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The 1999/2000 Orange County Grand Jury reported that within 12-18 months after leaving the foster care system 27% of males and 10% of females had been incarcerated.

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The Rest of the Story

Sullivan -V- DHS

Hi Annette, I really appreciate you and your husband's bravery in going ahead and keeping my published story online, even in the face of orders by the court. I think it's good to tell the rest of Shelby's story.

Bill Sullivan

I sat here really wishing that I had never heard of Child Protective Services. I don't want to think about it, but there are others still going through what I did. For those that will not know what I am talking about, I will try to catch you up briefly. The complete first part of the story is also available here.

A History Lesson

I have a daughter who was ten when I took her to the Children's hospital. The young doctor mistakenly thought she was infected with Herpes (an STD) transmitted sexually. Seven-days later it was found to be the normal fever blister type that 80 to 90% of people in this country would test positive for. It should have been over. DHS had taken her from the hospital and had no intention of letting her go.

The investigation by city and state police that is mandated by state law concluded with a statement of no evidence of abuse. A DHS worker testified in court that the investigation was on going, when they had been contacted before the court hearing by the investigating officer and informed of the finding. They lied.

Afterward, they lobbied the court not to allow that information or any exonerating documentation into court or the court record. The judge went along with it.

The court found that she had been abused, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. I was ordered to go through all sorts of classes. I had to see a psychiatrist, who said that I wasn't able to function in society and that I was in denial. He also testified that as long as I was in denial he could not recommend the return of my child. By the way, he was not interested in seeing the investigated facts.

I had two more psychologists. One just plainly stated that, in light of the investigation, he could see no reason why CPS was holding my child. The other didn't know what to think but both psychologists went through the motions required of them.

In light of the fact that the judge would scream at my attorney and had not allowed the facts to grace her court, I saw the handwriting on the wall.

The Search For Help

I began to try to contact everyone from the President and Supreme Court judges to local papers, radio and television stations.

A representative even contacted DHS about their lies to the court. He was told, "It is irrelevant." I contacted Bill O'Reilly, Oprah Winfrey, Montel Williams, etc.; no one seemed to care. None of the hundreds of papers and Christian churches and organizations across the nation would lift a finger to help. A couple offered advice or prayer.

I had several large contracts on which I was working with others. The idea was to get rich and sue these people and help others. A lot of money can be a terrible thing to people. It causes the best of them to do and think strange things. Each deal failed because of last minute greed -- after contracts had been signed and the threat of lawsuits caused the principals to withdraw.

I had thought that making this money may have been God's way for me to help many, but it was not to be.

While praying one night a couple thoughts came to my mind in a mighty way. So much so, that I knew it was from God. I was renewed at that moment.

The thoughts were. "Is anything too hard for God? Is it anything for me to save with a lot of people or no people, a lot of money or no money?"

From that very day things changed. A Representative called and wanted me to join her in speaking to the Senate Task Force on Child Protective Services.

Meetings were held with CPS. They tried to blame what they said, "looked like a mistake," on the judge. I reiterated lies that were told to me face to face by DHS workers. Lies like, "My Sullivan, do you know that your child is going back and forth to the doctor for repetitive herpetic breakouts?" One of the other social workers had told me secretly that the doctor, whom I knew, said that it was not herpes at all. I let them know that I knew the truth. I even told them how I knew. They never tried that again.

Below is my testimony before the Senate Committee. I also submitted other information that is not replicated here.

The Struggle to Change Perception

Some of those who have suffered at the hands of Child Protective Services have warned me to be very brief. They say that Senators and Representatives have little time to read more than a page or so. I understand. I also believe I understand some things about people.

When Mr. James Rodger Brown testified before the US House Ways and Means Committee about Organized Crime in the US Government, I can just see in my mind's eye how some would take it seriously and some would smirk. As I see it, at least, Mr. Brown would interpret any systematic, organized illegal acts done in concert with others directly or indirectly as organized crime. While I am sure this may be off a bit, I am positive under his definition, the Inquisition, Slavery and the Salem witch-hunts would be included. [1]

I think most of us; when we think of organized crime, think of the Mafia. We envision participants who know that they are involved in unlawful pursuits and who intentionally want to be part of such unlawful practices.

Regardless of how evil the inquisition, the witch-hunts and slavery were, people didn't see themselves as participating willingly in evil or unlawfulness.

This last fact makes the Family Justice System all the more dangerous. Like during the inquisition, most people involved just knew they were part of a righteous cause, except the people who suffered. No commissions, if there were any, appointed to see if the slaves were being well taken care of came back with a recommendation that the solution was to end slavery as a practice. Whole industries were dependant on it. What this did was to make a large share of people hold their peace lest they lose their livelihood.

Now ask yourself this question. Would anyone without very strong convictions pit themselves against an industry whose beneficiaries brought so much money to stores, blacksmiths and other seemingly unrelated endeavors? Would your representative or senator do much more than hear your story? That's what has happened in every state and US congressional hearing to many. There have been few meaningful changes.

Whether you were deemed a witch, heretic or slave, in times past, public hysteria, false science and other misinformation was always involved. People thought they knew something that they didn't and there was no powerful or easy avenue to those afflicted to express themselves in a way to cause the masses to quickly reevaluate their thinking.

When looking in the past, we cannot imagine how anyone could have done the things they did. They were evil and we suppose ourselves to be better than they.

A curious incident, in the Bible is where the religious leaders of Jesus' time made a statement that if they had lived in the time of the old prophets; they would not have participated in their slaughter, like their Fathers did. Jesus mentioned that they were indeed the children of their fathers and would do the same thing as their fathers did.

We are the children of our fathers and we are allowing the destruction of thousands of children and families for all the same reasons people allowed injustices in the past...

  1. Everyone knows there is an epidemic of child abuse. They think they know the facts. The information comes from the authorities that benefits as protectors of the victims and yet in some cases confiscates property and money.
  2. Mandatory reporters are praised if they make the authorities happy when money and/or property are confiscated.
  3. Secrecy - to protect a mandatory reporter's identity and the authority's reasoning process, removing the danger of loss of face, the system boldly faces the people.
  4. Retaliation: Making an example out of those who resist.
  5. Making sure there is a vested interest for those in power to leave the system as it is.
  6. Control the nomenclature and interpretation of laws.
  7. Have a growing body of demonstrably false knowledge. That is used anyway. Since they are the authorities, most accept their words as fact.

All of this has happened in the child protection industry. From the 1980's many people went to jail on the ideas fostered upon us by these so-called professionals, who had absolutely no science to back them up. A few examples will suffice.

There was the idea that doctors could tell by the size, shape and irregularities of a child's vagina if they had been sexually assaulted. Later real scientific studies by Dr. McCann and others proved all the assumptions held by the "authorities," were way off base. Showing that all the so-called signs were about the same in all kids regardless if they were abused or not. It helped few of those jailed due to this false science. Some in the CPS industry still use this false information.

The late 80s and early 1990s were rife with accusations of day care workers abuse of children, "Children don't lie about sex the experts said." Wrong! These children grew up and told the truth. Researchers found that if they allowed children to have anatomical dolls and questions were asked them about well observed examinations given to them by doctors, they were all over the map, some describing things the doctors never even came close to doing. The type of questions and the way they were asked brought different kinds of things to the kid's minds. These things were enough to have sent the physicians to jail. Some CPS industry partners still use the anatomical dolls.

If anyone was alive at that time, they should remember the hysteria.

Nearly 50% of children placed in foster care, never graduate from high School. Another 30% become homeless at some point in their lives. Foster children are 11 to 13 times more likely to be molested than in their own homes and are 7 times more likely to be murdered.

DHS controls the meaningful nomenclature and since they are the mandated authority, everyone listens. Police departments that know how to investigate normal cases show deference to DHS' validation methods. They are only looking for those things that prove a parent is guilty of something. They disregard signs that show a person's innocence. They routinely hide this information from the court. Judges will often side with DHS even when the evidence exonerates the individual. They only need to hire expert witnesses that the parents do not have the money to match. Even if the experts really say nothing or even contradicts themselves.

Like the inquisition or witch-hunts, if you are a mandatory reporter, you had better report anything that possibly could be child abuse. This is true even if there are a thousand innocent ways it could have happened. You can't get prosecuted, but if you don't report, you could.

About 65% of children taken by DHS were taken and kept -- even after the allegations were deemed as unsubstantiated. You are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

Over time, with a 30 to 70 percent attrition rate, the good people leave as they learn what is going on. Also, over time DHS learns which professionals are willing to treat them with deference that lends weight to their cases. They stick with these people, making them very well off professional therapists and doctors, etc. These people will do what ever DHS wants.

The ACLU and others have found that false documentation and outright lies are brought to the court under these parent unfriendly conditions and DHS will win 90% of the time.

You see as DHS and the Judge becomes closer and closer partners, there is less and less of a true adversarial system. No one is a true neutral Judge. The parent cannot win. These are some of the reasons the retired New York Supreme Court Judge Brian Lindsey said in his statement above that the Family court system "guarantees" the break up of families.

Federal Title IV-E monies have created an entire industry dependant on this funding and they have all become friends — working together on a daily basis to steal children. Not as conspirators, at least not the majority, but nonetheless as subsystems in a very insidious enterprise. Even though the computer may be the only damaged part of a car, it affects all other subsystems.

Judges' "bench guides," recommend finding probable cause, if only temporarily for the sake of "Title IV-E," money. [1]

The DHS case worker then tries to obtain additional information often unrelated to the original allegation(s). Finding a home dirty the day of visitation, finding a broken wall socket or no food in a refrigerator, can change your world. Finding an ex-spouse or a neighbor that hates you won't do you any good. What ever she says in court is considered fact.

If probable cause was found, the adjudication will usually go DHS' way regardless, because they will have some kind of expert that will shock you with what they say.

Now you are at their whims. You figure out too late that they never followed the law. They never tried to find a real way to keep your child at home. If you are lucky and have a good case worker, her recommendations to have the child(ren) returned home won't matter. You must go through all sorts of "services." Parenting classes, anger management maybe and therapists, who will say there is something wrong with you. They will add more and more.

You may loose your job because of it. Then when you cannot pay your child support, it will be held against you. Any thing you miss will be held against you. You may loose everything fighting false allegations and thousands have. That will give them other reasons to keep your child. The therapist will declare that you are in denial. You are told you cannot have your child back until you are no longer in denial. "Confess and we will have mercy", they say to the heretic.

Under these circumstances, many parents are told that if they only admit the accusation the child will more likely come home sooner. It's a lie. If a person confesses an unsubstantiated case becomes substantiated. You won't get your child back.

Children We Saved

Children that were "saved" from their parents — well, nearly 50% never graduate from high School. About 30%, (some say many more) become homeless at some point in their lives. Many seeing the unlawful way they were snatched from their parents, never adjust to society and become criminals. A large portion of those in prison have been in our great foster care system, where they are 11 to 13 times more likely to be molested than in their own homes. They are seven times more likely to be murdered.

Many of these children were constantly bombarded for months by repeated questions and suggestions until they say what is expected of them, thinking, as they often have been told, they would go home. All the regularly used therapists and psychologists reinforce expected answers.

One well-known psychological and therapeutic operation doctor told me, "When they get here, as far as I am concerned, they have been abused. I treat them for abuse." When asked what would be the effects of treating a child for abuse that wasn't," this professional said, "I cannot say." [2]

These accurate statistics, despite the good people in the system, should make us understand that the best place for a child is with their parents, if at all possible.

If you are one of those that feel more comfortable talking with the slave owners and inquisitors, getting their opinions about the slaves and heretics, nothing will change.

History will again repeat itself. One-day people will look back on your actions and wonder why it was that you couldn't see what will be very plain in their day.

If you are one that just wants to know for sure, then you are a person after my own heart. I will gladly offer a way to that absolute proof.

Think about this, if you sent a commission in long past history to see the statistics on how many witches or heretics were burned at the stake. Where would they look? The official files, right? How many would show that they were executed and the allegations concerning them were false? Almost None!

First define what is in the best interest of the child according to Arkansas law and the US Constitution. I know it's there already. DHS ignores all this.

Commission a real investigation, according to your guidelines that you make clear and simple. An example would be no child could be taken under Arkansas law because of poverty alone.

A single woman, who lost her job for a while and is now working 2, had her electricity cut off for a couple days. She plans on paying Friday when she gets paid. Since its early summer, it's not too hot or cold. She saved the money to feed her children. She has a handle on the situation. DHS shows up on an anonymous call, finds the food spoiled, or none because it had spoiled. She takes the children from the baby sitter under lamplight. The average child when taken will be gone about a year, at least. The $200 dollar bill she owed has turned into a nightmare for the mother and her kids. The federal and state governments will likely end up paying many thousands of dollars. It is also very likely that she will find that her children have become special needs kids draining even more money from the government. She wonders why they just didn't pay the bill. She would have paid them back.

This happens more than we may ever know, because by this time some other reason will have become the new reason to hold on to the children.

I say with absolutely no doubt, if strict scrutiny is used as the US Supreme Court says. More than 50% of the children's cases will be found to not have had a real reason that they needed to be removed. This will be seen almost at first glance at those cases.

A real investigation will be separate and completely new. Some people that claim to have done this, report on the cases they saw in their area; fewer than 10 percent of the children should have been removed from their home.

All cases must be available and the cases must be investigated at random.

Let's do it. I am sure the people will gladly pay for it, upon knowing these accusations about this agency. The agency should be happy also; if they really believe they have been operating fairly. Remember the foxes cannot be asked to show documents proving whether they have been tearing up the chickens. If we do it the way I suggest, no one will have room to doubt.

Here are suggestions that I made to the committee...

The Following Changes Are Needed:

  1. Sever the partnership between the juvenile court and all those that get paid by Title-IV-E money. They all work together as they have in my case and thousands each year, holding children in unsubstantiated cases as long as they can. Most of the children taken are taken in cases never substantiated.
  2. Make the Title IV-E money roll-able to Title IV-B, where DHS will be paid to keep children at home. Right now 85% of the money is in taking away children from their parents. Why did no one understand what would happen in a system such as this?
  3. Make child abuse a felony punishable by jail time.
  4. Do not allow DHS to do the investigation. They do not investigate, they seek ONLY to validate. Do not allow them to train law enforcement officers and stop allowing untrained caseworkers to become state police officers without formal training. That just permeates society's law enforcement with their falsifying methods. The police and state troopers know and understand rules of evidence.
  5. Mandate that DHS abide by the results of the real investigations performed by our law enforcement officers.
  6. Child protective services and judges are for all practical proposes unaccountable to anyone. Even the rich find it difficult. The poor have little chance. Between these two many never get a chance to submit exculpatory information. Judges in Arkansas and all across the nation give overwhelming deference to CPS. Often parents are not allowed to speak on their own behalf in court.
  7. The state should be mandated to pay all costs for the poor or others running out of money, to ensure fair court proceedings. People are loosing everything across this nation in righteous loosing causes because they mortgage everything before the long pockets of the state thinks twice about it. If they loose they can be made to pay everything back later.
  8. There should be a citizen rotating commission of new people empowered to look anew from scratch at grievous cases. They should have the power to sanction, recommend sanctions and or empanel a Grand Jury. Their aim should be toward CPS and other government officials that normally cannot be touched because of immunities.

"There is something bad happening to our children in family courts today that is causing them more harm than drugs, more harm than crime and even more harm than child molestation."

Judge Watson L. White
Superior Court Judge
Cobb County, Georgia

After hearing my testimony along with the story of a couple other people, the committee Chairman asked me to list all the people involved and the part that each party played. He said something would be done about it.

Now the interesting thing is, whatever he did or didn't do was kept close to his vest. To this day, I don't know if he did anything for sure. I know 3 representatives got involved and 2 were very involved later. One even called for a meeting with the judge. The judge declined, saying that it would be improper.

A person was sent to me by DHS wanting to know what my intentions were. The way it was asked, I recognized it to mean are you planning to sue us?

I let them know that I intended to do the sort of things that they could see me doing. My intentions, I explained, were to make sure we can make state help work as it should, so that the things that happened to me would not happen to others.

Up until that time, CPS workers had even testified that there was no reason to even try to reunite me with my daughter. From that time on everything changed. It became how fast we can get the kid back home without admitting error.

They set about a month goal, to go through about 4-months of psychological work. They started to allow Shelby to come home. The first week she was allowed to spend around 3-hours at home. Then, the following week she stayed for 6-hours. The next week they allowed her to spend the weekend. Then I was told as I was bringing her back to the foster home, where I was now allowed to go unsupervised, that I could just keep her.

There was a hearing that was all smiles. My attorney said that she had never before seen such a turn about in attitude, as she had seen in this judge and CPS worker before. Everyone acted like we were at a love fest.

The hearing to close the case was held December 13th 2006.

Shelby said to me, "Daddy, I knew you would never stop until I was home!"

The last of October 2007 I was hit with a smaller surprise. I went to renew my driver's license. I had long since stopped paying child support, since they said, "It looks like a mistake has been made." I felt I owe them nothing. They should not be rewarded for bad behavior.

We will see.

~Bill Sullivan

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References

  1. California Judges Bench Guide
  2. Emergency National Child Protection System Organized Crime Alert
  3. Historical and referenced based, scientific studies.