THE FIRST THING TO UNDERSTAND IS THIS: Child Protective Services DOES NOT REALLY CARE ABOUT THE CHILDREN! Now you know why they do the mean things they do.
THE SECOND THING TO UNDERSTAND IS: CPS only cares about FUNDING. This is what drives them to do ANYTHING.
My top ten list of advice and information:
1. STAY CALM AND COLLECTED. When you yell, argue, and/or make threats of any kind, they have the ammunition to accuse you of being violent and/or claim that the children would not be safe in a “volatile environment”. Always be polite and courteous to everyone who has anything to do with your case. Yelling and arguing only incites them to make up more crap about you and an excuse to refuse to return your children. When I say be polite and courteous, I mean play it up big by saying things like, “Thank you so much for your help and concern with the welfare of my family. I really appreciate everything that the Department is doing for us. We strive to become better parents, regardless of how. We are learning a lot and are dedicated to completing our case plan.” YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MEAN IT! I know how you really feel about them. This is normal. Heck, if I said all the things I thought about social workers, well, I would have a lot of problems to deal with. That is all I will say. My mom always used to say, “Kill them with kindness.” Best advice she ever gave me yet, in this situation, I understand how difficult it is to do. However, it is well worth the efforts as this has a great deal to do with if and when they return your child(ren). This is not a guarantee but it is very important that your social worker LIKES YOU.
2. Stop fighting them. UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CAN NOT BEAT THEM IN COURT – EVER! What I mean by that is this: The case will not be dismissed for lack of evidence. It will NOT be dismissed once you prove your innocence. It just will not happen so let’s move on. [ALTHOUGH IT IS POSSIBLE IF A BRAVE LAWYER OR GROUP OF LAWYERS HAS ENOUGH YOU-KNOW-WHAT TO PRESENT A DEFENSE THAT EXPOSES THE ABUNDANT CODES, STATUTES AND REGULATORY ACTS WHICH ARE VIOLATED IN EVERY CASE. If every parent hired a private attorney or if there was a program through the BAR Association where pro bono services were provided to defendants in Juvenile Dependency cases, the court cohorts would not be able to collaborate and collect our kids for cash!] However, there is a lawyer named Vincent Davis who has been educating and preparing parents and guardians for court.
When I say stop fighting them, I do not mean that you shouldn’t get objections on the record. This is extremely important for appeal. So, file a Declaration or Objections to the Detention or similar document that clearly objects to the false allegations, the fabricated evidence and the perjury the social worker has made and submitted to the court in the form of written testimony (the Detention Report and or any other report the county has filed).There are things you can prove with providing your “attorney” proof of in the form of documents and testimony. This may alleviate requirements of some of their case plan programs but it will not get your case dismissed.
Once you get your children back and the case CLOSED, you can and should sue them. But check your local and state rules regarding claims against a government agency. You may have to file an administrative complaint FIRST. A Federal 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 complaint for violating your 14th Amendment rights and your child’s 4th Amendment rights is a good way to go however, it is not the only way.
3. .Complete the case plan without complaining or arguing. If you don’t feel you should have to go to any Domestic Violence classes, you need to tell your lawyer to negotiate that requirement if there has been no domestic violence. YOU CAN BARGAIN WITH CPS but you must get it approved by a CPS supervisor and/or the Court.
4. GET EVERY PROMISE IN WRITING. Whether it is to place your children with family, increase your visits, close your case early, or to relieve you from drug testing, write up a promise agreement and have them sign it.
5. RECORD AND DIARY EVERYTHING. Al;ways make sure to get names, dates and times or every communication with CPS and your lawyer. This will be particularly beneficial when you sue them as well as be able to politely disagree with social workers when they tell you something different that they told you previously.
6. NEVER MISS A VISIT WITH YOUR CHILDREN. EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO START WALKING THE NIGHT BEFORE, GET THERE SOMEHOW. IF YOU MISS A VISIT THEY COULD TAKE YOUR VISITS AWAY BY SAYING THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN VISITING.
7. If you do need to complain, do it in writing and send copies to those in higher positions. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO WRITE TO THE DEPARTMENT’S DIRECTOR! This will ALWAYS GET THEIR ATTENTION and most times your complaint is duly acknowledged and something is corrected.
8. IF THE ALLEGATIONS WERE EVEN SLIGHTLY TRUE, STOP THE BEHAVIOR PERMANENTLY. If they said you were doing drugs, STOP USING DRUGS! If they said there was domestic violence and it is true, EITHER FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET ALONG OR SEPARATE. When you can’t prove you were not on drugs or that there was no domestic violence, the quickest way to get the children returned is to separate immediately and make sure that CPS has NO KNOWLEDGE OR SUSPICIONS THAT YOU BOTH ARE COMMUNICATING. That means do not talk on the phone, do not email, do not meet them in public places during the day. Make sure when you do talk or see one another that you are not followed. Take extra precautions to ensure that whatever actions you have taken to convince CPS that the children are or will be “safe” stays that way according to them. WHAT THEY DO NOT KNOW WILL NOT HURT YOU. Also, do not tell anyone anything different than what you tell CPS.
9. Always file an appeal regardless of what your “attorney” says. You never know what the appellate court will be able to argue. However, you MUST GET OBJECTIONS ON THE RECORD!
10. ,MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE FOSTER MOTHER/FATHER. This can prove to be your most valuable ally.
Sample Letter to DCFS
(click on the link above to download a copy)
October 12, 2014
Phillip L Browning, Director
425 Shatto Place
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(don’t double space the address or the RE:
RE: [Name(s) of child(ren)
DSS No.: __________
Dear Mr. Browning,
I am sure you are a reasonable man and truly care for the people in your County and strive to achieve for the most courteous and professional delivery of health and human services possible. I feel it is my duty, as a resident and citizen of the County of Los Angeles, to bring to your attention the very shameful actions of those who serve under your authority. I am specifically referring to those social workers, in the Santa Clarita office, who have been assigned to my case, past and presently, with emphasis on social worker, Ramaul Rush. Ramaul is unprofessional, lacks empathy, has committed perjury, and filed falsified documents with the Court. This entire investigation is based on a repetitive referral that began over two years ago, that has been investigated by two counties, Riverside and Los Angeles, including an LAPD officer, at least four times and deemed each time to be unfounded
My main concern is the health and safety of my five children who have all been separated from each other. I believe this has been done on purpose as with everything else that is happening to my family simply because I am outspoken and somewhat of an advocate when it comes to Child Protective Services and the horrifying actions they often needlessly perpetrate upon children and their families. My concern right now is the children’s placement and living conditions. As I can understand that there are so many children in foster care and may be difficult to place five children together, I still object to this separation. My children have the right to familial association. My children are very close to one another but not so much as to be so dependent upon one another that their health is impaired. Nonetheless, the separation takes it toll on their emotional well-being. Child Protective Services is supposed to be about the children and right now the Department is performing a disservice to my children. This will affect them for the rest of their lives; their education will suffer and therefore so will their future. I ask you, sincerely Sir, please intervene, and assist the social workers by whatever means possible to re-establish placement for all five children. There is an approved foster home in Riverside County willing to take them in immediately. I have attached the pertinent details for your convenience.
Regarding the children’s current placement concerns, my oldest son, _______, is experiencing severe emotional distress. When he was first placed in foster care, I had spoken with him on the phone, but I have not seen him since September 22nd, the day the Department confiscated all five of my children. But now something is wrong, something has changed as the foster parents claim that he does not want to speak to me or visit with me. I have attached copies of emails advising me that our visits have been canceled allegedly due to Anthony refusing to visit. This causes me great concern as _______ and I have a good relationship. I would like to know if he is being given any type of psychotropic medication. I am sure I do not have to remind you that the Department is required to file a request for authorization to administer psychotropic medication to children with notice to the parents/guardians for an opportunity to object. I believe _______ may be withdrawing from socializing and is internalizing his distress. This is not healthy for a boy his age. I respectfully request that he be placed in an environment that better fits his needs and together with his siblings.
My daughter, _______, whom I have not abused in any way whatsoever, told me during a visit that she has to take some kind of liquid medicine and I do not know what it is because no one will tell me. I have the right to know, in fact, if she is being given psychotropic medication I should be advised. Again, I do not have to remind you of the procedures involved in giving children psychotropic medication. Even if she is taking Tylenol, I want to know why she has to take it every day. This poor child has been subjected to TWO vaginal/anal examinations within a matter of a few days! Again, I have not sexually or by any other means, abused this little girl! She has never been touched or probed until the Department exposed her to it! This is a violation of her body and mind. It is so shameful that the people who claim they care and are paid to protect are actually the real perpetrators. I do visit with _______ but she is not the same, she is obviously distressed and scared. She was not scared in my care. _______ appears extremely traumatized by everything she has been forced to endure. As her parent and guardian, it is my responsibility to console her and help her to understand the nature of what is happening to our family. The visit supervisor demanded that I discontinue any discussion with the child and further claimed that I was “interrogating” ________. This child is clearly suffering from separation anxiety, depression, and severe emotional detachment as she is alone without her familial siblings. This is a violation of her Fourth Amendment Rights. I am demanding that ________ be placed in a proper home, with her siblings, immediately.
I am also very concerned about the baby, ______. She is barely 14 months old and we are the only parents she has ever known. She has been sick and she never got sick in my care. I was very concerned when I met the foster family as one child had a clear and distinct red mark on their face, clearly due to a fierce smack of a whole hand. The baby also had a severe diaper rash along with the rash from the Rosella she allegedly had. _________ was also very fussy however; she seemed to relax in the comfort of my wife and me. I demand that ________ be moved to a better home with a higher standard of care and with her siblings.
_______ and _______ are currently placed together. ________ has voiced his distress as he is not happy at all with the living conditions he is being forced to endure. _________ states that he is put in his room constantly as punishment and for an indeterminate time. Sometimes two hours, sometimes four hours. He is not told how long, just that he is confined to his room and they will let him know when he can come out. He states that he is being punished for unwanted behaviors such as sitting on the couch while wearing shoes, or laying down anyplace other than his bed. That means he cannot lay on the couch or the carpeted floor at any time. ________ revealed to me that one night, during dinner, he was deprived of the rest of his meal, for speaking while sitting at the table, and sent to his room. This is unreasonable and not the type of discipline that I condone. To add insult to injury, ________ states that he is not allowed to play outside at all. _________ states that he is confined to inside the house once he arrives from school for the rest of the day only to be subjected to constant verbal abuse by an adult living in the home. This adult is using foul, demeaning words. This is inappropriate and unacceptable. Additionally, _________ needs new shoes. I had saved money last month because I planned on purchasing new sneakers for him this month but then he was removed along with his four brothers and sisters. _________’s white shirts are being washed the kitchen sink and coming out all dingy. __________ takes pride in his appearance and the caregiver who is washing his clothes is not taking care with his laundry. I have always been so very proud of __________ as he has an engaging personality and a good heart. His current environment is extremely detrimental to his health and well being. Moreover, my last scheduled visit was abruptly canceled before it even began. I am attaching copies of the emails regarding that issue. I am demanding that the Department find proper living arrangements, with his siblings, immediately.
I have many more complaints about the way the Department has handled allegations that are over two years old and proven unfounded at least four times. Now Ramaul Rush and his cohorts have made up allegations that are extremely disturbing to me. I say this because I know I didn’t do anything they are claiming so someone is quite sick in the head if you ask me. The Department should really weed out these bad seeds because they make the entire agency appear like misfits. I don’t know a single person who trusts LA DCFS. Why can’t anyone in the Department show diligence and strive to achieve the basic standards of care? Does anyone there realize that removing children from loving homes is not right? I don’t see anyone in the Department looking out for any child’s best interests, only the Department’s best interests. Mr. Browning, Sir, with all due respect, maybe you should look into this.
I throw myself at your mercy; please help me with placing my children together. I am getting nowhere with Ramaul or any other worker assigned to my case. Ramaul does not return my phone calls or emails. I am enclosing copies of my unanswered correspondence. I am also enclosing information regarding the approved foster home that is welcoming all of my children. Please communicate with the Supervisors of the Santa Clarita office as they need some direction and to review the policies that are established to provide quality standards of practice and service delivery. Made up allegations, falsified documents and perjury do not qualify as a standard of care. I think I understand what the Department means when they say Evidence Based Practice which really means Falsified Evidence Based Practice.
I thank you, in advance, and sincerely appreciate your assistance.