The next Step is to open records up completly and stop the secreacy

The next step is to get those records made completly public especially for families who have been falsely accused

Bill allows more access to DFCS records
Solicitors, who prosecute misdemeanors, not permitted to see certain documents

By Stephen Gurr

POSTED May 1, 2010 1:45 a.m.

When State Court Solicitor-General Stephanie Woodard’s staff wanted to find out more about a Hall County couple who allegedly let dead dogs rot in a home where children lived, they asked for records from the local office of the Division of Family and Children Services.

And as it has done in the past, the state agency fought the county prosecutor’s subpoena in court, relying on a law that says solicitors do not have access to certain investigative records.

This week, the Georgia legislature voted to change the wording of the law so that solicitors, who prosecute misdemeanors, can have the same access to confidential DFCS records as district attorneys, who prosecute felonies.

Woodard said prosecutors can find out through DFCS records whether parents facing criminal charges have ever been investigated for child neglect, which would help in deciding how to handle a case.

“It paints a different picture for us if they’ve had DFCS intervention before and whether or not they’ve cooperated,” Woodard said.

“Most importantly, it gives us some of the child’s information and perspective without having to re-interview the child. I don’t want any child to have to be questioned and put through the rigors of dealing with authorities if they don’t have to. It really serves everyone in helping to streamline efforts and not duplicate resources.”

A DFCS spokesman was unavailable for comment Friday. The agency did not oppose the bill.

Woodard anticipates with the bill’s passage, her office will gain access to any DFCS records on Michelle and Robert Lynn, whose animal cruelty case is pending in Hall County State Court. The couple is accused of allowing more than a dozen dead animals to decay inside a Murrayville home where young children lived.

The bill was first introduced by state House Rep. Carl Rogers last year. But it failed to make it out of a Senate committee, prompting the Gainesville lawmaker to make an angry speech on the House floor near the end of the 2009 legislative session.

Rogers accused state senators of killing the bill over his handling of an unrelated transportation issue.

“I’m just under the assumption that someone didn’t like how I was handling a subcommittee on one of their bills, and sometimes your emotions get in front of an issue, which is unfortunate,” Rogers said Friday, a year after the dispute. “This is a bill that should have gone right on through. But it was just a communication disruption.”

Rogers said he was hopeful Gov. Sonny Perdue would sign the bill into law.

“It should not be an issue, on this particular bill,” Rogers said

About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
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5 Responses to The next Step is to open records up completly and stop the secreacy

  1. Stefani Ranslow says:

    Hello Yvonne My name is stefani and I have been dealing with dcyf in Rhode Island for 10mnths now. Me and my Fiance made a very huge mistakes and our kids got taken away. We have in total 4 children My fiancee has 2 from a previous relationship and I have a daughter from a previous and we together have now a 10mnth old which we haved missed 9mnths of because dcyf took the kids away when she was a month old. Everyday is a struggle with dcyf(rhode Island) Our case worker makes eveything so hard and it feels like she is putting a block on our family and it hurts everything I have read about dcyf shocks me but I knew there was alot of bad things going on behind closed doors. They use there opinons to make decisions my fiance has had so much trouble with our case worker cause she already looks at him as guilty and its not fair. She lies to us and my fiancee’s mother who has the children at the moment she is even getting upset with the way dcyf works. They gave us our service plans and our classes we have to take and it just seems like where their little puppets now and it’s not fair at all we are human too and have our rights. My fiance oldest was such a great little girl before this all happened and now being with her grandmother and getting the run of the mill she has changed drimastically and we think its affecting her brother like she bullying him hes 11 now and has always gone to the bathroom with no problem and now for some reason he has to where a pull up cause he pooping in his pants. hes always getting in trouble and his sister does things wrong too and never does. I feel that my fiance’s son is being treated badly but he wont say anything about his grandmother especailly right now that she is the caretaker he will not cross those boundries with her. I think dcyf taking the children out of the home and putting them with the grandmother was great at first cause they were with family but now i see the changes in both kids and i dont like it at all. I feel the oldest is being a bully and getting away with whatever she wants and thats not fair to her brother. DCfy tells us lies after lies and then gets mad when we catch them I am just so sick of the way the are able to run this business whatever it is. I know they dont have the better interest of the child whatsoever and I didnt understand what it really was till now MONEY its always about money this whole world is about money evrything from corrupt police officers to corrupt businesses you cant trust anyone these days. It is not fair that they are getting away with this and because its the state people look away. I know we mad a mistake and we are doing everything we can to get better and prove to our kids that we have changed for them and that we are sorry. but dcyf looks right through that. I just wish there was more we could do I dont want to miss anymore of my kids lives. they even give us a hard time about visitations we want more shouldnt that be a good thing in there eyes no of course not.Everytime we have a question for our case worker we get yelled at and lied too. its just funny how they try to keep our kids away from us for what we did wrong but dcyf has made plenty of mistakes and are still up and running no one took their business away from them for there mistakes its just plain and simple not fair. the system is corrupt and we need to get to the bottom of it somewhere somehow fast because dcyf is no better and in some cases even worse then most of us who are involved with them. they want us to change so badly what about them. what is this world coming too. ahhhh its just stressful and fustrating and thats what the feene off of.


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