Category Archives: CPS Agenda

TX Cares About Children And Families

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Some child abuse pediatricians have implicated parents who appear to have credible claims of innocence, an investigation by NBC News and the Houston Chronicle found.

Texas lawmakers want to protect families wrongly accused of Child Abuse

In response to an NBC News investigation, lawmakers want families to be allowed a second medical opinion before a child is taken from a home.

HOUSTON, TX  –  Texas lawmakers are calling for stronger safeguards in the state’s child welfare system after an NBC News and Houston Chronicle investigation found children had been taken from their parents based on disputed medical opinions from doctors trained to spot child abuse.

The reporting showed that child welfare workers removed some children from homes after receiving reports from state-funded child abuse pediatricians that were later called into question, leading to traumatic family separations and months-long legal fights.

Rep. James Frank, chairman of the Texas House of Representatives committee that oversees the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services, said the investigation exposed serious problems.

“I’m very concerned with the premature, unnecessary removal of children, and I think it happens a lot more than people in Texas understand,” said Frank, a Republican from northern Texas.

Frank said he plans to call for a series of legislative hearings in the coming months to explore potential improvements.  Some legislators have suggested creating a way for courts, child welfare workers or accused families to request a second medical opinion before the state removes a child from a home.

Texas provides $5 million in grants each year — including $2.5 million from the agency that oversees Child Protective Services — to support the work of child abuse pediatricians, a small but growing subspecialty of doctors who examine children who come into hospitals with suspicious injuries.  The Texas grants deputize some of the doctors to review cases on behalf of child welfare investigators, who then rely on their reports when deciding whether to remove children from parents.

Frank acknowledged that these state-supported physicians have a difficult job and that they play a critical role in protecting abused children, likely saving lives.  But he said he’s heard from numerous parents in recent years whose children were removed by Child Protective Services based primarily on a report from a child abuse pediatrician and despite contradictory opinions from other doctors.

In those cases, Frank said he thinks child welfare workers are sometimes too deferential to agency-funded abuse doctors and fail to complete a thorough investigation before taking children.

“In most cases, the doctors aren’t saying ‘This is child abuse,’” Frank said.  “They’re saying that they are concerned that it’s child abuse.  And so I don’t know there are enough checks and balances to make sure that we have confirmed that it really is child abuse.”

Rep. Harold Dutton Jr., a Houston Democrat and lawyer who has represented a mother who says she was wrongly accused by a child abuse pediatrician, said he has begun discussions with Frank to figure out potential improvements.

“We haven’t come up with anything yet, but we’re working towards it,” he said.  “One of the things that needs to happen is we need to better define when CPS should remove children.  We’ve got to do a better job of that.”

In a statement, Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for the Department of Family and Protective Services, said the agency relies on the expertise of child abuse pediatricians when its caseworkers and other medical specialists are unable to determine if a serious injury is a result of abuse.

“We believe this process has worked well to detect abuse in complex cases and has protected children,” Crimmins said.  “But any process — particularly one with the lives of children and their families at stake — can be improved, and we want to work with legislators and stakeholders to do just that.”

In interviews, leading child abuse pediatricians said they are careful to rule out underlying medical conditions and accidental causes before issuing their opinions. The doctors acknowledged that a mistaken child abuse diagnosis can result in a child being taken from caring parents.  But overlooking warning signs, they said, could lead to a child being left in a dangerous home, with potentially fatal consequences.

To state Rep. Gene Wu, the issues raised by the NBC News and Chronicle reporting were familiar.  Wu, a Houston Democrat and lawyer, sometimes handles cases involving Child Protective Services and allegations of abuse.

“I have personally dealt with a couple of cases … where you had day-to-day physicians who said, ‘This is a typical type of bone break that is common in children of this age because they’re learning to walk,’” Wu said.  “Then the case gets looked at by the child abuse expert and they say it might be child abuse, and then everyone sort of freaks out.”

In those instances, Wu said, “CPS is sort of caught in this damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation.”

Child abuse pediatricians are trained not only to identify abuse, but to identify medical conditions that can mimic abuse.  The doctors say they rule out or fail to confirm abuse more times than not.

But Wu said when medical specialists are focused on finding and preventing child abuse, it’s natural that some run-of-the-mill injuries may appear more sinister.

“If you’re a hammer, then everything is a nail,” Wu said.

In many cases, the only doctor consulted by Child Protective Services and called to testify in court is the child abuse expert who initially flagged the concerns, in part because many families do not have the money to hire seasoned lawyers or outside medical experts.

To address that, Frank and other lawmakers have suggested requiring Child Protective Services to seek additional medical opinions in some instances before removing children.  Another fix, Wu said, might be to create a mechanism for courts across the state to bring in independent experts to evaluate medically complex cases and offer a second opinion.

“We could create a pot of money that courts could dip into,” he said.  “One party could make a motion to the judge to request an independent expert, and the state could have a list of medical experts to take a look at it.”

There are no “easy solutions,” he cautioned.

“I’ve described the CPS system as a very finely balanced seesaw,” Wu said, “and if you tip it too much you’re going to take kids away from good parents, and if you tip it the other way, you’re going to have dead kids. …  Whatever we do, we need to make sure that this policy solution doesn’t tip the balance.

HHS-CPS Violating Freedom Of Religion

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HHS(CPS) is violating Our guaranteed Freedom Of Religion

AG Paxton Urges HHS to Repeal Rule that
Violates the Religious Liberty of Texas’
Faith-Based Foster Care and Adoption
Service Providers

AUSTIN, TX  –  In a letter today to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Attorney General Ken Paxton urged prompt repeal of an Obama-era rule that violates the religious liberty of Texas’ faith-based foster care and adoption service providers by requiring them to abandon their core religious beliefs as a condition of receiving federal funding under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.

“People of faith should not be required to forfeit their sincerely held religious beliefs as a condition of helping Texas’ most vulnerable children,” Attorney General Paxton said.  “We’re asking HHS to repeal its unlawful rule on child welfare funding or, alternatively, grant the state of Texas an exemption from the rule.”

Attorney General Paxton, in his letter to Lynn Johnson, the assistant secretary at HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, pointed out that the rule on Title IV-E funding exceeds statutory authority, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and conflicts with Texas law.

Last session, the Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 3859, which protects the religious liberty of child welfare organizations and prohibits the state from granting or refusing to grant funding to such organizations because of their religious beliefs, including the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Texas’ share of Title IV-E funding is administered by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) through its Child Protective Services, which works with secular and faith-based communities to find loving homes for children removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect.

Some faith-based providers who receive Title IV-E funding through DFPS require potential foster care or adoptive parents to share a particular religious faith, be a member of a congregation, or agree to the provider’s statement of faith.  But the federal rule requires those organizations to abandon their deeply held religious beliefs as a condition of receiving funding. 

First, The BS From NY

Did the Trump Administration Separate
Immigrant Children From Parents and
Lose Them?

President Trump over the weekend falsely blamed Democrats for a “horrible law” separating immigrant children from their parents.  In fact, his own administration had just announced this policy earlier this month.

His comments followed days of growing alarm that federal authorities have lost track of more than 1,000 immigrant children, mostly from Central America, giving rise to hashtags like #WhereAreTheChildren and claims that children are being ripped from their parents’ arms at the border and then being lost.

But the president is not the only one spreading wrong information.  Across social media, there have been confusing reports of what happened to these immigrant children.  Here are some answers.

Did the Trump administration separate nearly 1,500 immigrant children from their parents at the border, and then lose track of them?

No. The government did realize last year that it lost track of 1,475 migrant children it had placed with sponsors in the United States, according to testimony before a Senate subcommittee last month.  But those children had arrived alone at the Southwest border — without their parents.  Most of them are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, and were fleeing drug cartels, gang violence and domestic abuse, according to government data.

Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees refugee resettlement, began making calls last year to determine what had happened to 7,635 children the government had helped place between last October and the end of the year.

From these calls, officials learned that 6,075 children remained with their sponsors. Twenty-eight had run away, five had been removed from the United States and 52 had relocated to live with a nonsponsor.  The rest were unaccounted for, giving rise to the 1,475 number.  It is possible that some of the adult sponsors simply chose not to respond to the agency.

Losing track of children who arrive at the border alone is not a new phenomenon.  A 2016 inspector general report showed that the federal government was able to reach only 84 percent of children it had placed, leaving 4,159 unaccounted for.

This is a prime example of fake news, with the exception to the fact that it is just plain BS, that attempts to cover-up the loss of 90,000+ immigrant Children lost by the Obama Administration and a very corrupt CPS(HHS).
Robert StrongBow

CPS Still Pimping Children To Sex Traffickers

WHERE ARE THE 90,000+ LATINO CHILDREN CPS

On Monday evening, Eric Hargan, the deputy secretary for Health and Human Services, expressed frustration at the use of the term “lost” to refer to the 1,475 unaccounted-for children.  In a statement, he said that the department’s office of refugee resettlement began voluntarily making the calls as a 30-day follow-up to make sure that the children and their sponsors did not require additional services. Those calls, which the office does not view as required,  Mr. Hargan said, are now “being used to confuse and spread misinformation.”

In many cases, the statement said, sponsors cannot be reached because “they themselves are illegal aliens and do not want to be reached by federal authorities.”

Child Abuse Or CA CPS Kidnap

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Jonathan Allen, 29

10 children taken from Fairfield home, Dad charged with torture

FAIRFIELD, CA  –  Fairfield police said they rescued ten children found living in squalor and arrested their parents.

Jonathan Allen, a father of eight of the children, was charged with seven counts of torture and nine counts of felony child abuse, by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office.  Police believe more charges could be filed as the investigation continues.

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Ina Rogers, 30

Fairfield Police Department Lt. Greg Hurlbut said the children were living in unsafe living conditions.  Responding officers found spoiled food, as well as animal and human feces on the floor.  There was so much debris that some areas of the home were inaccessible, according to Hurlbut.

Investigators believe nine of the 10 children were abused.  In interviews the children described incidents of intentional abuse resulting in puncture wounds, burns, bruising and injuries consistent with being shot with a BB gun or pellet gun.

“I have not had a case where we charge someone with torture of their own children if that tells you something.  I’ve been in law enforcement since… well… more than 30 years ago,” said Hurlbut.

The Solano County District Attorney’s Office described this type of crime of torture as inflicting pain with the intent to cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering, and in this instance, for a sadistic purpose.

But the children’s mother said it’s all a big misunderstanding.

Officers responded to the home and discovered the apparent abuse when the children’s mother, Ina Rogers, called 911 on March 31.

Rogers told KTVU she called 911 after her 12-year-old son went for a walk and didn’t return home.  She said her son was upset when she took his iPad away because he didn’t do one of his chores.

Fairfield police located the boy asleep under a bush and returned him to the family home in the 2200 block of Fieldstone Court.  Officers said they conducted a search of the home due to concerns for the safety and health of the child and the child’s siblings.

During the search officers located nine more children, ranging in age from 4 months to 11-years-old.  Officers said the children were living in squalor and unsafe conditions.

Rogers said the home’s condition was a result of her “tearing up” the house because her son was missing.  “I was afraid that I could not find him.  Once that fear sets in, you don’t know what to do so in that moment,” she said.  “I tore up my house, I lifted up beds, I ripped things out of the closet, I completely tore up everything to make sure that he really wasn’t here.”

Rogers, a 30-year-old Fairfield resident, was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail for child neglect.  All ten children were taken into protective custody by Solano County Child Welfare Services.  According to Rogers, the children are now staying with family members.

Investigators from Child Welfare Services, Solano County District Attorney’s Office, Fairfield Police Department’s Family Violence Unit allege there has been a long and continuous history of severe physical and emotional abuse of the children.

Rogers denies any abuse, neglect or torture by her or her husband Jonathan Allen.  “I am 30-years-old and I have 11 children and also homeschool all of my children and people don’t agree with that lifestyle.  And so I’ve had many people question my right to parent and I feel this whole situation has exploded.”

Ina Rogers denies any abuse, neglect or torture by her or her husband Jonathan Allen.  @FairfieldPolice say 10 of her 11 kids were living in squalor & unsafe conditions.  The couple have 8 biological children together.  5,6p @KTVU pic.twitter.com/qQMwiWDar0— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) May 14, 2018

On May 11, detectives with the Fairfield Police Department arrested Jonathan Allen, a 29-year-old Fairfield resident.  He was booked into the Solano County Jail for nine counts of felony torture and six counts of felony child abuse. Eight of the ten children are Rogers’ and Allen’s biological children.  Rogers has 3 older children from a previous relationship.  Her oldest child, who is 14, does not live in the home and was not taken by Child Welfare Services.

“This is absolutely appalling to me.  I strive and I pride myself on being a good parent to my children,  My husband has a lot of tattoos.  He looks like a scary individual and that’s why people are so quick to judge him.  My husband is an amazing person and I am an amazing mother.  I am not going to allow this to break us and I am not going to stop fighting,” Rogers said.

Allen is due back in court May 24th.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Fairfield Police Department.

Almost Twice National Average In IA Foster Care

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“One long-time external partner observed that the emphasis on working with families and on reunification seems to have been lost.”

Child Abuse reports up, morale poor among
Iowa social workers, consultant reports

Child abuse investigations in Iowa have increased 43 percent since last year, but the state’s response to those reports needs work, according to a wide-ranging review released Friday.

About 8.2 children of every 1,000 in Iowa are in foster care, higher than the national rate of 5.5 per 1,000, the report by the Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group shows.

“One long-time external partner observed that the emphasis on working with families and on reunification seems to have been lost.”

The consultant’s review of child welfare practices in Iowa criticized both the Department of Human Services for high turnover and poor morale among caseworkers and state policies and spending priorities.

It was initiated amid investigations into several reported child abuse cases that were not caught in time, including the deaths of Natalie Finn of West Des Moines in October 2016 and Sabrina Ray of Perry last May.

Ray’s adoptive parents and other family members face multiple felonies next year following her starvation and physical abuse.

Finn’s mother was convicted of first-degree murder and kidnapping this month.  Her ex-husband, Joseph Finn II, goes to trial next month.

The reviewers made numerous short- and longer-term recommendations that likely will be discussed next month at the Iowa Legislature.

The consultants found morale is poor among state social workers.

And while Iowa’s Department of Human Services enjoys a largely stable workforce, turnover and caseloads are high in Polk and Linn counties.

Staff complain that training is insufficient and the state for too long has expected them to do more with less.

The report recommended, among other things, that Human Services:

  • Provide more accurate caseloads of child welfare workers in each Iowa county and more competency-based training;
  • Provide better services and communication with children and families; and
  • Eliminate barriers to its central abuse intake system.

“The department will look closely at the recommendations to see what we can move on within the agency, and what may require legislation or additional action,” spokesman Matt Highland said.

Mandatory reporters of child abuse in Iowa voiced frustration with the state agency charged with investigating abuse because they weren’t able to find out what happened after they provided information, the report found.

“Physicians, educators and providers of community-based prevention services… expressed frustration with their inability to communicate with DHS, particularly following their having made a report,” the report said.

Educators complained that parents often disengaged because they were able to figure out where abuse reports originated, and then those same reports resulted in no intervention by social workers.

“Several also cited situations in which this has resulted in parents’ retaliation against children as information made available to the parents made it clear that children disclosed alleged maltreatment,” the report states.  “In these cases, children may cut off communication with teachers, counselors or mentors with whom they had previously trusted.”

But in some places, the report was as much a critique of state leaders’ policy and spending priorities as Iowa’s child welfare practices.

“Child welfare intervention should not be viewed as a substitute for universally available basic health, mental health and supportive community services that can help families, especially those in poverty, to voluntarily access resources needed by themselves and their children that may keep their needs from escalating to the point that they result in a report of abuse or neglect,” the report said.

The state’s child welfare system is not doing enough to engage children’s parents in assessing needs related to child safety and evaluating progress, according to interviews with youth, parents, grandparents, foster parents and DHS case managers.

“One long-time external partner observed that the emphasis on working with families and on reunification seems to have been lost.”

Another issue: Agencies that contract with Human Services are receiving $500 per family for each referral, regardless of whether the family uses the voluntary services.

The consultants voiced concern about child welfare being housed within the Department of Human Services, the state’s largest agency which juggles sizable responsibilities.

They also said its staff is tasked with administering so many programs in search of efficiency, their understanding of child welfare initiatives and policies is hindered.

“Assessing the often multiple and complex needs of families and children who present to child welfare systems requires substantial clinical knowledge and skill in gathering and interpreting information,” the report said.