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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May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,GranPa Chuck
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Thursday, September 1, 2016

CA: Miranda Rights for those 18 years or younger.

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: 

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

 Learn "How To Win In Court" ... without a lawyer
May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,GranPa Chuck

Researcher, Editor, Publisher, Collector

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 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.


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.

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
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 Learn "How To Win In Court" ... without a lawyer
May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,GranPa Chuck

Researcher, Editor, Publisher, Collector