Special Report on CPS Sponsored Child Abductions: CPS Insiders Blow the Whistle

CPS-kidnapped-600x338[1]I am presently in touch with two former CPS agents, one senior analyst for a war college and two mainstream publications who are investigating many of the same allegations that I am going to bring forth in the next two articles. For now, I am not publishing names, however, this may soon change and names and exact positions may indeed be identified.

Disturbing Reports from CPS Insiders

I was recently contacted by a pair of former CPS agents who became thoroughly disgusted with the present state of affairs.  Initially, I was told that Dave, you are spot on with your assessment regarding the nature and intent of CPS’s planned enforcement of the concern’s delineated in the manual entitled, “Child Neglect: A Guide for Prevention Assessment, and Intervention”.

One of the CPS agents  proceeded to use the term “concerns” because this manual merely provides a very subjective coverage of the “definition” of neglect/abuse/children and its subsequent impact. The issues detailed in this “user manual” will be enforced using Obamacare as a legal means to carry out what amounts to tyranny. This is exactly what I recently reported on my website.

The Prime Directive of CPS Is To Steal Children

Both CPS agents admitted to the fact that they were very familiar with the tactics and strategies utilized by the modern day CPS’ as they attempt to seize as many children as possible. The CPS (Obamacare) “user manual” was designed “so as to give broad authoritarian powers to CPS caseworkers.

Both CPS agents stated that  they witnessed many of the cases they investigated as trivial or, “merely parental oversight” and not worthy of CPS intervention and child seizure. Some CPS caseworkers would issue “founded allegations of parental neglect ”for something as trivial as one ounce of marijuana that was mistakenly found by their child”.  The other former agent stated that they watched co-workers fabricate allegations by citing signs of “child neglect” as they would report that the children were allowed to roam the streets all hours of the day and night even though no such report had been reported to CPS. Neglect allegations are the fall back position of a CPS agent and are usually “all made up”.

CPS Has a Quota System For Child Theft

According to one of CPS informants, they had a quota system just like cops do with the only difference being difference that kids were going to be stolen instead of citizens merely receiving speeding tickets.

Overzealous teachers and doctors proved to be fertile sources of reporting parental wrongdoing. State laws mandate that teachers and doctors must report all suspected parental wrongdoing. Once CPS received such a report, there was a good chance that a child was going to be removed from the home as “arrangements would be made for transfer of “temporary custody” before the CPS agents ever left the office to visit the home. One of the CPS agents complained that her supervisors operated on an informal quota system.” If 100 child abuse/neglect were reported, 75 children were going to be taken from their mothers”.      

The Joy of Inflicting Misery

One of the CPS agents is married and has children. She claims that she was in the extreme minority as most of her fellow caseworkers were “overweight lesbians with no children”. Repeatedly, this agent observed a total lack of empathy from the CPS caseworkers for the mothers who would lose their children. Some of her fellow caseworkers would act with glee at the prospect of removing a child and it was often a cause of celebration at the nearby pub during happy hour, where the agents would toast each other for their “accomplishments”. The glee from these CPS agents did not come from the satisfaction of saving a child from neglect and abuse, it was more like the joy a hunter gets from killing the hunted. “The more fear and misery inflicted on the mother”, the more joyful the job of being a CPS worker became for these monsters that would steal other people’s children!”

One of the CPS caseworkers complained that  “the opinions of the predominately liberal, authoritarian, overweight female staff will drive the case in any manner they choose, literally. Most CPS offices divide their CPS staff as follows: (1) CPS screeners – these are the people that take “anonymous” phone calls (they know the identity of the caller, you won’t) of alleged abuse/neglect and make a determination as to whether sending out a (2) CPS intake caseworker is warranted. If so, the CPS intake caseworker will go out and conduct home/school/work interviews and make a determination if (a) a case will be opened and the child will be removed and placed into CPS custody (with extended family, friends of the family or a foster home), or if (b) a case will be opened and the child will remain in parental custody, with CPS oversight. In both scenarios, the intake CPS caseworker will schedule a court hearing that provides evidence for bringing the child or children into custody. At this point, the child or children become Wards of the state. From this point, parents will be billed by the state for custodial services which include all related caretaking expenses. Shortly following this hearing, a meeting is held at the CPS office to pass the case to an (3) ongoing CPS caseworker. The ongoing CPS caseworker will formulate a service agreement after psychological testing is completed. In all cases, parents and their child(ren) are required to undergo psychological testing. Adults are administered the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and children are administered the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. Technically, this test can be used for people up to age 23. Complete psychological profiles on all parties are obtained and placed in the family’s case file. These psychological profiles determine if anyone has mental disorders and recommend “appropriate treatment”. Based on the psychological profiles, the CPS ongoing caseworker will determine what kind of services will be required and those services are detailed in the service agreement: domestic violence counseling, counseling for “personality disorders”, alcohol/drug treatment, sex abuse counseling and or a no-contact order between parent(s) and the child; among the parents; or relatives and the child. Violation of the service agreement results in some pretty heavy-handed action. The state will offer to pay for the psychological testing, because once they do, the psychological profiles remain property of the state. If you ever find yourself in this situation, don’t let the state pay for this. The state will ONLY USE CPS friendly mental health professionals who will side with the state in a Court of Law. The state WILL USE YOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE AGAINST YOU!! Secure your own mental health professional so that you retain the rights to your personal information. Beware, because several CPS caseworkers also double as MSW, MA, MS, Psy.D., or Ph.D. “counselors”. Often times, CPS caseworkers attend school to earn these credentials while maintaining employment as CPS caseworkers and open up a “counseling business” on the side to earn extra money while they double dip at taxpayers’ expense and they actually make money from taking other people’s children”.

This Is How They Steal Your Children

The entire mental health system associated with CPS is tilted in the direction of labeling the parent as mentally ill with the one goal of child removal from the home. One former CPS agent produced an account of how your children are stolen and this very graphic individual account was offered:

“With the revision in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, the scope for mental health disorders” has expanded dramatically. Dave Hodges actually wrote about this a few days ago. Also, Alex Jones has covered the abuses of CPS and mental health professionals” at great length. Both Dave Hodges and Alex Jones are 100% accurate. This is scary sh*t people.

Depending on the opinion of the CPS ongoing caseworker and the “progress” of the family, determined by several Family Decision Meetings, Court Hearings and Citizen Review Board Hearings (yep, that’s right, members of the community actually weigh in on what they feel is best for the child. Socialist Melissa Harris-Perry’s wet dream was being practiced in 2009 when I worked for CPS ) the case will either be closed or transferred to a CPS permanency case worker. The CPS permanency case worker will determine if the child(ren) will remain in foster care indefinitely, go up for adoption, return to their parents, or if the parents will be subjected to a Termination of Parental Rights Trial (TPR). Here, the CPS permanency case worker provides an opinion based on all the previous evidence gathered throughout the life of the case, including the heavily weighted psychological profile and makes an “appropriate recommendation”. Keep in mind, that a Court will issue a ruling based on the case worker’s recommendation 99.99% of the time. If the CPS permanency caseworker determines; based on their opinion, that a TPR trial is warranted, one is scheduled and the state IS ALWAYS successful in terminating the parental rights of the child(ren). Often times, the receiving foster parents are very quick to get a “disabled” diagnosis for their newly acquired foster child(ren), whether it exists or doesn’t exist – because the state pays them up to three-times the normal rate for care. The state might pay foster parents $1100.00 per month, per child for caretaking expenses for a non-disabled child(ren) (and then bills the parents for more than this). The state will pay up to $3300.00 per month, per child for “disabled” children.

The definition of a “disabled” child can range from severe mental and or physical disabilities to ADHD. Any subsequent child(ren) that this couple has, automatically become Wards of the state and the parental rights are automatically terminated. In this situation; the state, more specifically, the CPS caseworker is not obligated to illustrate reasonable efforts at reunifying the child(ren) with their parent(s). This is the only exception to bypassing “reunification” efforts. Herein lies the problem, the opinion of the CPS caseworker drives this entire process. So, one caseworker might find parents’ actions “egregious” enough to make a recommendation for a TPR trial, whereas another caseworker might return subsequent children to the same parents who had their previous children subjected to TPR trials… I elected to work on a reunification plan, and against the advice of my supervisor, co-workers, foster parents, Citizens Review Board, and caseworkers from other counties who dealt with this family, I returned the child back where he belonged, to his parents. My supervisor accused me of using “cowboy” tactics in the field. She was right, I did in fact use cowboy tactics to ensure that this child returned to his parents”.

How much more graphic does it get? The goal of the CPS is to steal your child and terminate your parental rights regardless of how benign the situation may be. These facts lead to the following advice from one the agents:

“If CPS appears at your door, don’t answer the door. If your children are not home-schooled, you should really seriously consider home-schooling your children. But, if they are subjected to the public or private school system, train them NOT TO TALK TO STRANGERS. Because CPS will show up at your child’s school and CPS will interview them without your knowledge or consent and CPS will remove your child from school without your knowledge or consent”.  

How to Minimize Your Exposure to the Greatest Kidnapping Ring in America

cps 2Again, one of the CPS agents has some very pointed advice on how to avoid being a victim of your state’s CPS:

“You need to have a family action plan on what to do in case of emergencies, this includes CPS tyranny emergencies. ALWAYS obtain passports for all of your children. If your children are under the age of 18, both parent’s signatures are required for passports. Here’s why all children need passports. Marriages occur in churches, divorces don’t. If, for some strange reason you and your loving spouse’s relationship is on the rocks, or you’re embroiled in a bitter custody dispute where the odds are stacked against you; you might need an international escape plan.

Where would you go? Whatever you do, don’t flee to Hague Convention countries listed on this link http://adoption.state.gov/hague_convention/countries.php. These countries have an agreement with the U.S. government to return all missing children to their respective countries. This means if you’ve fled the country for the sake of your child and end up in one of these countries listed, you can expect to get arrested by the local military or police if they locate you. If you must flee, choose a Non-Hague Convention country, preferably bordering other Non-Hague Convention countries. If you choose this option, it will be necessary to go “ghost”. You’ll need to cut all forms of communication ties with all family, friends, acquaintances, enemies, current employers, past employers, etc. Get my drift?”

More Disturbing Revelations

The other CPS agent said she had proof that the Arlington and Fairfax, VA courts are trafficking in children as a result of these previously described cases. The National Defense University (NDU), one of the premiere war colleges, is being implicated as well for being complicit in these practices.

Finally, I have emerging information that ties some of these events into the murder of Ambassador Stevens at Benghazi. It seems that Stevens murder was not just a case of covering up arms for al-Qaeda, just prior to the 2012 election.  Further, I am in touch with a senior analyst for the NDU who is providing me with collaborating evidence.

I realize that I am on dangerous ground. Therefore, for my own protection, I have indeed disseminated much of this information and will begin to report on these issue in my next article in which I am going to fully excavate the proverbial rabbit hole.

A version of this column originally appeared in:

Arizona CPS Exposed discusses the disclosure of documents – fact or fiction

Last week we discussed the Team Decision-Making Meeting and the first court hearing. This week we will discuss what might happen next.

So you’ve had your preliminary hearing and the judge has signed their first set of orders. What happens next?

Typically this is where the orders from the judge would kick in. If services were ordered then referrals would be made to get those started. If visitation is ordered then the services to get those set up would be started. Parents would begin to resolve the issues that brought them to CPS in the first place.

A dependency hearing is supposed to be set for 21 days after the dependency petition was filed.

“An Initial Dependency Hearing will be set within 21 days after the petition is filed. At this hearing the court can declare the child “dependent” or set other conferences or mediation. When a child is declared “dependent”, it basically means the court has ruled that child is in need of parental care and control and that the state of Arizona is legally responsible to provide that. At the same time, a CPS case is now filed in the courts (called a dependency) and CPS will work with the family providing services to address the issues of concern so that the family can reunify if possible.” from the AZDES website https://www.azdes.gov/landing.aspx?id=9670

Also during this time the evidence will be disclosed. BE PREPARED. What you read about your case will anger you. Sometimes you even question if they are talking about your family or children.

Is this what happened in your case?

No, in our case there was nothing. No services had been ordered. We had no direction or goals. The case plan was severance and adoption.

There were a number of hearings scheduled at the beginning of the case, including one filed for a change of judge. The one thing we heard over and over was “Will you wave time.” Of course all parties generally agreed so the time restrictions set forth by law can be ignored if the parties agree.

As we reported before, CPS and the AAG were using an “open police investigation” as the excuse to prohibit contact with the children by all family members, as well as placement with grandparents or family. At the first hearing the police investigator told the judge he had not yet spoken to some of the children and were granted an additional week in order to complete this investigation.

But once the police reports were released we found they had lied in court. All of the interviews had been completed with all verbal children prior to that first hearing!

What we find disturbing is that the CPS case worker’s report of his initial interview with the mother did not actually get documented in the computer until 12 days later. This would have been AFTER he had spoken with everyone. When we read his summary, our daughter stated that she had never said many of the things he documented. So after 12 days did he report what was actually said in the interview, or did he create a summary of what he believed was true based on all the information he had? This is why it is so important to have EVERY interview videotaped and released to the parties, including the parent’s attorney.

Your case was severance and adoption from the start. Can you share with us the allegations they were making against the parents?

While we agree the father should have been prohibited contact with the children until the investigation was completed, we did not agree with CPS keeping the children from the mother, the family or each other. The initial allegations against the mother to justify removing the children were bogus. They claimed:

  • Inadequate housing, even though the family lived in a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home.
  • Afraid the mother was home schooling, even though they removed the 5 school aged children from public school.
  • Inadequate food and clothing for the children, even though they had plenty of food and clothing in the home and none of the children were undernourished. In fact the foster family for the baby thought he weighed too much so they put him on a diet!
  • Failure to vaccinate the children, which is not illegal in Arizona.
  • Failure to protect, even though CPS was informed of the alleged abuse PRIOR TO the mother being told by the daughter and even then the daughter refused to disclose the information. CPS had far more knowledge of the allegations than the mother. To this date the daughter still refuses to tell the mother what happened.
  • And all of this was due to an underlying issue of drug abuse. Yet the drug test taken the day the children were removed was negative.

As we read through the documents we felt we were reading fiction. These CPS workers must hold a degree in creative writing! They certainly weren’t reporting the truth or facts.

Can you give us some examples of the fiction they were reporting?

The AAG was trying to paint a picture of the family based on lies and twisted half-truths. Every disclosure brought a new set of allegations. For instance:

  • They used prior unsubstantiated CPS calls to claim a history of abuse. You may not even be aware you have prior calls. You may have had one or more calls because of a ticked off neighbor or relative which was unsubstantiated. Keep in mind, unsubstantiated calls/reports are those calls or reports that have come in to CPS, where a case worker has investigated the case, which could include a home visit, and they could NOT prove the allegations against the parent. So the AAG and CPS are using these unproven calls against the parent in such a way to imply these allegations were true.
  • They used one referral, which never materialized, to claim that CPS had previously provided the family with all the services they could and therefore they were under no obligation to provide any more. The AAG even listed numerous classes that supposedly CPS had provided to the family, yet this documentation was never in any of their previous reports nor had they provided them with any of these classes.
  • They were using the mother’s learning disability as a reason to justify their claim that she could not parent. The AAG even had the nerve to state that the mother “after all these years failed to fix her disability.”

If learning disabilities are somehow “fixable” then you would think the child’s education and school district would somehow play an important role in fixing the disability. Ironically, the superintendent of schools at the time our daughter was in school was Tom Horne. And it is now Tom Horne’s office that is claiming our daughter didn’t “fix” her disability.

  • They used the children’s learning disabilities against the parents and claimed it was the school that had to initiate services when in fact it was the parents that requested testing and services.
  • They claimed snakes and rats/mice were living under the house and CPS was concerned about them getting in the home. The family at the time was living in the country in a mobile home, and I don’t think people can control nature. Maybe they expected the family to put up “No snakes, rats or mice” signs! However, apparently they have no understanding of nature because snakes, rats and mice won’t live together, not if you understand what snakes eat.
  • They claimed the parents had “fled the county” during a previous CPS encounter. Yet it was in their own records that the parents informed the CPS case worker they were moving and where they were going. “Fleeing” implies you do so without informing anyone, not announcing it to everyone.
But here is one prime example of how the AAG used the information in a previous CPS call and exaggerated it.

The oldest son had gotten on his father’s motorcycle even though he had been told not to. In the process he received a small burn from the hot exhaust pipe. Around this time the son also received a spanking with a belt intended for his clothed behind. But the son moved and the belt hit is leg, leaving a small red mark. The son decided to report the incident to the school nurse. This resulted in a CPS call and the referral for services that never took place.

So now 8 years later this incident is being reported by the AAG as “an on-going history of severe beating and burning” by the father against two of the children, while the mother was aware and did nothing to protect the children.

Their own reports didn’t justify these accusations by the AAG, but they still wrote them anyway. And for anyone interested, this incident was brought up in court during a hearing and the AAG and CPS had to admit in court that based on the legal definition of abuse in the state of Arizona, this incident was NOT abuse! Yet it continued to appear in the AAG’s court motions, even after it was determined in court not to be abuse.

So is there anything the family can do to dispute these false claims?

Yes, but you have to be willing to put in the effort.

Every time we read another report, motion or disclosure was another reminder of how out of control the agency really is. They kept stating the same lies over and over as if by putting them in documents it would somehow make it true. But NO ONE would listen to us! They all assumed that because CPS put it in writing it had to be true. We just wanted someone to listen and actually read the documents, someone who would be unbiased, and someone that might be able to see how the lies were being perpetuated to meet the agenda of CPS. But we could find no one. So we knew we had to prove it ourselves.

When the disclosure were made, the first motion/report CPS disclosed about the case had numerous falsehoods in it, and many of them could be proven with additional documentation or information within their own CPS files. We went to work to disprove the allegations against the mother.

  • Taking each statement we knew was false, we found the supporting documents, research, or information in CPS reports to discredit their claims.
  • We organized it and referenced each page and line on the CPS motion to make it clear what allegations we were disputing.
  • We then submitted this research to the attorney.
  • It took us about 9 hours to complete the 12 page report, but it helped save the attorney time and the majority of the report was submitted to the court in the attorney’s rebuttal.

We separated the mother’s allegations from the fathers. The abuse allegations were against the father only. They alleged “failure to protect” against the mother. This is why it is important to try each parent separately as they may not be equally at fault in the case, especially when the case plan is severance and adoption.

The father’s attorney wanted to do the same for his case but he never took the time or effort to get it done. The father and his resources also didn’t get it done. So it is important for you to put in the time and effort to get things done to help YOUR case.

This is also where your prior documentation of the case as you went along comes in handy. CPS may claim you failed to show for meetings, visits, testing…whatever suits their case. But your documentation will be important to disprove their allegations.

You have a right to see the motions and documents from CPS and the AAG. Many attorney’s are reluctant to share these with their clients, but we found by being able to actually read the motions and allegations (even though it may make you frustrated or angry) we were better equipped to assist our attorney in the defense. I would especially recommend getting these documents if you have a court appointed attorney.

What else can the family do?

If the extended family does not have custody of the children then file the appeals. If you cannot get your interview on the appeal, contact your legislators. Document everyone you speak with, when you talked to them and the results of those conversations.

Remember, there is no guarantee how the case is going to turn out. If you can get your children with family they will be more likely able to adopt them if severance is the final outcome. Depending on what the recommendations and court orders are in your case at this time will determine what you need to do.

  • If visitation with your children is ordered make sure you show up for each and every visit and be prepared with appropriate snacks/food, supplies and activities for the children. Far too many parents lose custody because they don’t even show up for visitation!
  • If therapy is ordered make sure you attend all the evaluations, intakes and therapy sessions and be engaged. You have to prove to the therapist that you want your children and can care for them.
  • If there are other issues in the case that need to be addressed don’t wait for a court order. Seek community resources.
  • If there are housing issues, take care of them.
  • If there is a substance abuse issue, find treatment. The court will order treatment at some time during a reunification case, but if you can get started and show you are serious you increase your chances of getting your children back.
  • Parenting classes are generally a given in most cases. We had an extremely difficult time finding classes that were free to the public without a court order. However, we did find two resources that offered classes and other services – Family Resource Center and Family Involvement Center. Both of these are listed on our website under “Listings”.
  • If you have a no contact order take it seriously. They can and will at some point subpoena phone records, emails, or other records to attempt to show you have violated this order.
  • Keep contact with your attorney and do not miss any hearings! Dress appropriately for court, be on time, sign in when you get there, and listen to your attorney. Court is not the time to argue with your attorney about the case.

Can you share with us one thing you did that you think made a difference in your case?

Get yourself organized! Far too many of us are dealing with every day issues that we don’t have time to get ourselves organized. Organization will help your case.

I’m putting together an article “Organizing for CPS Success” which will be posted under “Parental Resources” on our website. These are suggestions and if you have organizational skills put them to use. Other families we met who were involved in a CPS case shared their organizational ideas with us. They are included in the article.

Remember, you will be required to attend meetings, therapy sessions, educational classes, court hearings and other appointments. Anything you miss will be used against you in the case. You are also required to understand and be engaged in these activities. Your attorney will need information from you in order to prove your case. CPS will be asking you for information about your children and their education, especially if they have been identified as special education. By having this information organized you will be able to provide it quickly.

Our CPS case manager got a little ticked off when we could actually produce the information requested at different meetings. At first I think they believed they could trip the mother up, but after a short period of time when they saw the notebook they knew we would be ready to answer questions or provide documentation. In fact we were able to provide the document needed when CPS couldn’t. Eventually they had to admit the mother was organized and we believe this also helped the case.

We may be able to cover this in a future radio show, but we wanted to make sure the listeners had this information to help them immediately, especially if they are involved in a current case. It is never too late to get organized!

Next week’s show

Next week we will discuss placement options for the children and the children’s rights while in foster care.

Sensitivity training for educators on foster youth issues needed, advocates say

Prizila Dajia Vidal, a former foster student, says foster students often want their status kept private. Photo credit: Courtesy of Prizila Dajia Vidal.

Prizila Dajia Vidal, a former foster student, says foster students often want their status kept private. Photo credit: Courtesy of Prizila Dajia Vidal.

Under the new school finance system, the state will soon be sending districts lists of their foster students so schools can direct more resources to them. Although the students will benefit, they fear their personal lives may be widely exposed and they may be stigmatized if educators don’t handle the information sensitively.

Foster kids are very nervous about this,” said Michael Paynter, the Foster Youth Services liaison for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. “They don’t want to be called out in public or identified in a way where they aren’t choosing the moment. We need some sensitivity training around the release of these lists.”

The new finance system requires districts to come up with Local Control and Accountability Plans that explain how they will use the extra funds they are receiving for low-income students, English learners and foster students to improve their academic achievement. For foster students, that could mean more mental health counseling or tutoring services, or help with college applications and financial aid.

In the past, social service agencies did not work directly with school districts, so often teachers and administrators were not aware of which children were in foster care. At times, they only found out when there was a problem with a student that required intervention by a social worker, attorney or foster parent.

“Some kids are sailing along without anyone needing to know their foster status,” Paynter said. Now that the focus is on them, foster students are concerned these lists might be misused, he said.

Former foster students speak out

Former foster students say they are excited that more resources will be funneled to foster students, but based on their own experiences they understand the concerns.

There are teachers who are “prejudiced” and expect less of foster students or think they might cause problems, said Jennifer Vasquez, 27, a former foster student who grew up in Moreno Valley. “Personally, I wouldn’t want anyone to know. I wouldn’t want what I was labeled to determine who I am.”

Prizila Dajia Vidal, 27, who is openly gay, said she was “outed” as a foster child numerous times in San Diego. Often when she would get in trouble in class, her teacher would say loud enough so the whole class could hear that she was going to call Vidal’s foster mom.

“That was something I wasn’t trying to let people know,” Vidal said. “It was hard enough letting people know that I was gay.” When the other students found out she was in foster care, they made fun of her, Vidal said, saying that her parents and siblings didn’t like her.

Michelle Lustig, the Foster Youth Services liaison with the San Diego County Office of Education, said Vidal’s experience is not an isolated case. She knows of numerous occasions when teachers have thoughtlessly mentioned a foster youth’s status during classroom discussions, unaware of the impact that would have on the student.

Some teachers are sensitive to what foster youth are experiencing, while others are “really clueless,” said Andrea Rico, 18, who just graduated from high school in Napa County in Northern California and is going to UC Santa Cruz. She remembers when her French teacher asked students to bring in a baby picture of themselves.

“I don’t have any pictures at all,” she said. “We had to pass the photos around and write about them in French. I was the only student without one.”

She made up a reason for not having the photo when other students asked. Even though she told her teacher the situation, he still deducted points for not bringing in the photo, she said.

But Rico also benefited from teachers who knew her situation and were sympathetic. She remembers one English teacher who pulled her aside when the class was about to read “Black Boy” by Richard Wright. The teacher was concerned that the autobiographical story about a child who spent time in an orphanage and was mistreated would be too difficult for Rico to read and discuss in class. Knowing how much the teacher cared about her, Rico decided to stay in the class and read the book anyway.

MJay Jackson, 21, lived in a group home, so the teachers and administrators at his charter high school in Los Angeles were aware of his foster status and that of the other group home students.

“I received a lot of love,” said Jackson, who is attending Pierce College in Los Angeles. “I got on the basketball team, on the honor roll. I got two college scholarships from the school.”

The school staff “totally understood” his situation, he said, “but they didn’t do affirmative action, they didn’t look at me differently. I was close with the principal, counselor, everyone. I still go back to visit the high school.”

Teachers need to understand the specific issues foster students face

Elizabeth Shaw Svensson, who teaches at a community day school in Santa Cruz, often works with students who are homeless, on probation, or in foster care. Even among students in troubled family situations, foster students have issues particular to them, she said.

“Teachers have to be aware of the isolation and aloneness that foster youth can experience” as well as the continual uncertainty about where they will be living, she said.

“Every teacher should protect the personal nature and situation of every student,” Svensson said. “I never say that a student is in drug rehab, foster care or homeless. I let the student say what he or she is comfortable with saying.”

But not knowing who is in foster care can also be problematic.

Teachers might make assignments that involve family history or activities that spotlight a student’s foster status, such as making cards for Mother’s Day. Vasquez said that happened to her, when she got a zero on a family tree and family history project. “My mom doesn’t even know her family tree,” she said.

Even simple things, such as asking what they did during vacation, can prove troublesome for foster students, Lustig said. “Their foster family may have gone to Disneyland or Maui and left them in respite care,” she said.

Vasquez, who is now rearing her own family, said, “People don’t see behind the closed door (of some foster homes). They treat their kids or grandkids better than you.”

Svensson said the new lists could be very helpful to teachers. If they know they have a foster student in their class, they can plan their curriculum with that student in mind. Now that California is implementing new Common Core state standards, teachers have much more flexibility and can better tailor their lessons to the students, she said.

Patterson Chisomaga Emesibe, 24, a former foster student, says he got in trouble for fighting because the teachers were unaware of why he was upset.

Patterson Chisomaga Emesibe, 24, a former foster student, says he became the class clown to deal with the trauma he experienced. Photo credit: Courtesy of Patterson Chisomaga Emesibe

Camy Ditter, an independent studies teacher at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, works with foster students and agrees they would benefit from more thoughtful curricula. If teachers take the time to know their foster students, they will be rewarded, she said.

“Once you start working with them, it’s addictive,” Ditter said. “What they lack in the skills we judge, they make up for in other skills. They are resilient and almost universally highly compassionate and protective of each other.”

But Ditter, who has worked as a teacher for 20 years, said she also understands the pressures on teachers.

“I see that teachers’ lives are so extremely packed – so much is asked of teachers,” Ditter said. “So it’s hard to stop and say I don’t mention this to this student or address this to this student.”

“A teacher may have five classes with 30 kids in each class and one or two students are foster youth,” she said. If the assignment works for the vast majority of students, the teacher can modify it rather than throwing it out, Ditter said.

Austin Wade, who teaches 5th grade at Alvin Dunn Elementary in San Marcos Unified, said most teachers can make those sorts of changes in their lesson plans.

“If little accommodations are too much for a teacher, that teacher is walking on thin ice,” he said. “The foster student’s stress level is beyond what any teacher’s would be.”

For example, the purpose of the French teacher’s assignment to bring a baby photo was to promote writing in French, Ditter said. The teacher could have offered an alternative to the class. If students didn’t want to bring their own photo, they could choose a photo from a magazine or a friend’s baby photo, she said.

“Teachers need to be creative,” she said. “But I’m a little protective of teachers constantly getting slammed for not doing things right.”

Knowing that a student is in foster care can also help educators understand their behavior.

Patterson Chisomaga Emesibe, 24, and his siblings were raised by his aunt and uncle after his father killed his mother when Emesibe was 12. Updated: When he first moved in with his aunt and uncle in Hesperia, north of Riverside, the kids at school, who knew his cousins, kept asking about his parents, which was a trigger for him.

“I held it in. I became the class clown. I was trying to escape,” Emesibe said. Along with constantly getting in trouble for disrupting all of his classes, he also began partying and drinking. “I knew it was bad for me, but there were other youth drinking around me and I drank to feel accepted,” said Emesibe, who is graduating from Cal State Monterey this spring with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Teacher training programs regarding foster youth are available

Paynter said training teachers so they know how to respond to traumatized students would help foster youth, who often come from abusive homes. In the case of foster children, teachers should just assume they have been traumatized, he said. Close physical contact, even putting a hand on a shoulder, could retrigger the trauma and cause the student to unconsciously react, he said.

Training programs, such as “Endless Dreams” by the Casey Family Programs or “Ready to Succeed in the Classroom” by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, focus on being sensitive to foster students. Wade took part in the “Endless Dreams” program, which includes tutoring foster youth, as part of a course requirement for students who want to get into the CSU San Marcos teacher credential program.

“The tutoring experience opened up my mind to what these kids go through,” he said, adding that the program also made him more sensitive to kids with different kinds of issues. “Whether they are living with multiple families, have an absent parent or can’t access technology at home, I make sure they get the support they need.”

Lustig believes the new emphasis on foster students may benefit all California students.

“Now that foster students are on the radar, educators can learn to do a better job for all kids,” Lustig said. “How cool is that?”

 

A version of this column originally appeared in:

Arizona CPS Exposed – discusses reporting to CPS

Reporting to CPS

The biggest issue we saw with reporting is the ability of people to make reports anonymously.

Currently in the state of Arizona people do not have to identify themselves when reporting to CPS. This violates the constitutional rights of the accused because they cannot and are not given the opportunity to face their accuser.

When you are faced with a dependency case and have to appear in court you cannot question anonymous in a court hearing. So it is assumed that everything anonymous said must be true.

If you are involved in a CPS custody battle be prepared to have anonymous involved in your case. We were told by a number of sources that anonymous can actually be CPS employees creating their own evidence or may be from foster families wishing to launch a complaint against the bio-family so they have a better chance of adopting the child.

In our family’s case CPS started receiving anonymous letters just after the father’s rights were severed. The letters claimed the mother was violating a court no contact order . This order didn’t start until after the father’s rights were severed, several months into the case. Whoever wrote the letters was aware of the case, was aware there was a no contact order by the court, and further was aware of who the mother-in-law in the case was. These letters were not done by some random outsider! They had intimate details about the case.

Further, CPS claimed the letters were written by two different people. But the fronts, margins, and language used in the letters were identical. The phrasing they used in the letters was so similar that it was apparent they were written by the same person.

Each letter was anonymous. When asked about how they were delivered, CPS claimed they had been received by mail. Yet neither letter had been folded as no creases could be seen on the paper. No copy of the envelope was provided. Each letter was received just prior to a court hearing. Since CPS only picks up their mail on a weekly basis, it was amazing how both these letters arrived just prior to the hearings.

Because of these letters the judge was concerned. During the court trial when the issue came up the family was unable to rebut the accusations in the letters because anonymous could not take the stand and be questioned. The family could only deny the statements. Fortunately the judge did not use the letters to press the issue further and just restated his order of no contact.

Initial Call

The initial call takers can do the most damage to the case. Their inaccurate coding of the call can either escalate it into something it wasn’t or could cause the call to go uninvestigated.

After 5 months into our family’s case we were finally able to get the initial report from CPS for our family. Most of it was redacted – many pages were nothing but black.

But, along with the report came the Arizona CPS Response System, which we have posted on our website. This report gives you the codes and the risk factors associated with the allegations.

What we discovered in our case is that CPS coded all of the children as “high risk” when in fact they should have been coded “low risk” (there is no code for no risk), and one child coded “moderate risk.” CPS escalated the risk factor on the case, not by factual information received, but by someone taking the call.

What is “mandatory reporting”?

This is where the system really gets messed up.

Certain professions are mandatory reporters, such as teachers, doctors, psychologists, and even pastors under certain circumstances.

Parents and guardians are also mandatory reporters. If you fail to report an incident as a parent you may be charged with a felony.

So now we have the “snitch squad” – a government created reporting law that makes it mandatory for you to snitch on your own family. You have to report without concrete evidence, but only if you “think” something might have happened.

Doctors have used CPS to report on families when they don’t agree with the parent’s decision of medical treatment, including vaccinations. One such case has made national news – the Justine Pelletier case in Massachusetts.

In our family’s case a doctor had previously reported the family to CPS because the mother gave birth to twins at home with no anesthetic. The babies were both fine. However, this didn’t stop a doctor from making an invalid report to CPS resulting in a home visit to the family. The report was unsubstantiated but remains on the family CPS record.

Teachers or school officials are often the reporters on cases. Once again they make a report without all the details, resulting in the family having an unsubstantiated case on file.

Again, in our family’s case there was a report made by the school for an incident that happened on school grounds! The family was not even aware this report had been made as no contact by CPS to the family was ever done. But once again another unsubstantiated report was logged onto the family’s CPS file.

What is even more concerning is that teachers often don’t understand the law. At a teacher’s conference in Arizona the group of over 100 teachers were asked if spanking was permitted in Arizona. Almost all teachers believed, by their show of hands, that spanking a child in Arizona is against the law! This is not true, as spanking under certain restraints is permitted in the state. But with the vast majority of teachers believing it is illegal, how many of them would report a spanking to CPS?

The Investigation

So now that CPS has a report they need to investigate, which first starts with speaking to ALL of the children in your home or in your custody.

They will most often contact your children at school. This is a safe place for CPS because they don’t have to deal with parents trying to assert their constitutional rights and the school will cooperate. Your children will be removed from class and will be asked questions by CPS. The child may have no knowledge of what has happened, but they will still pull them in for questioning.

CPS has even been known to pull 18 year olds out for question – these “children” are legal adults and CPS should not have any jurisdiction over them, but they do it anyway.

They do not have to inform parents or get prior consent when they are speaking to your children. Often the first time the parent hears of this is when the child returns home from school and informs the parent! This is why it is so important for our children to understand their rights. It will be up to them to exercise their rights and not bend to intimation by the agency.

What can you do to protect your child from this abuse?

According to an attorney we spoke with recently – nothing.

  • CPS can do anything they want – they have been given so much power that parents are helpless when it comes to protecting their children from the agency.
  • CPS can ask your child questions without your knowledge or your prior consent.
  • If the child requests to have their parent present when questioned, CPS does not have to comply.
  • If the child requests to have their attorney present when questioned, CPS does not have to comply.
  • The only recourse the child has is to refuse to answer their questions. This may end up with CPS removing the child from school and taking them in to custody.
  • The schools are an accomplice to this abuse of the system. Counselors or psychologists will encourage the child to talk. If CPS wants to take custody of the child, the school will tell the child “that these people are their friends and it’s okay if they go with them.”

We teach our child about stranger danger and the school encourages the child to go with strangers! Then the children find out later that the parent was correct, the school was wrong because now they are taken from family and put with even more strangers.

This affects the children even after CPS is out of the picture because now school is no longer safe for the child and they start to fear even going to school.

Next week’s show

Next week we will do some catching up on how our constitutional rights are violated and what our Arizona legislators are doing about this problem.

A good movie to watch that shows the abuse of the child welfare system is “Just Ask My Children.” It is a movie based on the true story of a family’s battle with CPS in California. It shows how fast a case can escalate and how a corrupt system can be used to manipulate children to further their case.

After our children were back home the older children watched this movie. They stated they could relate to many of the things presented in the movie to what had happened to them.

The adults in the family watched this movie near the beginning of our case. It invoked some strong emotions and I don’t think one person that watched it wasn’t in tears at some point during the movie. We could absolutely relate to this movie! Just replace the district attorney’s office in the movie with the attorney general’s office in Arizona.

The Unbelievable State of Parental Rights in America

On Tuesday President Obama gave his “State of the Union” address, in which he gave his view of where our nation is right now and where we are headed.

But what about parental rights? Where are we and where are we headed? It turns out we are not as free and secure as we would like to be, and we’re heading in the wrong direction. Here is an overview of parental rights in America as we begin 2014.

Medical Freedom - Hospitals:

Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Youth and Families take another child hostage because hospital staff disagree with the parents on the child’s medical diagnosis.
In California, “Baby Sammy” was taken from his parents because they left one hospital to seek a second opinion at another before subjecting the child to open-heart surgery.
In Ohio, an Amish family was forced to flee the country to spare their daughter unwanted and dangerous chemo-therapy, including a cocktail of drugs not approved for children by the FDA. Reports indicate the girl is in remission through natural means, but the Ohio hospital and child services department are livid.

The law is not on your side. In every one of these cases the judge ruled against legally fit parents. As a result, more and more parents are afraid to even take their child to the emergency room, lest one wrong answer lead to the removal of their child and the loss of their parental rights.
Medical Freedom at Home:

But keeping your child at home doesn’t provide any protection, either.

In May, 2013, charges were reinstated against Detroit resident Maryann Godboldo, who in 2011 was arrested after a 10-hour standoff with police and CPS who claimed she was not giving her daughter proper medication. The state later discontinued the medication as well, returned the daughter, and dropped the charges – until the appeals court this year sided with prosecutors looking to go after her again.

The law is not on your side. In the last decade alone, legislatures in 26 states have made 36 attempts to increase mandatory vaccination requirements, the large majority successfully requiring the HPV vaccine for pre-teen girls.

Mental Health and Counseling:

New laws in California and New Jersey make it illegal for teenagers struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction to seek reparative therapy, even if the teen, the professional counselor, and both parents agree on the desired treatment. This viewpoint discrimination takes decision-making rights away from parents and tramples the doctor-patient professional relationship.

The law is not on your side.

Public School Access:

In Tennessee, a dad was arrested trying to pick up his special-needs daughter at the end of the school day. No fighting, no yelling. Just asking for his children and not backing down.

A Georgia Army vet was banned from her child’s school grounds for posting her newly earned concealed carry gun permit online. No threats; no plans to violate the “gun-free zone.” She simply has a permit, and was banned from the school.

The law is not on your side. Laws in a majority of states limit or entirely deny to parents any “right” to be present on school grounds where their child is in attendance. What’s more, some school districts have banned parents from sending a lunch with their child, requiring that they buy school-provided lunch instead. And a bill in New York would require that all parents attend state-provided parenting classes before their child can graduate the sixth grade.

But why do parents need to make decisions in the schools anyway? Surely they can trust the institutions where they leave their children every day, right?

Public School Content:

Tell that to the Kansas father who was livid last week over a poster in his daughter’s eighth grade classroom that lists “How …people express their sexual feelings.” Some of the examples are light enough, but others are very explicit – and in a middle school setting! The principal and school district defend the poster, saying it is part of the school’s abstinence-based sex education program, and in line with other schools across the country.

Tell it to the growing number of parents and organizations opposing Common Core, a new set of “national curriculum standards” set up by the National Governors’ Association and required for schools to qualify for federal Race to the Top education funding. The “standards” were adopted over the summer of 2010 without any review by parents or state legislatures. Last week, even the New York State Teachers’ Union voted to reject the standards, saying “We will be the first to admit it doesn’t work.”

But the law is not on your side. The Ninth Circuit in Fields v. Palmdale (2005) held that, “Parents…have no constitutional right…to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so.”

Educational Choice:

Still, the First Circuit Court of Appeals in its Parker v. Hurley (2007) decision states, “Parents do have a fundamental right to raise their children. They are not required to abandon that responsibility to the state. [They] may send their children to a private school that does not … conflict with their religious beliefs. They may also educate their children at home.” (emphasis added) But this may not be the case much longer.

A judge in Texas took the Tutts’ children away at the urging of a guardian ad litem who confesses there are no signs of abuse or neglect. Yet she implicated statutory language likely to cause the children to be removed (which it did), apparently because she opposes the family’s choice to teach their children at home.

In fact, several journals over the last few years have published articles by academic elites claiming “that public education should be mandatory and universal.” Says Emory University Law professor Martha Albertson Fineman, “Parental expressive interest could supplement but never supplant the public institutions where the basic fundamental lesson would be taught and experienced by all American children: we must struggle together to define ourselves both as a collective and as individuals.”

In the last decade there have been at least 22 attempts to expand public pre-school education, at least 31 attempts to make kindergarten mandatory, and nearly 150 efforts in 43 states to otherwise expand the compulsory attendance age range for public schools. None of these measures has been shown to improve education outcomes; they only serve to give more control to the state and less control to parents as children develop and grow.

The law here may be on your side, but it is quickly retreating. And so is the government.

The United States Department of Justice seeks to overrule the asylum status of the Romeikes, who fled Germany to keep their family together. Germany has rejected the parents’ right to choose the form of education their children receive, and the U.S. Administration actually supports Germany’s position! The case is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bureaucrats Run Amok:

In Loudermilk v. Administration for Children, Youth, and Families, a federal district court ruled that Arizona social workers were protected by immunity when they forced their way into a family’s home without a warrant using threats of taking the couple’s children away. Such threats, according to the court, do not constitute coercion, so the parents’ Fourth Amendment rights – says the court – were surrendered voluntarily.

Meanwhile, social workers in Kentucky have been found to be corrupt, then vindictive when a mother stands up to them. Social Services took her children, children of her relatives (at 3:00 in video), and even removed the children of her lawyer (at 4:15) from the lawyer’s home!

But the law is not on your side. Every state authorizes certain personnel – doctors, police, social workers (the list varies by state) – to remove your children from your care without a warrant, a court order, or any proof of abuse or neglect. Though many abuses are overturned for those who can afford to appeal, such an atmosphere in the lower courts sees abuses getting worse every year.

What Can Be Done?

There is hope! A proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is already making its way through the Congress. Once adopted, the PRA will guard the fundamental right of parents to make decisions – medical, educational, in fact all kinds of decisions – for their children.

P.S. -- The above is a sampling, not an exhaustive list. This is an epidemic. Now let's get to work on the cure!