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A mother shares anguish, insights about homeless daughter
Legalized kidnapping by child 'protective' services
Don't take the kids to Colorado
Dear Dr. Corry
How widespread is this problem?
Trying to keep the family together
Of all the disgusting evils that radical feminists and their fellow travelers in Congress and state legislatures have promulgated we would rate child "protective" services (CPS) at the top of such a list. According to these witches and warlocks children should be raised in a creche and have as little to do with their parents, particularly fathers, as possible. Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is one of the earliest and still best descriptions of what these ideologues apparently aspire to.
As usual with do-good, touchy-feely federal and state programs, the unintended consequences often, one might say always, outweigh the good such acts are supposed to accomplish.
That is particularly true with what is known in most states as CPS, usually run under a Department of Human Services or similar misnomer in individual states. Phyllis Schlafly describes them as
"...a vast army of tax-salaried people who would like to expand their ranks, their pay, and their turf. The key to doing that is to have more social problems that require more care and more counseling. It is a bureaucracy that feeds on itself."
The origin of the 21 st Century disasters associated with CPS are usually traced back to Senator Walter Mondale's Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974 (CAPTA '74) and those interested in more history should review the Wikipedia article.
Soon after came the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 (ASFA) passed to correct or alleviate problems in the foster care system introduced by the Mondale Act (CAPTA '74). Another stated goal of this second round of legislation was to promote permanency rather than multiple foster placements; and to encourage social workers to work toward reunification of the family, i.e., to promote profitable adoption rings using kids CPS had taken forcibly from their parents. Officially, as contrasted with reality, the plan was that if the child, who had been "legally" kidnapped, could not be returned to the family, another plan was to be sought: adoption, long-term foster care or some other resolution for which CPS and their foster parent cronies were richly rewarded with federal funds.
ASFA required all states to establish an adoption subsidy program and remove the financial disincentives to states by providing federal dollars to be used as a portion of adoption subsidy payments for children previously eligible for the Title IV-E Foster Care Program. Since financial rewards were offered if the children could be quickly adopted, not surprisingly CPS now very frequently found that the children they had kidnapped could not safely be returned to their parents.
Well, that didn't work so well as far as citizens and parents were concerned. So then came the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (PL 105-89, ASFA) enacted in an attempt to correct problems inherent in the foster care system that deterred the adoption of children with special needs. Obviously, many of these problems stemmed from the earlier Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980.
Naturally, these problems could not have been anticipated when the 1980 law was passed by anyone with an IQ above 80. But bear in mind we are talking about the Congress of the United States.
States decided to interpret AFSA as requiring biological families be kept together almost no matter what. What an idiotic idea! Keep families together! Who would have thought! How could CPS grow and control parents and children if they had to do that?
AFSA was considered the most sweeping change to the U.S. adoption and foster care system in some two decades of social disasters. And who was responsible and what were they thinking? One of AFSA's lead sponsors, Republican Senator John H. Chafee of Rhode Island, stated, "We will not continue the current system of always putting the needs and rights of the biological parents first...It's time we recognize that some families simply cannot and should not be kept together." Naturally, Big Sister knows best as to which families the State can permit to raise their own children.
The Equal Justice Foundation has received numerous stories, some of which are reproduced here, from parents describing the actions of CPS as legalized kidnapping and describing the frantic, and too often futile, efforts of the parents to get their children back before they are adopted by someone else. Today parents are terrified of CPS and often home school their children because case workers have a reputation of simply going into public schools and taking children, often without any authorization.
A review of the current state of CPS affairs as of the end of 2011 was presented In The Face Of Great Evil. Under the guidance of Commissioner Sallie Clark eleven (11) children died of neglect or abuse in El Paso County, Colorado, in 2011 alone despite the expenditure of some $500 million on DHS/CPS during her term. From all reports CPS in other counties is certainly no better, and often worse.
But these problems don't exist in the public mind, nor is government held accountable until they are documented. And for that we depend on your stories.
© 2010 by Sandy Johnson (a nom de plume), published in the Colorado Springs Gazette
Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.
September 17, 2010 My 19-year-old daughter is, to be kind, a mess. She's the mother of a newborn, living off welfare and the kindness of churches and organizations. She's jobless by choice and has been homeless, fallen into drugs, played the system and failed to improve under therapy, psychiatric care and her family's love.
We adopted her when she was 5-years old. We already had eight children and felt blessed to have a large, loving home and the resources to provide for another child.
But our daughter had been born with fetal alcohol syndrome to a mother with a low IQ and four other children who had to be taken away because of neglect and abuse. She was diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder and a low IQ, and our troubles started almost immediately.
When we first brought her home, we got her a kitten, thinking that having something of her own to love and nurture would bring out the love and feelings from her. That kitten ended up dead. We thought that it was diseased, so we got her another. This one ended up dead, too. No more kittens.
We also saw manipulative behavior from her. She would lie, steal and hoard food.
She would tell her teachers I beat her. She threw away her lunch and begged food from other students, telling them and her teachers that I wouldn't feed her. Every week or so, small items would appear in her backpack or in her room and she would tell me that someone gave them to her.
In middle school, my son came home and was angry that she had begun to fondle his friends and asked every boy that walked by to be her boyfriend. He brought home rumors of sexual acts she was performing in the school bathroom.
Her outbursts were so violent that she would punch, slap and pinch me and pull my hair. On more than one occasion, I had to call my son to try to get her off me.
In high school, she got into fights, skipped class, stalked boys, failed classes and threatened suicide.
On the principal's advice, we took her to Cedar Springs for a psychiatric evaluation. They kept her for a week in the adolescent acute unit. The therapists there were surprised that she hadn't been hospitalized before. I explained that she had gone to therapy ever since we adopted her and that we tried all the treatments that were available. I believed that with the love of a family, therapy and time, things would work out for her.
But things only got worse as she got older. She ran away from Cedar Springs with another girl and slept on the streets for two days. At one point, she was picked up for shoplifting.
Eventually, she was offered a coveted slot at Urban Peak, an agency that helps runaway or abused adolescents. She was given every opportunity to get her high school diploma or GED and learn life skills. They offered her help in finding a job, getting an apartment, setting up a bank account. She ran away from there, just as she'd done when she stayed at a group home.
She started living on the streets with a guy who is a registered sex offender, felon and drug abuser. She also began using alcohol and drugs, including meth, and became pretty street savvy.
She has been in jail several times and is on probation now. She is one of the people flying signs asking for money. She tells me she can make more than $100 a day. They use the money for drugs and alcohol because everything else is provided to them, from the Marian House and Ecumenical Social Ministries. She has Medicaid, and some churches in town provide them with meals and clothes.
One day, she showed me where she lived under a bridge, and I asked her why it was so littered with clothes, sleeping bags and trash why they would just throw their things in the creek bed. She told me that she could get more the next day if she wanted to.
And now, she's the mother of a baby girl less than a month old. While she was pregnant, she was enrolled in two social service programs for low-income mothers, and she feels she is "set" and prepared to raise a child. She called me excitedly one day and asked me if it was better to get welfare or Social Security. I told her that it was better to get a job. She was angry at me and told me she couldn't work because she was pregnant. She did have a job once, at a Taco Bell she even kept it for about two weeks.
Now, she and the boyfriend are living in a motel, courtesy of a nonprofit. They had been staying at a house in Fountain, provided through a social service organization, but they were kicked out because they couldn't pay the utility bills.
Her boyfriend had a job as a telemarketer, but they didn't have a car. When I asked about him riding a bike or taking the bus, she told me that it was too hot to ride a bike. He no longer has a job.
I don't know how this story will end, because we are still in the middle of it. But I can say that all the handouts do nothing to help. I believe the case management system proposed by some people who work with the homeless is the best solution to the problems facing my daughter and others who are homeless. There will be no accountability, responsibility or independence for those who remain dependent on the system.
There are many generous citizens of our community who believe that their acts of charity are the right thing to do, but in my daughter's situation, the best thing for her would be to require her to work for her sustenance.
This is a child who traveled with us to Europe and other countries. Her grandfather set up a college fund for her as well as the other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She has had every opportunity for success and she threw it all away. Intellectually, I understand the disease and disorders, but in my heart, I never will.
Editor's note : The Gazette knows the identity of this author but we have changed the name out of respect for the daughter's reputation and privacy.
My daughter was taken from me due to endangered environment. Her father and i were in several domestic disputes. I was arrested several times from false disputes reported by her father.
I couldn't believe how fast it all happened. It's been two years in November since my daughter has lived with me. She turned two in April. It is "court ordered" that I am allowed at every doctor's appointment, which I have only been to one in these two years.
She is with a relative who will no longer allow me to "stop by" and spend extra quality time with my daughter because I heard my child calling my aunt's boyfriend who also resides in the home with her daddy and it supposedly offended him when I told her to call him by his name.
The foster parents cut her hair, take back personal belongings I give to my daughter such as clothing, they allow her to call them by mommy and daddy. It's way out of hand.
This is the third court date I have been to and the last one I attended, keep in mind I had all of my services completed such as domestic violence groups/classes, individual counseling once a week, random drug drops 2 a month, order of protection against the father. Being bipolar I was court ordered to take medicine even though my psychiatrist stressed to me when I was 17-years old it is my choice to take the medication or not.
I have been arrested for warrants due to missing court dates and they held my fitness as unfit once again. My lawyer is NO help. She doesn't defend me what so ever. She doesn't ask questions in court and meeting with me 15 minutes earlier instead of having me wait for our names to be called to enter the court room. She'd rather whisper to me about what's happening while the judge is preparing to start the hearing. Now I am on the verge of getting my rights terminated due to a missed court date, ALL of my services had been completed, EVERY visit was perfect, they complimented the bonding with my daughter and I very highly. But STILL have no hope in her returning home.
I am so scared I am too late and that my daughter will soon disappear completely out of my life. She hardly knows who I am...I get one hour a MONTH with my 2-year-old little girl and I still have "all of my parental rights." So they say. she had surgery in her ears when she was one-and-a-half that I didn't even know about.
Her father's aunt gets unsupervised visits with my daughter every other week Friday through Sunday. Her dad once told me he gets to see her unattended every other week. His aunt allows him to stay the night and bond with my daughter without some caseworker breathing down his neck or taking notes on every little thing that is said and done within that hour.
I could go on forever. I'm from Illinois. I've lived her my whole life. I miss my little girl and my whole family does too. I am trying to figure out something to do before they just take her away from me. I've done everything that they've asked. She never had one mark on her, she was healthy, she was well taken care of and loved. Every domestic dispute when I couldn't control her dad, I would call for help and have her removed from it as far away as possible. The police reports weren't even half way right or what anybody had reported and when I tried to tell them this they blew it off and said I was bipolar and no medication made me "unstable."
If only they could have seen what I did to protect her from being harmed and witnessing any domestic dispute and how wonderful I was as a mom. I just can't get it across to them. Please please I'm reaching out to whoever, help me and my little girl.
A recurring problem encountered by the Equal Justice Foundation is that women who have reported domestic violence to authorities end up losing their children through various acts of child "protective" services. We don't have any valid data on the frequency with which this horrendous injustice occurs but it certainly isn't rare and the following is actually part IV in a series of EJF newsletters on this problem.
There are many variants of the methods used by a deranged Department of Human Services (DHS/CPS) bureaucracy to accomplish this. The following story simply provides details on how one such miscarriage occurred.
The story below was originally submitted to the EJF on June 23, 2005, and has been slightly edited and formatted. The author has reviewed and approved the revisions. Her identity has been withheld in an attempt to shield her from almost certain retaliation by state and county authorities.
I thoroughly enjoy your newsletters and the interesting points you make based on the merits of the courts here in Colorado. Often I find myself agreeing with many of your comments.
I would like to share with you my experiences raising children in this State.
In 1989 my ex-husband and I moved to Colorado from Oregon with my 6-year-old son from a previous relationship and our infant daughter. In 1992 we had another child, a boy, together.
One night in May of 1996 my ex and I had an argument during which he physically harmed the children and myself. He was arrested and mandated to take anger management, and not allowed back in the home until he completed his classes. The restraining order prevented him from seeing his children. Several months passed during which he was arrested two separate times for stalking our family.
However, I worked it out through our divorce that he have limited visitations with the children as I felt shutting him out of their lives wasn't fair to any parties in the situation. This was based on he getting therapy, and the family getting therapy, which we all did.
A year and a half ago I decided to move closer to the Denver Metro area. Our children, 14- and 12- years-old at the time refused to move with me, and threw a tantrum from another world to prevent the move. Then they told Larimer County Department of Social Services (LCDSS) I was a "druggy" and that I made specific drugs in my home. As a result the children were removed from my home without further notice or investigation.
Not only did Social Services take my children away but they placed them back in their father's care. The same father who had been found guilty of abusing them in 1996. I was perplexed as to how this could happen.
I begged for my home to be searched and to take a drug test. LCDSS declined to investigate further.
The LCDSS intake worker said she always believes the children. Of course, I became more frustrated and confused as to what on Earth was going on, and to this day maintain my innocence.
As a result of these unfounded charges:
I was assigned an attorney.
I went through all the hearings and a treatment plan was put into place.
I was told once I completed the treatment plan I would get my children back.
I had supervised visitations with my children and a drug evaluation.
My drug evaluation and drug test were clean, which was no surprise.
However, the supervised visitations were a nightmare. I could only visit with my children every other week and based on my ex-husband's schedule. Then the advocate took off for 6 weeks to Italy and told me I would be unable to see my children until she returned because they didn't want someone else to sit in while she was gone.
One time I couldn't make my visitation as I had I had a job interview to go too. So my ex-husband took my supervised visitation appointment. Now why would he take this opportunity when he gets to see the children all the time? These were supervised visitations not family therapy.
From the beginning of the visitations the advocate would take the children's side on every issue.
Two sessions stick in my mind very clearly.
1. I asked my son if he wanted me to bring in his dog to visit with. The advocate asked him three times if he really wanted to see the dog. It took three times before my son backed down and said no to meet the advocates's standard.
2. Another time was a very heated discussion between my daughter and myself and her lying about issues. The statement of drugs came up and I denied ever taking drugs or knowing anything about making drugs. I told the advocate there was only one time I knew there were drugs in my house. My children's older brother, 21-years-old at the time, brought some marijuana in. He was immediately asked to leave and I told him not to bring it back in again and I didn't want the younger children exposed to anything of the sort. And that was done.
I didn't even get a chance to speak any further as I was told to be quiet by the advocate.
She sat there and changed all the words I had said. Then told me my relationship with my children was toxic and she didn't want me to be around my own children. I couldn't stop crying.
At the time I told LCDSS about the situation and my disapproval with the biased nature of the visits; the case worker told me there was nothing she could do. "She was just the person in the middle." I called my attorney and he just told me to contact LCDSS.
In addition, I had found my daughter's diaries that outlined what she was doing when she had extra time. She was involved with the wrong crowd at school and into drugs. Her diary specified where she was getting them, and it wasn't from me. She also stated her sorrow about moving closer to the Denver Metro area.
There was so much disturbing information it ripped my heart out to know all that she was involved in and with whom.
But no one wanted to look at her diaries even though they would have unequivocally proven my innocence, in addition to the drug evaluation, alibis, and negative drug tests I had been put through.
Now, I am more confused!
I didn't hurt my children, call them names, or even threaten them in anyway. No one had wanted to confront the destruction of the family unit. Now, I can't even see them.
I've only seen my children a total of 4 times from January 26, 2004 to the present.
These were supervised visitations not family therapy.
I completed and passed my portion of the treatment plan successfully. The case was closed September 2004 with my ex-husband being given physical custody.
The LCDSS's mission according to my attorney "is to preserve the family unit." What happened in this case?
I took all my documentation, my therapist who had met with my children in the past, and we went to the Colorado Attorney General's Office in February 2005.
Ironically, this was even more interesting. I presented the following documentation to the attorney general's representatives:
All my ex-husband's convictions for crimes against our children and myself. Three different incidents in 1996.
I had the dates of which I took my children to the doctor.
I had my therapist from 2002 as a witness.
I had close family friends as witnesses.
Information on my drug evaluation and drug tests, which all were negative.
Information regarding my daughter's medical history of bipolar disorder.
Many letters from friends and family that knew me very well and the family situation, and would have testified that I don't take drugs and I was a very diligent mother in raising them with a healthy value system.
Even more disturbing, my daughter's diaries that would have even further proven my innocence as well as confirmed there were some real mental issues that needed to be addressed.
Now my children and their father have accused me of abandoning my children. Of all things.
I was told all along no one wanted to see this information as it wasn't important. However, the Colorado Attorney General's office was more than happy to review the documentation and personal accounts. They concurred that there were a myriad of questions that needed to be investigated and asked the following:
1. Why wasn't the therapist who knew my two children and I for two years before these events spoken to as a part of the LCDSS investigation? This would have shed a tremendous light on the family dynamics.
2. Why were my children placed in the home of a parent who had three convictions for abuse? [EJF note: More commonly what happens in such cases is that the children are placed in a foster home. That is usually a much worse option for the children but brings in more money for the State and County.]
3. Why weren't any of my witnesses, two of them professionals, interviewed during the time of the investigation?
4. Why was the advocate crossing the boundaries of supervised visitations and family therapy when the court order from LCDSS specifically stated "Supervised Visitations"?
5. Why didn't the advocate allocate a substitute for the visitations while she was away for six weeks in Italy?
The State Attorney's office said they have the capacity to seal my records for the sake of employment purposes, or they could have a trial based on their findings. But they wanted to investigate the situation a little further. That was back in February. It is now almost July and I' m still waiting.
I have been blessed with a lot of support from friends that have known my family for over twenty years. People I work with, friends, family doctor, and a therapist that has known my family for a couple of years.
When other reputable people saw my documentation, and the fact my daughter admitted to lying to the authorities, many know I am innocent. Which is all good and grand, but I don't get to see my children and I have a criminal record for something I am truly innocent of.
I, for one, have no faith in our judicial system, or the people that have been trained in the system. Even further the people who create laws in this State.
Also, Larimer County Department of Social Services (LCDSS) didn't help preserve my family but implemented a wall much larger than the Great Wall of China.
This is a mess and no one seems to know what to do. LCDSS have just washed their hands of their involvement after destroying my family.
In response to the above newsletter we received the following email from a correspondent in Australia:
Subject: RE: EJF newsletter Don't take the kids to Colorado Part IV 6/28/05
Date: Wed, 06 July 2005 01:35:04 +0000
It happens here in South Australia too! Often the child protection service pretends to be sympathetic with the mother only long enough to remove a natural father out of the picture and then turn on the mother too! In a few cases here, the mothers were threatened with having children removed if she went back to her husband, only to later lose them anyway, but only after they could pin false allegations on the dads in question generated not by the mothers, but by the Social Workers themselves.
The following story is used with permission. It has been slightly edited for clarity.
I am trying to keep my family together. My husband and I had a domestic squabble, the police were notified, and a warrant was issued for my husband's arrest. They have charged him with 1 st and 2 nd degree assault, and the only proof of anything that they have is a picture of a broken window in an automobile.
I suffer from bipolar disorder, P.T.S.D. [Post traumatic stress disorder] as well as A.D.D. [Attention deficit disorder].
I have forgotten why the argument started and also the facts of what happened. I have tried to write to the Judge to request that the warrant that was issued against my husband be dropped. The State's attorney advocate, and the detective that is trying to serve the warrant, called my house and gave me a hard time. They basically said that they would do everything that they could to make the charges stick, and they would not stand by and let the warrant be squashed.
A few days later a detective and social worker came to my home, and made me sign papers saying that I must help the detective to find my husband and that I could not have any contact with him or I would have my children taken away.
We are in no position to hire an attorney to help us, my husband cannot go to work with a warrant for his arrest, and our house is about to go to foreclosure.
I want my family back together. I'm afraid that if I stand up for my rights to have my family together I will have my children taken away.
I have since been indicted on child neglect charges for letting my children visit with their dad prior to this incident. The children were never in any danger from their dad.
God Bless, Sharon
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Last modified 5/18/15