Unbiased Reporting

What I post on this Blog does not mean I agree with the articles or disagree. I call it Unbiased Reporting!

Isabella Brooke Knightly and Austin Gamez-Knightly

Isabella Brooke Knightly and Austin Gamez-Knightly
In Memory of my Loving Husband, William F. Knightly Jr. Murdered by ILLEGAL Palliative Care at a Nashua, NH Hospital

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Did This Judge Lose Her Child? The Answer is NO!

Did This Judge Lose Her Child? The Answer is NO!
February 27, 2010 yvonnemason

UPDATED: 1:10 P.M.
Judge who left child alone at home stays on bench, but can’t handle
child-neglect cases

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writers

Judge Nina Hickson, in her second four-year term, is chief of Fulton County
Juvenile Court.

• Statement: ‘I … should have known better’
• Atlanta/South Metro community page

Fulton County Superior Court judges Tuesday allowed a juvenile judge to stay on
the bench after she recused herself from handling child-neglect cases.
State social workers found Juvenile Court Judge Nina Hickson had committed
child neglect last November when she left her 4-year-old daughter home alone at
night. After learning about the case last week, Superior Court judges, who
appoint Juvenile Court judges, had convened to discuss whether any action
should be taken against her.

Hickson informed the judges she would only hear juvenile delinquency cases –
not ones involving parenting — until after judicial and police investigations
of her conduct were concluded.

“We’re satisfied with Judge Hickson’s voluntary recusal,” said Chief Superior
Court Judge Elizabeth Long.

Child advocates, lawyers and judges had questioned whether Hickson should hear
neglect cases because of fears she might be seen as biased. Some judges also
were troubled Hickson didn’t report the incident to Superior Court judges nor
to her colleagues on the juvenile bench.

The state Department of Family and Children Services informed Hickson Dec. 5 it
had found she had committed a one-time case of neglect. The state Judicial
Qualifications Commission announced Monday that it was investigating whether
the judge should stay on the bench after learning about the issue from the
media. Atlanta Police have said they are also investigating.

Long refused to elaborate further on the meeting, which was closed to the
public, saying it was a personnel issue. She noted the turnout of 17 of 19
Superior Court judges for the meeting showed they took the issue seriously.

As fellow judges consider case, Fulton jurist said she make mistake in leaving
child alone

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writers

Fulton County Juvenile Court Judge Nina Hickson issued a public apology Monday
as two more inquiries began regarding her leaving her 4-year-old daughter home
alone while she ran a late-night errand.
The state Judicial Qualifications Commission announced Monday that it was
investigating whether Hickson’s behavior in the Nov. 29 incident makes her
unsuitable for the Juvenile Court bench or whether she should be disciplined.

Separately, Fulton County Superior Court judges, who appointed Hickson, will
meet Tuesday to discuss the matter and possible action against her, Chief Judge
Elizabeth Long said.

“Everything will be on the table — people are concerned,” Long said.

A number of lawyers, psychologists and child advocates have raised concerns
about Hickson’s action — with some urging that she be replaced — because she
judges parents charged with neglect in similar cases, Long said.

Hickson, a 43-year-old single parent, acknowledged in a two-page written
statement that she made a mistake in leaving her daughter, Wesley Victoria,
home alone to make a dash back to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to
claim a piece of luggage.

“I, of all people, should have known better,” the judge said.

Hickson said she and her daughter had returned home from a trip about 10:45
p.m. and she thought her daughter was safely asleep for the night when she
decided to go to the airport.

But a passer-by found the girl wandering on an East Point street, looking for
her mother, and called authorities.

East Point police contacted Atlanta police, who returned the girl to her

Hickson said police called the state Division of Family and Children Services
that evening. On Dec. 1, she said, she called the DFCS deputy administrator for
Fulton County to inform her about her child-neglect case.

‘No history’ of neglect

The state DFCS’ Special Investigation Unit handled the inquiry because county
DFCS officials work closely with Hickson, said Renee Huie, DFCS spokeswoman.

Hickson said investigators interviewed her and her daughter and inspected her
home and determined that the incident represented neglect.

DFCS devised a plan for the judge to keep the child safe and notified her on
Dec. 5 that the case was closed, Huie said.

“If it is a situation in which there is no future risk to the child, as best as
can be determined, the case is closed,” Huie said. “There is no history [of
neglect] involving the judge in the [DFCS] computerized system.”

Fulton County Superior Court judges were to meet at 8 a.m. Tuesday to discuss

Some judges have raised concerns that she didn’t report the Nov. 29 incident to
the Superior Court or to her Juvenile Court colleagues immediately.

Atlanta police also began an investigation recently. Assistant police ChiefAlan
Dreher said the delay occurred because the patrol officers didn’t forward their
report to the Crimes Against Women and Children Unit until after a media

The department now will review its procedures and policies regarding incidents
involving children, he said.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission said a story, first reported in The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution over the weekend, also prompted it to investigate
Hickson. The commission investigates complaints about judges and issues
opinions to the state Supreme Court regarding judicial conduct.

The commission specifically investigates conduct “prejudicial to the
administration of justice which brings the judicial office into disrepute,”
according to its Web site.

The seven-member commission can recommend varying levels of punishment, ranging
from private warnings to suspension to removal.

The commission consists of two judges, three lawyers and two lay members. One
seat is currently vacant.

But the final decision on any discipline rests with the state Supreme Court.

Rick McDevitt, president of the Georgia Alliance for Children, said Hickson
needs to take a voluntary leave of absence until the matter is fully resolved.

“The problem is her credibility, because she hears this kind of cases and
admonishes the parents on poor decision making,” McDevitt said. “I don’t see
how until this cloud of suspicion is resolved she can continue to hear these
types of cases.”

Hickson, who is in her second four-year term, is the chief judge of the
Juvenile Court.

She was first appointed in 1997, and among her supporters for the post were
former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and Richard Deane and Kent
Alexander, both former U.S. attorneys for the Northern District of Georgia.

A ‘personal failing’

In her public statement Monday, Hickson indicated she wanted to remain on the

She called the incident a “personal failing” but insisted it in no way
reflected a lack of concern for her child or toward the children and families
who appeared before her in court.

“If I could turn back time, I would,” Hickson said. “I would have wrapped my
daughter up in a blanket and taken her to the airport with me, or waited until
the next day to go there, or had the bag delivered to the house.”

“There are only a handful of things worth breaking one’s neck to have,” Hickson
added. “Tuesday, I know that a missing suitcase is not one of them. But my
daughter is.”


Who Put This Judge On The Bench????
Letter of Support from Child Advocacy Planning Retreat Participants to Gove…
People Who Dilberate Make False Reports of Child Abuse – Written By Dan W…
Judicial Issues in Pennsylvania… since Luzerne Co.
Categories: Abuse by Family Court JudgesTags: abuse in the system, CPS, yvonne mason


Foster Care in America – how it affects children

Foster Care in America – how affects children

About 800,000 Children end up in a foster family in America every year. Helping to care for orphaned, abandoned and abused Children find homes where they are safe and proper care, can receive up to a stable environment at home to find for them. The problem is that the American expectation is loosely organized and make life difficult in situations involving Children not to meet their individual needs in full.

* Who is eligible forCare?

Day care is given to each Child aged between birth and 18 years. Children are usually in a nursing home for an average of three years. Then a child will be reunited in principle with his biological family or definitively adopted by another family. However, some children remain in a position to promote the family for more than this time.

* How can young children in a situation to promote the family?

Statistics show that young children in foster careoften have a certain degree of emotional and behavioral problems. They are removed from their homes because of neglect or physical, sexual or verbal abuse. They carry these memories with them for a long time. You can do a lot of children are worried about other people or otherwise, to go to the anger of families who are taking as part of the program expectations. Many of these children need mental health services and often have physical disabilities due to poor health.

Children inFoster care program does not do so well, on average, like their counterparts in school. Have lower grades and cause much worse on standardized tests. Some children are loved and are struggling in most of the time, even up to expulsion. This is not only difficult on the child, but the family care for him.

* What happens to children who "age out" of custody?

Children who "age out" of expectations, too old for the program can be found in atroublesome situation. While some of these organisms and former youth custody of transition to adulthood can help, it is often difficult for young people to find work and provide an alternative place to live. Unfortunately, many end up homeless.

Statistics show that children who rarely someone for advice or guidance when they reach the maximum foster care aged 18 and above. There are mentoring programs available to help, but these children do not know where to find such coveragePrograms. Many of these young people are the same parents at an early age, and only about 46 percent of them even A-levels.

* What is with the foster family?

In almost half the cases, 46 percent of the time, place a child in a foster care home of the family to strangers. This may happen several times the participation of children in the system of expectations. Some will be able to live with relatives, and others may be placed in a foster family thatis a group of children in foster care under one roof. A foster family is given a small monthly stipend to support child care, but this is often not sufficient, especially if a child needs advice of any kind

Everything seems to children, forced into a foster family situation bleak. The purpose of the program is to give these children a loving and nurturing environment in order to get through some pretty tough times, but the system is failing these children? Is there a way tomake the system work better for these children? This topic is the subject of thorough investigation and continues. More and more Americans realize that something in the system of expectations through our nation needs to change. Increased awareness of the problems the system faces custody is the driving force behind these changes is necessary. Only time will tell whether we did the right thing.

Related :Lego Agents Store lego-games Lego Agents Store

Tags: affects, America, children, Foster

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County near settlement with family of girl who died in foster care

County near settlement with family of girl who died in foster care

February 28, 2010 12:02 PM

Rather than face a potentially damaging and costly trial, El Paso County attorneys are close to reaching an out-of-court settlement in a federal lawsuit brought by the mother of a 2-year-old girl killed while in foster care.

In November, both sides initiated private mediation in the wrongful death suit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver by the estate of Alizé Vick, who died of a closed head injury while in the care of former foster mom Jules Lynn Cuneo.
“We have reached a conclusion, but I can’t yet go into details because we are still sorting out some technical, legal issues,” El Paso County Attorney William Louis said Wednesday. Those issues involve the ability to recover money on behalf of the county, he said.

A formal settlement including the dollar amount would be subject to a public vote of the county commissioners, Louis added.

On Feb. 19, a 4th Judicial District jury found Cuneo guilty of child abuse resulting in death, but did not convict her of first-degree murder, which would have meant mandatory life in prison.

The jurors in the criminal case did not hear some evidence that might have figured in a civil trial, such as alleged instances of verbal abuse by Cuneo overheard by a neighbor on a baby monitor.

A civil trial also could have raised other issues, such as allegations that authorities ignored obvious issues about Cuneo’s suitability before she was approved as a foster care mom and complaints raised months prior to Alize’s death by her grandmother.

El Paso County Human Services removed Alizé and her younger brother Anthoni from their home in March 2007, in part because they were living with their paternal grandfather, a registered sex offender.

On the day the county took custody of the children, their mother, Ashley Lindenberger said she was high on drugs.

One month later she was jail. So was the children’s father.

Lindenberger also filed lawsuits in the 4th Judicial District Court against Cuneo and Kids Crossing, the nonprofit agency that placed the Vick children with Cuneo. However, all sides reached an agreement to dismiss those lawsuits on Nov. 25, according to court records.

Jeffrey R. Hill, the attorney for Lindenberger in both the state and federal lawsuits, said last week that he could not comment on the reason for the dismissal.

A motion filed in federal court states that the El Paso County commissioners, meeting in executive session on Nov. 19, directed their attorneys to pursue mediation for the county and for several former and current Human Services employees named in the lawsuit.

The motion notes that El Paso County is “self-insured to a considerable extent and typically defense costs and fees are not covered by liability insurance.”

If a settlement is reached, that would not be an unusual outcome, according to a New York City law professor who has testified as an expert witness in cases involving allegations of abuse or wrongful death of children in foster care.

Daniel Pollack, an attorney and social worker who teaches at Yeshiva University, published a law journal article in December highlighting several such lawsuits, including one in Tulsa, Okla., in which a jury awarded $20 million against a former foster mom.

Pollack said it’s difficult to generalize about such cases because the specific facts and state laws vary from case to case. But the pressure to settle is usually there, he added.

“I think everyone would rather settle it than go to trial because it’s such an incredible production to go to trial whether you’re the plaintiff or the defense,” he said.


More Facts about CPS Buying and Selling Our Children

More Facts about CPS Buying and Selling Our Children
January 9, 2010 yvonnemason

Topic: Constitutional Issues
The Business of Child Stealing in Florida

American taxpayers fund a racket that wrenches the stomach. That is CPS. Some of those involved claim their are just following orders, others just pocket the bounty on children wrenched from their parent’s arms. Nuremberg answered the question of orders; profiting from human trafficking should be a capital offense.
by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Saturday, June 28, 2008

Under 5 years, blond, blue-eyed – $6,000.00. a top of the line product

We are going to take you behind the lies into the ugly truth that is destroying families for profit every day, in every community across America. You won’t want to believe it but when you see their faces, hear their voices, you will understand why this is happening and what it means to your own life, even if you don’t have children.

The same system that views children as commodities to be sold also has plans for you. There is a solution and we will get to that.

The CPS steals children using the system paid for by citizens who believe it is being used to protect those in need. That is a fraud; the system actually pumps money into the personal accounts of all those involved in the system, converting children into cash while destroying them and their families. The number of children who emerge from the system, able to function normally, are near zero. Some are never seen again.

The system used includes three stages. The first phase is to shock and intimidate the parents into consenting to let their children be processed into the system. The second phase is to force parents, terrified for their children, to begin a process of ‘case management.’ That process is a template that is designed to push the parents into emotional meltdown and bankruptcy. The third phase is to sever the parental rights entirely and sell the children.

In the wake of this trauma families are atomized, destroyed. Parents and grandparents never again see the children who connect them to the future. Children lose their past and the anchoring each of us needs to develop into a healthy human being.

Those who carry the process through the stages are well compensated. Agents, Case workers, judges, physicians, clerks, and others expect and receive compensation for services often not even delivered. Compensation takes place through corporations. State employees who fail to take children out of homes are penalized; many of these leave the system which has been converted from a system originally intended to help families to one that profits those in control.

Across the country, CPS experienced high turn overs in case workers struggling under impossible work loads for many years. Good people, motivated to help struggling families were frustrated and unable to help; those are the kinds of caseworkers who simply quit. Cases of extreme abuse while children were in foster care were common. Nothing about the system gave cause for hope it was working. Then the picture changed. The idea that instead of providing services the system as a whole should move to the model of generating income took hold as the concept of privatization was widely adopted by government. Privatization, introduced during the Reagan Years, was pushed by think tanks that saw government, a corporation itself, as the logical partner for other large corporate interests. Children, roads, military services, each of these and more were recalibrated to provide income to those in control. In this way, the problem with social services created an opening that in the late 1990s allowed the least ethical to profit from the pain of others.

PL 105-89 (HR 867), passed into law November 19, 1997, was intended to ensure that children who could not be reunited with their birth families could be placed in loving homes. But those entrusted to carry out the desperately needed changes found the measure enabled a very different agenda. CPS agents and caseworkers could be trained to look at their industry as a profit center. The system began to view children as product to be harvested and parents as barriers to be demolished.

The system became a template for kidnapping, carried out by barely educated caseworkers who were told that they made the law. This itself had become a tenet of belief held by those in power as the foundations of Constitutional law continued to be eroded by a judiciary who graduated from law school ignorant of America’s foundational documents. The shift from Constitutional law to statute and whim of court, low-level government employee, and law enforcement is documented in “The Anti-Government Movement Guidebook,” published by the National Center for State Courts in1999.

The stage was set and the feeding frenzy was about to begin.

The process goes through three stages of slow death; ripped from their families the children are bewildered, afraid, vulnerable to the system. The process hinges on secrecy and an asserted immunity from accountability for all involved. Power, through the official but unacknowledged transfer from the Constitution to government by statute, code and whim, renders all of those outside government vulnerable. Caught in that process parents lose track of all the things that brought happiness and normality to their lives. Years later this will mark them. Most will never recover.

This is the story of three families. Each of their stories is still in motion because the pain never stops.

Stage One

Manatee County, Florida has long made a business of stealing children. Families who settle there do not know that, however. They are attracted to the weather, the beauty of the area. If they knew they would never settle anyplace in Florida, which is arguably has the most corrupt CPS system in the nation. The County is run by a Board of Commissioners who meet at this well polished table.

Children are a commodity for which there is a steady and growing market both in the United States and across the world. Child sex-slaves arrive in Europe and elsewhere from unspecified locations; children taken from homes routinely end up in the porn industry. It has been going on for many years but since it did not impact most of us it was easy to ignore. But as counties across the country have cycled down into bankruptcy the need to pump harder for every buck to be made has become more compelling. Today it is not just the most vulnerable who are targeted but families that would before have been passed over as too well connected. In Manatee County the pumping is in fast forward.

Monday, June 2nd 2008

The two young sons of the Roberts were dropped off at the home of their babysitter, Christina Holbrook, residence11534 57th Street Circle East, Parrish, Florida. Both parents work. Michelle and James Roberts are both veterans of the US Navy who met while in service to their country. Both came from families with long and honorable histories of serving in the military.

Their oldest son, had been disciplined by his father the day before for jumping up and down on his baby brother, a potentially life-threatening activity. Spanking was the kind of discipline James himself experienced as a child growing up in Tennessee. The spanking had left a slight bruise.

CPS arrived at the babysitter’s home at 9:30am. They proceeded to strip the two boys and photograph them in the nude, questioning them for an hour. This was a bewildering and frightening experience for the boys.

The first James and Michelle heard of this was when Michelle received a phone call at 3:30pm from Alicia Habib. Habib presented herself as an agent for Child Protective Services, demanding that the couple present themselves for an ‘interview’. No criminal complaint was presented. But the process of intimidation and fear was launched.

Here, Michelle and James find out, to their shock, that the kids have been stripped and photographed. Left feeling as if the ground had been cut out from under them they endured with shock the moment when the deputy sheriff read James his Miranda rights. He was not charged; no criminal complaint was served. Michelle is interviewed. They are given orders. Michelle is to be present when James saw their children. CPS is moving towards building paperwork to take the children away from their parents.

During the interview they were shown the photos taken of their naked children by the deputy. The children’s faces were frozen in tears. He did not show them all the photos, keeping them under the paperwork. Michelle found his behavior intimidating. As the photos were shown he questioned her about their use of discipline.

Soon Michelle and James will realize that the CPS has no power unless they give it to them. CPS depends on the ignorance of ordinary people. The first phase had begun.

The system ground them out fine; dehumanizing them and working with fine-tuned intention to show them, by its actions, that they had no rights and no recourse. At the end of the week a hearing was set; they were now being launched into the second phase of the process that intended to wrest their children from them. But during those endless days they began to come out of the shock and consider their alternatives. They considered the Constitution and the rights they knew they had both sworn to defend as members of the armed forces of America.

Michelle loaded the two boys in their car and drove them hundreds of miles to the town where James had grown up. There, she left them with their great-grandparents. When you are seven months pregnant no long drive is comfortable, but for her children Michelle would risk anything.

In the car she prayed that she would not miscarry the baby held so close to her heart.

The two young parents are both veterans of the War in Iraq. Each had joined the Navy, after looking forward to serving their country from their early teems. She planned this as her career, since 7th Grade. He, since taking in ROTC in High School.

But they had joined a military that they believed cared for its own and kept its promises; after finding that their small son would be have to be left with someone else while both served in the war zone, they resigned. Their son, Lukas, was born the following October.

Now, they knew what the military is about. To them, they were just bodies to fill slots that civilians could fill at twice the pay. Never previously interested in politics they began to think about how the world was being run.

From the time you join you are told he is your commander and chief. She was not a Bush fan, but you cannot say it without fear of reprisal.

But Florida CPS was not finished with them. Although they did not know it, Habib stood to make nearly $10,000 as her bounty for taking the children, both very adoptable, from their home.

They never could have imagined that the elderly great-grand-parents would be threatened with arrest, but that is what happened. They began studying the Constitution; This, they knew was the real law in America. If they understood it they could use it.

Now they understand that they should never have talked to CPS. If they had not, CPS would have had to leave them alone. CPS uses fear and intimidation to force the appearance that there they have entered into a ‘contract’ with parents. But since a valid contract cannot exist without the elements of disclosure, consent, and equitable exchange this is a fraud. All parents get is bankruptcy, heartbreak, and too often death.

The Case Plan Ploy – Adam Umholtz

Adam comes from a family that lived in a log cabin in Pennsylvania. The cabin was 230 years old. Made of chestnut beams that are from a species that is not extinct the beams were hand hewed and rectangular and criss crossed. Adam’s dad was a pastor for the Southern Home Mission Board. Adam’s younger brother was born there, in the horseshoe shaped valley that was filled with berry bushes and food they grew themselves.

Adam went to school at the Advanced Training Institute of America, now the ATI. Now he is an entrepreneur, or was until his life and family was hijacked by the CPS. Adam’s children were taken from him and his wife on Monday, July 28th, 2007. They were given a case plan that it was impossible to fulfill.

As part of the 72 goals laid out in the plan was one requirement that Adam attend a class for sexual offenders who had served time in prison. This was impossible for Adam to do. Adam is attending a study on successful parents and couples, a study in which he and his wife were invited to participate. Both parents are strong Christians who take their faith seriously. Neither parent has ever been to prison for any cause, much less a sexual offense. The charges were falsified made by a neighbor who was later charged with having committed a sexual offense themselves.

Adam cannot attend the classes available because he has never been to prison and has never been a sexual offender. He is not eligible for the class in any case. So the court told Adam to confess to a crime he did not commit to get his kids back. The court has an agenda. If Adam confesses they have a clear track for severing his parental rights. The lack of justice does not bother the court or the attorney who has urged him to confess to a crime he did not commit. They are all paid through the process that steals children for resale.

Parents are routinely told that to ‘complete their case plan’ they must fulfill requirements that force them to leave jobs that prevent them from attending classes scheduled from 9 – 5 on work days. They are told they cannot be self employed. Every possible block is put in their paths to complete a ‘requirement’ that is pointless in any case. The same pattern is reported by parents across the United States. Angelina Alexander, a parent in California was told she must quit her job as a taxi driver because she was self employed. Yet she had taken the job, the only one she could find, to fulfill the requirements to attend classes. In her case the report that took her small son from her home was from a former boyfriend who had never seen the child. Complaints that the charge was false were ignored as her processing continued.

Mainstream Americans are at risk today and have no idea what is coming. In Adam’s case the CPS had targeted the kids because they were homeschooling and because they had building materials in the back yard. Then a malicious neighbor, made sexual allegations. The neighbor was later proven to have lied.

But the fact that all the ‘charges’ were illegal did not stop them from forcing you to undertake the ‘Case Plan.’ There were no charges but they had already taken their eight children out of the home. If the family had known they would have refused to talk to CPS.

Adam and his wife are now approaching bankruptcy although they are better off than many couples because at least they do not have to hide to keep the child still living with them. Most parents face the same problem. Attempts to fulfill the case plan make it impossible to earn a living or are impossible to fulfill. There are no charges. There have been no charges. There will be no charges. As with most couples, they force the father to leave so that they will have a clear shot at grabbing the children from the mother.

CPS has continuously made false allegations, added their youngest child, born after they took the original eight children, to the present case, and over and over ignored the orders of the court. One of their daughters in foster care is suffering from a wound on her foot, acquired in the foster home, for which she is receiving no treatment. The wound continues to fester and they can do nothing.

Although there are no charges Adam and his wife are allowed to see the kids only two hours a week with supervision. And the court continues to threaten to sever their parental rights. Adam does not intend to let that happen.

Adam and his wife are considering their options now that they understand the fraud that has been perpetrated. Those options are growing, along with their understanding of the Constitution and how the system in place has worked to negate their rights.

Phase Three – Severing Parental Rights

Greg Pound and his wife, Malissa, had their parental rights severed in November of 2007. The incident that brought CPS into their lives was a simple accident. A friend’s dog visiting their home bit their baby. It could have happened to anyone; the dog’s owner was desperately sorry, the dog had never harmed anyone before. Accidents happen. There was a time when an accident was treated with offers of assistance, not viewed as the means for grabbing children from their parents and their home. But that was before those in power noticed the opportunity PL 105-89 (HR 867) offered them.

For four years the Pounds saw their children for just two hours a month. Looking at the children, across the barriers built by CPS always reduced them to tears.

The last time the Pounds saw their children was at the YMCA in Pinellas County. That ‘not for profit’ is paid 125 million a year, just for that county, according to Pound who says he has researched the subject exhaustively, to ‘babysit’ kids as they meet their parents in a stark ten by twelve foot room for the two hours they are allowed to be together for those months when they still hoped to be reunited.

The system is intended to separate children, a valuable commodity, from their parents. Mandates to reunite children and parents are consistently ignored as children are processed further and further into the system. What then happens to the children varies, but is in all cases appalling.

Along with the system abuse of families parents attempting to work in the system report that FOIA requests on such routine matters as copies of the Oath of Office and bonds, required by the Constitution, for each judge or elected official or law enforcement officer, are not produced, despite repeated requests. Many ask, over and over again, why such requests should be met with silence and hostility. Parents continue to struggle to regain custody of their children and to exact accountability from those who claim sovereign immunity as government employees from the impact of their acts on ordinary Americans. The claim of sovereign immunity for those employed by government is, according to Constitutional experts such as not employed by government entirely without foundation.

The three families whose cases appear here each report that they will never stop fighting. Each family is presently filing a civil rights suit against those involved in their several cases. In light of yesterday’s revelation on child-sex rings, operating across the United States but very present in their own areas of Florida, their questions are ever more anguished as they deal with the echoing emptiness of homes that once held the laughter of children.


Eight Suggestions to Guard You Against CPS

Eight Suggestions to Guard You Against CPS
January 25, 2010 yvonnemason

Foster care, family preservation and civil liberties: When you want to trample on the Fourth Amendment, who ya gonna call?

Say you work for a county sheriff’s department and you suspect that a couple is growing marijuana in their home. But you don’t have enough evidence to get a search warrant. As Karl Malden used to say in those American Express commercials: What will do you – what will you do?

The dilemma arose in Sarasota County, Florida. And Sheriff’s deputies there came up with what they thought was the perfect answer: Pretend they were from the one government agency to which that pesky Fourth Amendment never seems to apply. Pretend to be from the agency that can enter any home based on no more than an anonymous telephone tip. Pretend to be from an agency so powerful that, even if technically, people have the right to refuse, they’d be too terrified to invoke it.

Yes, that’s right. The deputies pretended to be from child protective services, in this case, the Florida Department of Children and Families, and they pretended to be looking not for pot, but for child abuse.

According to the Sarasota Herald Tribune, the deputies told the couple they were investigating an anonymous tip about a child living in unfit conditions – and, they said, the couple had no right to refuse them entry.

It was all a lie, but once inside they found enough evidence to get a warrant, ultimately they found marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia. A circuit judge has ruled that illegal – and thrown out the tainted evidence. Because, after all, adults have Fourth Amendment rights.

But not children. Laws and court decisions vary from state to state, but as a practical matter, even if, technically, a parent can refuse entry to a child protective services worker, as a practical matter she’ll just run to court, claim that the refusal itself puts the child in imminent danger and get the court not only to let her in, but also to take away the children. (Indeed, she may not even need to go to court – she could simply exercise her “emergency” power to declare the child endangered, call the cops to let her in, and then leave with the child.) FULL STORY

No matter what stage your “case” is in, the Number One (#1) thing YOU MUST DO- Document, Document, Document. This costs nothing and is the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do in your defense. Keep detailed records of who said what, when. ESPECIALLY document face-to-face and conversations on the phone. Record or video tape if you have it. CPS workers “make mistakes”, LIE, and TWIST your words.
See Washington State Extended Families for a nice essay on how to do Documentation.

If there is a lawyer in your area who HATES CPS and knows how to put up a DEFENSE, hire him now and help him defend you. If you have to sell the car, mortgage the house, clean out your retirement fund, borrow from relatives- pay his retainer.

NOTE- If you ARE a LAWYER who wants to learn HOW, see-
Legal Information

If you get a court-appointed attorney, you may or may not receive a “vigorous defense”. About the standard pay they receive is $500 total, so the pay is no motivation to them. You might get a young, idealistic one fresh from law school, and he may be pretty aggressive. Some older ones who are not calloused may also really go to bat for you and the children and provide Competent Counsel. In all cases, Help him defend you

Also see Make Your Court-Appointed Attorney Work For YOU at fightcps.com

NEW! August 8, 2008 How I Found Attorney Who “Hates” CPS

If there is NO such lawyer (there’s not very many), or you are penniless,

~you are going to have to learn how to DO IT YOURSELF in pro per or pro se ~

Be aware that some “courts” may be so “unencumbered by the Constitution” that a lawyer “may” risk his Bar License by providing a “vigorous defense”. (See What Happens in the FOG)

There are also stories about CPS KIDNAPPING THE LAWYER’S CHILDREN AND ASSASSINATING HIS CHARACTER TOO. We have heard of CPS doing the same thing to JUDGES, Doctors, Police officers, other CPS people (Whistle-Blowers), and even State Representatives who challenge CPS’ lies and fascist activities.

That’s why just filing your papers with the court clerk may be the only way to GET THE TRUTH ON THE RECORD. That is why the “Sui Juris” method was developed.

If you don’t get anything ON THE RECORD, you will likely have
NO appealable issues in the future. See this and ESPECIALLY THIS

What Happens in the FOG- Beginning with an anonymous hotline “tip” of suspected abuse, a parent enters a gray area of American jurisprudence. And it is not “murky” to his benefit.
Child Abuse, when alleged, is not a criminal matter. It is blithely characterized as a “Civil” matter, much the same as a lawsuit to collect on a breach of contract. Thus, the Constitutional protections afforded in a criminal case are not necessarily extended to those accused of Child Abuse. Full Article

Don’t kid yourself.
This is not the Happy, Fair Courts

To fully understand what Family Courts REALLY ARE- see Volksgerichtshof
Never forget to ask the “judge” if you are in a CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF DUE PROCESS
They cannot answer you honestly, because YOU ARE NOT

~By the way~
When the Nazi’s picked up the Jews
and sent them to Concentration Camps, they called it
Schutzhaft, literally translated “Protective Custody”

Write your own version of history in a Sworn Affidavit
and FILE IT with the Court, the CPS, the DA, and whoever else that has ANYTHING to do with your case.
You are SWEARING to the truthfulness of your statements. The CPS witches aren’t swearing to ANYTHING (what is SACRED to them that they COULD swear on? The Humanist Manifesto II?)

You had better be telling the truth with no “embellishments” and citing FACTS you can back up with evidence or witnesses’ sworn statements. Say NOTHING self-incriminating. If you have something to hide, you aren’t going to lie your way out of it.

Grammar Quick Help Class 101 How your papers LOOK matters!

The importance of your Sworn Affidavit cannot be over- emphasized!
THE ONLY WAY you have appealable “issues” in the future
is to get your facts ON THE RECORD in court.

Quit talking with the CPS monsters. You are waiving your FIFTH AMENDMENT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT and Miranda Rights every time you answer a question.
“The claim and exercise of a Constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.” — Miller v. U.S. Source: 230 F 2d 486, 489

Personal and phone conversations are where “mistakes” (inventions and fabrications) happen when THEY write their report about the conversations. Words you say float up into the rafters and come back twisted against you. If you feel you have to talk with them, record it or videotape it. And don’t forget to DOCUMENT it.

CPS is NOT your friend!

Women especially fall into this trap. Especially in cases where a child is ALLEGEDLY abused or molested by a family member.

DO NOT pour your heart out to a CPS worker or CPS contractor Mental Illness clinician.

Do that, and you will join the ranks of “co-perpetrator” lamenting “I was so, so foolish. I was an IDIOT. I thought they were there to HELP me. I thought the CPS worker CARED. I thought I had PROFESSIONAL CONFIDENTIALITY with the psych shithead.”

CPS will use every word you say to make your child a Legal Orphan, because THAT’S what they are being PAID for.
Ignore or forget this at your and your children’s EXTREME PERIL.

August 21, 2008 NEW CASELAW

Case Name: U.S. v. Craighead, District: 9 Cir , Case #: 07-1-135
Opinion Date: 8/21/2008 , DAR #: 13245
Case Holding:
Interrogations occurring inside the home are custodial, requiring Miranda advisements under the Fifth Amendment, if the circumstances turn it into one of a “police-dominated” atmosphere.

Speaking personally, if there was no cop there, I would darn sure turn it into a “police dominated atmosphere”, by calling 911 and report that my home was being trespassed under the Color of Law with no Warrant.

If they DO have a warrant, SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP.

BE POLITE! The highest crime you can commit is “Contempt of Social Worker”. We have reports of POLICEMEN telling people that the Constitutional Rights and Miranda Rights are only for TV, and what they are doing is “The Real World”.
See The Oath of Office
EVERY OATH of OFFICE in the USA includes “support the Constitution”

Since many of them seem like childish morons, SOCIOPATHIC, and plainly nasty with no discernable social “skills”, this can be a difficult task.

“I would love to answer your question, but I cannot do that without violating my Fifth Amendment Rights and my Miranda Rights”

“I would love to let you in my house to look around without a Search Warrant. But I cannot do that without violating my Fourth Amendment Rights”

“There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you.” –William Hazlitt

We believe the court-ordered psych exam is a violation of your 5th Amendment rights. Don’t entertain the folly that psychiatrists are your friend. No, you do not enjoy professional “confidentiality” with them. They are the foremost tool of character assassination.

Insist on LETTERS to and from the agencies. They can’t alter their words printed on paper that have been mailed to you. Nor can they alter your words either. KEEP COPIES of your letters to them.

#7 Get your records- FOIA/Privacy Act/ Open Records. Anything they FORCE you to sign, sign it “Under Duress”. You can also Rescind your previous signatures.
San Diego Courts Examiner
Gregory Smart
Freedom of Information Act & Public Records Requests
November 14, 7:58 PM

Clean up your house and your life.
Obviously, if your house is a mess or your life is a mess, your CPS worker is going to use every bit of it against you. There is (so far as we know) absolutely NO LAW about “dirty house”, but they make a big deal out of it.
Shacking up with a boyfriend is the path to hell. Boyfriends have NO “natural affection” for your children, and they are the #1 baby rapists and child abusers and killers, at the TOP of any statistical data.

So this is something YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT. Clean up. Quit smoking. Whatever you are doing that you KNOW is wrong, the choice is between your laziness, habits, lifestyle choices, CATS, and YOUR KIDS.

You choose. If you can’t, then don’t complain about what happens.

Also see AFRA Dress Codes. How you dress and conduct yourself in interviews, at court, or with the Mental Illness Clinicians- matters

Eight Suggestions to Guard You Against CPShttp://protectingourchildrenfrombeingsold.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/eight-suggestions-to-guard-you-against-cps/

Abusing Children for Profit

Abusing Children for Profit

They abuse children and parents for the federal “fees”

There has been a regular controversy on several of the Internet Discussion Lists to which I subscribe about whether or not to report child abuse to Child Protective Services. In reality, there shouldn’t be any question about it. If children are being abused, CPS should be called in. But under today’s circumstances, there is a very definite question about it. According to Peter Houston on the Witch Hunt List, “There is probably no single institution that commits as much harm to children as the current CPS system. It is often underfunded, understaffed, overworked, overempowered, undermonitored, mistrained, and shielded from the responsibilities for its own actions.”

Many people say: “What choice have we? Should we just leave children to be beaten, maimed, sexually abused, and killed in their homes? But my question is this: Should we allow the child protectors to snatch them from their homes and put them into foster homes where they are beaten, maimed, sexually abused and killed? The fact is, according to the child protectors’ own figures, more children are apt to be abused in foster homes than in their own homes. So what do we do? CPS is our only option. There is nothing else. So maybe we should look into finding an “else.”

But is it an option? Should we allow children to be abused either at their own homes or in foster care? The Child Protection system is not working. It is out of control and routinely victimizes parents and children without cause. It has put numerous people in prison for many years until “wiser heads” prevail and they’re found not guilty and released. They routinely accuse parents, and anybody else they can of abuse and sexual abuse without proof. Courts allow the unsupported opinion of a child protection worker to be considered the same as proof. Prosecutors all over the world falsify cases to put people wrongly accused in prison for a long time. And when it is found that they were innocent after spending many long years in prison, do they apologize? Not even. When this happens the prosecutors claim they “got out on a technicality.”

They take children on the slightest suspicion of abuse, then they subject them (and their parents) to months, even years of “star-chamber” questioning in order to get them to confess, even when they’re clearly not guilty. And after that much questioning of small children particularly, before long they’re parroting what the child savers want them to say, just to make it stop.

Calling CPS when children are abused is a “crap shoot” at best. Some CPS workers are good people who just want to help. But all too many are as conditioned as are the rest of the population. They’re taught that all parents are “potential” abusers and “where there’s smoke, there must be fire.” That they should “err on the side of the child” and take the children as a first option and sort it out later. That this is, in itself, child abuse, doesn’t seem to bother them.

Professor Susan Sarnoff, assistant professor of social work at Ohio University blithely comments: “Children in foster care are often more difficult to deal with.” I wonder why. Could it be that children who are forcibly removed from their loving families and placed with strangers without cause (in a majority of cases) are going to “act out?” When you rip a child from his family he or she is not going to be a “normal child” for a long time afterward. And the longer the children are kept away from their families, the more difficult they will become to handle. You’d think someone who teaches “social work” would know that.

What they’re actually doing is manipulating children and parents for money. Each child who is put into foster care brings hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars to the child protectors. Jobs are created and power is gained. “Counselors” go into business with no customers besides the people CPS forces to go to them (Granted, as with the workers themselves, there are those who only want to do good for these children. Unfortunately, they’re in the minority). People go into the “foster care business,” both as foster parents and as foster parent agencies that hire foster parents (with literally no controls on them). Many foster parents blatantly consider being a foster parent as a lucrative business where they can make thousands of dollars a month. A lot more than they could make working outside the home. Many foster homes care for five to fifteen children at a time. They make more money than most people could ever dream of making.

And when the inevitable happens and a child is abused, sexually abused, or even killed in foster care, they use the old excuse that they “don’t have enough money or enough people” to do the job right.

You don’t think this is happening? How about a few case histories?

THE PAMELA GASTON CASE in Oregon where it is alleged that foster parents actually took pornographic pictures of their child, Melissa. Where her child has been (at this writing) in no less that seventeen foster homes. Where the courts routinely rule against these parents in writ after writ or dismiss without hearing. Where Ms. Gaston was charged with trespass just for entering the courthouse, which is, in part, her property. Where the police and the courts apparently are engaging in a vendetta against her for having the temerity to actually name a judge in a suit.

THE “JANE DOE” CASE in Aiken, South Carolina, where a child (under 14) was taken from her family on “suspicion” of abuse, only to be abused while in foster care at the “Helping Hands” facility where she had been placed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services. While there, she was, according to her suit against Helping Hands, forced into a closet and repeatedly sexually assaulted by two adolescent boys. The Aiken Department of Public Safety arrested two boys, then ages 14 and 15, and charged them with the crime. The case has not yet been heard in Aiken County Family Court (when this file was received), said Capt. Tom Galardi of the Aiken Department of Public Safety. The girl is asking the court for an unspecified amount of money for mental and physical injuries from the sexual assault and costs for the birth and upbringing of her child, which she claims was conceived as a result of the attack.

ALBUQUERQUE FOSTER CARE MURDER: In February, 1999, Williette Ulmer, a foster mother, was arrested in the death of a baby in her care and another four-year-old was taken from her home, according to an Albuquerque Journal article by Jeff Jones. The foster mother was arrested on suspicion of child abuse resulting in death, according to police Deputy Chief Sal Baragiola. He also noted that the Medical Investigator had determined that the baby, Alexander Ganadonegro, died as a result of blunt trauma that ruptured his stomach. In the criminal complaint it was noted that Ulmer, 29, was “…the only adult caring for Alexander” about the time of his death and that the ruptured stomach was the result of a “forceful blow” that “would have to be done by someone other than a child.”

THE “ANDY” CASE: A report in the “Arizona Republic” by Karina Bland on December 3, 1998, “Thirteen-year-old Andy wore two or three pairs of underwear under his jeans and slept fully dressed during the months after he got home from spending half a year in foster care. Now 14, Andy averts his eyes when he talks about what happened to him at that Mesa shelter in late 1996 and 1997. ‘Basically,’ he says, sinking down in a cushioned chair in his mother’s office, ‘I was raped.’ Andy had been taken from his mother because child welfare officials said their house was too filthy. Now he is in the middle of a battle over how many Arizona children have suffered sexual abuse after being placed in foster care.

“A court-appointed team of Arizona State University researchers has estimated that Andy may be among as many as 210 Arizona children who experienced abuse in foster homes since the mid-1980s. The team was appointed after a lawsuit was filed in Pima County Superior Court by Tucson attorney Larry Berlin in 1994 on behalf of four children reportedly subjected to abuse. “The state maintains that the claim of so many children being abused in foster care is ludicrous. ‘The numbers being quoted in that lawsuit are totally outrageous,’ says Sally Ordini, spokeswoman for state Child Protective Services. ‘Incidents of sexual abuse in foster care are extremely rare.’ [Yeah, right. Then why do I get two or three new reports of it every day? Why do I have five megs of case reports on abuse in foster care? -RT]

“So far, no one has specifically identified the 210 children who may have been abused in foster homes. The team of researchers based its estimate on its review of a random sample of 287 CPS cases filed over two six-month periods; 7.3 percent suggested that sexual abuse had occurred while the child was in state custody. The researchers concluded that, based on the random sample and using the same methods, there would be a total of 210 children who had been sexually abused in foster care over a decade. They issued a preliminary report concluding that the state’s computer system should be able to identify the children. The state contends that such incidents of abuse occurred before the children lived in foster homes and that it would be almost impossible to review the half-million case files in search of such allegations [They planned it that way. Anybody wonder why they don't keep statistics about children who are abused, sexually abused, and killed in foster care? -RT]. “The researchers were appointed by Pima County Presiding Judge Michael Brown to look into complaints contained in the 1994 lawsuit. Brown is considering whether to declare the case a class action suit, which ultimately could cost the state millions in restitution. Attorneys predict a decision before the end of the year.

“Laura Knaperek, R-Tempe and co-chairwoman of a joint legislative committee studying child welfare reform, worries that kids taken from their parents by the state are being hurt. ‘Can the state guarantee the safety of the child?’ Knaperek asked. ‘I don’t know that we can.’ Berlin’s lawsuit originally asked for compensation for counseling and other services for four children he says were sexually abused while in state care from 1986 through 1994. ‘These are children who the state removes from their homes because they say they are not safe there, and they put them in places where much more terrible things happen to them,’ Berlin said.

“Andy, for example, was 12 when he was removed from his home and taken to the shelter, which was licensed for boys ages 13 to 18. The next day, he said, a 17-year-old resident shoved a broomstick into his rectum. That boy was arrested and sent to juvenile detention for a year. But, in the months that would follow, another boy would forcibly perform oral sex on Andy. ‘I thought the first time would be the only time, but he did it again and again and again,’ Andy said. ‘I was scared.’

“In the almost six months Andy was in foster care, he said he saw his CPS caseworker face to face just once.”

I could go on and on, clipping from the hundreds of files I have, but I think I’d bore you. It is possible to become inured (bored by) to such stories, even considering the violence to the children, just by the sheer numbers of cases of violence and sexual abuse done to them while they’re “being protected” in foster care. So I’ll let these cases speak for the volumes of files I have from all over the world.

When I set out to help my son get his children back from the “child protectors” so he wouldn’t suffer the same fate I did thirty years ago when they snatched my other two sons from my second wife and used every scam and scheme possible to keep from giving them to me I didn’t know about the “crawling can of worms” I would be opening. I haven’t seen them since. I believed, at the time, that my children and I had been the victims of am adoption ring within the Indianapolis-Marion County social services department. Little did I know that it was more likely an adoption ring run by the social services department to gain the thousands of dollars available from the federal government for each child snatched, for each parent forced to go to “counseling” and “parenting classes,” and for every child they can put up for adoption (One of the doctors involved in my son’s case has said that it is the worst case of child protector abuse he has ever seen.).

There is such a glut of children in foster care now that they’re desperately advertising for adoptive parents. Many of the “cute pictures” I see on the web sites advertising children available for adoption are labeled: “Not yet Available,” since they haven’t yet been able to terminate parental rights with that particular child. But they’ll “do the paperwork” and let you have them as soon as they’re “available.

That they do this completely out in the open and no one but people they’ve victimized notice amazes me. One of the most difficult things to do is to convince someone they have not yet gotten to that they could easily be next, and no amount of “Constitutional rights” will help them. They’ve got the world so well conditioned that it is all but impossible to do so. But people are beginning to wake up. Many child protection services around the world are beginning to have legal problems from their actions (as witness above, and many other files I have). And this “old warrior” is going to be helping in every way I can, as long as I can, to “pop their balloon” so they can’t abuse any more children…or parents. I don’t want to do away with what they do, only do away with the way they do it so that children can reallybe protected instead of being further abused “by the system.”

To find more information click on the “Manual for the Falsely Accused” Report. The information on this site is not legal advice. Before carrying out suggestions found here consult your attorney. To contact me by mail, write to: PO Box 16247, Denver, CO 80216-0247


Chalk Up Another One For CPS

Chalk Up Another One For CPS
January 25, 2010yvonnemasonLeave

Chalk Up Another One For CPS

How many more children have to die before we fix the problem?
As a general rule, Children’s Service agencies simply do not work. I’m sure people can point to one or two states who have sterling agencies with no children in the state who have been further victimized while under the “protection” of the agency, however, I’ll wager those are the exception, not the rule. I haven’t done the math, but I can personally name a good three dozen in the last two years who have wound up dead due to abuse while under the supervision and protection of Children’s Service agencies.

I don’t fault the individual caseworkers (although some of them have shown criminal levels of negligence and surely deserve blame), I’m faulting the entire system. It’s not working, for a multitude of reasons. The failures are widespread enough that I believe it’s safe to say it’s a “nationwide” problem, not a “specific state” problem. It’s not one agency, it’s many of them.

Here’s one of the latest CPS failures:

In 2004, three young siblings were removed from the care of their parents because the father of the children had abused one of them. The children first lived with their mother, but when she refused to sever contact with the father, who was by that time in prison for the abuse, the children were removed from her care as well.

The children then went to live with their father’s brother, Robert Ford, Jr., who had three children of his own. He and his wife intended to keep the children, but the folks at CPS felt that the children needed a more financially stable home. So, after seven months, the couple reluctantly placed their niece and nephews into a foster home and began saving money to adopt them.

Then, in January of 2005, while the Fords were still working to meet CPS requirements for a six child household, a prospective adoptive family began visiting with the children. After one of their visits with the family, the foster family reported that the youngest child, (then) 3-year old Sean Ford, had come home with a bruise on his bottom. The adoptive family explained that the boy had fallen from a bunk bed, but the foster mother felt the bruising was too severe. When the children reported that Sean had also been forbidden to have lunch as well, the foster mom called the authorities. A caseworker was sent to the home to evaluate the situation, met with the family and their four children and ultimately decided that there was no need for concern.

When the boy returned from a subsequent visit with welts on his bottom and thighs, Robert Ford made the next call. Once again, a caseworker investigated and decided there was no cause for concern.

On July 22, 2005, six weeks after they’d made application through a private agency to adopt the three children, the court issued a decree of adoption to Johnny and Lynn Paddock — despite the reports to CPS and despite their biological uncle’s family still working to meet the state’s requirements to adopt them. He and his wife put together a family scrapbook for the children. Robert Ford said that the children begged him to keep them that day, the last time that they were permitted to see them. Everything happened so fast, “all I could do was hold them and cry.”

The family lost touch with the children after the adoption; state law prevented them from knowing the adoptive parents.

Robert and his wife heard nothing more about the children until February 26 when they learned of Sean’s death on television. Lynn Paddock had beaten Sean with a length of PVC pipe, and when she went to awaken him in the morning, the boy was dead.

Lynn is charged with Sean’s death, no charges have been filed against the adoptive father. Lynn is being held pending trial, her bail has been set at $1 million. The boy’s surviving 8- and 9-year old siblings and the youngest two of the Paddock’s four children have been removed from the home. One child was injured so badly he was limping, according to the district attorney. The children told deputies that their mother stashed PVC pipes throughout the home.

Sean’s siblings have been placed back into the foster care system. Robert Ford and his wife again hope to adopt them. They also hope that they’ll be allowed to bury Sean.

They’ll make sure that Paddock, his adopted name, is nowhere on the tombstone.


Would Accountability Solve the System’s Abuses?

Would Accountability Solve the System’s Abuses?
Tuesday, February 05, 2002

By Robin Wallace

A Tennessee federal judge in November ordered the arrest of all the employees at the Franklin County Department of Children�s Services for refusing to implement his ruling on a custody case involving a two-year-old child.

Tennessee’s child protective services office has been embroiled in scandal. Among other problems, caseworkers have been accused of falsify records and the state legislature has threatened to dismantle thestate’s foster care system unless the DCS reforms. In the case of the Franklin County arrests, the judge ruled that the child should be turned over to one of the parties in the custody case. DCS did not agree with judge’s ruling; they refused to turn the child over while they tried to stay the ruling.

And the Tennessee case may not be an isolated one. Some recent court decisions suggest that judges may be growing as frustrated with the child protective system as the families caught in it.

In May, a federal jury decided that a caseworker with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services failed to protect three foster children who were brutally abused while in state custody. The jury found the caseworker knew of the abuse and ignored it, and violated the children’s civil rights by failing to protect them. The children were awarded $3.3 million.

In Maine, a committee of the state legislature studying the state�s child protective services system came to some scathing conclusions. The report, released in November, found that the state relied too much on foster care and needed to make greater efforts to keep families together.

In April, in a class action suit filed by child-care workers and foster parents wrongfully accused of abuse, a federal judge ruled that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services needed to meet a higher standard of proof before reporting the workers as abusers to their employers.

Evidence presented in the Illinois case found that three-fourths of child care workers found to have abused or neglected a child were exonerated after appealing those finding, though sometimes not until years later. In the meantime, care workers and foster parents were being entered into a registry of abusers based on being accused and suffering the consequences of that listing long before their cases were decided once and for all.

Parents, however, don’t have the power judges do and it is still a rare case that makes it to a civil trial. That ’s why activists are calling for reforms that will increase caseworkers accountability and impose penalties on those who act arbitrarily or vindictively.

The notion that a social worker would act purely out of vindictiveness sounds like parent propoganda, but California saw the need to pass a law specifically addressing that possibility. It allows for the prosecution of social workers who have been proven to have acted with intentional malice. Activists say it is almost impossible to prove a caseworker acted maliciously, but some accountability is better than none. Consider this Massachusetts case:

Postal worker David Luisi lost custody of his three children to his ex-wife for refusing to enroll in a program for “angry men”�because the only person he was angry at was the caseworker.

The couple separated in 1994 and Luisi was eventually awarded custody of the children after their mother gave them up, saying she couldn’t cope with the pressures of raising them. But in 1997, the mother filed a false abuse charge against Luisi. Based on that accusation, the Department of Social Services gave the children to the mother.

It took almost two years for Luisi to get a hearing, clear his name and then wait for DSS to correct their records. The children remained with the mother throughout the ordeal, during which time a doctor diagnosed Luisi’s young daughter as suffering from malnutrition and the mother’s boyfriend was charged with assaulting one of his sons.

Luisi informed DSS that he planned to seek custody of his children and pestered the social worker on the case to investigate his wife�s fitness. Concerned that the children appeared to be malnourished and neglected in their mother’s care and that her boyfriend was a danger, Luisi and his relatives complained to police, to the DSS and to the media that the children were being neglected.

In 1999, the social worker on the case sought an emergency order to terminate the Luisi�s visitation rights, claiming that his phone calls and anxiety over the fate of his children indicated he had problems with anger management. Visitation could only be resumed if he agreed to attend a program for men with anger issues that required participants to admit they were abusive. The alleged anger and abuse the social worker claimed required this treatment was not aimed at his own children. She was demanding he enroll in the program because she didn�t like the way he was treating her.

Luisi, who had been unequivocally cleared of the false abuse charge, feared that attending the program would brand him an abuser and hurt his chances of regaining custody when the case came to trial. He decided not to seek visitation with his children if it meant having to attend the classes.

But the case did not come to trial for another year. When it did come to trial in July, 2001, the judge gave full custody to the mother, ruling against the father because he had waited a full year to seek visitation. The judge also granted the mother permission to move to Niagra Falls, New York with the children. The judge said Luisi put his own selfish needs above the needs of his children. Yet it was the system that forced him to wait a year to seek visitation by demanding he enroll in a program for abusers because he was making too many phone calls to the social worker handling the case.

This need for greater accountability is the root of many problems with child services, activists maintain.

In the case of activist Nev Moore, her daughter was removed from their home, she said, as a strategy to force Moore to admit to being abused by her husband. Because she wouldn’t, the state kept her daughter. In other cases documented by activist organizations, social workers have defined abuse or neglect as parenting or family lifestyle choices they disagree with.

“If we had an accountability statue put in place these social workers would be a little more reluctant to go after these � frivolous cases that are blocking up our court system,” said attorney Janet Frederick Wilson.


State Auditor releases performance audit work plan

February 26, 2010

State Auditor releases performance audit work plan

While lawmakers debate ways to balance the state budget, State Auditor Brian Sonntag released today his performance audit work plan to help identify savings and efficiencies. According to the plan:

This work plan identifies 30 state government programs and functions we plan to evaluate under the authority of Initiative 900 between now and June 2013.

This plan reflects a blend of near- and long-term audits of major state programs as well as shorter-term audits that will give policymakers ideas to consider as they work to meet the state’s financial challenges. They also reflect our goal of independently and objectively identifying opportunities for cost savings, efficiencies and improved customer service . . .

The following programs and functions have been selected for audit, review and further consideration.

Vulnerable Children and Adults
1. WorkFirst Program Effectiveness
2. Child Protective Services
3. Child Care Licensing & Monitoring
4. Foster Care Program Performance
5. DSHS Programs: Possible Gaps and Overlaps
6. Aging and Disability Services
7. Developmental Disability Services

Public Safety
8. Crime Victims’ Programs
9. Reducing Repeat Offenses in Corrections System
10. Community Supervision of Offenders on Parole

11. Purchasing Prescription Drugs
12. Health Insurance Coverage for School Employees
13. Detecting and Preventing Medicaid Fraud

Student Achievement
14. Educational Spending Patterns
15. Intervention for Low-Performing Schools
16. Comprehensive Education Data System

Postsecondary Learning
17. College Student Financial Aid Programs
18. Workforce Development

State Government Efficiency and Effectiveness
19. Opportunities to Improve State Printing Services
20. Grant Management Program Effectiveness
21. Call Center Effectiveness
22. Opportunities to Improve State Procurement
23. Options for Property Management
24. Washington Management Service and Executive Management Service

Economic Vitality
25. Results of Federal Economic Stimulus Funding
26. Master Building Licensing Opportunities
27. Workers’ Compensation System

Natural Resources
28. Department of Fish and Wildlife Revenue Options
29. Forest and Fish Adaptive Management Program

30. Sound Transit Ridership Projections (part of local government performance audit work plan)
Additional details on each of these planned performance audits available here.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Civil trial set for abuse case

Civil trial set for abuse case
by John Burnett

Tribune-Herald Staff Writer
Published: Sunday, February 14, 2010 8:14 AM HST

Lawsuit alleges school knew about girl's situation
A trial date has been set for a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of an abused girl found in a coma with burn marks and maggot-infested wounds.

The lawsuit was filed by the victim's grandfather against the girl's former caregiver, Hyacinth Poouahi, who a year ago was sentenced to a 20-year prison term for abusing the girl. The victim was 9 when the abuse began in Poouahi's Ainaloa home in late 2004. Other defendants include the girl's biological mother, Crystal McGrath, who left the girl in Poouahi's care, and the state Departments of Education and Human Services.

The girl was in a coma for several weeks in a Honolulu hospital after her Feb. 7, 2005, rescue by Fire Department paramedics. Today, at age 15, she is severely speech- and hearing-impaired, blind in one eye, walks with a limp, and has facial disfigurement.

The girl was also tortured psychologically, being forced to eat cockroaches and Froot Loops mixed with chili peppers.

Unless a settlement is reached, the non-jury trial is scheduled to be heard by Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura at 9 a.m. Feb. 23.

Among the allegations is that personnel at Keonepoko Elementary School knew of the abuse as early as December 2004, but failed to notify either police or Child Protective Services. Honolulu attorney Arthur Park, who represents the girl's grandfather, Bienvenido Cabanting, on Thursday asked Nakamura for a pretrial ruling against the DOE for breaching its duty of care.

Nakamura took Park's request under advisement.

"If the DOE had done its job anywhere along the line in December '04 or January '05, then those catastrophic injuries would not have occurred," Park told the judge. "There would have been injuries, but not the catastrophic injuries. ... There is controverted or disputed evidence on what occurred prior to that time. But anything that occurred prior to a week before (hospitalization) was relatively minor to what she had when she was found on ... Feb. 7, '05."

According to the filing, teacher Lei Fanunu, guidance counselor Candace Thomson-Bott, and former DOE behavioral health specialist Stritama Sherreitt all testified in depositions that they told Keonepoko Principal Kathleen Romero of the abuse. The lawsuit says Romero denied in her deposition that she was notified by any of the three.

"There are a number of undisputed facts in this case that at this point the state has not really disputed or rebutted, and that would be that the two counselors and teacher Fanunu knew of abuse," Park asserted. "The abuse might have been hearsay, but the rule ... talks about suspected abuse. So even if it was hearsay, it should have been reported immediately."

Kenneth Robbins, a Honolulu attorney representing the DOE, told Nakamura: "There is a question that the teacher or the counselor is to be believed. ... And further, insofar as what teacher Fanunu was told or knew about a bruise on (the girl's) face is concerned, whether or not she had a duty to report to principal Romero depends on the credibility of (the girl) at that time, because she said that that was self-inflicted."

Park said it doesn't matter who failed to notify police or CPS when the girl's situation came to light.

"If we construe the facts most favorably for the state, accept principal Romero's ... position that she was never told nor was aware of this abuse, then those three school personnel violated their duty. They can't have it both ways," he argued.

"It's undisputed there was no report to the police or CPS. (The girl) was absent from school continuously from Dec. 16, three days before Christmas vacation, to Feb. 7, that's 28 or so continuous days, even taking into account holidays. That alone should have triggered an inquiry by the school. It was well-known among the counselors that (the girl) was absent. It was also undisputed that there was a predator child living in the Poouahi household. ... He was a prior student at Keonepoko School. ... He had beaten up another child. He punched a teacher. That's the thing that concerned (counselors), the potential abuse of (the girl). And as it turns out, he was one of the major abusers."

Park said afterwards that Thursday's hearing was "basically a preview of opening arguments in the trial."

E-mail John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

Case Studies out of California where Children were forced by CPS to be Given to Abusive Parents

Case Studies out of California where Children were forced by CPS to be Given to Abusive Parents
February 26, 2010 yvonnemason

Case Studies

This is so wrong on so many levels.


The following summaries are a few selected samples of real California Family Law cases (catogorized by county), in which children are taken away from safe parents, and forced to live with abusive parents.

Amador County
When these children were four, seven and nine years old, they were taken from their mother who was accused of non-evidentiary Parent Alienation Syndrome, and placed in the full custody of their father. This occurred in 1996, after the two girls disclosed molest by their father, despite corroborative medical evidence, explicit disclosures of abuse to law enforcement, and receipt of California Victims of Crime funding for therapy due to the crime committed against them. They had a cluster of symptoms indicative of sexual abuse, including nightmares, encopresis, excessive fears, sexualized behavior, depression, dissociation, anger, physical pains, headaches, constipation, and stomach aches. The mother, found by the court to be a good, loving mother and not accused of any crime, has been on supervised visitation since the reversal of custody three years ago. The mother, bankrupt after spending $250,000, must represent herself in court against the father’s attorney. The children’s attorney functions as a de facto attorney for the accused perpetrator.

Contra Costa County
After disclosing molest by her father, this 11-year-old victim and her two siblings were forced to continue overnight, unsupervised visits with the identified perpetrator. The father admitted molesting his daughter and was convicted. Nevertheless, overnight visits were court ordered to continue. In 1997 the five-year-old daughter disclosed molest by the father. Unsupervised visits continued because the court determined the father was not able to pay a supervisor.

El Dorado County
In 1998 this 4-year-old boy was taken from his mother and given to his physically abusive father. He is barred from any contact from his mother.

Fresno County
This little girl, born in 1994, was taken away from her mother when she was a toddler, and placed with her father, despite her on-going disclosures of sexual abuse by the father. She had a cluster of symptoms indicative of sexual abuse including anger, phobias, eating problems, insomnia, constipation, headaches, nausea, regression, terror when her diapers were changed, night terrors, and attention problems. These problems increased when she was placed with the father, but the numerous reports to CPS have been to no avail. The child cries until she vomits when she leaves her mother on week-end visits and is forced to return to the father.

Los Angeles/Orange County (Torrance)
Born in 1988, this little girl was placed in the custody of her mother when she was five years old, seeing her violent father only in the presence of a court monitor. When she was seven, she was forced to see her father without a supervisor, and reported to professionals that he was sexually and physically abusing her. The abuse was corroborated by medical evidence. She had a cluster of symptoms indicative of sexual abuse including nightmares, night terrors, enuresis, encopresis, excessive fears of her mother dying, depression, suicide attempt, eating disorder, extreme dissociation, intense anger, flashbacks, physical pains, headaches, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach aches, and a learning disability. Rather than protecting her, Judge F. granted primary custody to her father. In Utah, where her mother had moved, physical and sexual abuse was substantiated and she received complete court protection. However, California regained jurisdiction and placed her with the father. The child, now 11, is only able to see her non-offending mother for 8 hours per month under supervised conditions.

These two children, a boy born in 1982 and a girl born in 1984, were in the full custody of their mother who was a victim of domestic violence. In 1989 and 1990, both children disclosed sexual abuse by the father. They had a cluster of symptoms indicative of sexual abuse, including lack of intact hymen, vaginal infections, nightmares and night terrors, enuresis and encopresis, phobias, sexualized behavior, depression, eating disorders, intense anger, headaches, and stomach aches. The mother was charged by the State of Georgia for not protecting the children from the father. The children received California Victims of Crime funding for therapy due to the crimes committed against them. However, in 1990 the California court took the children away from their mother and put them with the father’s family. The mother was placed on supervised visitation. In 1992 the father gained custody and hid the children from their mother. $36,000 back child support owed to the mother was erased, and the court doubled her payments of child support. In 1997 the mother was assaulted and injured in the courthouse by the father, who continued to terrorize her. The mother, a court monitor herself, was chosen “1995 Humanitarian of the Year” by her university.

Los Angeles County Superior Court
Born in 1987, this child began masturbating at school and reported sexual abuse by her father when she was seven years old. The Department of Children and Family Court Services (DCFS) concluded she had been sexually abused. She was placed in the custody of her mother, and saw her father on court-ordered supervised visits. The child repeatedly asked to be placed with her mother and consistently reported sexual molest by her father, even in court. Nevertheless, in she was taken away from her non-abusive mother and placed in the custody of her father on the recommendation of an evaluator. In 1994 DCFS filed another sexual-abuse petition against the father in juvenile court. However, the child remained in the custody of her father, despite having a court-appointed attorney who does not represent the wishes of the child. In 1998, the court cut off her off from all contact with her non-offending mother. Currently this severely learning-disabled child is allowed to see her mother only twice a week under supervised conditions. The mother is now bankrupt.

Los Angeles/Riverside County (Torrance Superior Court)
This child was raised by her mother who has never been accused of any crime. In 1998 she was taken away from her mother and legal father, and forced to live with a man whom she has continuously stated sexually abused her. She is allowed no contact with her mother, who has tried unsuccessfully to protect her.

Los Angeles County
This two-year-old girl disclosed sexual abuse by father, and was given to identified abuser. The mother is on supervised visits.

These small children were placed in the custody of their mother when they were nearly one and two years old. Their violent father was ordered to take a parenting class. A year later they were taken away from their mother and forced to live with their father. The judge stated he was only interested in the mother’s “alienation” (the mother was breast-feeding), and ignored police reports of the father’s domestic violence and history of DUI’s. The unemployed mother is ordered to pay child support of over $1200 per month to the multi-millionaire Israeli father (who obtained a green card through their marriage). The toddlers are being raised to speak only Hebrew and are only allowed scant contact with their mother, who cannot afford an attorney.

Born in 1990, this child made graphic disclosures of rape by his father, including group sex, to physicians, therapists, and detectives. He had a cluster of symptoms indicative of sexual abuse including sexualized behavior, depression, suicide attempt, eating disorder, extreme dissociation, intense anger, physical pains, headaches, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach aches, learning disability and attention problems. CPS did not protect him. The child’s attorney did not represent the child’s wishes. Despite saying that he wanted to live with his mother, he was forced to live with his identified perpetrator who then moved to Boston. He is rarely allowed to see his mother, and only with a supervisor.

Born in 1989, this child was taken from his mother after he disclosed that his father beat him when he was 4 years old. There was medical evidence of abuse. The child had a cluster of symptoms indicative of sexual abuse, including sexualized behaviors, depression, intense anger, nightmares and night terrors, headaches, stomach aches, bladder problems and enuresis, diarrhea, phobias, and attention problems. The boy stated he wanted to live with his mother, and instead was forced to live with his father. The child’s attorney does not represent the wishes of the child. The non-offending mother has spent approximately $85,000 and must represent herself in court.

Los Angeles (Long Beach and Concord)
This four-year-old child lived with his mother and 3 brothers in Long Beach after his parents separated in 1997. When the mother decided to move to Northern California, the judge ordered the child delivered to Southern California every week for visits in 1998. An evaluator recommended a change of custody to the father, despite the mother complying with the visitation schedule.

Marin County
This little girl reported sexual abuse, corroborated by 4 medical reports, by her father who physically abused and choked her mother unconscious. She was placed in the custody of her mother, a bank vice president, and saw her father only under supervised conditions. The father threatened and stalked them until the mother and child took refuge in a battered women’s shelter. The child was forced to visit her father without supervision, and was subsequently re-abused. Her mother was court-ordered not to take her to the doctor. The mother fled with her daughter to Europe in 1992, because she could not obtain protection for the child through California family law court. They were found 1½ years later, and the child was placed in the full custody of her father. Her mother went to prison for depriving the father visitation, is prohibited from contacting her daughter, and is ordered to pay the father $65,000 in restitution.

Mono County
In 1997, these five- and six-year-old brothers were taken away from their mother, amid allegations that the mother deliberately kept the youngest child sick. The five-year-old was subsequently hospitalized when the father did not take care of his illness. The father threatened suicide at the hospital, and had to be subdued, disarmed and taken to a psychiatric hospital by police. Subsequently, the boys were placed in foster care. The five-year-old, who suffered from a rare blood sugar disease, became fatally ill and died after social worker and foster parents failed to provide appropriate medical care, in spite of the mother’s pleas. The older boy is forced to live with his father, despite his statement that he wants to live with his mother, and statements by his older sister to CPS about sexual abuse by their father. He is only allowed to see his non-offending mother with a court monitor. The mother has won 3 wrongful death lawsuits against the father and the county totaling over $800,000.

Placer County
This child, when she was 6 years old, was ripped from her mother’s arms and given into the custody of her father whom she had reported molested her. She begs to come to live with her mother, who has spent several hundred thousand dollars trying to protect her.

Plumas County
Born in 1994, this little girl began disclosing sexual abuse when she was only 1½ years old. She identified her father as the perpetrator. She eventually told a doctor, counselor and school teacher about the abuse. She had a cluster of symptoms indicative of sexual abuse, consisting of nightmares, night terrors, sexualized behavior, enuresis, fear of her father, depression, eating disorder, dissociation, extreme anger, physical pains, headaches, insomnia, nausea, and stomach aches. Despite documentation of the sexual abuse to the court, she is forced to stay unsupervised with her father. The child’s attorney does not represent his client’s wishes. The mother has spent approximately $150,000 trying to protect her child and is now without an attorney. She has not seen her child.

Sacramento County
This boy, born in 1990, was placed in the custody of his mother after to his parents divorce, with overnight visits with his father. When he was less than two years old, he began reporting on-going sodomy by his father. He had a cluster of symptoms indicative of sexual abuse, including rectal bleeding, nightmares, night terrors, enuresis, encopresis, sexualized behavior, depression, extreme dissociation, intense anger, flashbacks, physical pains, insomnia, diarrhea, and stomach aches. The child disclosed the abuse to 5 teachers, family physician, therapists, police, family and friends. There were over 62 reports of suspected abuse in 7 years. Child Protective Services investigated and substantiated 7 reports of child sex abuse. The child wrote and talked to the judge, asking to live with his mother and grandmother. Instead, the court repeatedly placed him in the custody of his identified perpetrator. He called 911 for help from his father’s house, and his therapist called the police to help him, and was put into expensive private foster care, rather than with his non-offending mother. He was able to stay with his mother while she was dying. Four months after her death, he was forcibly removed from his non-offending grandmother’s care by armed police. He was placed in expensive foster care again for over six months, and is now forced by Juvenile Court to live with his identified perpetrator permanently. The child’s attorneys did not represent his wishes, and functioned as de facto attorneys for the accused perpetrator.

This child, born in 1986, had nightmares and medical evidence of sexual abuse at age 4 ½ years, and identified her father as the perpetrator. The judge ordered that the father’s new wife supervise the visits. The child again disclosed molestation. CPS and the sheriff’s department placed her in the Children’s Receiving Home. After a 6 month investigation and UC Davis Medical Center examinations, the little girl was placed with her mother, and the father was not allowed visits. During reunification, the therapist recommended unsupervised visits. The mother fled with the child to Canada to protect her from further abuse. They were found after 11/2 years and the mother was put in jail. The child was forced to live with her identified perpetrator and did not see her mother for six years. She is currently being treated for suicide attempts and alcoholism.

These two boys were taken from their mother and given to their father when they were 12 and 15 years old, after they reported that their father abused them and threatened suicide. The father had brutally abused the mother during the marriage. When the boys asked their mother to motion the court to remove their court-appointed attorney who was threatening them, the judge gave guardianship of the boys to that attorney. The children protested being removed from their mother, pleaded with the judge and evaluator, refused to get on the airplane to be sent to another state, and were forced to go to live with the father. The younger child ran away from his father’s home and cannot be found.

These three children reported sexual molestation by the father to numerous professionals. Physical evidence of the abuse was found for all three, and the children had psychological symptoms of nightmares, school phobias, eating disorders, and suicidal ideation. Both parents have equal time with the children due to evaluator recommendations.

In 1996 this 3 ½ year old child, who lived in the custody of her mother, stated she was being touched by her father inappropriately during visits. The recommendation from the mediator was to have supervised visits, but the evaluator denied the molest, did not gather evidence, misquoted parties, and recommended 50/50 custody. The child again disclosed molest. When the judge still refused to provide supervised visits, CPS in another county took the child into protective custody and supervised visits were ordered. However, Sacramento County took jurisdiction and the evaluator said the mother had Parent Alienation. The judge forced both the girl and her brother to live with their father, despite ordering the father to attend anger control classes.

This little boy had speech problems, frequent ear infections and leg pains, nightmares, enuresis, fears and phobias. The mother divorced the physician father (who was in treatment for addiction to pornography) due to his violence and alcohol abuse. During the divorce proceedings, a custody evaluation report was written which the mother was not allowed to see. The father demanded custody of the child. The mother’s attorney said she would lose all parental rights if she did not accede to the demand. She acceded and the child is now allowed to see his non-offending mother only under supervised conditions, despite the child’s statements that his father abuses him.

This child reported sexual abuse by the father to numerous professionals. The child had medical and psychological evidence of sexual abuse, yet was required to visit the father unsupervised, due to evaluator’s recommendations.

This child reported sexual abuse by the father. CPS investigation confirmed the abuse and there was medical evidence of sexual abuse. The child was required to visit the father unsupervised, due to the evaluator’s recommendations.

San Bernardino County
In 1993 this child’s mother divorced her father due to his physical abuse of the child. After a visit with her father, the child reported physical and sexual abuse. There was medical evidence of genital warts, bruises and welts. In 1995 after an evaluation, the mother was ordered to bring the child to court. The court forced the child to live with her identified perpetrator father. After the evaluation was overturned in a peer review, the child was placed half time with her mother. The evaluator did another report in 1997, and again recommended the child be placed with her father. After the child told her mother that she wanted to commit suicide, she was not allowed to see her mother at all. Now she may see her non-offending mother only with a court monitor present.

Born in 1989, this child was placed in the custody of his mother when he was 20 months old. His father had physically abused his mother for 9 years. The child returned from visits with the father with bruises, black eyes, a raw penis, headaches, ear aches, stomach aches and throat infections. At age 4, he had sexualize behavior, masturbation, nightmares, night terrors, enuresis, depression, dissociation, insomnia, nausea, and attention problems. The child tried to jump out of a moving car when he had to return to his father. The evaluator ignored hospital reports and police reports. The court gave full custody to the father in 1995, despite the child’s stated desire to stay with his mother. Four months later he again disclosed sexual abuse to 12 professionals and 3 CPS workers. Nevertheless, the court forced him to remain in his father’s custody, and has denied him any visits with his mother. The mother is now bankrupt.

These seven and ten year old children reported physical and sexual abuse by father. The father received full custody and mother is on supervised visits once per week when she can afford it.

San Diego County
Born in 1987, this child reported sexual abuse to his pediatrician when he was six years old. He had sexualized behavior, fears of his mother dying, depression, flashbacks, physical pains, headaches, insomnia, and stomach aches. He has a medical condition called Williams Syndrome in which his body ages rapidly, but he is younger in many ways than his biological age. In 1988 he and his mother had moved to a battered woman’s shelter due to violence in the home. He stated he wanted to live with his mother, a teacher. Instead he is forced by the court to live with his violent father who had been convicted of DUI and stealing, and is permanently disabled with mental disability. The father moved the child to another state, and sees his mother only a few times per year. The child’s attorney did not represent the child’s wishes.

After a short marriage this child’s parents separated in 1986. Custody of the one year old child was given to the mother. He returned from visits with the father with genital irritation. At age 2 ½ he disclosed genital touching by the father, and at age 3 ½ he displayed sexually precocious behavior to a therapist, and a deep bruise on his genitals. An evaluation was ordered. The evaluator recommended full custody to the father. The mother left the state with the child to protect him from further abuse. 1 ½ years later the mother and child were apprehended. Both old and new abuse evidence was suppressed in court, through the efforts of a social worker. Although there was medical evidence of sexual abuse and evidence of abuse by the father from another victim, full custody was given to the father and the mother was placed on supervised visits. The child continued to disclose abuse. The father moved to another state, and the mother’s visits have been thwarted.

In 1993 this three year old child began to reveal she was sexually abused by her father. The family court refused to consider any evidence of sexual abuse and ordered “molest cannot be an issue in this case”. Unsupervised visits, and later temporary custody with the father, were ordered in 1994. An evaluator recommended that the child be removed from the mother’s house due to “severe parental alienation.” The mother was placed on supervised visits, and is now allowed weekends with the child. The evidence of molest is overwhelming, as testified to by 3 psychologists, a police investigator, an expert in child sexual abuse allegations, tape recordings of the child’s disclosures, sexual acting out, photographs of the father naked with the child on his lap, and medical evidence of labial adhesions. . The attorney for the child does not listen to the child’s wants, but indicates he is doing what is “best” for the child. The police determined probable cause, but the District Attorney declined to prosecute the father. This child ran away from her father’s home.

San Luis Obispo County
Born in 1994, this child disclosed that he was being molested by his father when he was nine years old. He told counselors, CPS, and police, and had symptoms of nightmares, night terrors, enuresis and encopresis, excessive fears of men and anger, sexualized behavior, depression, suicide attempt, eating disorder, dissociation, intense anger, flashbacks, physical pains, headaches, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach aches. Despite this, the child was taken away from his safe mother and forced to live with his identified perpetrator. He has only been allowed to see his mother a few times with a therapist. The child’s attorney did not represent the child’s wishes. The mother has since died.

The underage mother became pregnant at age 16 by the father, who was then 19 years old. She left shortly after the child was born due to the father assaulting her and threatening her with a knife and a gun. The father continued to stalk and threaten the mother, who obtained a restraining order. In April 1999, the court awarded custody of this little boy, age 4 ½, to the father, stating in a court order, “While the court observes that a change in the minor child’s custody could be detrimental to his development, they must give the father custody due to alienation on the part of the plaintiff.”

These two girls, born in 1987 and 1988, disclosed sexual abuse when they were 4 and 5 years old. The children had a cluster of symptoms indicative of sexual abuse, including sexualized behaviors, excessive fears, depression, eating disorder, dissociation, anger, flashbacks, physical pains, headaches, diarrhea, stomach aches, learning disability and attention deficit problems. They named the father, who is on welfare, as their perpetrator. Many CPS reports were made, yet the children were not protected, and were placed in the custody of the father.

This child, born in 1994, and his older brother and sister, were abused. The child reported to the police and therapist that his uncle sexually abused him. He displayed a cluster of symptoms indicative of sex abuse including nightmares, night terrors, enuresis, encopresis, excessive fears, sexualized behavior, anger, headaches, and insomnia. Two CPS reports were made. The father received custody, and the mother is not allowed to talk to anyone about her concerns.

San Mateo County
Born in 1989, this child was adopted and spent the first 9 years of her life with her stay-at-home mother. The father abused the child and the mother (put a knife to her stomach), and left the marriage several times. In 1995 the couple separated after 30 years of marriage. During supervised visits, the father said he was going to take the child away from her mother. The Special Master, chosen by the father’s attorney, selected the therapist, attorney and evaluator. The evaluation, accusing the mother of parental alienation, was so biased that another evaluator wrote a report stating that it was entirely unprofessional. The child reported that the therapist said she would be taken away from her mother, and increased therapy to 3 to 4 times per week. In 1998 the father received full custody, despite the child’s wish to remain with her mother.. The child has symptoms of depression, anger, dissociation, fear of sleeping, nightmares, night terrors, headaches, stomach aches, problems urinating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, phobias, regression and learning disability. The mother, now without funds, has to represent herself against the father’s attorney, and is forced to pay child support. She is unable to see her child and cannot afford the cost of supervised visits. The child’s attorney did not represent the child’s wishes. This child ran away from her father’s home, but was forced by the police to return.

These twin boys, born in 1985, lived with their mother after their parents divorced in 1988 due to domestic violence by their father. The father, a convicted, registered sex offender, was convicted of spousal battery. He saw the children under supervised conditions because of the children’s behaviors which were indicative of sexual abuse. He eventually obtained overnight visits. The father’s attorney motioned the court to appoint a Special Master who then gave the father joint custody. The children disclosed sexual abuse, the District Attorney investigated, yet the mother was precluded from presenting evidence of the abuse, or have witnesses testify. The children, ages 11, were then taken away from their mother and forced to live in the full custody of their identified sex abuser against their will, and began to fail in school. The mother, representing herself, managed to remove the Special Master and the children’s attorney, and have the judge recuse himself. However, the children still live with the father. At age 14 they refused to go back to their father’s home. The police forced them to return. At 15, they succeeded in running away from home and returning to their mother.

San Mateo/Merced County
These young girls, born in 1988 and 1990, disclosed sexual abuse by their father in 1993. They reported the abuse to CPS, police investigators, teachers, sheriffs, nurses, physicians, hospital staff, Sunday school staff and friends. They had a cluster of symptoms indicative of sexual abuse, including sexualized behavior, nightmares, night terrors, enuresis, encopresis, excessive fears of their mother leaving, and being with their father, depression, suicide attempt, eating disorder, dissociation, anger, physical pains, headaches, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach aches, learning disability and attention problems. They were placed in the full custody of their mother, and received Victims of Crime funding for treatment for the crimes committed against them. Two years later, in 1996, they were ordered by the court to see their father for unsupervised visits. On one visit they stated they were brutally raped, and had bruises, labial lacerations and loss of intact hymen. Physical evidence and documents disappeared, the mother was arrested for child abduction despite having custody, and the father was given temporary legal, but not physical custody. However, the father took the children to his home, and has refused to allow the mother to see them.

Santa Clara County
This child, born in 1996, displayed sexualized behavior, eating disorders, depression, dissociation, anger, physical pains, insomnia, stomach aches and attention problems. He disclosed sexual abuse when he was 5 years old and named his father and girlfriend as perpetrators. The father has been convicted of DUIs. The court ordered that the abuse was not to be talked about, and the child was placed in the primary care of his father, despite wanting to live with his mother. The child’s attorney did not represent the child’s wishes.

This child, born in 1990, began having symptoms at age 1 ½. He had nightmares, excessive fears of being taken away from his mother, sexualized behavior, depression, dissociation, anger, headaches, insomnia, stomach aches, and learning disability. When he was eight years old, he had encopresis. He banged his head on tables, and acted out by hitting. He named his father as perpetrator of sexual abuse, and told the police. There is medical evidence of abuse, and 3 or 4 CPS reports. However, based on the evaluator’s report, the court ordered that sole physical custody be given to the father. Despite the medical evidence of abuse, including cigarette burns, and the child’s wishes to be with his mother, he is forced to remain with his father. He has minimal visitation with his mother. The child’s attorney did not represent the child’s wishes.

This child, born in 1993 was in his mother’s sole custody after the parents divorced in 1995. The child had nightmares, night terrors, anger, stomach aches and attention problems. The court accused the mother of “alienation” and changed custody to the father when the child was 2 years old. The mother was placed on supervised visitation.

This child, born in 1993, was taken away from his mother, who was accused of “alienation”. He and his seven and nine-year-old siblings were placed with their father without a custody trial. The Special Master changed the time share to 95% with the father, despite their wishes to remain with their mother. The mother was placed on supervised visitation which she cannot afford, so these children have been unable to see her. The child had depression, eating disorder, anger, physical pains, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach aches, weight gain and learning disability. The oldest child, who was not moved to the father’s custody, experienced a drastic reduction in symptoms, including asthma, when he stopped seeing the father at age 15.

These two boys, born after their parents’1990 marriage, have dual citizenship (Finnish/ American). Their mother told Finnish authorities about their disclosures of abuse in 1994. She filed for divorce, after experiencing domestic violence. After the boys were placed in joint custody, their mother fled to Finland with them. The father was awarded full custody and the children were returned to the United States.

This child was taken away from her mother and placed in the custody of her father. The court ordered all contact severed with her mother when she was eight years old. The professionals in this case have multiple roles, and were appointed despite the mother not signing an agreement for a special masters as required by law. The first special master then appointed the second, who continued making orders after her term expired, and issued orders without hearings.

This child disclosed that his father beat him with a belt, and described sexual abuse after sexual acting out behavior. After the judge ordered a new evaluator, the special master recommended that the son be taken away from his mother and forced to live with the father, and the daughter be placed in foster care. Despite the lack of written agreement for the special master, she issued a change of custody order to the father, severely limiting the mother’s contact with her children.

This child lived with the mother, who was the main parent. Eventually the father got de facto custody when the child was seven, after the evaluator recommended a reversal of the 60/40 time share.

Although the parents agreed on a living arrangement, the special master ordered an evaluation, and threatened to have custody changed if the mother did not comply with the evaluation. The special master continued acting after her appointment had expired. When mother complained, the court ordered an attorney for child.

This teen-aged girl is forced to live with her step-father, a convicted sex offender.

When she was 4, this child had a vaginal rash, cuts and a discharge. The doctor called CPS which ordered a rape SART exam. The investigation concluded the abuse allegations were unfounded, despite the child’s comments and later she had another rash. This time, the mother was accused of “parental alienation syndrome” and the mother lost custody. She can only see her mother every other weekend. Now she is seven years old and cries when she has to return to her father. She wants to know if someday she gets to decide where she gets to live.

Yolo County
This child reported sexual abuse by the father who was stalking the mother. When the mother called the police about the stalking, the boy was taken from his mother by the police and immediately placed with his father. He is only allowed to see his mother under supervised conditions. He continues to disclose sexual abuse through his sexualized behavior.

Case Study Review
From the above sample of cases, a pattern is evident:
A young child discloses sexual and/or physical abuse by the father to a variety of professionals and community members.
The abuse is corroborated by medical and/or psychological factors.
Many of the children receive Victims of Crime funding for therapy
The mother may have been battered by the father.

The police do not arrest and the District Attorney does not prosecute the accused offender.
CPS does not investigate incest cases thoroughly.
CPS does not protect the children, even after multiple reports.

The accused offender files for custody of his alleged victim.

Professionals are appointed by the family law court. These professionals often take on multiple roles in cases. All enjoy a high standard of living because of the litigation.
Certain individuals are repeatedly appointed.
Many of the professionals fail to make mandated suspected child abuse reports, even when the child directly discloses abuse to them.
The court-appointed custody evaluator ignores or minimizes domestic violence and child abuse, and recommends the child be placed with the identified abuser.
The court-appointed attorney for the child does not represent his/her client’s wishes regarding placement, and often functions as a de facto attorney for the accused perpetrator.
Special Masters, mental health professionals with powers of a judge, are untrained in the law, yet are given authority to make binding orders on cases.

Evidence of abuse and witnesses for the child are not admitted into the family law court.
The child is not allowed to speak to the judge, or his/her wishes are ignored by the court.

The mother who is trying to protect the child, is accused of alienating the child from the father.
After months or years of litigation, the mother becomes bankrupt and must represent herself.

The child is placed in the unsupervised or full custody of the identified perpetrator.
The protective mother is placed on supervised visitation or not allowed contact with the child
The child pleads to remain with the safe parent, but is taken, sometimes by police force, back to the identified abuser.

Child Abuse: Educator’s Responsibility
Crime and Violence Prevention Center
California Attorney General’s Office
Bill Lockyer, Attorney General
August 1999

Indicators of sexual abuse can surface through a child’s history, physical symptoms and behavior. Some of these indicators, taken separately, may not be symptomatic of sexual abuse. They are listed below as a guide and should be examined in the context of other factors.

The single most important indicator is disclosure by the child to a friend, classmate, teacher, friend’s mother or other trusted adult. The disclosure may be direct or indirect, e.g., “I know someone…” or “What would you do if…?” or “I heard something about somebody…” It is not uncommon for the disclosure by children experiencing chronic or acute sexual abuse to be delayed. Children rarely fabricate these accounts; they should be taken seriously.

The child wears torn, stained, or bloody underclothing.

Knowledge that a child’s injury/disease (vaginal, trauma, sexually transmitted disease) is unusual for the specific age group.

Knowledge of a child’s history of previous or recurrent injuries/diseases.

Unexplained injuries/diseases (parent/caretaker unable to explain reason for injury/disease); there are discrepancies in explanation; blame is placed on a third party; explanations are inconsistent with medical diagnosis.

A young girl is pregnant or has a sexually transmitted disease. Pregnancy of a minor does not, in and of itself, constitute the basis of reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse.

Physical Symptoms
Sexually transmitted disease.

Genital discharge or infection.

Physical trauma or irritation to the anal/genital area (pain, itching, swelling, bruising, bleeding, lacerations, abrasions), especially if injuries are unexplained or there is an inconsistent explanation.

Pain during urination or defecation.

Difficulty in walking or sitting due to genital or anal pain.

Psychosomatic symptoms (stomachaches, headaches).

Sexual Behaviors of Children
Detailed and age-inappropriate understanding of sexual behavior (especially by younger children).

Inappropriate, unusual or aggressive sexual behavior with peers or toys.

Compulsive indiscreet masturbation.

Excessive curiosity about sexual matters or genitalia (self and others).

Unusually seductive with classmates, teachers and other adults.

Excessive concern about homosexual, especially of boys.

Behavioral Indicators in Younger Children
Enuresis (wetting pants, bed wetting).

Fecal soiling.

Eating disturbances such as overeating, undereating.

Fears and phobias.

Overly compulsive behavior.

School problems or significant change in school performance (attitude and grades).

Age-inappropriate behavior that includes pseudomaturity or regressive behavior such as bed wetting or thumb sucking.

Inability to concentrate.

Sleeping disturbances (nightmares, fear of falling asleep, fretful sleep pattern, sleeping long hours).

Drastic behavior changes.

Speech disorders.

Frightened of parents/caretaker or of going home.

Behavioral Indicators in Older Children & Adolescents

Chronic fatigue.

Clinical depression, apathy.

Overly compliant behavior.

Poor hygiene or excessive bathing.

Poor peer relations and social skills; inability to make friends.

Acting out, running away, aggressive, antisocial or delinquent behavior.

Alcohol or drug abuse.

Prostitution or excessive promiscuity.

School problems, frequent absences, sudden drop in school performance.

Refusal to dress for physical education.

Non-participation in sports and social activities.

Fearful of other things (going outside or participating in familiar activities).

Extraordinary fear of males (in cases of male perpetrator and female victim).

Self-consciousness of body beyond that expected for age.

Sudden acquisition of money, new clothes or gifts with no reasonable explanation.

Suicide attempt or other self-destructive behavior.

Crying without provocation.

Setting fires.

Sexual abuse of children within the family, or incest, is the most hidden form of child abuse. In spite of its taboo and the difficulty of detection, some researchers believe it may be even more common than physical abuse. In discussing sexual abuse, incest means sexual activity between certain close relatives, (e.g., parents and children, sibling, grandparents and grandchildren); intrafamilial mean sexual activity between persons in a family setting, (e.g., stepparent, parent’s live-in partner).

In most reported cases, the father or a male caretaker is the initiator and the victim is usually a female child. However, boys are also victims more often that previously believed. Embarrassment and shame often deter children from reporting abuse. The initial sexual abuse may occur at any age from infancy through adolescence.

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Categories: Abuse by CPSTags: abuse by CPS in California, abusive parents, yvonne mason