Tag Archives: CPS Agenda

Almost Twice National Average In IA Foster Care

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
“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.

VA CPS Ignored Shredded Child Abuse Reports

.jpg photo of Virginia CPS Officials
Bill Burleson, Interium Director in Rockbridge and Piedmont Regional Director Susan Reese

51 formally ignored cases of Child Abuse
reopened in Rockbridge by state

ROCKBRIDGE CO., VA  –  An investigation into the Rockbridge Area Department of Social Services has led to more than 50 cases of potential child abuse being re-opened.

This comes after an internal review into the organization revealed reported cases of child abuse were shredded or never investigated.

This week, five members of the state team are investigating those cases thanks to the help of current employees who kept copy of records that their supervisor destroyed.

Almost a third of those have now been validated by the state team, meaning they have been investigated further.

That’s 51 cases of potential child abuse that have been reopened.

Piedmont Regional Director Susan Reese is first pointed out issues during an internal review.

Report: Rockbridge Co. Social Services ignored, shredded child abuse reports
Read the 38 page PDF report

She said the work of current employees who kept copies of those cases is key, and was a “bold, brave” move she applauds.

“It helped a great deal.  They knew.  I guess they just had a feeling that something was not right and they kept those and that was a great help to us in this,” Reese said.

In all they’ve reviewed about 180 cases.

“Between the ones that were shredded and the ones that were pulled from the system, we checked everything,” Reese said.

Now she and another member of the state team are personally investigating each one.

“It makes me feel much better to be able to assess the safety of these children and know that the children involved are safe,” Reese said.

His first week on the job, Bill Burleson will now be the interim director in Rockbridge.

“I’m not here as a hatchet guy, I’m here as a fix it guy,” Burleson said.

He is on a three-month contract and has been temporarily hired after retiring from a lifelong career in the field.  He’s working to reorganize the office.

“My job is to take the agency from right now and to get some people in here, get some training in here, do a little reorganizing and establish some lines of communication,” Burleson said.

He’s meeting with county leaders including the sheriff who he says will help in the hiring process of a new county director.

“First thing I did was give them my home phone number, my cell phone.  I’m here part-time… but I’m always on the other end of the telephone,” Burleson said.

He says he is committed to getting the office on the right track before a permanent replacement is hired.

He says on Monday, a newly hired employee will start at the office to ensure that every case is entered in to the system.

Alabama CPS Out Of Control

.jpg photo of graphic Alabama CPS wrong-doing
Alabama CPS Out-Of-Control

Pattern of Child Kidnappings by Alabama CPS (DHR) Exposed

#SaveBraelonsFamily  #ReturnBabyBraelon
#Taken  #Cash4Kids
#MedicalKidnapping  #DHRStealsBabies

http://medicalkidnap.com/2016/06/26/pattern-of-child-kidnappings-by-alabama-dhr-exposed-another-new-born-infant-seized-at-hospital/

How long will this out-of-control, corrupt organization be allowed to continue their Dereliction of Duty and Mismanagement and Theft of Billion$$$$ of Tax Payer Dollars Annually.

Alabama CPS (DHS) has NOT met all of the minimum child welfare standards set by the federal government in 2001 even one (1) time. Those standards include such things as timely investigation of reports of child abuse.

Abuse and Neglect cases, ESPECIALLY THOSE RESULTING IN DEATH, are often not disclosed as required by law.

LIGHT UP THE PHONES!!!!

Governor Bentley – (334)242-7100
DHR:  Kim Mashego, Director – (205)669-3000
DHR:  Nancy Buckner Commissioner – (334)242-7100
Congressman Gary Palmer – (202)225-4921
State Rep Matt Fridy – (205)665-1795
Senator Richard Shelby – (202)224-5744
Senator Jeff Sessions – (202)224-4124
Alabama Attorney General – (334)242-7300

** When on the phone refer to the medicalkidnap.com articles and identify the Family as Baby Brandon’s Family in Alabama

CPS At Fault In 2 More Child Deaths

.jpg photo of graphic against CPS Child Abuse and Parental Alienation
Insist on Realignment of CPS

Investigation Faults NYC Child Welfare Agency in 2 Deaths

The long arm of CPS is very obvious in the latter part of this article, as the media attempts to downplay the severity of these Children’s deaths and suffering.  The corruption within CPS has ruined too many families, stolen too many of Our Children’s futures, and finally have been seen for what they are by at least 2 or more Federal Judges just in the last months.

How can over 3,000,000 reports of Child Abuse yearly equal just 686,000 legitimate cases?   Now you think about one thing, less than 25% of the cases of Child Abuse are reported, so in reality, that translates to over 12,000,000 instances of Child Abuse happen yearly.
~Robert StrongBow~

NEW YORK  –  “The children were placed in danger due to lax supervision by the Administration for Children’s Services and that the agency, known as ACS, failed to follow its own rules.”

New York City’s child welfare agency failed to protect two children who died and a third who was starved by his parents and nearly died in 2014, a report released Tuesday says.

The report by the city Department of Investigation found that the children were placed in danger due to lax supervision by the Administration for Children’s Services and that the agency, known as ACS, failed to follow its own rules.

“Our investigation demonstrated that in several instances ACS failed to property investigate allegations of child abuse and as a result missed opportunities to protect children,” department commissioner Mark G. Peters said.

ACS spokeswoman Jill Krauss said Mayor Bill de Blasio has invested more than $100 million to strengthen the child welfare system since the three cases happened.  The new funding has allowed the agency to hire 700 new staff members and reduce caseloads to “a historic low” of 10 to 12 children per caseworker, Krauss said.

The children in the three cases were identified by aliases to protect their privacy.

One of the cases involved a child who was abused and starved by his parents for at least two years before he was removed from the home.  The child is now in foster care and criminal cases against his parents are pending.

Another child died at home under suspicious circumstances.  During the 12 years prior to his death, ACS had investigated 11 reports of abuse concerning the boy’s mother.  The description appears to match the death of 4-year-old Juan Sanchez on April 29, 2014.  No one was charged in his death.

The third child was beaten to death by her mother, who is now serving a lengthy prison sentenceThe girl died despite a 12-year history of interventions by ACS into the mother’s parenting ability, the report said.

Some advocates said the focus on tragic deaths of children should not obscure the work that social service agencies do to support families in difficult circumstances.

“It’s unclear how much generalizing one can do from three admittedly horrible cases,” said Susan Jacobs, special counsel to the Center for Family Representation, which represents parents in family court.  “Every single day parents who struggle with the conditions of living in poverty are successfully reunited with their children with the help of many support services and advocacy efforts.”

Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, said that while it’s possible to learn from ACS’ worst failures, “those failures don’t, in and of themselves, tell us what is systemically wrong with ACS, or any other agency.”

Wisconsin DHS Sweating New Legislation????

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Wisconsin DHS and CPS sweating this legislation.

Legislation on child abuse reporting draws concerns from Dane County social workers

NOT IN MY WORLD!!!! believes every call of Child Maltreatment should be reported to Law Enforcement first, and all investigations be made by Law Enforcement only.

Only with Law Enforcement involved in every case will we begin to see an end of the  corruption within CPS.

Wisconsin legislation that would change how child abuse and neglect cases are handled is drawing sharp disagreement between Dane County prosecutors, law enforcement officials and social services providers about what is best for children.

Introduced by Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, in October, and garnering bipartisan support since, the package of bills would clarify the definition of child neglect, designate a specific crime of repeated acts of neglect or physical abuse of the same child and require social services agencies to report all allegations of child abuse or neglect to law enforcement, among other components.

Legislators, prosecutors and law enforcement officials pushing for the changes say they do not currently have enough tools to charge adults for certain situations of child neglect or abuse, including cases where children are exposed to the dealing or manufacturing of illegal narcotics.

Social services providers conversely argue the changes — particularly requirements involving reports to law enforcement — could have a chilling effect on cases reported, lead to increased trauma for families and create an unfunded burden on law enforcement.

“We have a wonderful system in Dane County by which we protect kids, but we try to keep the situation from re-traumatizing kids and families,” said Dane County Human Services director Lynn Green, who was a social worker in Child Protective Services early in her career.  “A lot of what we try to do is reach out, help people make the parenting changes they need to make, educate them while we keep the kids safe.”

Currently, there is a memorandum of understanding in place between Dane County Human Services and county law enforcement agencies that lays out which cases will be reported to law enforcement.  In addition to cases of sexual abuse, which providers are required to report under state law, the agreement includes reporting cases of physical abuse, emotional abuse and threat of harm.

Right now, Green said, about 40 percent of cases the department receives get referred to law enforcement and they work together on the case.

“If there is a feeling that some of the cases that should go aren’t going, we can amend that,” said Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan.  “But to send all cases to law enforcement I’m concerned will have an unintended consequence.”

Some reporters call the county when they feel there’s a family in need.  They are not mandated to report and can remain anonymous. If law enforcement gets involved, Green said, their name will have to go on a police report.  She said callers may also hesitate to report concerns if they know a law enforcement official will knock on the door.

“We’re concerned it’s actually going to stem the number of calls we get and our possibility of intervening with families and being able to serve them,” Green said.

Green said they are also concerned about the trauma inflicted when law enforcement gets involved with families — especially of color and in high-risk neighborhoods.

In Dane County, a black parent is at least seven times more likely to be referred to Child Protective Services than a white parent, raising concerns about the legislation disproportionately affecting communities of color.

“Many of the parents that come into the Child Protective Services system have themselves been impacted by trauma in their own childhoods, and that trauma has affected their functioning, their brain development, to the point where when they’re confronted with authority or people trying to impose rules on them, they can come across as sounding very oppositional,” said Dane County Child Protective Services manager Julie Ahnen.  “The idea that we’re going to change their behavior by increasing their involvement in the criminal justice system is just backward.”

The Dane County Board Executive Committee passed a resolution on a voice vote Thursday evening opposing the state legislation with those concerns in mind, as well as the concern that it will create additional case burden on law enforcement agencies without funding it.

Unlike this legislation, a series of child protection reforms in Minnesota recently signed into law also allocated $52 million to hire more workers and expand services for abused children.

“I recognize that some of these changes might be difficult to implement, but I don’t want to see cases of child neglect continue to go to unreported or unaddressed in our community,” said Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, who introduced similar legislation last session and is a sponsor of this package.

Shilling said she doesn’t want there to be an unintended consequence or chilling effect but wants prosecutors to be able to address issues like child exposure to the dealing or manufacturing of illegal narcotics.

“So how do we make sure the process and definitions are something that, again, help prosecutors have the tools they need to properly charge adults with the situation that innocent children are placed in,” Shilling said.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has testified at hearings in support of the legislation. He did not respond to a request for comment.  Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney declined a request for comment.  The Madison Police Department emailed a statement calling the actions of the bill’s sponsors “laudable” in working to protect children but also acknowledging the concerns of social workers.

The Association of State Prosecutors, the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association, the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association all have registered in support of the bill on required reporting.

Dane County, the Wisconsin Counties Association, the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families and the Wisconsin Association of Family and Children’s Agencies all oppose it.

Multiple Dane County legislators who initially signed on as cosponsors for the legislation have since withdrawn their support for the bill requiring reporting to law enforcement, including Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison, and Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison.