necessarily – this whole system is supposed to be about the best interests of children”

You hear a similar theme from Barry Bacon - a family physician in Colville. He says CPS workers often ignore the advice of local doctors like him. Instead, from what he’s seen, they take kids to Spokane – 70 miles away – to see the doctor.

Dr. Barry Bacon: “They would rather continue with their opinion and destroy a child rather than admit that they’ve made a mistake. It’s unbelievable. I mean it’s like the Wild West. They are a law unto themselves which is one of the biggest issues we have with them.”

The Department of Social and Health Services has reviewed the cases flagged by Prosecutor Rasmussen and in a recent report finds no wrongdoing by caseworkers. But in a separate investigation by state Ombudsman Mary Meinig, a disturbing portrait of the Colville office emerges. Over the past two years, the Ombudsman’s office has received 62 complaints regarding child welfare practices in the area. So far in 16 of those cases, the Ombudsman found, “violations of law, policy, procedure; clearly unreasonable actions; or simply poor social work practice.” Beyond that Meinig says her investigation revealed, a “culture of pervasive distrust” between CPS workers and other professionals in the community. But rather than pinning all the blame on CPS, Meinig says everyone involved needs to do a better job of working together.

Mary Meinig: “Our report says the kids are at-risk and families are at-risk because of the lack of trust, cooperation, collaboration and communication that’s going on within the community.”

The situation is so serious, Meinig believes, that the lives of vulnerable children are on the line.

Mary Meinig: “Well if it doesn’t improve I would say it would be a matter of time before we have an even more serious incidents – possible child fatality or near fatality.”

Meinig believes past tragedies are influencing the decisions made by CPS workers and have led to a climate of distrust. In haunting language, she writes the “ghosts of children past sit in the collective conscience as reminders of where the system failed.” But Meinig’s report has hope. She recommends several steps to start rebuilding trust including bringing outside professional mediators and creating a diverse community advisory board. How does Children and Family Services respond to all this?

Marty Butkovich, DSHS Regional Administrator: “Obviously relationships need to be improved.”

Marty Butkovich is the Administrator who oversees the Colville CPS office. He acknowledges there’s been a breakdown in communication. But he calls his staff “exceptional," and says he’s seen nothing to suggest his employees need to be disciplined or fired.

Marty Butkovich: “We’re not the bad guy. This is very difficult work, very emotional work and some very difficult decisions are being made as it relates to kids and people have strong feelings about some of those decisions and not always in agreement.”

As for whether a fear of lawsuits is driving decisions to take children away, Butkovich admits that does weigh on caseworkers’ minds.

Marty Butkovich: “Liability is something that is very obvious and tort and being sued and deaths – all the real bad things that are out there – can be in a social workers mind and if they’re stressed and tired and so ya it can be there.”

Department of Social and Health Services officials say they believe relations in Northeast Washington have improved over the past year but there’s still work to be done. The agency plans to put a corrective action plan into place.

The problems in Colville have even reached Governor Chris Gregoire. She said in response to the Ombudsman report she wants the agency to, “refocus on what’s important,” the children they’re charged with protecting.

Pam Roach Report: Gov. Gregoire Said: "Refocus On What Is Important" After Seeing Ombudsman's Report On Colville

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