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In 86.8% of cases where a child was placed in foster care, Kansas failed to make the required 'reasonable effort' to reunite him with his parents.

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CPS Worker Takes Revenge Against Foster Parent

Posted January 05, 2006
by: Annette M. Hall

Editor Note: Would Kathy, the author of this post please contact me? Somone is trying to reach you.

Foster parents often get a bad rap. I admit I've done my fair share of foster parent bashing. It's pretty common knowledge, as least among those of us who are fighting the unabashed power trip child protective services is on that children often suffer worse at the hands of foster care workers than any harm they might have encountered at the hands of their own parents.

Kathi is a former cop and foster parent who attempted to put the best interests of the children in her care first, something caseworkers should try doing once. In doing so, Kathi, turned her home into a valued resource for parents in need of help with their young ones and safe house for the children she took in. Her efforts are repaid in ways no one could have predicted.

Once Upon A Time - Last Christmas

In December of 2004, a former foster son (hereinafter referred to as "Val") and his older brother were sent to my home on Christmas Eve. He was 11-years-old (turning 12 the following month) and had left my home when he was 10 and a half to return to his mother.

For the time that he was living with his mother, he (and his siblings as well) continued to visit me, at a great expense to me. It didn't matter though, because it enabled me to maintain contact with him. He had been in the system numerous times at that point in his life and my home had been the only place he had been successful and I wanted to make sure he knew he had a safe place if it became necessary. He was always very sad to leave after visiting and this was witnessed by various other youth that were in my home. Everyone felt bad for him.

Though his mother was trying, it was very hard for her and he didn't receive the support that he had in my home and it showed in his behavior and schoolwork.

In November of that same year, his mother had told him that he could return here to live and go to school, and then changed her mind the next day. He put his arm through a window and had to receive 9 stitches.

For the 2 weeks prior to that Christmas Eve, things occurred that had me extremely worried. When he called and showed up with his brother I had decided that he couldn't return, solely for his own safety. I obtained an order for temporary guardianship and scheduled a hearing for permanent guardianship.

I had been told by numerous school officials to take him to the CPS office and have him placed with me, however I knew that the older children needed to be with their mother and I did not want to bring CPS back into their lives if it were not necessary. Having done foster care for 10 years, I have seen where children are more abused by the system paid to protect them, than by their own parents. I also wanted to try to maintain a continued relationship with his family, as I had done in the past, so that if it were necessary for the other children to be placed somewhere, their mother would know that I would be more than willing.

She was not happy about the guardianship, however she consented simply by remaining absent from the hearing. It took several months, but eventually Val began visiting his family again. The guardianship order had not specified anything regarding visitation other than that he be allowed to visit when he felt comfortable. There was no order denying visitation, nor specifying.

My county CPS agency (El Dorado) did the guardianship study and it was granted in March of 2005. I agreed that Val should continue visiting his family as long as it didn't affect his behavior or schoolwork. Having been gone from my home for a year and a half, it took a great deal to get him back on track.

I took a leave from work in January, to be able to focus on getting him settled back in. He was doing great and, in August had joined the youth football team. After that, he did not go home much, as the sport filled his weekends.

In July of 2005, the stepfather of another former foster son came to me and requested that I take guardianship of his 11-year-old stepson and his 1-year-old son. Because the stepfather had no legal rights to the 11-year-old, I talked with him (the 11-year-old) and asked about what had been going on and what he was comfortable with. He had also continued to come to my home because his mother needed quite a bit of respite from him. He wanted to stay with his half brother and me so I filed for temporary guardianship of both of them, the natural father of the 1-year-old signing to agree to guardianship, and myself on behalf of the 11-year-old.

El Dorado County CPS was again assigned to do a guardianship study and did so. The Social worker told me, when she came for the interview, that the 11-year-old should remain with me, however she would not recommend permanent guardianship of the 1-year-old because the father was able to take care of him. It did me no good to explain anything to her as to why he wanted the guardianship, she had already made up her mind, so I just told her I understood that would be their position in the report to the judge.

After that, she called the father in for a meeting and he requested that I be able to attend, however they would not allow it. The father told me that, in this meeting, they had tried to "coerce" (he is from Mexico and specifically asked me "what is the word you use when someone tries to force you to do something you do not want?") him into voluntarily placing the 1-year-old with them. He refused.

The next day the social worker called me in and proceeded to tell me that the original guardianship study had not been done correctly. It was evident to me that they were going to do whatever they had to in order to show the judge that the 1-year-old should not be in my care.

I confronted her on what she had told the father and asked why they couldn't understand his reasons for wanting the guardianship? She became very angry and rude and the interview was over. I requested a meeting with her supervisor and herself, along with both the mother and father of the children so that everything would be in the open.

The mother and father were being told things that were not true and, though the father didn't believe it, I felt the mother did and she needed to know that the father and I were supporting her also, contrary to what she was being told by CPS. She refused to call a meeting, I wrote to the Program Director explaining the situation and let them know everyone wanted to meet to set the record straight. They refused.

Needless to say, all of this conflict was having an affect on the children. These kids have been in the system most of their lives and know when there's trouble with CPS. Val was extremely agitated, blaming me and feeling that I had ruined his life by helping these other children. He knew that wasn't the case, but in any type of frustration that is where he would go.

It reached the point where we had a talk and I told him that if the situation continued to have a negative affect on him, I would take him to his mother's until the hearing date so that he wouldn't have to deal with it on a daily basis. He didn't want to go, but knew that he couldn't react so violently to the situation either.

It did reach a point where I had to have him return to his mothers, and I was absolutely heartbroken to see him so angry, but knew that once all the chaos stopped he would be fine. I made sure he was enrolled in school (he was going to be there for 3-weeks) and I made sure his mother knew the situation. She wanted him to stay and I told her that he was just angry right now and we couldn't even discuss it until he calmed down. That was September 16th, 2005.

On Sept 20, 2005 I received a message from someone at CPS stating that they would agree to meet with us now. That same day, the 11-year-old came home from school and said that the social worker had come to school to talk to him and he had told them that Val was at his mom's house.

He seemed worried and said, "I guess I shouldn't have told them that." I told him that was silly, he had told them the truth and that's all he should ever do. Val was just at his mother's to get out of all the chaos, he would be coming back. Or so I thought.

When they left that message they already knew they were going to pick Val up. When the time for the meeting came, the father and mother arrived before I did, I was taken to a seperate room and told by the Program Directors, that the meeting had been cancelled and they were sorry that I had not been notified. Now...could it be any clearer that they got the father to lie for them?

On Sept 21, 2005, Val's mother called me at 4:30 p.m. She said that CPS from Yolo County had come and taken Val, stating that he was in danger. She asked if they were taking him back to my house and they wouldn't tell her anything. I asked her if they had taken her other children and she said "no."

I called El Dorado County CPS and was informed by a clerk that Val was, in fact, standing right there with the social worker. The social worker refused to get on the phone with me.

The next day, another social worker called and said that she had bad news that Val's mother had "relapsed", so I was being charged with negligence for placing him in a dangerous situation.

I won't go into the rest of the nightmare. It continued just like this, with CPS officials violating civil rights and getting away with it. My court appointed attorney should have had the case dismissed immediately, based on the fact that Val had been picked up without a warrant and without any showing of eminent danger.

Instead, she took everything I told her and gave it to them to try to make their case look stronger. And there really wasn't any trial. Everything was decided in chambers and then a little show was put on where I wasn't allowed to call witnesses or present evidence. I had to defend myself against my attorney as much as I did CPS! And I had done nothing but try to protect him.

In the end, the Judge agreed but decided that since he had experienced a great deal of trauma already, I would have to sign a case plan with CPS. I refused, naturally, and since all the evidence against his mother was false, guess where they placed him? Yep, right back home, where he didn't want to go.

Well, the father of the 1-year-old was now scared to death that CPS was going to take his child (which they did, again totally illegally, another whole story that I won't go into) but returned the child to him, and suddenly he can't remember CPS doing a thing wrong. All he would have to do is tell the truth and CPS would never get away with this. I took care of his children (extremely well, he will readily admit), sold him a vehicle (which I really needed but he had agreed to help me out until I got another truck for dump runs...that isn't happening) and backed him 100% when every one was against him.

Hopefully by writing this down, his Karma will catch up to him very quickly. Allowing CPS to use a 12-year-old boy, just to get what they wanted...it's criminal and he should be just as ashamed of himself as they are.

Needless to say, Val is again having problems and the 11-year-old is back in foster care. Yet every shred of evidence shows that they were so successful while living here, and happy and active. Even the 1-year-old, who had been in therapy because he wasn't developing normally. After one month in my home the therapist came to visit and was amazed at his progress and closed his case - but none of this matters.

A social worker lied...got called on it...and used kids to retaliate, then just threw them away. I'm sick to death. And I won't stop telling this story until something is done. I hope everyone with similar stories does the same.

This isn't the first time I've had this happen either. I've been retaliated against before - for filing a complaint against a social worker - and for testifying at Baca's Special Congressional Hearing in March of 2004. I was the only foster parent there. This is the most corrupt government agency I have ever seen. I am a retired police officer and can honestly say that social workers are worse than cops. They hide behind children to do their damage, even when it means the children will be the ones to suffer. It is sick.

Kathi