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Fighting Fire With Fire

September 17, 2011 in Child Protective Services, corruption, due process, family court, family rights

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For years I have been telling people that the best way to fight the system is to make it more expensive for them to fight you than to give in to your demands. Those wonderful folks “protecting children” at the Department of Health and Human Services think they are above the law — and many operate their agencies like they are living in the Wild Wild West. Anything goes.

While you might feel helpless, you actually have much more power than you realize. I always begin my fight with prayer, asking God to guide me, give me wisdom, understanding and any other specifics on my current circumstance. God won’t fight our fight for us, but God sure makes a tremendous ally.

Then it’s time to lay out a battle plan. Questions you should be asking and documenting:

  • Who are the players? — You must know your opponent if you are defeat him or her. Create a list. What do you know about the judge, the caseworker, and the other people involved in your case.
  • What laws have been broken? — List the statute(s), specific instances, times, dates, etc. Gather as much evidence as possible.
  • Put together a support team. — These are people you can trust. This list should include people who can help you with your case, read reports, assist with research and help to keep your spirits up. Stop answering the calls of those who are negative or bring you down. You must stay focused.
  • Put together an attack plan. — Passive parents rarely see their children returned home. You must stop playing defense and go on the offensive and stay on the offensive. Hit them with what I like to call a shit storm. One complaint after another — preferably coming from different directions.

 

Once you have read the Child Welfare Policy Manual, both state and federal (most are well indexed so finding the laws that pertain to your own case is pretty simple, or just ask for help), you can file an official complaint with your local child welfare agency.

In order to file a complaint, you must request the proper forms from that agency. After filing an official complain with CPS/DHS/etc., call your U.S. House Representative, ask to speak with the aid who handles Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) complaints. Briefly explain what laws were broken. You must sign a request for an investigation before the legislative aid can begin an investigation.

Your local agency will be notified that they are under investigation by the federal government. They will not be happy about it — your case could well be closed faster than you can say “Kashisti”. It has happened in the past. Most often, if they have broken the law, they will be advised to close the case as quickly as possible.

Regardless, of what they do. The more eyes you have on your case, the better it will be for you and your children. Don’t stop there. Continue the offensive by bringing your cause to the people who make policy. The Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse & Neglect are involved with many federal agencies. Be sure to contact specific members of this group. Make it personal.

 

Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse & Neglect

About the Work Group

The amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) of 1988 created a Federal Inter-Agency Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect. The Task Force consisted of approximately 30 member agencies drawn from the eight Cabinet Departments and the Office of Personnel Management. The Director of the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) was the statutory chairperson of the Task Force.

When the 1996 CAPTA amendments created an Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, replacing the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN), it also eliminated the requirement for a Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect.

However, the existing Task Force members agreed that it was important to maintain the connections and to continue their work. The name was changed to Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect as Task Forces have specific meanings and requirements under Federal law.

Current Activities

Since 1996, the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect has continued to lead and coordinate the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Child Abuse and Neglect (FEDIAWG). Over 40 Federal agencies are represented. The FEDIAWG meets in-person on a quarterly basis and various Subcommittees meet on a more regular basis via conference calls. The overall goals of the FEDIAWG are:

  • To provide a forum through which staff from relevant Federal agencies can communicate and exchange ideas concerning child maltreatment related programs and activities;
  • To collect information about Federal child maltreatment activities; and
  • To provide a basis for collective action through which funding and resources can be maximized.

There are three Subcommittees and related workgroups:

Domestic Violence Subcommittee
Prevention Subcommittee
Research Subcommittee: NIH Child Abuse and Neglect Working Group

[Find contact information and details. Be sure to scroll down.]

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Threats, Lies and Trickery

June 21, 2011 in Child Protective Services, Washington

I received this email recently from a Washington state mother that I just had to share with you. This isn’t just an article that someone wrote off the top of their head. This is a parent, who battled and won her fight against the giant CPS machine that gobbles up families for breakfast. Her courage and fortitude should be an inspiration to us all.

Annette,

Children Walking on Trail

Threats, Lies and Trickery

I hate reliving that nightmare and was threatened by my own joke-of-a-lawyer that IF I ever got my child back (I never let myself doubt for a second that I wouldn’t) that I should leave the state and keep a low profile. Being the defiant one that I am, I laughed and said there was no way that I’d run and hide from anyone.

Instead, I got angry and decided I’d be even more vocal and obvious, even after I got my child home. I took her (and still do on occasion) to court hearings for other families, (this really upsets CPS workers because I am shoving it in all their faces — all their lies and bullying, right back on them and they know it). I took part in rally protests outside our courthouses, at the juvenile court and CPS buildings — my daughter even held up signs with us.

CPS preys on the weak and helpless – they rely on being able to terrorize and manipulate and coerce you, so they select their victims carefully. They have a little checklist that they go through when they get any kind of referrals etc., and if the parents have a steady income they are usually rejected right off the bat!

If parents have a strong family support system in place, they again are normally rejected. This ‘checklist’ has nothing to do with the child’s safety at all, it is about MONEY.

I have been taking college classes that include child abuse and neglect (they can’t flunk you for stating your opinion). I am sure the teacher was glad to get me out of that class. I was shocked to learn some of the things I did.  If you have the time and the ability, take the class at your local college, just to check it out.  Believe me, you will learn how they can pressure schools and medical staff, etc. to make reports for things that are just total bull, and why these people go along with it.

You will learn how to help the people you are advocating for as well, if you can’t, try to get someone in your group to attend. It really is worth it to learn that stuff. You don’t have to let them know a damn thing, it is a college class that is offered to anyone for any reason.

I wish I could make promises to parents that if they did this and this, then things would be all good in the end. I can’t.

I fought damn hard but I know that without faith and prayer my fight would have been lost. I refused to bow down to them. I researched and learned everything possible. I didn’t give up, even when I felt hopeless, (that’s when I pulled out my daughters pictures and focused on WHY I couldn’t just give up).

I glued her picture to all my case folders and had her face before me at all times. I put it in front of the caseworkers, attorneys and legislators too. It made her REAL to them. I never let them think of her as a court document number (that made many very uncomfortable, which is a GOOD thing).

Another very important thing is that I DID NOT give them any bullets to shoot me with. I stayed away from places that could be used against me – bars, areas known for drugs or partying etc… I stayed away from anything that could in anyway be turned against me later. They made up many lies, since they could not find anything to use against me, but I documented everything and had many witnesses to back me up, so in the end they only screwed themselves by doing that.

You CAN WIN!

It may take time and many parents will sign documents due to their belief in CPS’s lies, promising to help get their kids back quicker.

Never sign anything without your attorney
explaining the possible outcome  — Never Ever!

I don’t care what CPS says, they have ulterior motives on everything and UNLESS the judge tells you or your attorney says you HAVE to, don’t do it. CPS will try to say that you are required to, or you are out of compliance — that is one of their lies they use to force parents to sign away their rights. Don’t sign anything, not for any reason.

This is SOOOO IMPORTANT.  SO SO SO SO IMPORTANT. Once you put your signature to paper you give up rights and I promise this – those rights aren’t given back. CPS will push hard and the harder they push the more you can bet that they are trying to pull some underhanded B.S. on you that will come back to bite you later. That is a red flag for anyone, if they are pushing hard and if they get forceful or start making promises then you know that they are up to something bad.

In addition, parents who believe that if they just agree and go along then CPS will help them are sadly in denial and will be in much pain later. Moreover, there is NO RECOURSE after the fact. Unless you file complaints when the problem is happening or right afterwards, then you will be seen as an angry parent that is just looking to blame someone else for your own screw up.

This takes courage for sure, but believe me, waiting until you absolutely can’t deny the lies any more is too late.

I don’t care how nice the worker seems or how sincere and helpful she/he might portray themselves to be, it is an act to get you to willingly let yourself be screwed. No better then how the Jews were willingly herded to the camps – at least that is how many compare the two.

DO NOT BE AN EASY VICTIM!

Don’t be a out-of-control maniac either because that is just as harmful.  Learn to be in control of your emotions, don’t allow them to know your afraid or worried or anything… even if you must pretend, always come off with an attitude of strength and determination.

ALSO DO NOT SAY ANYTHING THAT THEY CAN PROVE TO BE A LIE!

If you don’t know how to respond to something then DON’T RESPOND. I went to a required parenting class and listened to some parents just unburden themselves, thinking they were safe to vent in that group. I discovered quite by accident that one of the “parents” was actually a CPS worker, posing as a parent, to spy on another workers clients and reporting back everything she heard! I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT.

That ‘fake parent’ also attends AA and other twelve step “anonymous” meetings for the same reason. They are corrupt as hell and unfortunately naive parents that don’t know their rights become their best victims.

It makes me sick to my stomach what they do, that is why I refused to run and hide. I know that my ‘streak of defiance’ (since a child and my survival mechanism growing up) helped me but some parents don’t have that in them, and so for them I allow my case to be used at Senate hearing still and why I am okay with you posting my stuff (minus personal identifying words). I hope others can grow and learn. I am sorry that I can’t do more. I had to stop testifying myself because it was so painful to keep reliving things over and over and never allowing myself to heal, which hurt my daughter too.

My prayers are with those parents fighting for their children and those, like you, who help them. I know the pain they are going through. I hope they find the strength to fight. It is a fight for sure, especially if your children are “highly adoptable” because they bring in more money.

Sick huh? I mean, they gotta have them fancy phones ya know!! It’s much more important then actually helping a family in crisis don’t ya think? What a crock of crap!

CPS is an organized criminal enterprise, kidnapping children for human trafficking purposes with government funding! The great thing is most of them are so arrogant that they really do screw up on a daily basis and their lies can be brought to light, if people would document and question everything more.

They love to interrogate you, but boy watch them squirm when you turn the tables around. I think one of the funniest things is how they always want to force background checks on any and everyone a parent might have in their lives ‘for the safety of the child’.

Well, I turned that around on them and said “OK, then I want a background check done on you, and you and you,” and pointed to everyone in the room (which was about 12 various officials, of some sort or another). WOW, did they get their backs up fast. Lets just say that I never once had to have ANYONE I knew get a background check done! Background checks are an illegal attempt to force others to allow them into their lives in search for more victims, and I wasn’t willing to be the avenue to let it happen.

I pray that you are able to reach out and help others. You should check out Washington Families United if you haven’t already. They have really made some huge impacts at the state level that have made such incredible differences for families in our state. I think that the stronger our networks are, the more powerful our fight against CPS abuse/corruption on every level.

Oh, another hilarious tactic that has a huge impact on CPS agents, is to get some dirt on at least one CPS worker (we had a Private Investigator do work on the worse workers we knew – three to start with) and then send a copy of the information to everyone of the CPS email addresses you have, at the same time throughout the state!  OMG does it cause up some chaos. The info doesn’t have to be more then a poor driving record and a bad credit report, but it still gets them upset – those who didn’t get investigated now are worried they are next!  It is really quite comical.

I know that each time I found even the littlest information that brought the “BIG SCARY MONSTER” back down to realistic size, my fears became silly and I felt stronger and more capable then ever.

I hate that it took a year to get my girl home and that she suffered during that time, but I know that my case made a difference for many families and that is something I am very thankful for. Parents need to be strong, to believe in themselves (and their ability to learn and grow no matter what), and to know that their child needs THEM – not some stranger but THEM AND ONLY THEM.

I have heard some parents say that their kids were better off without them; I think that is not true at all, and would only believe that if the parent were abusive and failed to protect the child from abuse.

I struggled to believe in myself as a parent, and found tons of things that could be seen, as reasons I was not the best mom. I hate to cook, I suck at it in fact and many times, I thought that it was reason enough to prove my failure as a mom.

However, my grown sons reminded me that even though I didn’t cook, I NEVER let them go hungry or eat crap. I managed to be sure they ate good and healthy for the most part. Stuff like that can really be damaging to parents who already feel alone, worthless, and powerless. It is so important NOT to give into those lies. Children are never better off with someone else (unless they were given up for adoption at birth and never knew their natural parents anyway). They need their family, their real family.

Did you know that children are 9 times more likely to be abused in foster care than with biological family? That scares the crap out of me. My daughter never once had known abuse or neglect until she was placed in foster care and I HATE them for that. I was denied the ability to comfort and protect my child, by the same people who claimed to have taken her for her own protection! Yeah right!

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Valentine’s Day Protest

February 6, 2011 in corruption, family court, Visitation, Washington D.C.

On Valentine’s Day, Monday February 14, 2011 at 11:00 a.m., Mothers of Lost Children will hold a press conference in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC.

They are protesting the enormous expenditure of tax dollars to help ex-prisoners and known abusers connect with their children, and the heartbreak for mothers and children when this funding is misused and misapplied. A vigil and speakout by mothers and child victims will be held at the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW on Sunday February 13 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

During the past two decades, mothers have been losing custody of their children (even nursing infants) in increasing numbers to fathers who are convicted or identified batterers, child molesters, drug addicts, gang-bangers and felons. Family courts force children into the custody of abusive fathers at alarming rates, allowing these men to continue controlling and abusing their victims. 

Research shows that 70% of batterers who ask for custody get it. Safe mothers who left the abusers in order to protect their children are frequently labeled “unfriendly” and are inappropriately ordered to supervised visitation or denied all contact with their children.

“The reason, in part,” says Karen Anderson, Executive Director of California Protective Parents Association, “lies in a misguided and dangerous objective of the Fatherhood Initiative to give fathers access to their children regardless of the risk they pose.”  ‘The goal is to have former prisoners paying child support and reconnecting with their children as soon as possible,’ (Washington Post June 21, 2010.) 

“It’s crazy to believe that allowing violent men to care for children is a good idea.  Vulnerable children should not be used as guinea pigs to try to rehabilitate criminals,” says Anderson.     

The National Fatherhood Initiative website states in 15 years it has “ensured that two million more children are living with their fathers”.  The Leadership Council research indicates 58,000 children are placed with abusers every year. These statistics may be connected.  

“Thousands of former prisoners and identified abusers have also discovered that if they get custody, they can receive child support instead of paying it.” says Ms. Anderson. “It’s a batterers’ and molesters’ paradise. Federally-funded supervised visitation centers are meant to protect children during visits with potentially dangerous fathers.

Instead, family courts order safe mothers to see their children under supervision, which means the children aren’t able to tell their mothers about abuse by their fathers. That way the Fatherhood Initiative goals are met to access even more federal funds.”    

During this time of deep fiscal crisis, when children are hungry and parents are penniless, $500,000,000.00 dollars designated to increase marriage and promote ex-prisoners to reconnect with and often harm children is doubly offensive. 

Mothers of Lost Children call for a Congressional investigation into the failure of family courts to protect children and potential fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars.

Proof of Innocence?

February 3, 2011 in DHS, due process, false accusation, family court, Pennsylvania

Love your website. Thank you so much for sharing it with those of us who have been raped by the system. Although, I am so sorry and upset that it is even an issue in this country!

I thought I would share a little bit of my story with you.

First, I have a friend who is a social worker who was helping me the moments before CPS came to my door. She told me to let them in or they will get a warrant and that it looks guilty if I don’t. So I let them in.

I let them interview my children. The worker interviewed my two older children together. My 8-year-old generally tells the truth, unless my bossy 11-year-old is around to sway her. My mother was the one who reported me. My 11-year-old went along with the story that my mother cooked up because she really wanted to live with my mom because she “buys her things” (this she said later in front of a CPS-paid counselor). Also, I think it’s important to note that I have cut all ties with my mom since this incident in August.

Anyway, when the CPS worker then came from her interview with the kids and asked me what happened, I told her the truth, to which she replied, “Well, I always believe the kids.”

Then why ask for my side? They wanted to kick me out of my house for seven days. I refused to sign any papers until morning when an attorney could look them over but agreed to leave my home anyway.

The worker then threatened to remove my children and put them in foster care if I did not sign the papers. They were not an admission of guilt, but an agreement to leave. I did not know that at the time, but I felt like I was signing under duress and couldn’t think clearly to even know what I was signing. It was awful. I was even breastfeeding at the time but they didn’t care.

They ended up opening a case for 90-days. Two social workers, a parenting coach and a counselor, were hired by CPS from an outside agency to come into my home three times per week. They also forced me to put my two year old son into daycare for the first time in his life. I am a stay-at-home mom so this was very traumatic for him.

They also had a counselor from an outside counseling agency come into my home to see the children once a week. After the counselors and social workers came into my home, they told me that I am a great mom, that my family situation is not one that they would typically be called to, and that they have reported only good things to CPS.

After complaints from my friends to CPS and my lawyer to the prosecutor about the initial case worker who illegally forced me to sign papers, they moved my case worker to another county. I got a new case worker who was, thankfully, much more intelligent. But it was too late. They already decided to substantiate “hitting” and “psychological and emotional abuse.”

I am appealing this decision. I have a hearing in about two weeks. I still have my attorney, which I have spent $1,000 to retain for this whole ordeal. Hopefully, it will be done soon because I don’t have very much money left. I am not sure how to defend myself and prove my innocence because to those who don’t know me and my family personally, it looks like I am simply pointing the finger at my mom for the blame and not taking any responsibility. But it is the truth!

I have some questions that I would like to pose to you because I have been researching, but I can’t find any information about. Firstly, how can they take an anonymous phone call from someone and not allow you to address your accuser, as a rapist or attempted murderer would be allowed to do? How is that legal?

Secondly, how are the infamous CPS state lists, going by various names from state to state, legal? The people who’s names are on the lists are guilty until proven innocent, which is the complete opposite of what our legal system is supposed to be. These lists are a collection of opinions not necessarily based on fact or evidence. Furthermore, they share this information with employers, but confess that all information regarding our cases are confidential because it’s a juvenile matter. That is contradictory and confusing.

I am just so torn up about this and I wish I had a million dollars because I would be the one who goes to the Supreme Court about outlawing those lists and confidential tips.

Thanks again for all you are doing,
Kim,
Pennsylvania

It’s Your Move!

February 8, 2010 in justice, parental rights, termination of parental rights

Almost nightly, news reports are replete with details regarding dead and injured children at the hands of their capturers, it doesn’t seem to matter which side of the fence you sit.

If the parents are poor, struggling in these harsh economic times, it’s more than likely the parents are ill educated and either doing or dealing drugs. Most get started because the rent still has to be paid and the kids still have to eat. The children have been exposed to drugs, harmful chemicals and dumb ass attacks from parents too stoned out of their minds to care.

Welfare workers do not want these children. Grandparents can call Child Protective Services ’til the cows come home. Those kids aren’t going anywhere, unless there is a catastrophe. If a child is not badly burned, disfigured or murdered — a case that makes the news, in many instances, those kids are going nowhere. It costs the state money to take on these cases.

It's Your Move!

State-financed child welfare departments choose instead to round up the children of parents who are on the upper rung of the lower class and creeping slowly into the middle class.

You see, if they can find (or in some cases, create) something to charge you with, state child welfare investigators will remove your children from your home (for their own well-being, of course) and thus begin the process, where you spend every dime you have, jumping through hoops, mandated by child protection workers.

There are a great many jobs dependent on our children. Every person in the courtroom, including the judge, owes their job to the children of accused (not convicted, just accused) parents. The judge, the bailiff, the court reporter, the caseworkers, counselors, foster parent, service workers, medical doctors, and the list goes on.

The old adage, "He who pays the piper, calls the tune," certainly applies here. The state pays for services (with a huge donation from the federal government) — most low to middle class parents can’t afford to hire an attorney, so they rely on the state to provide for their defense. These attorney’s work everyday with these same people. They eat lunch together, share funny e-mails, they might even go out after work together for cocktails. The only one left out of the loop is you and your son or daughter.

The only way I see to combat current trends in a meaningful way, is for the children who were wrongfully removed from loving, caring parents to sue the state for damages. Of course the last thing on an 18 year olds’ mind is a protracted court battle and attorney visits.

In most states, young adults have the right to bring suit for damages, against the perpetrators for injustices, which have occured to them, as juveniles — in many states for up to five years from the time the child has turned 18.

Have you, or do you know someone who was harmed by our family court system? We need to encourage these young people to seek out pro bono independent legal representation.

Young men and women have lost touch with their natural born parents. They have lost their right to inherit from their parents and their chance to know their own family history. In short, millions of children are being robbed of their family heritage — a God given right.

I am pleased to post your stories here as well. Please check out the posting guidelines.

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