As most of you know I am doing extensive research on the corruption and greed which is the backbone of the Child Protection Services. In my research I am appalled at the depth of the corruption, compliancy that the Juvenile Court Judges add to this quigmire of injustice.
The most recent nightmare I found while researching the appalling conditions of children ripped from parents who live in poverty in the State of Michigan. Instead of spending federal dollars to keep families together the money is spent on foster and adoptive parents.
The back story is this. Fedreal law requires that all of the states not just one or two must make Every Reasonable Effort to keep low priorty and low risk families together- before snatching children and placing them in the hell that is foster care. The kick is this. A Juvenile aka Family Court Judge must sign off that every reasonable effort has been made to keep these families together. I reiterate the term “Reasonable Effort” here. The way the Judge does this is he checks a box on a standard form. Now if he finds that DPS has “failed” to make “Reasonable Efforts” even though it was safe to do so, he can still “rubber- stamp” the removal of the child. The Kick is this, if he does that Federal Money will not pay the cost of the child in foster care.
When family court judges were polled 40% said they lied and that CPS had made a reasonable effort but they (the Judge) didn’t believe CPS had made that effort. There were 20% of the Judges who stated they concluded without any facts to substantiate the fact that CPS may or may not have provided every possible effort to keep the families intact. The even scary part was that 70% of those same Judges said they “rarely concluded otherwise”. In other words they believed their CPS people were perfect and there was no need to question their decisions.
Now the coup de grace of this poll, 40% of the judges admitted they lied and that CPS had done all they could do visavi “resaonsable effort” in cases where they, the judges really didn’t believe they had done all they could do. The excuse for lieing the Judges stated was becasue they knew their county would have to pick up the cost of the federal share of the money for these children.
These same judges were asked specifics regarding the issues they rasied in determing if “reasonable efforts” were offered to the family. 1/3 admitted they never asked what services had been offered to the families by CPS, 46% admitted they only sometimes or NEVER asked if the services were sufficinet or appropriate. 57% of the Judges often failed to ask if the caseworker had actually provided the services.
To add insult to injury the parents court appointed attorneys in most if not all cases are as complicant as the Judges because they also never ask these questions. The excuse is raising this question is supposed to be a losing argurment in the court room. The reasoning is each plan is supposed to be specific to that particualr family- but that again is an oxymoron. It is a standard “vanilla” plan. To make matters worse in most cases CPS will alledge that the family does not qualify for the service.
This arguement doesn’t hold water because 99% of the cases brought to CPS includes the poor and uneducated. Most don’t have cars, little or no education, no marketable business skills and there fore they work a low paying jobs. This becomes a revolving door and the Judges hold the switch.
Shame on them. Judges are supposed to be impartial, and they are supposed to look at all the facts- not the bottom line of the Profit and Loss sheet. The families who stand in front of them are people, not dollar signs. CPS is indeed in bed with the Juvenile/ Family court Judges in 99% of the cases all across the country- this is especially true in Jackson County Ga.
Recourses: National Coalition for Child Protection Reform 53 Skyhill Rd Suite 202 Alexandria Va. 22314
Yvonne Mason, Author