This article just appeared on the internet. It is from Jackson County Ga and it is the new panel that parents go in front of to see if they are “fit parents” and to see if Jackson County DFCS has made “reasonable effort” to reunify parent and child. This is just another joke of the system. The people on the panel are approved by Judge Kevin Guidry. The people on the panel in all likely hood know the case workers at DFCS due to the fact that it is a small county. The reasonable effort is not done and this can be proven. This panel is like a kangaroo court which fires questions and accusations at the parent in rapid fire. They do no listen to the parent however, they not only listen to the caseworker, the guaradian et litem, and whoever else DFCS decides to bring in including Donna Webb the foster care provider. The parent is not allowed to bring in their witnesses. This is criminal.
Samantha has a panel hearing in May. These are the people she will go in front of. These are the people who will blast her with questions and will have already formed an opinion before she stands in front of them. She has been told to have her attorney there. Katie Bice the case worker will do her best to state that she had provided reasonable effort however, she hasn’t. She has constantly refused to give Samantha the schedule for the girls softball games, refused to give Samantha the parent teacher confernece dates, refused to help her find housing, refused to help her with finding a job. These are just a few of the things that DFCS is required to do under the Title IV-E and Title IV-B Funding. There has been no “reasonable effort” on Katice Bice’s part. She had the case for three months before she even contacted Samantha.
Tracie Maclom stated in this article that they wanted to be panel members to make a difference in families and the communty. While that is a noble statement, it is a lie. The only difference this panel will make is in the coffers of Jackson County DFCS as they continue to keep children who don’t need to be in foster care incarerated in foster care and force parents to sign over their children for adoption just so that Jackson County will make more money. If they really wanted to make a difference they would hold Katie Bice, Mary Mahoney and the others at Jackson County DFCS accountable for their actions. They would make them do the things they are supposed to do and not lie about their “reasonable efforts.” No these people have no desire to make a difference, they just want to be part of the corruption, greed and abuse that Jackson County DFCS and the Piedmont Juvenile Court System perpatrates on the poor and uneducated families in that county.
POSTED April 21, 2010 5:39 p.m.
Training was held March 30-31 in Jackson County for volunteers from the community to become members of the Piedmont Judicial Circuit Citizen Review Panel.
The duties of the Judicial Citizen Review Panels are to review the situation of each child placed in foster care with the Department of Human Services Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) by the Juvenile Court.
Each volunteer was required to submit an application to the Court, submit to a criminal background check and get approval from Honorable Kevin J. Guidry, before they could be eligible to take the training to become Panel Members.
“These volunteers said they wanted to be Panel Members to make a difference in the children and families in their community,” said Program Coordinator Tracie Malcom.
The volunteers submit to the court the findings and recommendations as to the necessity and appropriateness of the child’s current placement, whether reasonable efforts have been made by DFCS in working with the family, the degree of compliance with the family’s case plan, and any specific changes that need to be made in the case plan, said Malcom.
“To do this, the Panel Volunteers meet at least twice a year with each child, parent, foster parent and DFCS caseworker in almost every case in which a family has had a child placed in foster care by the court,” said Malcom, who works from the Jackson County Courthouse office of Judge Guidry.
The volunteers will be monitoring the progress of abused and neglected children in the custody of the Division of Family and Children’s Services.
“This is a difficult, time consuming and emotional task that is invaluable in finding permanent homes for the abused and neglected children of the Piedmont Judicial Circuit,” said Malcom