Monday, September 5, 2016

Children are taken into care because parents don’t know their legal rights

We often tell parents "If you don't know your rights, you have none"
Here are thoughts from one with similar ideas from the UK.


 Please note, it does not matter what nation one may be in since the tactics are often similar.
Read On,
Granpa Chuck>>>


Children are taken into care because parents don’t know their legal rights, says Merseyside lawyer
Andrew Perrigo, a partner at Morecrofts Solicitors, is warning that parents and social workers need a better understanding of the law when it comes to children being taken into care

Andrew Perrigo said that parents are being made to feel like they have "no choice" but to give consent for their children to be taken away

Andrew Perrigo, a partner at Morecrofts Solicitors, is warning that parents and social workers need a better understanding of the law when it comes to children being taken into care



Children are taken into care because their parents don’t know enough about their legal rights, a leading Merseyside care lawyer has warned.
Andrew Perrigo, a partner at Morecrofts Solicitors in Birkenhead, said that parents are being made to feel like they have “no choice” but to give consent for their children to be taken away.

He said this is because social workers are misusing Section 20 of the Children Act 1989, which outlines their duty to provide a child with somewhere to live because the child does not currently have a home, or a safe home.

Mr Perrigo warned that families are being split up unnecessarily as a result.

He said: “Part of the problem is that parents just aren’t aware of their rights. They are often asked to sign Section 20 agreements but what is often poorly communicated by the social workers is that this agreement requires their consent.

“Parents do not have to agree – yet they are made to feel they have no choice.”

Mr Perrigo urged any parent or carer to call his firm’s free hotline for legal advice before signing anything or giving consent.

Last week Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division, said local authorities have been condemned for misusing the act and spoke of a case where a mother and daughter were awarded record damages.

Mr Perrigo said: “Sir James Munby has made it clear that social workers and local authorities need to better understand the law and operate within its parameters, but while that goes some way to solve this problem, we also need more educated parents who know their rights.

“Perhaps if we have more parents questioning the use of a Section 20 and seeking legal advice as soon as the idea is tabled, then its misuse would decrease and parties would have to consider other options.

“As it stands Section 20 consents can be used to bypass the local authorities’ need to go before the court for a care order.

“The fear is that it’s being used as a back-door route to place children in care and a lengthy prelude to care proceedings.

“Used wrongly and it splits families up, sometimes needlessly and for excessively long periods and denies courts full control over proceedings.

“This will inevitably result in delays and compensation claims potentially in the millions.”

To seek legal advice, call Morecrofts Solicitors’ free hotline on 0151 668 0296.

~~~~~~~~~

Katie Strick

Katie Strick

Daily Mail trainee currently working at the Echo. Previously studied newspaper journalism at City University, London. Covering news and human interest stories.

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Researcher, Editor, Publisher, Collector




Thursday, September 1, 2016

CA: Miranda Rights for those 18 years or younger.

Chuck,
Thank you for raising your voice and making a difference. After hundreds of phone calls and advocacy from partners and allies like you, Senate Bill 1052—a bill that requires youth under the age of 18 to consult with legal counsel before they give up their constitutional Miranda rights—passed both houses of the California Legislature!

There’s only one more step needed to establish a critical safeguard for our youth: the Governor’s signature. Will you speak up to urge Governor Brown to sign SB 1052 into law?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Link to bill: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB1052 

Introduction:
SB 1052, as amended, Lara. Custodial interrogation: juveniles.

Existing law authorizes a peace officer to take a minor into temporary custody when that officer has reasonable cause to believe that the minor has committed a crime or violated an order of the juvenile court. In these circumstances, existing law requires the peace officer to advise the minor that anything he or she says can be used against him or her, that he or she has the right to remain silent, that he or she has a right to have counsel present during any interrogation, and that he or she has a right to have counsel appointed if he or she is unable to afford counsel.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Currently in California, children—no matter how young— can waive their Miranda rights without truly understanding them. Research demonstrates that young people often don’t comprehend the meaning of Miranda rights like the right against self-incrimination and the right to an attorney.

Youth are also much more likely than adults to waive their Miranda rights and confess to crimes they did not commit. (Note: Actually MANY adults are not aware of their Miranda rights; and rights to privacy.)

Ensuring that youth understand their rights protects our youth and the integrity of our juvenile justice system. Urge Governor Brown to sign SB 1052 into law with a personal letter.

In solidarity,

Patricia Soung
Senior Staff Attorney | Children's Defense Fund - California
Dominique D. Nong
Senior Policy Associate | Children's Defense Fund - California
 

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Can foster parents and birth parents successfully co-parent?


How can foster parents and birth parents successfully co-parent?It can be quite difficult having a foster child in your home. He or she may have been placed in your home because of abuse or neglect from his family. Perhaps he was in danger from parents who were abusing themselves. Whatever the reason for his placement into the child welfare’s custody, your foster child has most likely come to you with some emotional problems and is struggling with the loss of his family.
As a foster parent, it is part of your job to help your foster child deal with these issues, and help him adjust to his new environment, as well as develop a positive and loving relationship with him.

However, there is another part of your role as a foster parent that can be extremely difficult: co-parenting. When a foster parent shares the nurturing of a foster child alongside the birth parents and caseworker, reunification tends to happen at a quicker and more successful rate. Co-parenting sees you, as a foster parent, working alongside the biological parents of the child living under your roof and with your family. This may be the more difficult part of your job. Not only will the foster child benefit from this improved relationship, but hopefully, the biological parents will also benefit as they learn positive parenting skills from the foster parents.

There are a number of strategies that will reduce the stress that you, as a foster parent, can use when working with birth parents.

Do

Do be a role model

As a foster parent, you will be a role model for countless people, as many eyes will be upon you. Not only will you be a role model for your foster children, but for the public as a whole. Foster parenting will be on display for all to see as you undertake your role as a foster parent. Perhaps others will be impressed by your role and will wish to become a foster parent, or in the very least, help out.
For birth parents and family members, you might be the best example of a good parent. Everything you do as a foster parent will send signals to the biological parents on how a parent should act, as well as how to treat their own children. When your foster child meets with his birth parents for visitations, he should be well dressed, clean, healthy and looking his best. His hair should be combed with nails cut.
After all, you are sending a message that he is worthy of your best attention and care.

Do answer questions honestly

Upon meeting the birth parents for the first time, there are bound to be questions from both you and the birth parents. Your foster child’s family members will want to know what kind of family their child is living with, what his home life will be like, if he is being taken care of and many other concerns. After all, their child has been taken away from them, against their wishes, and placed in a strange home. They will have many concerns and may not be as courteous as you might like.
Be prepared for them to be hostile, rude, angry or even distant. Remember that they are hurting and have been through a traumatic experience with the removal of their child. Respectfully encourage them to ask you as many questions as they would like. It is important that you answer their questions as honestly and openly as possible, treating them with the utmost integrity, kindness and politeness. Remember that you are modeling good adult behavior to them, as well as to your foster child.

Do ask about their child

Your foster child’s biological parents and family members will know him better than anyone. And your meeting with them will offer you the opportunity to learn a great deal about him, as well as acquire important information you might need. A list of prepared questions will help you gather the information you need.
When you ask questions about their child, you are showing the birth parents that you are interested in him and his well being. By indicating with your questions that his parents are the experts, you will begin to form a relationship, one that will benefit all involved.

Don't

Do not pass judgement

Maybe you disagree with their parenting style. Maybe their morals and values differ completely from yours. Maybe they have said mean things to you. But it is vital that you do not prejudge them before you meet them.
Consider that many biological parents of foster children were abused themselves, and they know no other way when raising children. Also disturbing is that some birth parents were foster children and are just repeating the cycle they went through as a child. Certainly, there are reasons why their children are in care that we may never understand. Not only can we stay positive and keep a good attitude, we can also treat our foster child’s birth parents with the same dignity, respect and kindness that we would want displayed towards the children, or towards us.

Do not ignore them

Your foster child’s family will likely be very curious about you. If they have not already asked questions about you and your family, take time to share with them some information. Let them know that you are excited to have their child in your home for the time being. Tell them about some of the traditions in your home. Reassure them that their child will not only be safe in your home, but will be cared for and given plenty of positive attention. The more assurance birth parents have that their child is in a good home, the better the relationship will be between the two of you.

Do not be unprepared for visitations

For foster children, visitations have many positive attributes. To begin with, your foster child’s visit with his biological family members will likely reduce his sense of abandonment by them. Hopefully, his sense of self-worth and importance will be bolstered, as he feels reassured that his parents will continue to love him, something he may very well doubt and struggle with internally.
By expressing his feelings to them, he may continue to heal emotionally. His birth parents may also reassure him that he is in a good home with you, and that he needs to listen to you and follow your rules, thus strengthening his own relationship with you. In fact, the children who visit with their birth parents on a regular basis are less likely to exhibit behavioral problems in your home and in school. As their level of anxiety decreases, they will become better adjusted to placement within your family.

Summary
Jumping cartoon
As a foster parent, it is crucial to remember that your foster child’s biological parents are people in need. There are reasons why their child is in foster care and under your supervision. These parents may lash out at you and the caseworker. They may have treated their own child in cruel and horrible ways. Yet, they still deserve your kindness and sympathy, not your anger. By working with them and showing them kindness and compassion, you will not only help them, but you will also teach your foster child an important lesson in love and humanity.

More expert advice about Adoption and Foster Care
Photo Credits:  Save Download Preview Happy Mixed Race Family with... by Andy Dean Photography via BigSto; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

In defense of Parents in the Child Welfare System


henry haslam


connie
This says is all…>>>

Thoughts by Connie Reguli:

In 1997 Pres. Bill Clinton, with the acknowledged assistance of his wife Hillary Clinton, signed the
Adoption and Safe Families Act, also known as ASFA.
In essence, this legislation put a price tag on the head of every child that came into contact with the child welfare agencies across this nation.

This was a knee-jerk response to the decades of lost children in the child welfare system which had resulted in class action lawsuits in several states, including the Brian A class-action in the state of Tennessee in 1994.

When the federal courts determined that the child welfare agencies had lost children in the system, the federal government reacted by determining that a quick transition for children from foster care into new adoptive homes would be the solution. To promote compliance with its agenda, the federal government put a bonus check on every child for being adopted into a home of strangers.
  • On the surface this seemed like a resolution to a problem that had evolved over three decades of the government’s attempt to manage child safety through a government agency.
 Instead, it became a marketing frontier for the state agencies and for private contractors to remove children from homes and to engineer a new environment and a new family structure for children.
These funds are derived from the Social Security Act Title IV E funding that has driven the child welfare system for now more than 20 years. This bonus system which started as a $4000 reward for the finalization of an adoption has burgeoned into an entitlement program which now exceeds the foster care program by nearly double.

It is not only the child welfare agencies that have benefited from this financial strategy. What is developed over two decades is an entire system of government sanctioned child trafficking.
How does this affect indigency in the dependency actions brought in the juvenile court system of Tennessee?
  • On the surface, it would seem that attorneys who are appointed to defend the constitutionally protected rights of parents and the safety and welfare of children, would do their best to defend family integrity while rehabilitating and re-unifying families in need.
Unfortunately the opposite has occurred.

In a dependency action brought under Title 37 of the Tennessee Code the parents are entitled to a court-appointed attorney if they are indigent. Under Tennessee Supreme Court rule 13 these funds are limited to a compensation of $750 unless the attorney is able to get the court to sign an order that the case is “extended and complex.”  Under the circumstances and attorney is able to claim $1500 from the administrative office of the courts.

In addition, from the same pool of attorneys, the courts will select attorneys to serve in the capacity of Guardian ad litem under Title 37.  Under this provision, the attorneys are subject to the same compensation schedule.

These attorneys are often new and naive in the practice of law.  They are fighting against the sophisticated legal staff of the state of Tennessee Department of children services. In the event of appeal, they are now faced with the overwhelming battle against the resources of the Tennessee Atty. Gen.’s office.

Even this does not touch on counsel’s responsibility to advocate for these parents and children through the course of the DCS reunification and investigation process. What this means is counsel is often faced with the task of attending meeting after meeting after meeting. Ultimately the attorneys become exhausted with the process and spend little time in the real defense of their clients.
These issues are sad but true.

In the past 18 months two important cases have been ruled upon by the Tennessee Supreme Court affecting the rights of parents and making effective counsel at the trial court level more important than ever.
  1. In January 2015, the Supreme Court entered an opinion in In re Kaliyah.  In this case the court determined that the STATE was not required to show that reasonable efforts had been made to reunite a family in a termination of parental rights proceeding. This means that a parent’s attorney must be vigilant in making sure that the state has complied with the reasonable efforts requirement in the dependency proceeding. The requirement of reasonable efforts is not merely a state requirement, it is the basis of the federal funds received by the state upon which the agency depends to balance its budget.  As an attorney who defends the right to parent, the removal of the reasonable efforts requirement in a termination of parental rights proceeding is devastating.
  2. In January 2016, another blow came to parents in the Tennessee Spreme Court decision of In re Carrington. In this case a brave mother had presented her case to the Tennessee Supreme Court in stating that her counsel had not properly represented her in the trial court action. The Tennessee Supreme Court considered the issue important enough to be accepted for review and appointed counsel for the process of briefing. The result to parents is devastating. The Tennessee Supreme Court has effectively ruled that any deficiency in the trial court level can be cured by the Court of Appeals reviewing the entire record and every conclusion in the trial court order regardless of whether that issue is briefed by the parents counsel. This totally ignores the deficiency of counsel at the trial court level who are not trained and are overwhelmed by the resources of the state.
In addition it cannot be ignored that the Council who rotate through the juvenile courts taking appointments as their main source of income are reluctant to defeat the state child welfare agencies or displease the juvenile court judges by causing long and protracted litigation and often fall on the sword, or rather cast their client upon the sword of dependency Court, telling the parents they can never beat the State.  Or bargaining away their due process rights with the promise of reunification.  Giving the STATE agency a “WIN” against the parent.

What evidence do I have that this occurs? Let me tell you about Evelyn. Evelyn and her family are victims of the child welfare system. In 2014 a child welfare service worker came to her home. Evelyn was upset and angry about the intrusion. She got in her car and backed out of her drive and collided with the DCS worker’s car. The DCS worker called the police who came to the home of Evelyn, went inside Evelyn’s home, and then arrested Evelyn within her own home for public intoxication, she was cuffed place in the back of the police car, and her children were stolen and put in foster care because there was no parent available to care for them based solely on the arrest.

Within a month, her court-appointed attorney had convinced Evelyn that she should stipulate that the children were dependent neglect based on this arrest. That was March 2014.  As I stand here today in August 2016, Evelyn is still fighting the Department of children services for the return of her children. A competent attorney would’ve defended her position to have a home in which she could protect her children and bring to the courts attention the illegal arrest.

This is but a mere sample of the tragedies that I have seen in the dependency court system.

Another issue related to indigency and the right to parent is the termination of parental rights based on abandonment for failure to support. Although that is not the subject of this forum, it is a social issue that must be addressed. Poverty is a social issue and not grounds for termination of parental rights.

I have recently defended a parent at multiple court levels for his simple inability to make an income that is satisfactory to the child welfare agency. Even though he admits that he is in need of assistance from his family and doesn’t intend to try to raise the child on his own, the state agency has insisted that he be able to provide his own home, his own utilities, and that he have full-time employment before he can parent his child. This young man who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome does not have a high school diploma, does not have a drivers license, and has been able to maintain employment for more than a few weeks at a time. And yet the state was able to terminate his parental rights forever because he was unable to provide financial support to his child who was in foster care. It is important to note that this father had never abused or harmed or neglected his child AND he attended every visitation he was allowed.

Part of this panels endeavor is to determine where the money will be found for proper representation of parents in the dependency system. And as this process continues, the panel should always consider that it is not just the right to parent, it is the right to familial Association. What that means is that the child as well, has a constitutional right to the generational continuity of family ties.

The panel must understand that the money is already in the system. The job now is to reallocate funds from the distorted and inappropriate bounty placed on each child’s head with the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and to provide those funds as resources that rehabilitate and re-unite families who have been brought into the child welfare system.

Pending before the United States Senate is the Family First Act introduced by Senators Hatch and Wyden. This bill having passed the House of Representatives is now pending before the United States Senate. The goal of this bill is to address and reallocate funding so that children are more able to stay with family and relatives, as opposed to rehoming them into the homes of strangers and social engineering generations to come.
  • We must also be mindful of the conflicts of interest that have been created in the child welfare agency and its contractors.
The child welfare agencies serve TWO antagonistic functions. Their duty is to provide services to families and children that best lend to the welfare and development of children. In addition, they serve as an investigative and prosecutorial arm of the state government for child abuse. These functions cannot coexist in the same agency without conflicts of interest.

Child welfare agencies, including our own Department of Children Services, have contracted with private providers that proclaim to offer services both for foster care and for reunification. This cannot be tolerated. These two service arms are diametrically opposed and cannot come from the same provider network.  This conflict of interest is detrimental to families and does not serve the public interest.

Gov. Haslam appointed James Henry to serve as the commissioner of the Department of children services in 2011. Mr. Henry is the CEO of Omni, the largest private contractor of foster care services in the state of Tennessee. Mr. Henry served in the role as Commissioner from 2011 to 2015 when he was transitioned into the role of Chief of Staff for Gov. Haslam. During the course of his tenure at the Department of children services his company acquired over $200 million from the taxpayers.

  • With no oversight of the Department of children services, the spending by private contractors, or the legal services provided to parents in the dependency system, the system can only fail.
And fail it has.
As leaders of the state and of your communities, you must create alternatives.
  • Number one: all conflicts of interest must be forbidden.
  • Number two: parents must have qualified and competent legal staff to defend proceedings against them, including access to experts, legal professionals, and support staff.
  • Number three: parents must have competent advocates for the process of rehabilitation and reunification. This cannot be substituted by persons who hold themselves out as protecting the best interest of the children. For these entities have lost the perspective of familial integrity and the child’s right to generational family ties.
  • Number four: the state child welfare agencies must have effective oversight and reporting mechanisms available not only by court and supervisors within the system; but the parents and children of the system must have an effective means of reporting their deficiencies and getting resolutions.
  • Number five: there must be a reexamination of the issues of  IMMUNITY, TRANSPARENCY, and DUE PROCESS at every level in the child welfare system.
  • Number six: the funding must change. The Families First Act before the United States Senate is a move in the right direction. Our country has spent 40 years on a social experiment that the government is the best substitute parent for the child. This is false thinking. Families and extended families are the best source of nurturing for children.
Thank you for your time and I would like to introduce you to some victims of the system.
ORIGINAL LINK: https://tennfamilylaw.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/in-defense-of-parents-in-the-child-welfare-system/


 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,GranPa Chuck

Researcher, Editor, Publisher, Collector

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mom Faces Jail Time for Letting Son Play Outside



ParentalRights.org logoSonya Hendren of Sacramento, California, was arrested for letting her four-year-old son play outside. The mother was charged with felony child endangerment and child neglect when a neighbor saw the child outside alone and called Child Protective Services (CPS).
YIPES, Has the CPS gone too far??
Felony Charges for a child playing outside in a GATED community

More thoughts from the Parental Rights Organization to Consider:
-- December 15, 2015
Tomahawk Hendren was playing on a playground inside their gated apartment complex, approximately 120 feet from his front door. But that was too far from his mother, in the opinion of neighbor Sonja Horrell, who placed the call. “How would she feel if he was on an AMBER Alert?” Horrell reportedly asked. “Then what would she be feeling?”
Yet even Horrell did not expect such charges to be filed. “I thought she would just get a warning… and she wouldn’t let them be out alone again,” she told reporters later.
Instead, Hendren faces up to 6 months in jail and 3 years probation. She was offered a plea deal of 30 days in jail and 1 year of probation, but turned it down through her attorney, Sacramento-based Alin Cintean.
The prosecution will have to prove that Hendren willfully placed her son in danger if they want to make the child endangerment and neglect charge stick, Cintean says.
This is not the first time Tomahawk has played outside alone, but it is the first time it has gotten his mother into trouble. “She said he would occasionally go outside, within their gated apartment complex, only to return moments later to tell his mom he was okay,” according to a Fox40 News report. In some communities, letting a child play outside unattended could be a very dangerous decision – but that doesn’t sound like the case in this instance.
The Supreme Court in 1979 stated what was once (and still should be) obvious: “Simply because a decision of a parent…involves risks, does not automatically transfer the power to make that decision to some agency or officer of the state.” Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979)
Whether or not it is safe for a child to play alone outside depends on a wide range of variables which generally parents are best able to gauge for their own families.
In short, CPS’s over-reaction violates Sonya Hendren’s fundamental right to direct the upbringing and care of her son. And it probably will make Sonja Horrell think twice before calling CPS again, too. Her effort to be a good neighbor has led to more than she bargained for.
But this trend toward overreach is only ramping up, not cooling down.
Background Checks for All Parents?
According to a report from HSLDA, Ohio state Senator Capri Cafaro has introduced a bill that would require school officials to conduct a background check on every family enrolling a child in a public or private school. The checks would be to determine whether there is an open or former CPS investigation involving that family. This removes the presumption of innocence while opening CPS records to school officials unnecessarily.
The bill is proposed in response to the tragic death of Teddy Foltz, a child kept from school by his abusive parents. In that case, local CPS workers were aware of the abuse and failed to act in the child’s defense. But a background check such as the proposed would have changed nothing in that instance, since the abusive parents did not register him for school.
The response of CPS workers and lawmakers to treat all parents as suspect is simply unacceptable. As I have quoted many times, the Supreme Court in that Parham decision declared, “The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.”
Children must be protected. But we cannot protect the children whose parents are negligent or abusive by treating all fit parents like criminals. To do so is to sacrifice the principles, freedoms, and ideals on which our nation was founded while distracting social services workers from areas of real need.
The Best Solution to Fight Overreach
The proposed Parental Rights Amendment is the best legal weapon parents can have today to turn back the tide of government overreach. With its passage we can halt the trend of lawmakers and agents to rob parents of the right to make healthy decisions for their children.
You can support this effort by sharing this article with family and friends and urging them to sign up at parentalrights.org/petition. That way they, too, can lend their voices to this vital effort when it’s time to contact lawmakers for parental rights.
You can also support us with a generous gift to parentalrights.org/donate.
However you choose to give – whether it’s your money, your effort, or your time – we thank you for standing with us to restore reason and balance to the laws impacting families in our society.
Sincerely,
Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research


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May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,GranPa Chuck

Researcher, Editor, Publisher, Collector
Click HERE to learn "How To Win In Court" ... without a lawyer

Saturday, November 21, 2015

End of PARENTAL RIGHTS?? Thanks Scalia

The article below was a recent email from the Parental Rights Organization.

Gotta say, Protests won't do it. Complaining about the law and those involved in the legal arena won't do it. 

We ALL MUST keep in mind "It is not about Justice. It is about the Law." PLUS being that One Small Voice and Educating Yourself to counter those that are Acting in the Color of Law.

It's one case at a time, and one precious family at a time.
May you find strength in your Higher Power,
Granpa Chuck
National Coordinator
National Family Advocacy Team. (NFAT)
~~~~email from the Parental Rights Organization~~~~
Scalia Would End Parental Rights
-- November 19, 2015
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, were it left to him, would end the Court’s recognition of parental rights as constitutional rights.Based on remarks he presented to the Georgetown University School of Law this week,

According to an article at Education Week, Scalia told a group of first-year law students that “many important rights are not contained” in the Constitution. “For example,  
my right to raise my children the way I want. To teach them what I want them taught, not what Big Brother says. That is not there.”

Scalia warned that “the notion that everything you care a lot about has to be in the Constitution is a very dangerous notion.” From there he attacked the substantive due process theory on which fundamental parental rights currently rests. “[D]on’t get me started on substantive due process,” he offered.

At least Scalia is consistent. In his dissent in the Supreme Court’s most recent parental rights case, Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), he claimed that “I do not believe that the power which the Constitution confers upon me as a judge entitles me to deny legal effect to laws that (in my view) infringe upon” parental rights (emphasis in original).

In that dissent Scalia admits that he believes parental rights are “among the ‘unalienable rights’ with which the Declaration of Independence proclaims ‘all men…are endowed by their Creator.’ And in [his] view, that right is also among the ‘othe[r] [rights] retained by the people’…” under the Ninth Amendment. Nevertheless, 
he would rob parents of constitutional protection on the basis that the right is implied rather than enumerated in the Constitution.

If this is the position of the Court’s bastion of conservatism, what hope do parents have with its more progressive members?

Scalia’s dissent is not binding. The plurality opinion in Troxel continues to recognize fundamental parental rights established in Meyer v. Nebraska (1923) and Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925). But they denied them the same strict scrutiny protection afforded other fundamental rights.

As a result, parental rights are subjected to the whims of judges on a case by case basis, with different standards applied all across the country.  
Judges must call them “fundamental,” but can treat them however they like.
This is why we need the proposed Parental Rights Amendment (PRA), which will soon be filed in Congress.  

The PRA will restore one high legal standard for parental rights in every courtroom in America, protecting “the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children [as] a fundamental right.”
But we need your help to make it happen.

Will you please consider a special one-time gift of $35, $50, or even $150 to continue ParentalRights.org’s drive to protect parental rights?

We cannot afford for Scalia’s view to continue to spread unchallenged. We cannot afford to see parental rights left to the whims of the same Court that has done so much to erode them in the first place. Even worse, we can’t let them be pushed aside simply because they aren’t spelled out in the black and white of the Constitution’s text.

Your donation today will support our efforts to secure parental rights sponsors on both sides of the congressional aisle.
 With bipartisan support, we can answer Scalia’s challenge by putting parental rights into the text after all.

We must combat Scalia’s message with one of support for traditional parental rights. Can we count on your help today?
Sincerely,
Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

P.S. – If you can’t help today or if you plan to give again, consider “Giving Tuesday,” coming December 1. We know as parents you give every day – especially to your children. If you donate to charity this “Giving Tuesday,” consider helping us give back to you.



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May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,GranPa Chuck
Researcher, Editor, Publisher, Collector
Click HERE to learn "How To Win In Court" ... without a lawyer

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Update: Parental Rights Amendment Inclusive of Parents with Disabilities

The National Family Advocacy Team urges everyone raising children to share this latest article from the Parental Rights Organization.

ParentalRights.org logoRaising children is certainly a challenge for any parent. However, does the Child Protective AGENCY to be CONTINOUSLY reminded that they, the AGENCY are bound through "Reasonable


 
 Efforts" to do so??? (Learn more about "Making Reasonable Efforts"

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Parental Rights Amendment Inclusive of Parents with Disabilities
-- October 27, 2015
From its conception it has been the aim of ParentalRights.org to protect in the text of the Constitution the rights of all parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children. To that end we have just added a new section to the proposed language in order to address an ongoing weakness in the practice of parental rights law.
The new section provides that
 
“The parental rights guaranteed by this article
shall not be denied or abridged on account of disability.”
 
According to a study of the National Council on Disability:
  • parents with disabilities face child removal rates of anywhere from 40 to 80 percent depending on the nature of their disability – far above the national norm.
  • Those who are deaf or blind face “extremely high rates of child removal and loss of parental rights.”
  • The study concludes, “Clearly, the legal system is not protecting the rights of parents with disabilities and their children.”
The proposed Parental Rights Amendment offers the opportunity to address and correct this wrong, and the addition of this new language makes clear our intention to do just that.
 
This is more than an opportunity; it is an obligation.
 
During the 20th Century the Supreme Court developed a doctrine of “protected classes” – special classifications of citizens against whom the government is prohibited from discriminating under the Fourteenth Amendment. Religious groups, racial minorities, and women are all among these “protected classes,” identified through a line of civil rights and anti-discrimination acts dating back to 1964.
 
In its embarrassing eugenics-era Buck v. Bell decision, however, the Court made clear ahead of time that the disabled were not on that list. Their opinion would be horrifyingly offensive to our modern sensibilities:
 
“It is better for all the world,” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote for the 1927 Court, “if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
 
It is easy to dismiss this as a prejudiced view from a less sensitive time. Yet, even with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, this case still hangs over the disabled like the sword of Damocles. It is a precedent that has never been over-turned; the government still retains the power to make decisions for the disabled that it could never make for more mainstream members of society.
In a much different 1979 decision the Court wrote, “The law’s concept of the family… historically…has recognized that natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children….
  • “Simply because the decision of a parent is not agreeable to a child, or because it involves risks, does not automatically transfer the power to make that decision from the parents to some agency or officer of the state.”
Sadly, this legal presumption of parental fitness often fails to serve the parent who suffers a disability.
  •  According to the NCD report, “fully two-thirds of dependency statutes allow the court to reach the determination that a parent is unfit…on the basis of the parent’s disability.”
The time has come to correct this wrong, and the proposed Parental Rights Amendment is just the vehicle by which to do it.
 
We have said consistently that as parents we are all in this together. This is one more opportunity to prove that point.
 
Certainly we are hopeful that many individuals and organizations of the disability community will take an interest in this addition and join our fight to preserve parental rights. Already we are thrilled to welcome the endorsement of the National Federation of the Blind.
 
But even if other disabled citizens do not join our effort we will stand for their rights alongside our own. Because knowledge of the errors of the past is not sufficient to prevent their repetition; when it comes our turn we must be faithful to set a different course.
 
We are proud to set that course today.
 
To read the entire Parental Rights Amendment as it is currently proposed, click here.
Sincerely,
Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,GranPa Chuck