Today has been a very interesting day. Those who think this blog does not reach out and touch others think again. Every day someone else finds this blog and learns something.
Case in point today I received a phone call from a very nice woman from Brooklyn New York by the name of Deoth Woodburn. She has been dealing with Dade County Florida DFCS since 1998.
The back story is this. She was given custody of her neice who has special needs. She was five years old at the time. She is now seventeen years old. Her neice was brought to her in New York and has not been back to Dade county since that day. Here is where it gets really interesting.
The story of the corruption lies and fraud by Dade County DFCS start in 1998.
Deotha’s neice Soung Sung Lanaza was placed with her maternal aunt. Soung’s mother was Deotha’s sister. When she was placed in Deotha’s home there was a letter written to Mr. Jack Waters with the Florida Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children stating that Deotha would recieve the basic Florida payment for her care. In addition to that she would receive Medicad and was to apply for SSI for her Neice.
On Feburary 25,2002 the 11th Circuit Court of Miami Dade County Juvenile Dependancy Division closed the case stating that ” The child has been with her maternal aunt in New York since 1999 (August 1) and is doing well. The court orders that the case be closed and long term supervision be granted to the maternal aunt.”
This was signed by Karen Hallman the General Master aka the Juvenile Judge.
All appeared to be moving along well with Soung – the case was closed Deotha was working with her neice, she was getting the Foster Parents funds and the SSI for Soung.
New York DFCS kept coming to the house to make sure things were as they should be. However, once the case was closed they should have stopped coming to the house. However, Florida DFCS never moved the case to New York. Deotha’s checks continued to come from Florida. The reason is if they had transfered the case they would have lost Federal Funding. Because of that New York had no clue that the case had been closed. Deotha told the New York Case worker many times it had been closed and they needed to take it up with Miami Dade County.
In the meantime on July 2002 Deotha was sent a letter by the Social Security Administration stating that her Neice’s payee would be changed to someone else. That payee was listed as “Our Kids of Miami -Dade/ Monroe Inc. This organization is a non profit private organization which took over the “custodial” duties of DFCS. Some of the caseworkers who worked in the Miami Dade DFCS worked for this organization. In essence they were double dipping.
A Request to be Selected as Payee dated January 23,2008 was sent to Social Security
it stated that ” Soung Sung Lanaza has no living parents, has not relatives or close friends who live or are interested in being her representative payee (remember she has been living with her Aunt since 1998) and does not have a legal guardian. However, under the statutes in Florida is a relative has custody of a child they have the same legal rights as a parent or guardian. So Soung had a relative as well as a guardian as payee.
The document goes on to say that Soung lives in New York. This is a clear case of Fraud in that Soung did not reside in Florida and she did have a relative who not only was her payee but had custody of the child. And the second part of this was the case had been closed since 2002.
On Jan 23,2008 Social Security sent a letter to Our Kids letting them know they had received the request for change of payee and again wanted to make sure they were not perjurying themselves which they were.
To add to this insanity and fraud, after Miami Dade County closed the case in 2002- they reopened it again one month later with a new case number. Why? The reason is simple in order to file for her social security and to keep receiving federal funding they had to reopen it. Soung didn’t live in Florida if a new case needed to be opened it should have been opened in New York.
On June 6,2009, Our Kids of Miami- Dade sent a report to Social Security showing where the money went that they received as the payee of Soung. It lists that for food and housing they spent 10,712 and for her savings they put away 1,301. They couldn’t have accomplished this act because she didn’t live in Florida she lived in New York and never stepped back into Miami Dade after she left in 1999. The question is where did this money go and why was it not sent to Deotha.
This is where it really gets fun on Jan 12,2010 Circuit Judge Mari Sampedro Iglesla signed off on a hearing in her court which Miami Dade DFCS was involved in. The determination was this, “This cause came before the court 1/12/10 Before the court were Bernadette Hams, KHV, C Graham, esq CLS, “Having heard from all before the court, finds and orders Deotha Woodburn, custodian must allow case manager to enter her home if custodian refuses to allow the case manager to enter the home then law enforcement will enter the home. Custodian has refused to allow casemanager to enter her home.”
Again, fraud on Miami Dade DFCS part, both Deotha and Soung were still in New York. How can a judge give that kind of judgement when they are in a state 3000 miles away? DFCS never told her that Deotha and Soung were not in Florida.
Deotha receives an email from the case worker in New York who has been working with her to see why Florida never sent the paper work stating the case had been closed. The email stated ” This comes as a follow up to our conversation on 3/18/10 in reference t odiscontinuing supervision for the foster child in your home. As we discussed in the last four months our office as made numerous requests throug the NYS ICPC office at Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) for legal documentation supporting Soung Sung’s placement in foster care through the State of Florida.
To date, we have not receive any lega docuemnt from the State of Florida to indicate that Soung Soung is in their legal custody. The most recent communication from the NYS ICPC office indicates that this office can move forward to close this case.
However, during our conversation you assured me that you will contact Soung Soung social worker at YAI for assistance in rectifying her Medicad Situation.
In the meantime I will make one last attempt to obtain the necessary court documents from the Florida local agency in charge of this case, KIDS UNITED, prior to moving forward with closing the case.
If our efforts fail, this case will be closed by the end of the month. This office will notify you and provide additional referrals for services as needed.”
Now on the heels of what happend this weekend with the death of one child and the attempted murder of another in an adoptive home which CPS placed these children, this flies in the face of fraud, lies and coverup. This is just the tip of the iceberg of corruption in CPS and it is not just in the state of Florida it is nationwide. It is time to bring them down.
Once again I have it on excellent authority that collusion is the norm in Jackson County DFCS. It is amazing how I find out things when it is all supposed to be secret. But that is the problem with secrecy it does come to the light.
Today I found out that Deidra Sands a guardian et libum who is involved with Autumn Destiny DeShawna Thaomason, Sara Louvelle Texanna and Karly Nicole Wilfawn and Donna Webb who is their foster care provider are in bed together (in the figurative sense). It appears that Deidra and Donna have a system worked out where Donna helps snatch children for Donna to care for and get the money.
Now that in itself would appear to be impossible, however, it isn’t. Again due to my sources I found out Donna who is a stay at home mom makes between $150,000.00 and 174,000.00 per year. Would someone please tell me how that is possible if one is not employed. Her husband only makes between 32 and 40K a year. These people just recently built a new house in Madison County and moved from their old house which was 864 square feet with one bathroom. They have six foster children who live in this house.The children are stacked up like cordwood, but yet Samantha is told she must have a bedroom for each child.
The new house was bought using and paid off off the backs of these foster children.
Jackson County is a small county and most of the people who live there know each other – are related to each other – or socialize with each other. So it is a great way to “find a way to earn extra money” aka stolen children. Deirdre also makes money off the girls 5.” Compensation. O.C.G.A. §15-11-8(4) “Reasonable compensation for a guardian ad litem” [shall be a charge upon the funds of the county upon
certification thereof by the court]. In paternity actions, O.C.G.A. §19-7-44http://legal-forms.laws.com/georgia/guardian-ad-litem
provides that “payment of the guardian ad litem shall be as ordered by the court.”
Deidra Sands has done everything she knows how to keep the three girls away from their mother. She has belittled Samantha, talked bad about her, tried to influence Judge Guidry, verably abused Samantha and even said the children don’t want to be with their mother. All of this so she keep the girls in Donna’s care.
According to my sources this is not the first time she and Donna have colluded. Apparently they know each other very well.
According to the job description of a Guardian et Lidum they are not supposed to curry favor for anyone. They are supposed to be impartial, however, that is not happening in the county.
The system is broken there is now one watching the watchers, there is no one making sure that parents are not railroaded and families destroyed all because stealing children for profit has become a money making business. The losers are the families and their children. It is all in black and white.
It is time to give these girls back to their mother it is time to put the brakes on and it is way past time to stop the corruption that is an epedimic in this county. It is time for an investigation into the corruption and cronyism that is taking over.
Office of Children and Family Services
Adoption Subsidy Program
The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) oversees the State’s Adoption Subsidy Program, in which monthly subsidy payments are made to the adoptive parents of hard-to-place or handicapped children. We reviewed a sample of such payments and found that they were adequately supported and in compliance with governing regulations. However, we also identified $214,143 in payments that appeared to be inappropriate: $180,783 that was paid to provide support for 22 children who were reported as being deceased by various government records and $33,360 that was paid to a household after the adopted person had turned 21 and the payments should therefore have ceased. We recommended that the inappropriate payments be recovered and improvements be made in certain OCFS practices.
For a complete copy of Report 2008-S-106
It is time for parents to remove the hand of Child Protective Services from their mouths. It is time for you as parents to stop living in FEAR of them. They use threats, abuse and intimidation to keep you quiet. They use the “It will hurt your case” if you speak out. I know they do this because Jackson County Georgia, DFCS has used it against Samantha. They have told her she can’t take pictures of her children at visitation because of this blog, they have told her she can’t talk to me becuase of this blog. They don’t want the facts known. They have told her that I am hurting her case.
People, that is as blanant a lie as one can tell. The only thing I am hurting is their cash cow. The only thing I am hurting is the fact that they are going to have a problem operating under the cover of deceit and lies and secrecy.
I get emails from parents all the time telling me they can’t use their name because they have been told it will hurt their case. Stop believing that lie. Stop being abused. Believe me- they don’t want you to talk. I know they promise you little carrots if you comply. The big picture is this no matter what you do, they will sell your children. They will get money for them and you will lose your rights.
This is the very reason, CPS preys like preditors on those who are vulnerable, who have already been hurt, and abused. Who are afraid to speak out. Who can be controlled. You as a parent who has lost a child by CPS are not in control they are. Trust me. They know how to play the game, they make the rules and you follow them blindly. It is time to step up. If you are really tired of the abuse and you really want to fight for your children it is time to stand up and be counted.
Do NOT and I repeat DO NOT trust anything they tell you. Their intention is not for you to get your children back no matter what you do – Their intention is to Adopt out your child for the grand amount of up to $80000.00 in their coffers. If you haven’t read this entire blog you should do so. All the facts are there. The facts come from the IRS, CPS manuals, former caseworkers, and other resources.
The bottom line is how bad do you really want to fight the corruption, the greed and the abuse of CPS. How bad do you want you child not to be one of the 2/3rds of foster children who wind up in the Criminal Justice system when they age out. How many of you really don’t want your chid adopted out – fostered out and abused in those homes and thereby becoming abusers or worse themselves?
This abuse, greed and corrpution by CPS doesn’t olny affect you and your child, it will affect generations to come. The cycle will continue. The abuse will continue. It is time to put the accountablity where it belongs on the backs of CPS. It is time to take a stand. If you decide you are not afraid to stand up and be counted contact me. Become part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Even though my daughter Alice Samantha Thomason is still afraid, she has taken a stand, she has made a conscious decision to speak out, to let the world know that Jackson County DFCS is greedy, corpupt and abusive. So does she have to stand alone? Does she have to fight this war of greed, corruption and abuse alone? No she has me and I will not rest until it is fixed. I will go to the wall for her and for the rest of you. But you have to step into the light and out of the darkness and fear. They can’t hurt you when you are in the light.
Rabun DFCS crisis timeline
Thursday, June 8, 2006 9:32 AM EDT
The Rabun County Department of Family and Children Services became the target of a state investigation in December. The Tribune first began hearing complaints about DFCS two years ago. A timeline of how things progressed, at least as far as news coverage is concerned, is listed below:
� April 22, 2004 – A man whose two young children were taken into state custody questioned the authenticity of verbal court orders. Director Linda Gragg said her agency would do its best to have written orders in hand before involving officers when picking up children.
� July 28, 2005 – Donna Terry, a DFCS liaison for the sheriff’s office, took out a reckless conduct warrant against case worker Melinda “Mindy” McCoy after the latter didn’t remove children from a home Terry deemed to have substandard living conditions. Chief Deputy Mike Carnes refused to serve it, and the warrant was dismissed at a prewarrant hearing. Terry testified she didn’t go inside the residence on the day specified on the warrant; the children were staying with a relative down the street. She went to the residence in question with Andrea Phelps, an employee of Creative Consulting Services of Northeast Georgia Inc., to conduct a drug test. McCoy, an 18-year employee, was placed on paid leave after Phelps and Terry reported the situation to a DFCS supervisor. The fallout from the disagreement over a seemingly discretionary matter served as a watershed event by drawing attention to how the agency and its drug-testing contractor operated.
� Aug. 4, 2005 – Law enforcement officials met with DFCS workers in an attempt to iron out differences in how each agency needed to work together. DFCS was requesting officers to accompany them on up to 10 calls a night. The backlog occurred, in part, because Terry, a full-time Clayton police officer, was removed from her duties as a DFCS liaison for the sheriff’s office. Deputy Cary Brown questioned why he needed to go on calls in which drug samples were being obtained. Gragg said her office had the highest number of referrals in her 23 years as an employee; she also was one case worker short because McCoy was on paid leave.
� Aug. 4, 2005 – A Tribune editorial raised questions about potential conflicts involving businesses DFCS has contracts with, including the drug testing company. “A question exists whether people related to a (DFCS) employee should be allowed to provide such services,” the editorial charged. Gragg said nepotism rules only covered those within the agency and those who are dependents on an employee’s tax return. The Georgia Department of Human Resources, which oversees DFCS, was asked for an opinion on the matter.
� Aug. 18, 2005 – McCoy, a case worker for 18 years, was fired by Gragg. McCoy said she wasn’t given a reason for her termination. Her lawyer, Brian Rickman, said she was fired for voicing concerns to DHR about how the agency was being run.
� Dec. 8, 2005 – State Sen. Nancy Schaefer announces her plans in holding a forum for people to air complaints about the local office. Rickman said his office was receiving calls from people unhappy with DFCS at least every other day. He also said a common complaint stemmed from the perception of “a significant conflict of interest with personnel at DFCS and personnel who assist with DFCS.” Seven people came to The Tribune to announce they had started a petition drive for people unhappy with DFCS.
� Dec. 15, 2005 – Schaefer and Rickman said they were receiving an even higher number of calls from people dissatisfied with DFCS.
� Dec. 22, 2005 – Schaefer secures plans to hold her forum Jan. 3 at the Rabun County Library. She would be joined by state DFCS Director Mary Dean Harvey. Lawyer Michael Cummings detailed the conflict of interest concerning Creative Consulting by referring to a September deposition he conducted. Case worker Nicole Allen testified that her mother, Judith Mendoza, her sister, Andrea Phelps, and her friend, Terry, worked for the company. She also admitted she lived with her mother and Terry and denied any money from the drug screening business went toward house payments. Gragg said she had researched the conflict “from top to bottom, and there’s no conflict.” Cummings said: “That is all a gross conflict of interest that is as glaring as the sun, and somebody needs to recognize that. If the state office can’t figure that out, there’s no help for them.”
� Dec. 29, 2005 – A Tribune editorial praised Schaefer for organizing the forum for people who felt they had been taken advantage of by DFCS. “While it’s difficult to judge the merits of individual cases, the sheer volume of complaints is cause for alarm.”
� Jan. 5 – Harvey and Schaefer heard complaints from three dozen people, some of whom waited in line for hours at the library. Those unloading complaints did it behind closed doors. Leslie Joiner and her daughter, Amber Fountain, drove up from Florida to explain their three-year battle in trying to get custody of Joiner’s grandchildren. The children, 3 years and 7 weeks, were taken based on an anonymous complaint that was never verified. It was this case, called a “legal kidnapping” by Joiner’s lawyer in an October hearing, that piqued Schaefer’s interest in DFCS. DHR investigator Carol Durham told Rickman she was looking into the conflict issue.
� Jan. 5 – A Tribune editorial praised Harvey for coming to Rabun and criticized her for not allowing a reporter to be present at the forum. “For healing to occur, Harvey needs to understand that the public’s trust has been shaken locally. If the relationship is to improve, light needs to be shed upon aspects of the agency’s operation.”
� Jan. 12 – Gragg was reassigned to another DFCS office, and Harvey severed ties with Creative Consulting. Regional Director Sid Jessup was assigned to oversee the local office, and State Social Services Director Wilfred Hamm was sent to Rabun to look into “operational procedures.” Harvey confirmed that DHR opened an investigation in the fall. She also confirmed that the drug testing company had been getting paid on a per-test basis. “My jaw dropped when I heard that because that clearly creates a serious problem,” Rickman said. He also said people reported being tested multiple times and that testing continued even after results showed no drug usage. Harvey said she was “saddened” by what she heard at the forum. Schaefer said she was “stunned” about what she heard. The situation had gotten the attention of Gov. Sonny Perdue.
� Jan. 19 – Harvey visited The Tribune to discuss ongoing changes to ensure the Rabun office delivered quality services. The ongoing investigation had no timeline. In her strongest language yet, Schaefer said “DFCS has got to work to unite families, not obliterate families. What we saw on that Tuesday (Jan. 3) were many families that had been obliterated.”
� Jan. 19 – A Tribune editorial asked people to be patient and give the state agency a chance to clean up its own mess. “(W)e all need a strong office that seeks the community’s trust.” It also pointed to Juvenile Judge Joanna Temple’s validation of verbal orders as the initial source of the problems.
� Feb. 2 – Four DFCS workers, Gragg, Allen, Sonya Neely and Sabrina Ritchie, were suspended with pay. DHR inspector Alan Tennant said he was returning to Rabun to continue his investigation. Schaefer suggested for completely new staff to be brought in to run the office. She was still getting calls from families unhappy about their cases.
� Feb. 23 – Based on records obtained through the Open Records Act, The Tribune reported that the Rabun office paid Creative Consulting more than $82,000 for conducting drug screens between January 2005 and Jan. 23. Rickman, Cummings and Richard Tunkle accused the company of excessive testing for profit. An e-mail McCoy sent to the state about the time she was suspended showed she had lodged a complaint detailing abuses that had been the source of most of the complaints about DFCS. “Children are removed in the county if the parents refuse a drug screen or if their home is dirty,” she wrote. Tunkle said everyone in the county who had to take a drug test for Allen had a claim in a class action lawsuit against the state based on conflict of interest, invasion of privacy and fraud. DHR human resources manager Rebecca Burton wrote that statements from Phelps – an employee of Creative Consulting – were used in the decision to fire McCoy. Rickman said he was giving “heavy consideration” to filing a wrongful termination lawsuit on behalf of McCoy.
� March 2 – Jessup asked the Rabun County Board of Commissioners for $23,793 in additional county funding for the current fiscal year to account for a 40 percent increase in the number of children entering foster care. Rabun had 56 children in foster care.
� March 9 – The five-member DFCS board oversees the spending of the county’s tax dollars. The board is asking the county for $80,500 for fiscal year 2007, a 54 percent increase over the 2006 request. It also represented the first substantial increase in more than eight years.