Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children

"According to a 2012 report from the National Council on Disability, in custody cases, "removal rates where parents have a psychiatric disability have been found to be as high as

    http://www.ncd.gov/sites/default/files/styles/horizontal_page_photo/public/Dad%20and%20son%20on%20tireswing.png?itok=-anvR4lh
  • 70 percent to 80 percent; where the parent has an intellectual disability, 
  • 40 percent to 80 percent in families where the parental disability is physical, 
  • 13 percent have reported discriminatory treatment in custody cases.
Parents who are deaf or blind report extremely high rates of child removal and loss of parental rights.

 Parents with disabilities are more likely to lose custody of their children after divorce, have more difficulty in accessing reproductive health care, and face significant barriers to adopting children."

Link to "Rocking the Cradle": http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2012/Sep272012/

Toolkit

Disabled Parents Toolkit (PDF)
Disabled Parents Toolkit (plain language version)(PDF)

Report

Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children (PDF)

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The goal of this report is to advance understanding and promote the rights of parents with disabilities and their children. The report provides a comprehensive review of the barriers and facilitators people with diverse disabilities—including intellectual and developmental, psychiatric, sensory, and physical disabilities—experience when exercising their fundamental right to create and maintain families, as well as persistent, systemic, and pervasive discrimination against parents with disabilities. The report analyzes how U.S. disability law and policy apply to parents with disabilities in the child welfare and family law systems, and the disparate treatment of parents with disabilities and their children. Examination of the impediments prospective parents with disabilities encounter when accessing assisted reproductive technologies or adopting provides further examples of the need for comprehensive protection of these rights.

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May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,GranPa Chuck

Researcher, Editor, Publisher, Collector


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Super Lawyers are Fighting for Families. BUT TOO FEW

Below are thoughts from a Lawyer, who has won many cases for Our Families.
No need to say who the lawyer is since it reflects the thoughts of Lawyers that are fighting for the Preservation and Strength of our Families.

May You find Strength in Your Higher Power,
Granpa Chuck
Join Our Team
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It has come to my attention that there are some parents out there who do not see the value in what we are doing. But, instead believe that all of the online efforts, the various groups, the various legal postings I share are all for the purpose of self-promotion and self-
aggrandizement. They further complain, without any understanding of what it takes to prosecute one of these cases to completion, that I don't do enough to help them, their families, their friends, etc.

My response to all of this is:
I'm not sure what to say. I'm only one man. I am not ten feet tall, and I cannot hurl lightening out of my arse to smite your enemies. I am only human, and I suffer from the same human frailties that you do. I wish I did not, and I try every day to rise to the challenges that confront me. 
  • Please understand, there are literally thousands who need help. I do the best I can to attack the defects in the system using the tools I have. As for money, it seems you have no concept of how financially (and emotionally) draining it is to prosecute one of these cases -- every single one takes a bite of flesh out of me and leaves something tragic and vile in its place.
With respect to your complaints or concerns that we are not able to respond to every inquiry as quickly as you might like, or with the answers you might want -- We tell people when they call that we don't have the resources to take every one of the thousands of cases that come across our path -- I wish we could. But, we all know that is just not possible. There has to be a triage process. We let people know that if they don't hear back from us, it means we can't take there case. I know they have no place else to turn and it is difficult for me to reject them when they are in such dire need of help and experiencing such deep and abiding pain. So I do what I can to help by posting our work product online in the hopes that some of them will use the information to fight -- or get it to their attorneys so that their attorneys can do the same. That's the best I can do. If there are those out there who fail or refuse to see any value in all of this, there is nothing I can do about that.

 There will always be those who only see the negative in other people as opposed to the positive. There's nothing I can do about that. You are the only ones who can modulate your perception of those who move in the world around you. You are the only ones who can decide to face your demons with the tools you have, or blame your losses on others. Only you can choose to fight.

For those of you out there who have doubts, or start to feel forgotten and alone, I find great solace when I read this poem, I hope it helps:

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious
to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter, for always
there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,GranPa Chuck

Researcher, Editor, Publisher, Collector

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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Researcher, Editor, Publisher, Collector


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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P.O. Box 1090 Purcellville, VA 20134 * (540)-751-1200 * info@parentalrights.org


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May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,GranPa Chuck

Researcher, Editor, Publisher, Collector
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