Archive for the ‘CPS’ Category

Child Protection or Legal Kidnapping?

June 10, 2008
Children being taken from their homes, based on tips from anonymous telephone callers alleging abuse or neglect, and there’s growing evidence that many of the children placed in foster care annually don’t belong there.

Georgia state Sen. Nancy Schaefer assessment of the bureaucrats entrusted to protect children there: “I believe Child Protective Services (CPS) nationwide has become corrupt and that the entire system is broken almost beyond repair. I am convinced parents and families should be warned of the dangers.”

Dr. Steven Krason, professor of political science and legal studies at Franciscan University of Steubenville: “CPS itself now poses “a grave threat” because it is almost impossible to fully insulate one’s family from…a system that on very little pretense can simply reach into the home and take away one’s offspring.”

Dr. Shirley Moore, national director of legislative affairs for the American Family Rights Association (AFRA): “Many Los Angeles judges who rule on family court cases also sit on the boards of phony non-profit organizations created to generate state adoption/foster care grants via federal funding.”

California’s 2003 Little Hoover Commission Report: “Up to 70 percent of children in foster care should never have been removed from their homes.”

A 2006 series in the Belleville News Democrat: “53 children in foster care died between 1998 and 2005 after state child welfare workers committed serious errors and ignored their own rules.”

Free the Children Coalition is planning a national rally in D.C. to expose what they say is “judicial fraud in the Family Court system and the violation of families’ rights by child protective agencies nationwide.”

Source: Articles by Barbara F. Hollingsworth, The Examiner’s local opinion editor:

Bureaucrats running down the clock against parents

Victims claim CPS officials guilty of ‘ruthless behavior’

Lawmaker says CPS officials guilty of ‘ruthless behavior’

Is it child protection or legal kidnapping?

CPS: Court Abused Discretion

June 10, 2008
After an appeals court ruled that Child Protective Services overreached its authority by seizing more than 460 children from a polygamist ranch in West Texas; lawyers for the state agency accused the court of abusing its discretion by issuing the ruling.

The state agency and lawyers representing a group of mothers from the polygamist ranch seeking to regain custody of their children wait for the Texas Supreme Court to decide which side is standing on firmer legal ground.

The CPS lawyers took their swipe at the state’s Third Court of Appeals in a 19-page filing to the Texas Supreme Court where they reiterate their assertion that the children were in imminent danger of abuse when state authorities raided the ranch near Eldorado on April 3.

The lawyers have asked the state’s highest appeals court to set aside the Third Court’s ruling that would return the children to their families.

The lawyers said that the Third Court had given too much weight to assertions by FLDS members that the state had failed to demonstrate each child removed from the ranch was likely to be abused.

The Texas Supreme Court gave no indication when it would make a ruling in the case.

CPS lawyers say court abused its discretion

See also:
Appellate Court: Right or Wrong?

No Right to Seize

Judge Bars CPS

Kinship Care vs Foster Care

June 6, 2008
New research from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:

Children removed from their homes after reports of maltreatment have significantly fewer behavior problems three years after placement with relatives than if they are put into foster care.

The study, which looked at a national sample of U.S. children removed from their homes following reports of maltreatment, is published in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

The results of the study provide compelling evidence to support efforts in recent years to identify what is sometimes referred to as “kinship care” as an alternative for placing children into non-relative foster care and to maximize the supports and services that will help children achieve permanency in these settings.

“Our results suggest for the first time, in a national population group, that family care may offer protective value in terms of well-being and stability for children in out-of-home care.”
David M. Rubin, M.D., M.S.C.E., pediatric researcher and lead author of the study.

Full Article and Source:
Kinship Care More Beneficial Than Foster Care, Study Finds

See also:
American Medical Association
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine:

Kinship Care and Lessened Child Behavior Problems

Impact of Kinship Care on Behavioral Well-being for Children in Out-of-Home Care

Appellate Court: Right or Wrong?

June 3, 2008
The ruling by a Texas appeals court that the state’s child protection services had unsufficient grounds to seize hundreds of children from the FLDS compound in Eldorado is a welcome and timely check on the illegal application of state power against an entire religious community.

The well-reasoned conclusion of the Third Court of Appeals simply stated what had become obvious and increasingly disturbing: The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, acting only on long-held suspicions and an anonymous phone call that proved bogus, had wrongly taken custody of some 460 children.

In essence, here’s what the court said: You can’t grab people’s kids and put them in foster care unless you first prove that each one is in imminent danger.
Tribune Editorial

Texas justice: Court says state acted illegally against FLDS

There are some fundamental problems with the court’s opinion. The court states that because not all FLDS families are polygamous or allow their female children to marry as minors, the entire ranch community does not subscribe to polygamy. Wrong.

They are living on a polygamist ranch and are members of the church — a sect that left the Mormon Church so it could practice polygamy.

The court even reasoned that under Texas law, “it is not sexual assault to have consensual intercourse with a minor spouse to whom one is legally married” and that Texas law “allows minor to marry — as young as age 16 with parental consent and younger than 16 if pursuant to court order.” Wrong again.

The polygamists are not “legally married” to anyone since it is illegal to marry more than one person. They are “spiritually married” and abusing young girls. Finally, the court also states there “was no evidence that …. the female children who had not reached puberty, were victims of sexual or other physical abuse or in danger of being victims if sexual or other physical abuse.”

The Department should wait until the kids are actually abused before doing anything. It’s almost as if the Department can’t win: If they act, they are overzealous; if they don’t act, they are not doing the job entrusted to them — protecting our children.
Sunny Hostin, legal analyst on CNN’s American Morning

Commentary: Appellate court wrong on FLDS

See also:
No Right to Seize

NASGA Poll Results:

No Right To Seize

May 23, 2008

A state appeals court has said authorities had no right to seize more than 440 children in a raid on the FLDS ranch last month.

The state took 464 children into custody in April, but the ruling directly applied to the children of 48 sect mothers represented by the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, said Cynthia Martinez of the agency. About 200 parents are involved in the polygamy case.

The Third Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the state offered “legally and factually insufficient” grounds for the “extreme” measure of removing all children from the ranch, from babies to teenagers.

The state never provided evidence that the children were in any immediate danger, the only grounds in Texas law for taking children from their parents without court approval, the appeals court said.

Source: Court: Texas wrongly seized sect children
Court: CPS failed to provide evidence

See also: Judge Bars CPS

Judge Bars CPS

May 17, 2008
A San Antonio judge has blocked state Child Protective Services from removing a mother from a polygamous sect from her infant son when he turns a year old.

The temporary restraining order keeps Lori Jessop and her son together. Mothers from the sect with children younger than a year have been allowed to stay with them, but older children have been taken from their mothers and placed in foster care.

The woman had been held along with more than 400 children taken last month from a West Texas ranch run by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. State officials say the children were endangered by underage and polygamous spiritual marriages.

Judge bars CPS from removing child from polygamous mother

More about the FLDS raid by Texas CPS:

Timeline of West Texas polygamist custody battle

Judge: CPS can’t separate toddler from FLDS parents

Moms may have to choose between kids, polygamist religion

Polygamous sect fathers demand judge return seized kids

Polygamist sect teen who gave birth is adult, Texas CPS says

Fallout from FLDS raid is intense