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While nearly 50% of children removed, will reunify with their families, too many will return to foster care because of the lack of an available, funding for support services.

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Courts and State Agencies Collaborate against Parents

by: Annette M. Hall

While editing my CPS links for "Annette's Favorites" I stumbled across some disturbing information, which I will share with you here. I'm certain this is just a portion of what I will uncover in my research, so please check back for updates.

Community Partnership Benefits Abused and Neglected Children in Alachua, Levy and Gilchrist Counties, Florida

Palm Beach County Mom protects children from DCFS - Lands in Jail

I'm confident all parties involved happily accepted the federal grants that were offered and accepted but I find something very disturbing and perhaps even illegal when DCFS and the Courts collaborate to "assist" the children in these Florida counties. How can parents even hope to get a fair shake in court when all parties involved are openly conspiring against them? You be the judge.

Project Description:

The District 3 Department of Children and Families (DCF) and key community partners sought and received one of ten federal grants awarded nationwide to increase collaboration between child welfare agencies and court systems to facilitate timely adoptions.

The Community Partnerships for Timely Adoptions (CPTA) Project is a collaborative effort involving:

  • the Eighth Judicial Circuit Family Law Division,
  • the Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office responsible for Child Welfare Legal Services,
  • the Eighth Judicial Circuit Alternative Dispute Resolution Program,
  • Mid-Florida Division of Children's Home Society,
  • the Neighbor to Family Program and
  • the Department of Child and Families (DCF).

The $200,000 grant is matched by $41,400 from DCF and provides an array of new and improved services to facilitate more timely permanency for children through reunification or adoption.

Target Population:

The CPTA Project serves three groups of children and families, including children currently waiting for adoptive homes, children who have a pending petition for termination of parental rights, and a child or sibling group entering care that includes at least one child age five or younger. Priority is given to cases that involve concerns related to substance abuse, domestic violence or mental illness. Further screening criteria includes a history of prior services or out of home care placement, a parent who is dependent or age 16 or younger, a parent who is intellectually impaired or a parent with significant self-care deficits with no support system. The project's overall goal is to ensure timely permanency through the provision of intensive services to these high risk cases.

The Pew Charitable Trusts assists "stakeholders" in helping to herd children into foster care placement quickly and painlessly, who cares about the families of these children, it's the stakeholders who are important.

Fostering Results With The Pew Charitable Trusts.

After extensive consultation with child welfare experts and stakeholders, The Pew Charitable Trusts (Trusts) launched a targeted grant-making initiative in 2002 to help move children in foster care more quickly and appropriately to safe, permanent families and to prevent the unnecessary placement of children in foster care when possible.

Fostering Results

Fostering Results is a targeted public education and outreach campaign working at the national level and in selected states to highlight the need to address the federal financing incentives that favor foster care over other services and options for children and families and to improve court oversight of child welfare cases. The campaign will engage influential national and local leaders, including judges, child welfare directors and advocates for youth and foster families, and birth and adoptive families, using media, reports, issue briefings and meetings to call attention to financing and court issues.

These are laudable goals but the proof is in the pudding.

Centralia DCFS Partnering with Lewis County Schools (WA)

In an effort to establish community partnerships in Lewis County and serve the entire county, the Centralia DCFS office is establishing multidisciplinary team staffings in every school district in the county.

The teams are varied in composition, ranging from just the school district counselors and DCFS social workers involved to variables including the following: school administrators, school nurses, Educational Service District or Special Services psychologist and/or other specialized personnel, alternative school teachers, classroom aides, and special education teachers. Some plan to include local police chiefs. The plan is to include more community professionals in these staffings as they evolve. Cases to be staffed are selected by the school teachers and counselors.

They identify kids and families that they consider most at risk of academic and/or social failure. Information sharing with all parties in one place at one time greatly helps the next part of the process - brainstorming to develop workable solutions to try. What occurs is that all the parties get past their frustrations with the families' shortcomings and identify strengths of the kids and families, which, in turn, leads to good ideas and identification of appropriate community resources.

Of course it's not possible that the schools, the teachers or other "professionals" have any shortcomings, only the family could have those. This is nothing more than a fishing expedition to scarf up more children, with less effort.

What Does It All Mean?

You might be asking yourself what does this all mean? It means that what I believed all along is true. State agencies, the courts and support services are all working together to ensure that children are removed from their parents. I am positive there are some well-intentioned individuals working within this system but it's apparent that this is not only big business at work but it's an organized, well-funded effort, enabling these coconspirators to make the most money in the shortest possible amount of time.

A History Lesson

Many years ago I was involved with Operation Rescue a group loosely led by Randall Terry, the pro-life activist. Our mission was to assemble peaceably at abortion clinics, we would sing songs, pray, and attempt to "council" or help any of the clinics prospective clientel, in hopes of saving innocent lives, namely babies who would be killed that day.

One day 173 of us were arrested. We had closed-down the Center for Choice II, in Toledo, OH. Pictures of me were plastered on just about every television and newspaper in the country that night. Several of us had the bright idea of chaining ourselves by the neck, with kryptonite bicycle locks, to a heavy chain and the iron bars, which adorned the abortion clinics windows.

What does this all have to do with fighting CPS? I'll tell you. All of us were arrested that day in Toledo. The police treated us well, held us for a couple of hours and released us to go back to the protest, so long as we agreed to be good and not participate (others were still taking part). Our crime? We were charged with disorderly conduct, which is normal for our activity. No big deal, right? Wrong!

Shortly afterward we received more than we bargained for. The Center for Choice II was out for blood, they were upset that they couldn't kill any babies that day and charged everyone who had been arrested that day in a RICO lawsuit, under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, for 14 million dollars.

To say we were stunned is the under statement of the year. We were in shock. Our loose-knit little band of crusaders dwindled to nothing. Some of us continued to picket weekly but the hundreds of people who would normally show up, were no more. We were lucky to get 5 or 6 people to turn out.

The case dragged on for over two-years. I cut my legal teeth on that case and several others of much less significance. We won our case but lost the war. Shortly after our case was won, several other cases were brought before the courts. Operation Rescue was no more, the fight against the abortion clinics never regained the strength we once knew.

If you study the history behind RICO, you will find that the RICO Act was passed to deal with gangsters and corrupt business dealings, not those with a moral and spiritual objection to an unjust law, which is exactly how we saw ourselves. We were mothers, grandmothers, preachers, nuns and people of faith. None of us made a dime from our activities, we weren't selling anything but it cost us all dearly.

My question is this, why aren't parents charging child protective service workers, judges, lawyers and those who abuse the system, steal our children and charge us falsely with abuse, under the RICO statutes. They are acting criminally, making money illegally off the backs of innocent children, costing the taxpayers billions of dollars, not to mention draining families of their livelihood, their homes and retirement funds. What they are doing is wrong, plain and simple.

I would like to challenge those of you who understand the law to review the RICO statutes and see if you don't find that they apply here.

Posted February 11, 2006