Parents have no way to challenge the removal of their children. The first hearing is the most important. That is where the parent needs an attorney the most. But yet there is never one there. Why you may ask. The reason is simple. Most of these parents are poor and uneducated. They can’t afford one and the only way they can get one is to be appointed one at the first hearing.
By then it is too late because possession is nine- tenths of the law. Once DFCS has the child they have the upper hand. They have by taking possession of the child tilted the playing field in their favor. It creates the impression of “not whether the child should be removed but if the child should be returned. It is up to the parents to demostrate that they are fit enough to have their children returned to them.
By the time the second hearing comes around the presiding Judge knows that if he overrules DFCS and something happens then it all falls on him and his reputation. His career will be over so he rubber stamps the removal of hundreds of children. The children may suffer both at the hands of the foster parent, or the emotional and mental abuse of being away from their natural parents, but the judge and his career is safe.
So DFCS has free reign to do what they want, when they want for whatever reason they want. There is no one watching the watchers. There are no lawyers hold any feet to the fire on behalf of the parents in fact in most cases the lawyers have never even spoken to the parents at all. Or if they had it was the day of the hearing.
The lawyers used the excuse that is was not possible to meet with the clients in their office because they were not compenstated for their time. So they talk to their clients in lobbies and hallways or outside the courthouse just before the hearing. What kind of defense is that?
It has also been stated that Judges have their favorite lawyers and that provides an incentive to stay on the judges good side and not rock the boat. Given the low pay the Public Defenders get they need lots of cases so the parent becomes a dollar sign and not a person.
In one state some public defenders have up to 300 cases and can’t provide even a minimal defense for their client. The pay averages out to about four dollars an hour.
What is even more scary and unfair for the parent is one attorney stated he spent all his time studying the law and training instead of preparing his clients case. So what happens once the hearing is over and the parents must jump through hoops to try and get their children back? They don’t have an advocate in their attorney, and they don’t have someone fighting for them to get a good service plan or to make sure services are provided for them. They are left to fight on their own. The burden is all on the parent to prove they are innocent. They don’t even have any one to ask the questions and to investigate on their behalf. The lawyer does the least of what is required and moves on to the next case.
Children are left in the system, familes are destroyed, lives are ruined and life goes on – Except for the children who have been snatched and the parents who live in a lost time warp. They have been abused by the system which is corrpt, the judges who are in bed with the system and the lawyers who are suppsed to defend them. The bottom is this public defenders don’t have the time, the inclination or the desire to truely defend parents who have unjustly lost their children to the corruption of Child Protective Servcies. Parents and the chidlren are the losers – they are the ones who suffer in the long run. Who is watching the watchers?