This article is wrong on so many levels. The author of this article states that the letter of the law is followed when children are taken. She also says that caseworkers don’t have the ability to snatch children without a signed order from the judge.
There are so many things wrong it is almost laughable.
To begin with children are snatched daily just on the word of a caseworker and we know they lie. It has been proven over and over again. The Bahrona Case is a prime example the caseworker and guardian et libum both stated there was no family trying to get the children when in fact the Aunt and Uncle in Texas had been trying almost since day one. They had even written the judge several times.
The next dumb statement is that the letter of the law is followed- really! Parents are denied their constitutional rights on every level, Their 4th, 6th, and 1st rights under the Constitution are violated from the get go. Parents are threatened, harrassed and abused by CPS from day one.
They are considered guilty before they ever get in front of a biased judge who also stands to gain under Title IV funding.
Maura Corrigan can try to spin this anyway she wants to- it still walks like a duck- looks like a duck and smells like a duck. In other words children are stolen for profit on a daily basis especially since the economy is in the tank. Parents are charged with deprivation and neglect which are criminal charges but yet they are never charged criminally- if they were the case would be open as it would be in criminal court. We who are fighting this corrupt system know they all including the judges work under the veil of secreacy in order to be able to steal children for profit. Ms. Corrigan needs to quit while she is still ahead. Before she gets in over her head.
BY MAURA D. CORRIGAN
DETROIT FREE PRESS GUEST WRITER
Issues of child welfare have dominated the headlines in the past few months. As the current director of the Department of Human Services and a former justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, I appreciate any spotlight on the plight of our state’s most vulnerable children. But if we are all to work together to protect children and ensure that they are living in safe and stable homes, we must understand the system in place to protect them.
Contrary to popular belief, our Child Protective Services caseworkers do not decide on their own to remove children from their homes. Only judges can issue orders removing children from their homes; such orders are issued only in the most extreme circumstances.
In fact, fewer than 8% of the cases investigated by CPS in 2010 result in children being placed in another home to protect their safety. Law enforcement sometimes removes children from home in emergencies to protect them from immediate threats of harm. In those situations, CPS still must obtain a court order before accepting the child from law enforcement for purposes of placement in a safe home.
A dramatic picture is often painted of parents being caught unaware when their child is to be removed from the home. Sometimes the parents cannot be provided advance notice of an order of removal, as it may threaten the safety of the child.
Both the parents and the child are represented by an attorney before the judge when the case is being weighed. The parents’ attorney is responsible for bringing to light relevant facts, and only when all the evidence is considered will a judge make the determination whether to place a child away from his or her home.
The best place for children is with their own families. Many programs are in place to help parents acquire the skills they need to care for their children — and these are the most prescribed actions when dealing with child abuse and neglect cases. But in that small percentage of cases where children are unsafe or at imminent risk of harm, we must take action to find a safe haven.
Under Michigan law, DHS is bound to protect the privacy of the children in our care. We cannot share the background that led to our actions or the facts that would make the court’s decision to remove a child clear. This can lead to the perpetuation of misinformation and/or a mischaracterization of the actions taken in a case. Sadly, our social workers who are so committed that they are willing to face horrors each day to protect children are demonized.
A child’s welfare is first and foremost the responsibility of the family. But when a family is unable, or unwilling, to care for their children, the courts, law enforcement, community partners and DHS all share responsibility for ensuring that children are safe and that families receive the support and services needed to achieve successful reunification.
Maura D. Corrigan became the director of the Michigan Department of Human Services in January and is a former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice.