I have in my hands a procedure manual which was designed and approved by:
Judge Michael Key, Troup County Juvenile Court
Judge Van Banke, Clayton County Juvenile Court
Judge Velma Tilley, Bartow County Juvenile Court
Sandy Gobel, Supervisor from Cobb County Department of Family and Children Services
Sheila Waterman, from the Office of Adoptions
Mary Hermann, From the Child Advocates Office of the Fulton County Juvenile Court
Tania Brooke, Supervisor from the Troup County Department of Family and Children Services
Lori Bramlett, Model Court Coordinator
Tammy Reed, Region Adoption Coordinator for the Office of Adoptions
The purpose of the manual is to review current practices realtive to termination of parental rights and adoption in deprivation cases and to begin to idenify best practices designed to move children to permanency through adoption more timely and efficiently.
As I read through this manual I became physically sick. The reason, this manual is a license to sell children.
It has sections like Resource Guidlines of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Early Identification of Absent Parents. Then we get to the nuts and bolts
“Ensuring Quality Plans and Services Available to the Family to Assist with Reunification. This is what the manual says” If the needs of a child and family have not been throughly assessed and appropriate services made availabe to families to assist with reunificatipn, the parents may have a valid argument at the permanency hearing that reasonable efforts have not been made to reunify them with their child. This situation can cause a significant delay in achieving permancency for the child by delaying the child’s reunification, delaying the Court’s ability to terminate parental rightrs, or settin up the possiblity of reversal by the cour of appeals.”
This is called a CYA ( or Cover Your ASS tatic) CPS has no intention of ever reunifing families. Their entent is to sell children.
Next there is Best Practices in Termination and Adoption, How does a Case Move to Termination and Adoption, What Triggers the best practices in termination and adoption, How and when should the decision to move to termination and adoption be made, What is involved in staffing a case and when should it be done, When should the case be turned over to the Agency Counsel, What can be done to avoid delays once the case has been turned over to the Agency Counsel,
Then We have:
At What Point should reunification services be discontinued?
The manual says this: The best practice is to continue to offer reunification services until the petition to terminate parental rights is heard unless there is a specific finding by the Court that continuation of reunification efforts is, in fact, detrimental to the child. This is a high threshhold that should not be compromised. Discontinuation of reunification services is not a condition precedent to the filing of a termination action and, in fact, discontinuation of renification services prior to termination seems to be in disfavor with Court of Appeals. The Workgroup believes that, unless actual harm would result to the child, reunification services should continue to be offered up to the time parental rights are terminated. There was some concern expressed about this practice making for unncessary work for the Agency and the panels. However, the reunificiation plan is already in place and all that has to be done is to monitor progress.
(Now this is where it gets interesting) The manual continues, Also, is most cases, the parents are not , in fact accessing the services offered anyway, so there is not a lot of work involved in offering and monitoring services. We believe that the value of offering the services and the impact that may have in appellate courts outweighs the diadvantages of continuing to offer services. This approact also allows us to avid the necessity of haing a permanency hearing except in cases where it is absolutly necessary,that is where actual dertiment ot the child can be cearly established. Keep in mind also, that, if the time frames proposed herin are met, we arenot tlaking about continuing to offer the services for an extend period of time.
The next sections include, When Must the Agency Counsel File the Petition to Terminate Parental Rights, What can the Court do to ensure that peitions are filed timely, When Should the hearing be Set, What can bedone to avoid service related delays in the trial, When should the termination of parental rights be held, How can the court ensure effective representation fo parents and children, What can be done to avoid delays in trial, Should the Court conduct pretrial conference, What can be done to avoid lawyer conflict, What should be done when a termination case has to be continued, What are the frames for getting orders terminating perental rights signed and filed.
Then we have: What is the Court’s Responsiblity to make the Office of Adoptions aware that a termination of parental rights order has been entered.
It states: By statute, the Juvenile Court clerk should send orders terminating parental rights to the Office of Adoptions within fifteen days following entry of the order. Note the Agency policy encourages that courny agencies register children without identified adoptove resources with My Turn Now Photo listing when they notify the Office of Adoptions that a child is free, which is five to twelve days following termination. (So DFCS puts up children to sell even before they lose their families)
The next section: What is the responsiblity of the Office of Adoptions to keep the Court informed of the identity of children not adopted.
” Although the Court, through its post-termination reviews, should have a good idea of the identity of children available for adoption, the participants agreed that, in order to assist the Court with its over sight responsibilities, the Adoption Office should provide to each judge a list of all children from that county awaiting adoption at least annually. However, there was a recognition that there are currently some policy and, perhaps, legal barriers to implementing this practice, but that we should work to elimiahte those barriers.”
Now they move to When Can the Agency submit a request to the Office of Adoptions for funding a life history(adoption study), What can de done to speed u pthe adoption studh, When should post-termination judicial review be conducted then we have
Within What timeframe should the Form 33 be signed: ” The Form 33 is the Adoption Placement Agreement. The time frame depends on whether htere is an identified adoptive resources. From the time of the entry of the orer, 105 days is the maximum time under regulations to ge tthe Form 33signed by the adoptive parent. Best practice is get the Form 33 signed within 90 days. The permission to file for adiption shouoold be given to the adoptive parents the day the form 33 is signed. The attorney should have been identified by the time the Form 33 is signed, and the adoptive parents hould contact the attorney within two weeks. Immediately upon receipt of the permission to file, the attorney call the County Director. The County Director should prepare the package within five working days afater notification from the attorney. Actually, in a foster/adopt adoption case, there is no reason that the Form 33 could not be issued within 30 days from the time the termination order is filed. For a child who does not have an identified adoptive resource, the only time limits that can be set are those for completion would be to submit pictures at the same time they register the life hsitory. Please note that hthese time frames do not apply to foster and foster/adopt adoptions. Where the child is placed with a new adoptive family, the Agency must supervise the placement, usually for six months before the release is given.”
Next we have : When should the serarch for adoptive resources begin: “The search for relatives willing to adopt or take permanent relative custody should be initiated at the very beginning of the case. The initial placement within a foster home should be made taking into account the likelihood of successful reunification, and the wllingness of the foster parents to adopt. Recruitment efforts should begin in ernest as soon as hte decision is made that termination is a plan, even a concrrent plan.”
I love this one: What Efforts should be made to identify adoptive resources:” County agencies should contact the State Adoption Exchange, their regional adoption corrdinatior, other resource development workers, and private adoption agencies under contract with the Office of Adoptions to solicit family assessments for their children. County Agencies should schedule children for video- confernece and Wednesday’s Child apperances. County Agencies hould make a Tale of 2 States Liaison referral so that a search for families can be made nationwide. All of t his should be completed prior to the first judicial review which again is not later than three months following termination. Once family assessments are received by a county Agency, they should be reviewed and, if at all possible, a family selected within thirty days.
Next is the “What can be done about relatives who surface at the last minute,either prior to the hearing on the peititon to terminate parental rights or after termination, but prior to dispostiton
But my favorite and the one that tells the tale is this one:
Is “Best Practices” the same as reasonable efforts:” IT should be kept in mind,although most of these practices have reasonable efforts implications, the Agency does not need to meet these standards in order to be determined that hte Agency has made reasonable efforts.”
So what this manual is saying is it does not matter what the parent does or does not do- they will lose their child to the system and their child will be sold.
They are angry at me because I post their picture because of the abuse they have suffered at the hands of Jackson County DFCS but yet they are perpatrating more abuse than a parent every could. They post their pictures and sell them to the highest bidder. The Courts sign off on this and so do the lawyers.