|Describe how the system affected your family and why you are interested in reform:
The system took my 4 children last year without a proper/full investigation or justification. They have emotionally damaged and traumatized my children and I probably beyond repair. They will take 3 plus weeks to investigate and not even bother to question at home family members and paid care providers because the investigator will claim not to speak Spanish when her supervisor asks her why she didnít talk to them. They will lie to you and your children for three and half weeks and tell you that you have to attend a TDM meeting. They will tell your daughters that they will not be taken and there is nothing to worry about. The investigator uses marijuana and will lie to your children. The other investigator will verbally harass your already traumatized daughters and make them cry and then deny it later, but your children will always know and tell you what they did. The county contracted assessor will pump you up before a TDM and tell you to stand up and fight for your rights and go get a medical marijuana card. It's a setup!
They continue to do this because children are now generating more income for society than if they were at home being nurtured or getting the help they need. The system that is supposed to be helping children and families has warped into a capitalistic industry that no longer thinks of the child or the family. God help you if you have an autistic or disabled child! Chi-Ching! Child protection services are motivated by millions of dollars being generated for the child protection related industries such as therapists, group homes, child programs, psychologists, county social workers, psychiatrists, lawyers, foster family agencies, regional centers and school systems. Their targets are easy, mostly minorities with low or no income to fight false and made up charges. Most of the time, the uneducated women/men do not even know they have rights in this country.
After they have stolen your children, they will throw you to the childrenís court system. If youíre like me, you will probably have difficulty functioning after your children are ripped away. You will have absolutely no contact with them. The primal bond that you have with your children will have been severed and broken. This will tear apart your heart and your soul. Itís a cruel reality. You will no longer be allowed to see their little faces, care for them, smile at them, kiss them, play with them or even talk to them. You will wonder if they are being cared for, you will know that they are crying for you and you will also know that there is nothing you can do to help them at this time. You do not even know where they are. You will find real incidents and horror stories of the DCFS/CPS system in the newspapers and the internet and from others which will destroy any strength you have in you.
In court, the deal is done before you even walk in, they have discussed your case with the inadequate overweight dysfunctional court appointed lawyer you havenít even met!(minus karen rose on that one and I'm sure there's another good one somewhere). Behind the court walls they are a cynical and demented group, maybe they are overworked. Your lawyer will give you a business card and tell you to call her/him, then they will not return your call, EVER!...unless you write their boss Kenneth somebody or other at the ladlinc.org place...and they might assign you another lawyer, who is still overworked beyond comprehension. Many of the LADLINC lawyers use drugs and alcohol themselves (inside information). The judge who was awarded MVP for childrenís court last year will be assigned to your case so you might be hopeful until you spend the morning watching the lawyers walk out of her courtroom crying from being yelled at. Later on you will totally identify with her hormonal issues and her ageÖ Even though you are 29/32 American Indian by blood quantum, which is 91% American Indian, your children being 45% American Indian children, you will not be assigned as an ICWA case (Indian child welfare act, a federal law passed in 1978 to keep American Indian children with American Indian families.) because that same federal government will not allow you to claim both your mother AND your fatherís tribal lineage. Only one is allowed and since you found your mother first, your heritage has been cut in half. So the judge will keep declaring this is a heritage case which means absolutely nothing but you will be satisfied for the minute she says that, but mind you, it means nothing. Later you will wonder how a Jewish American judge can be the Los Angeles county expert on American Indian families. You will wonder if you could ever be appointed as the president of the United American Negro college league and you will absolutely know this judge probably has some Indian decorations in her office on the wall.
Youíve done this before, they assign you a case plan, meetings, groups, classes and you confer with the second caseworker youíve had so far in 90 days. The judge tells the court to test clean randomly 6 times and they can lighten up on the monitored visits with the kids. After 5 or 6 weeks of calling and 120 days into the case, calling the testing hotline, you have to call your caseworker and remind them to randomly test you because you want to be with your children more. You have to remind your caseworker all six times to test you. She says youíre doing great, youíre testing clean and the visiting of the kids has even become regular and acceptable to you emotionally. You get a new caseworker after 6 months who knows nothing of this ďlightening up on the visitsĒ or of the random testing and suddenly tells you you have to complete a 24 session parenting class as well. So you get on that and continue to visit regularly, test clean and do the parenting classes, the outpatient program, the meetings, the expensive parent autism training course, etc.
You wonder how you used to support all four kids when you had them, how you could pay $2400 rent every month, buy them toys, food, clothes, pay the utility bills, run your own business and pay the live-in without child support or any government help. You realized you did it because they were there with you and you had family support, them. Later you realize this woman run system has destroyed one of their own, an American woman. Congrats to all those women at DCFS.
Your court appointed lawyer tells you to get involved with your autistic childís care and stay on top of the kids schooling. Two of your kids have IEPís. You donít agree with your 12 year old services being cut because you know she canít read or write any better than your 3rd grader. You want as much services as she can get especially while in foster care, so you check the I disagree box on her IEP, sign it and return it to the school. The school doesnít want to go to mediation so they call up DCFS and say you refused to sign it, this gets back to the judge and she threatens your lawyer with terminating your parental rights unless you sign their plan. You also donít like the regional center providers that are pocketing over $100k per year for treating your autistic son with ABA therapy. You tell the regional center you want different providers and they also tell the DCFS people which also gets back to the judge. Itís all about the money, they locked you in because they knew they were on their way out weeks before they took the kids.
Your autistic non verbal but very intelligent child was placed in a small group home, licensed for 6 children in Granada Hills. There are 12 children living there, the walls are dirty, thereís dog feces all over the back yard, the interior is disgusting and he lives with more than a few adolescent males who are on heavy anti-psychotics and another who has sexual issues. Youíve witnessed many questionable, seriously unsafe and demented incidents in the home in the six months youíve visited your child three times a week but itís not your place to say anything, let it ride and do what you have to do to get the kids backÖ until you notice bruises all over your non verbal 7 year oldís back. You are still cool about it, notify the workers and are told that he will be taken to the doctor. You tell the overworked new third caseworker youíve had about it the next day. She is overwhelmed with work and says she has to go abruptly. You tell the regional center worker about it, she rushes over there with a community worker and says she will investigate the bruises, the condition of the home and will call you the next day. She seems rather concerned; she never calls you the next day, does not make the mandatory report about it and takes the day off. Later she tells you that her agency is more interested in covering their own asses.
You call the caseworker again the next day and are met with, ďDo you want me to drop everything and go see his bruises?Ē You say yes and she practically hangs up on you. Now you are mad, they have taken you through all this because on paper your autistic child did not get the proper dental care that was due. $1500 just for an anesthesiologist, without the dental filling.
ON paper, the DCFS say that your autistic child was in severe pain and needed an emergency root canal and that I neglected this. Some imaginary cut and paste about drinking from the previous time is placed in the report. This is the reason for the detainment of all children. You knew this was boloney but what can I do? It is now over 6 months after they stole your children and they still have not given him his emergency root canal. You think, why did they take my children for this reason and they still have done nothing about it either?.and they have him in a very screwed up home, now with bruises all over his back? And he canít talk about it.
I called the new caseworkers supervisor and it took an hour and a half to get someone to call me back. I told them about my sonís bruises and the situation of the caseworker and regional center worker ignoring it. I also have pictures. After I called her supervisor and the hotline that day, both the CSW and the foster mother called me within an hour and told me that they were unwilling to monitor my visits and that per DCFS policy, my visits could now only be three times per month. The foster parent did want me to see Simon but the CSW advised her not to monitor my visits at all. The CSW also told me that she was submitting paperwork to have Simon moved to another smaller home and that they were going to schedule a TDM on June 15th.
At the TDM, I was not allowed to speak and when I did I was interrupted constantly by the Senior CSW, Mary Baum and the Supervisor case manager (regional services), Jennifer Thurm (who I had never met) and not allowed to finish answering their questions. The behaviorist for Audrey Hughes Free to Be FFA was also there and has never worked with Simon. I was told that if I did not agree to Simonís current placement that ďvisits were off the tableĒ, as she slapped her hand on the table, by Mary Baum SCSW. His bruises were described by the behaviorist as one small bruise. (see pics). Mary Baum also stated that, ďwe canít go into court and have them find out her visits have been cut from three times a week to three times a monthĒ. When Audrey brought up that she could monitor visits at MacDonaldís, Mary Baum told her, no, she is not getting any visits.
This all occurred about three weeks before the 6 month review hearing. You were told the kids would probably be back in the home then, then you were told kids never go from monitored visits to home, so you expect unmonitored visits at court. The caseworker seems to be overworked but her report in court recommended unmonitored visitation with all of the children. You are glad things are progressing and look forward to more time with the kids, they are expecting it. Because you are either really stupid or falsely believed this country had a sense of justice, you write notes to give to the court and deliver it to your new court appointed lawyer to give to someone who might care.
They donít play fair. After giving my court appointed lawyer my notes, what I would like heard, my case was delayed for over three hours. The department was buying time to come up with another report, a really bad report. Our case was called in after lunch at 1:15pm, you were handed a report that said you had serious mental issues, was on psychiatric medications and recently stopped taking them. Thatís what they call Prozac these days. If you need help for yourself, my advice is not to tell anyone about it, especially them, they will use it against you. Their emergency report was pretty destructive to my families re-unification plans. The report was faxed over to the court at 1:01 pm, says right there on the paper.
DCFS/CPS lie to judges in all their court reports, falsify documents, protect county contracted group homes from real incidents of abuse where they place children. They do not care or protect my children at all. The supervisors/administration encourage parental alienation and believe in "punishing the parents" without thinking of the family or the child. Their internal system is full of overworked caseworkers, many of whom abuse drugs and alcohol themselves, who don't have a clue about the children they detain. They will place your children in different grades for 6 months without knowing they're in the wrong grade.
90% of the foster homes children are placed in are the primary "income" for the caregiver which amounts to beds and minimum care for the child. You'll be lucky if they speak English. One of my children was given one square of toilet paper every time he had to use the bathroom. The FFA's (foster family agencies) promote medicating the traumatized child because it means much more income for the agency, so this they will find your once normal child needing some meds and therapy. The foster homes steal belongings from the children and clothe them in torn and ripped underwear, give the other foster children the clothes you buy for your children and ask the foster parents for "loans" in order to accommodate visits with the children.
The county contracted so called assessment team (assigned before disposition) will keep you on the phone for hours gathering information and twist everything to the departments advantage because guess who's paying them! The department. Hocus pocus.
The judge ended up giving you unmonitored visits with your two older children probably because theyíre older, were expecting it and were in court and knew nothing of all this mess. She kept you on monitored visits with your two younger children and cited your gifted 9 year oldís acting out behavior as a reason for not giving the mother unmonitored visits. He is beyond his years in intelligence, placed in a foster family that was inadequate for his needs and then blamed and vilified for being above average in everything. They didnít have the capacity to handle someone superior to them.
Now you are here, in October and the caseworker tells you nothing will happen until court. Another year goes by, more holidays and birthdays without the kids. At the twelve month hearing, itís mandatory the court put the children up for adoption or what they call permanent placement. They will extend 6 months of services in extreme cases but the caseworker has already told me before, they never recommend from monitored visits to home, so every day I live knowing that my children are being stolen from me and me from them. I donít know when to tell them or if I can. They will most likely terminate me as a parent and we will have no contact, maybe when they are 18 and for Simon, he will be stuck in that screwed up home with people who donít give a personal crap about him. Jack will be lost for life because of this. Raven and River will realize one day how unimportant people thought they were. The DCFS/CPS system is ruining families and this is a perfect example.
I would like to thank Audrey Hughes for running such a screwed up home that could not even keep my autistic son safe from others. Iím glad the 2.4 million dollars in contracts DCFS and the regional centers give you justify your $300,000 per year paycheck. Too bad it didnít help keep the bruises off of my son. I would also like to thank the DCFS administration and supervisors for all their hard work in keeping the child protection racket alive by justifying their behind the scenes family NON-reunification plans with lies, evilness and legal manipulations of my American family. Of honorable mention is the overworked court system and the federal government for the continuation of American Indian genocide. One family at a time is their motto!