What is Wrong with This Picture? How Much Did The State of Kentucky Need That Month in Funding?

The Goodbye Meeting
Posted July 15, 2006

When Nothing You Do Seems to Matter
I am submitting my personal story because I want the world to know what is happening to my family and countless other innocent families in Kentucky.

I am the maternal grandmother of five siblings. However, as of July 6, 2006, three of my five grandchildren have been permanently taken from my daughter. The Inspector Generals Office led us to believe they were investigating our case; but after continuously trying to get them to at least acknowledge our inquiries, we ran out of time … this, of course, we believe was the plan to begin with.

We were given false hope when a local news channel took an interest in our story until we saw photographs of the girls on our television screen — which were pictures that I provided to the social workers. The pictures displayed were photographs of the twins at around 4.5 months of age. Viewers were led to believe they were looking at 13-month-old starving twins! It was also erroneously reported that the girls could not sit up or crawl at 13-months of age. Nevertheless, I have recorded video of the girls’ happy, well adjusted, crawling, sitting up, and singing at 10-months-old; but no one would listen to us. No one wanted to hear the truth.

Children Forever Separated
I have the older two siblings but the younger three girls are in foster care and are about to be “adopted-out.” I have no background issues to prevent me from welcoming all five children into my home. As a matter of fact, my home has been evaluated and passed inspection or I would not have been approved for placement of the two older boys, ages eleven and nine.

A foster family has the three girls and a foster grandmother is caring for them. I am not giving up the fight for my grandchildren! I have been fighting the state for three years now to obtain custody of the three girls and will continue to fight this injustice! I am their biological grandmother, the boys and girls need to be together — additionally, I am capable of raising them all.

A social worker and therapist told me yesterday, that they would arrange a “goodbye meeting” between the girls, boys, mom, dad and myself. After this goodbye meeting, we will never be able to see the girls again. The girls are identical twins, age five in September, and their youngest sister will be four-years-old also in September. They are gorgeous girls and any and everyone would love to have these girls, they are cute, young and adoptable! The boys are cute also, but they are older children, ages eleven and nine and not as “adoptable” – Thank Goodness!

My daughter has been falsely accused of neglect. She has a slight learning disability but nothing that would be detrimental to the care of her children. She has a form of Dyslexia. She is threatening a nervous breakdown, as are her five children. The state has done everything to ensure that she will not succeed, but little to nothing in assisting and reuniting her with her children. The state would rather pay strangers $2,500.00 per month and receive state bonuses or incentives rather than do the right thing for this family.

My daughter is poor and therefore has become a prime candidate for the system. The social worker intentionally developed case plans that were practically impossible to follow. Sometimes, two and three meetings were scheduled per day although my daughter has five children to care for!


Why Weren’t the Foster Parents Identified?

Vegas Child Found With Bag Over Its Head
3-Year-Old Died In Foster Care

POSTED: 1:25 pm PDT May 27, 2009
UPDATED: 2:05 pm PDT May 27, 2009

facebookdel.icio.usbuzzdiggreddit›› Email›› PrintLAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas foster couple is being questioned by police after the death of a 3-year-old boy in their care.

The couple called police when the child was found unconscious in their home with a plastic bag over its head. Paramedics tried to revive the boy and rushed him to Sunrise Hospital, but he died a short time later.

Metro police identified the child as Adrian Madrid but have not released the names of the couple or why the boy was in foster care.

Federal Lawsuit Goes After Clark County Nevada to Protect Children in Foster Care- Judge Denies Suite Why?

I-Team: Federal Lawsuit Goes After County Family Services
Updated: Sep 02, 2009 8:09 PM EDT
Video Gallery
I-Team: Federal Lawsuit Goes After County Family Services
A California appeals court may help to decide the future of Nevada’s child welfare system. At issue is whether a lawsuit against the state and Clark County should include all foster children.

The National Center for Youth Law, a California-based child advocacy firm, filed the case in 2006 on behalf of all foster children. It alleges kids in the custody of Clark County regularly suffer from physical abuse, a denial of medical and mental health care, and a lack of a permanent home due to the failures of the system that’s supposed to protect them.

“Class certification is important so that absent members of the class, children who in the future come into foster care and those who are now in foster care will be entitled to the protections that we hope to obtain for them through the federal court,” said Bill Grimm with the National Center for Youth Law.

Instead of monetary damages, the lawsuit seeks reform. In court records, Clark County argues reform efforts are underway and have been for several years. They insist many of the lawsuit’s claims are outdated.

The lawsuit names 10 children allegedly harmed by the action, or inaction, of the Clark County Department of Family Services, including one who was scalded to death in a foster home.

The surviving plaintiffs however have either been adopted or aged out of the foster care system so the firm bringing the suit seeks to include all foster kids to make the case a class action.

The Nevada federal judge hearing the suit denied their motion. Now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether he made the right decision.

Efforts to settle the case stalled in recent months. The county says, in part, because the appeals court decision will have a significant impact on the case and whether there are a few plaintiffs or several thousand.

No word on when the court may issue its decision.

Nevada Pays for Lost 2 Year old Child written by Mike Tikkanenon

Nevada Pays for Lost 2 Year Old Foster Child
Published by Mike Tikkanenon June 27, 2009in Crime and Courts, Guardian ad-Litem, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy and The States. 0 Comments
Tags: at risk children, dara goldsmith, daughter went missing, exfed investigations, failure to protect, foster child, Guardian ad-Litem, I-team, kara group, lost 2 year old, missing girl case, north las vegas foster home, sued clark county.

With shrinking resources, each state and all counties need to remember the burden placed on county workers & what happens when that burden is excessive. As a long time Hennepin County volunteer guardian ad-Litem, I appreciate the work social workers do to help at risk children and understand the value cared for youth bring to our communities. I also know what happens to children that are not taken care of. This article from the Las Vegas News points out a small part of the cost of failure:

I-Team: Settlement Reached in Missing Girl Case

A settlement has been reached in the civil lawsuit surrounding the disappearance of a 2-year-old foster child. The natural parents of Everlyse Cabrera sued Clark County when their daughter went missing from her North Las Vegas foster home three years ago.

Not long ago, Everlyse’s mom said she wasn’t sure she’d ever settle. Marlena Olivas wanted a trial, she claimed, to expose Clark County’s failure to protect her little girl. But after intense negotiations, the parties reached a $500,000 deal with $250,000 earmarked for Everlyse, should she be found alive on or before her 25th birthday. If she is not, the money is returned to the county.

Some remaining funds will be distributed to her little brother Benjamin, who shared the foster home with Everlyse, and to her biological mom and dad. Benjamin stands to receive $35,000. Her parents get $22,000 each.

The settlement also provides for a scholarship fund in Everlyse’s name, a reward for information about her disappearance, and monies to continue the private investigative effort to find her.

The agreement releases Clark County from any future claims and its employees do not have to admit any wrongdoing. “The most important thing for my perspective is not necessarily a punishment for the county, but to take care of Everlyse. So my concern was not seeing that the county had to turn over the money and had to risk losing that money, but realistically that if Everlyse is found there’s going to be money to provide for her,” said Everlyse’s guardian ad litem Dara Goldsmith.

Before a judge can formally approve the settlement, it must be accepted by the Clark County Commission.

A second battle is brewing over a $200,000 payout from Clark County’s foster parent insurance carrier. Those funds are not part of the negotiated agreement.

Anyone with information about the case, no matter how small, is encouraged to share it with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or James Conklin with ExFed Investigations at (702) 204-7654.

Michigan Child Welfare System Directly Responsible for Abuse, Neglect, and Death of Foster Children, Says New Expert Report in Reform Lawsuit

Michigan Child Welfare System Directly Responsible for Abuse, Neglect, and Death of Foster Children, Says New Expert Report in Reform Lawsuit

Failures throughout Department of Human Services’ management and investigations of abuse allegations make department “no safer” in many cases than children’s abusive homes

DETROIT, MI Likening the management of Michigan’s Department of Human Services to “blindfolded school bus drivers,” unable to see and respond to impending dangers to the children in its custody, a scathing new report by an expert in Children’s Rights’ child welfare reform lawsuit against the state of Michigan lays the blame for several children’s deaths squarely at the agency’s feet.

The report, issued by an independent consultant with more than 30 years of experience working in child protective services, examines the cases of five children who died in DHS custody—some from extreme physical abuse—and provides a long and detailed list of failures throughout the department’s management and investigations of alleged abuse and neglect in DHS foster care placements that, it says, render DHS incapable of protecting the children in its care.

Today’s report corroborates the findings of another released last week that examined DHS’s management in close detail (characterizing its practices as a “formula for disaster”) as well as findings from a review of 460 individual cases of children in DHS custody—and concludes that DHS has knowingly used misleading calculations to obscure the rate at which children in its custody suffer maltreatment. According to both last week’s case review and today’s report, Michigan’s rate of maltreatment in foster care is two and a half times the standard deemed acceptable by the federal government.

“While the Michigan Department of Human Services has tried to distance itself from the disastrous results of its dangerous practices, children have been dying in its custody and on its watch,” said Sara Bartosz, senior staff attorney for Children’s Rights. “Today’s report reveals the stories behind the statistics, and illustrates in no uncertain terms what is at stake if DHS does not commit to real reform immediately.”

The children whose cases are highlighted in today’s report include:

Elizabeth, whose family became known to DHS after she suffered a brutal physical attack in her home when she was just 14 days old, leaving her with a fractured skull, three fractured ribs, and a fractured clavicle. Elizabeth was made a ward of DHS but was returned to her home, leaving a child placing agency contracted by DHS in charge of monitoring her. This agency failed to forward two reports to DHS with additional evidence of Elizabeth’s abuse—including severe burns and two black eyes—until after Elizabeth was found beaten to death in her home.
Heather, a 15-year-old girl whose serious psychiatric problems went untreated by DHS while she was placed in a filthy, chaotic home with an aunt and uncle unlicensed to provide foster care, where a total of 17 people crowded into a three-bedroom house with only one bathroom. Heather eventually ran away to South Carolina, was abandoned there by DHS, and hanged herself.
Brandon, a seven-week-old boy who was placed in an overcrowded DHS foster home with five other children—three of whom had serious behavioral and mental health problems—and died of apparent suffocation when his foster mother left him unattended.
Isaac, murdered at the age of two in a foster home that had been the subject of nine Child Protective Services (CPS) complaints before his placement there. Less than two months after arriving in the home, Isaac was found beaten to death, covered in burns and bruises and having suffered multiple bone fractures. “An overloaded and apparently incompetent caseworker placed Isaac in dangerous foster homes, failed to visit him regularly, and overlooked evidence of Isaac’s maltreatment,” says the report. “DHS’s actions and inactions, and those of its contractor, caused Isaac’s death.”
James, who died of blunt-force trauma to the head in a DHS foster home just a few months shy of his fourth birthday. Despite the medical examiner’s finding that James’s death was a homicide, DHS’s vague definition of the term “abuse” enabled the agency to conclude in its own investigation that there was not a preponderance of evidence that James had been abused.
The report cites widespread systemic problems throughout DHS that it says created the conditions that contributed to these children’s deaths—and place the 19,000 children currently in DHS custody in similarly grave danger. According to the report:

The structure of DHS is diffuse and inefficient. The department is responsible for a very broad range of services—including Michigan’s welfare, disability assistance, Medicaid, juvenile justice, and child support programs, among many others—but lacks a division devoted specifically to child welfare. Components of the child welfare system are scattered throughout the department, diluting accountability and impeding the communication of critical information. DHS management is structured, says the report, “as if to minimize expert focus on child welfare and to all but preclude the effective protection of its foster children.”
DHS managers lack the education and experience necessary to run a child welfare system. National standards for good practice call for directors of child welfare agencies to hold graduate degrees in human services and demonstrate competence in the delivery of child welfare services. Relevant advanced degrees are the exception among top DHS staff, and few have any child welfare experience at all.
DHS fails to adequately investigate allegations of abuse and neglect in foster care placements. The department’s investigations are unstructured, superficial, and rarely gather sufficient information to determine accurately whether maltreatment has occurred. Furthermore, says the report, DHS investigators “often make determinations that are not consistent with the facts.”
DHS has no quality assurance program and is unable to produce reliable data about its practices and outcomes. The statistical information necessary to guide the operation of the agency at every level—and to identify systemic problems—either does not exist or cannot be trusted. When disturbing data does surface, little is done about it. And the agency calculates some statistics—including its rate of maltreatment in foster care—in a misleading manner that hides the danger to which it subjects the children in its custody.
The report further notes that DHS’s shortage of caseworkers would be enough by itself to preclude the agency from adequately protecting the children in its care—and echoes concerns raised by last week’s case review that the agency places children in unlicensed foster homes with relatives as a means of maintaining a “second class” of placements that receive neither appropriate safety and criminal background checks nor adequate financial support.

“Combining the disturbing deficiencies in MDHS’s performance in the five cases reviewed with the many serious shortcomings found in the agency’s structure, regulation, practices, overall management, and—especially—staff resources, it is clear that children are far too likely to be no safer in foster care than they were with their abusive and neglectful parents,” the report concludes.

Today’s report will be offered as evidence in the federal class action known as Dwayne B. v. Granholm, brought against Michigan by the national child welfare watchdog group Children’s Rights, the international law firm McDermott Will & Emery, and local counsel Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton. The lawsuit charges the state with violating the constitutional rights of the approximately 19,000 children in its custody by failing to protect their safety and well-being and find them permanent homes.

Money – Child Protective Services and Greed

We all hear the horror stories involving Child Protective Services but believe it will never happen to us. Maybe we like to believe that those horror stories are the exception to the rule. Maybe we like to think that the media is sensationalizing the facts for ratings and profit, after
all, that is what the media does. Maybe we think that we are doing everything right and will never have to deal with the system.

The reality is that states and counties receive $30,000 for each child removed from the home and put into the system. Those funds go up to between $40,000 and $150,000 if the child has special needs. If you think that kind of money doesn’t breed corruption, think again. In March 2003 the city of San Francisco had 75,000 children in their system. 75,000 children at $30,000 each (that is assuming none of them were handicapped) is $2,250,000,000! Foster families receive between $3,000 and $8300 a year for fostering a child depending on the state. That is a nice little profit being made even after you account for salaries and other overhead. It would be interesting to know where several million dollars each year is going.

The Department of Child Protective Services is a relatively new department of the government. In 1974 the first child abuse case went before the courts. There were no child abuse laws at that time so the case was taken up by the Human Society of the United States. It was after that case that the first child abuse laws were written and the Department of Child Protective Services was put together. It wasn’t long before around 500,000 children were placed into the system with nothing in place to either return the children to their parents to find permanent homes for them. I remember attending elementary school with several children who lived in an orphanage where these children were put and forgotten about by the system.

Like most government agencies, CPS has evolved over the years and undergone reform to prevent abuse of the system as well as to make things run smoother and more effectively. However, it seems that the more rules that are put in place the more loopholes there are for corruption.

In 1997 the Adoption and Safe Families Act was put into place by the 105th Congress of the United States. The Adoption and Safe Families Act states:

· Reasonable efforts shall be made to preserve and reunify families unless the parent(s) have committed murder or voluntary manslaughter; aided, abetted, attempted, conspired or solicited to commit murder or voluntary manslaughter; committed a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury of the child or another child of the parent; the parental rights of the parent to a sibling have been terminated involuntarily

· If a child is not to be returned to the parents that a permanency hearing will take place within 30 days and that finalization of the placement, either with a legal guardian or by adoption, will be handled in a expeditious fashion as well as the details of how this will be done.

· How much money is to be given by the Federal Government to carry out the bill including incentive payments for the adoption of children in the system.

Yes, incentive payments for the adoption of children in the system. How this works is that a base line number of adoptions has to happen by each state or they risk loosing money. I understand the thought pattern behind the push to adopt out children permanently placed in the system. However, providing monetary incentives opens a lot of doors for the abuse of power. The base line number of adoptions of each state was determined individually. The number of adoptions for the years 1995, 1996 and 1997 were added up and the average taken. Each state was given their number. For each adoption that takes place over that number the state gets $4000. An additional $2000 is given for each special needs child.

Where does all this money go? I wish I had the answer there. Every child that gets put into the system is automatically enrolled in Medicaid. That crosses medical care off the list of what that money pays for. Foster families get a stipend each month for each foster child they take care of to help cover food, clothes and other basic needs. That monthly payment is only a small fraction of that $30,000 given to the state.

From my personal experience I can tell you that none of that money goes into helping the families who have been torn apart. In fact, the social worker that showed up on my door step was driving a BMW. Apparently social workers do get paid that much. So much for horrible hours, horrible pay and it being a thankless job that has a high turn over rate. I will say that being a social worker takes a certain type of person and not everyone is cut out for the job.

Forget wanting to help families. Forget wanting to protect children. Maybe that is why people originally go into social work. To be successful at you have to have a sadistic side of you that enjoys watching people suffer, that way you don’t get emotionally attached and you do what you have to do.

Don’t believe me? Don’t think the system is abused? Consider for a moment that every report that is made to Child Protective Services, regardless of the validity of the claim, has to be investigated or the state risks loosing federal monies that are tied to Social Security. This means that if you get into a fight with your neighbor, your mother-in-law, or a friend they can pick up the phone and call in a false report in retaliation and you will have a social worker show up on your doorstep.

If everything isn’t picture perfect when that social worker arrives, a case is formed. It could be anything such as the garbage hasn’t been taken out that day, there are dirty dishes in the sink or your kids haven’t had a bath yet that day. These people are there to judge your parenting and if they show up on that off day they aren’t going to believe you that it’s not normally like that.

I have also learned first hand that if someone makes a false call and makes the story outrageous enough that there will be no investigation and your kids will be taken on the spot, and the social worker doesn’t have to be professional about it. They are allowed to yell at you, make snap judgments without asking questions, make you stand in the rain for three hours as well as ask questions that are a violation of your personal rights.

The social worker involved in our case also did nothing to help us out. Her idea of help was coming back a week later with a zoning inspector and having the house we were living in condemned making us homeless. This was after she was ordered by the court to return our kids and pay for temporary housing until we could get moved. When we went back to court and she was questioned on this her argument was “We are not in the habit of putting up homeless families.”

She violated court order after court order and the judge did not do much about it, beyond not letting her get her way of terminating our parental rights and putting the children in state care. I know that the numbers were adding up in her head. I have seven children. Some of them are considered special needs. If she could get them adopted out there would be a nice bonus of $28,000 minimum.

After a month and a half we did get our kids back, but not after our visitation awarded by the court was blocked for a week and a half, our oldest was put in an unapproved foster home (the woman was licensed to take care of relatives only) and been sexually assaulted and our other children spent just over a month sick because the group home they were put in were very lax about the special diets they had to be on for health reasons.

Nothing was put in place for the emotional and mental well-being of my children. There is no counseling that is automatically given to children in the system to help cope with being separated from their parents. Maybe it is because it is assumed that every child removed from their home and taken away from their parents will be relieved because the state has rules, regulations and procedures in place to prevent errors from happening. Forget that the system is set up with monetary incentives at every corner that those motivated by greed.

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Written by Georga Hackworth

Foster Mother Gets Three Years- CPS Gets Zero- Parents Lose Child

Died April 21 2001

This is just to impossible to believe, the foster mother gets three years for killing a child that should have never been taken out of the home- CPS gets zero responsiblity or accountablity and the parents are left with a void that can never be filled. The system is so broken.

Foster Mother Headed To Prison For Boy’s Death

A 63-year-old grandmother who was found guilty of endangering a little boy in her care was sentenced Tuesday for her role in the toddler’s death.

NewsChannel5 reported that Jacqueline Clark will spend three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the death of 2-year-old Devin Wilder.

Wilder had been placed in foster care after it was believed that his parents were abusing his little sister, Makenna. It was later determined that Makenna suffers from brittle-bone disease, and that’s what caused so many of her bones to break.

Prosecutors said that Clark’s 15-year-old granddaughter beat and shook Devin to death. The teen was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is serving time in Devin’s death, but the boy’s parents said that Clark must share some of the responsibility.

“She left Devin with a 15-year-old and she didn’t call 911 until Saturday morning,” said Antoinette Artale, Devin’s mother. “The doctor said that if he had been taken to the hospital Friday night, there was a 50-50 chance he would have made it.”

Clark’s attorney said that the grandmother had no idea Devin was injured until the next morning.

Clark apologized to Devin’s parents in court Tuesday.

“I cannot replace this child, and I cannot again say to the parents how sorry I am,” she said. “I have been in your shoes.”

Clark will be transported to prison within the next week.

The boy’s parents said that the three-year sentence isn’t long enough.

Florida CPS Didn’t Report Her Missing for Four Months WHY????

AngelDied December 18, 2006

An error of judgment, a child is lost

Andrea Moore said “It’s clear Florida children are not being protected in our child protection system,”
It took caseworkers four months to report her missing to law enforcement after she disappeared in September.
At the time of Kenia’s death, she and her sister were under protective supervision of the Safe Children

If this had been a parent who hadn’t reported her child missing for four months that parent would have been charged with so many charges they would have never been set free.They called it an error in judgement. That is more than an unfunny joke that is a travesty and criminal. How does CPS get away with this kind of behavior? How can they lose a child and not tell the authorities? How can they not be charged with criminal charges? The system is broken. It is time to make them stop kidnapping and selling our children. They have become the problem not the solution especially when they get federal money for every child they abduct and then adopt out.

Who Will Answer for this Murder???? Certainly Not CPS where the Blame Really belongs

Another victim of CPS

Died September 4, 2006

“I don’t want them [CPS] in my house.” -“I don’t want them near my other son.”

Parents Blame CPS For Toddler’s Death

Jessica and Ray Nieto cried Monday morning outside a Denton County courtroom, where Child Protective Services was fighting to take back their only surviving son.

“I don’t want them [CPS] in my house,” sobbed Jessica. “I don’t want them near my other son.”

The Neitos are grieving because their baby, Christian, was killed on Labor Day in foster care. Corsicana detectives say Beverly Latimer beat the 16-month-old to death. She’s now charged with capital murder.

The foster mother had been hired by Mesa Family Services to care for children in CPS custody.

CPS supervisor Teresa Morrow avoided FOX 4’s questions about Christian’s death, and Latimer as a foster mother. /

The Nietos say Morrow told them something else.

“She told us they had no idea where they [foster children] go,” said Ray Nieto. “It’s up to Mesa , it’s a contract.”

The Nietos are still angry at CPS for calling them instead of telling them in person that their baby was dead.

“They let us know we can visit our child in the Dallas County Morgue,” said Jessica.

A CPS spokeswoman says Aleda Oaks, the CPS caseworker on the Nieto case, has only two years experience on the job. She didn’t show up at work Monday morning.

But the family of the dead child says Oaks and her supervisor admitted they never did their own background check on Latimer.

CPS says they have no idea why Mesa Family Services kept giving Latimer foster children, because since last year, she had been accused three times of abusing kids in her care.

CPS is now reviewing their employees work on the case, and they’ve suspended Mesa Family Services from placing any foster children.

CPS took the Nietos’ children because they admitted they had smoked marijuana, but they were on the verge of getting them back.

“I want something done to change the system,” said Jessica, “because obviously, our son isn’t the only one who has died in their custody.”

Monday, a judge allowed the Nietos to keep their 3-year-old son while CPS figures out what to do next.

Foster Mother Indicted for Capital Murder

Corsicana, TX – In Navarro County, a Grand Jury indicted Beverly Latimer, 53, on charges of capitol murder of a child under the age of 6 on Oct 26th.

The child, Christian Nieto, was a foster child in her custody who died on September 4th at her home in Corsicana. His death was due to head injuries. He was 16 months old.

Bond was set at $750,000.

Christian and his 3-year-old brother, Logan, were entrusted to an agency that had a lengthy recent history of placing children in dangerous or deadly foster homes. At least one child had previously died in their custody. They were removed from their parents for drug addiction.

The agency shuffled the boys through five foster homes in 7 months. The last move killed Christian.

The papers state that she may have just been overburdened, which left her unable to save him. She’s being charged with a capital crime, however, his murder.

Beverly Latimer still sits in Navarro County jail. She was licensed through Mesa Family Services. Mesa is now on state probation and licensing officials have suspended placements. The state has moved to revoke their license.

The case spotlights the failures in the foster care system that occur when parties don’t do their part for the protection of children. In this case, a child had to die for them to pay attention, as so often happens. The murder of children in care is often the spark that foster care reform needed before the child was placed in harm’s way.

Problems with the system in Texas, as reported, are many and varied. Not enough foster contractors, too much privatization in foster care, more removals and a shortage of foster homes, and serious questions about the licensing process for foster contractors and potential foster parents. Many states repeatedly cite similar problems in the wake of a child’s death. Reforms rarely work the way we would hope.

As for Christian’s brother, Logan, he is back with his natural parents.
By Liz Copeland

Tot’s foster care death stuns legislator

She wants review of state plan to put kids in hands of private firms
12:17 AM CST on Wednesday, November 15, 2006

AUSTIN – A key lawmaker says she was horrified to read of the death of a 16-month-old boy in a Corsicana foster home and now is thinking twice about the state’s mandate for full privatization of foster care, adoption and management of abused children’s cases within five years.

Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, said she now favors a more cautious approach after reading a Dallas Morning News account of Christian Nieto’s death. She said she might recommend that the state throttle back its plan and go with a pilot project instead.

“We continue to hear about child abuse and just horrible deaths in foster care,” Ms. Nelson, R-Lewisville, said at a hearing to discuss progress under a protective services overhaul bill passed last year.

Referring to The News’ account of how young Christian and his older brother disappeared in the state’s foster system, with Christian ending up dead, Ms. Nelson said:

“Quite frankly, when I read that, it just, it kills me. I see so many times that we should have done something. That child’s death is at the bottom of a spiral. And up here, parents who were abusing drugs. I would like for us to head off the problem way up here instead of waiting until we’ve just missed opportunities to protect that child all the way down to, you know, the last opportunity – and the child’s not with us.”

Ms. Nelson asked Carey Cockerell, commissioner of the state Department of Family and Protective Services, “What went wrong in the instance … and what else do we need to do to prevent this?”

Mr. Cockerell said Christian’s death was sobering, and the state still is reviewing what went wrong.

“Any time there is an instance of abuse, it touches the very core of who we are and what we are about,” said Mr. Cockerell, a former Fort Worth juvenile justice official who was tapped by Gov. Rick Perry’s administration two years ago to clean up the troubled Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services agencies.

‘What we’ve done’
“It calls on us to examine what we’ve done, everything that we’re doing and everything that we can do as we move forward,” he said. “And we are certainly in the process of doing that, as we have done in every case of abuse and neglect tragedies such as this one.”

Ms. Nelson did not go into specifics on how she would change the law ordering privatization. Lawmakers, who meet starting in January, would have to approve any change.

Mr. Cockerell said his agency is still reviewing its regulation of Mesa Family Services, the child-placement agency that shipped Christian and his brother, Logan, from Dallas to the Corsicana home of Beverly Latimer on Aug. 30.

Christian, 16 months old, died of severe head injuries five days later.

Foster mother charged
Ms. Latimer, 53, has been charged with capital murder, although there are indications the child might have been injured before he arrived at the woman’s home.

Ms. Latimer, beset by health and financial problems, already was caring for three foster girls under age 5 when she says Mesa officials pressed her also to take in the Nieto brothers. They had been removed from drug-abusing parents in Denton in January.

The state has acknowledged it relies heavily on private child-placing agencies to report their actions and rule violations to the state.

Officials also say Mesa Family Services informed them of only two of the five foster homes where the company placed the Nieto boys from Jan. 27 to Labor Day.

Christian was at least the second child to die from neglect while in a Mesa-run foster home. Sierra Odom, 3, died while living in an Arlington foster home in August 2005.

In reviewing his department’s enforcement actions against Mesa, Mr. Cockerell told the Senate panel Tuesday that the department halted placements of more children with Mesa Family Services after Sierra’s death.

“In some instances about a year ago, we suspended placements,” Mr. Cockerell told Ms. Nelson. “We put them on corrective actions. We moved the monitoring plan down to the most rigorous monitoring plan that we had. We continued to do a fairly robust system of monitoring them and identifying deficiencies and asking them to correct those and move forward.”

Suspension now denied
Questioned later by a reporter, Mr. Cockerell said he had misspoken.

“We did not suspend [placements] after the first death,” he said.

The licensing division’s report on its investigation of Sierra’s death found foster father Timothy R. Warner responsible. Mr. Warner still is awaiting trial in the case.

“Our investigation did not find deficiencies for which Mesa Family Services was specifically responsible,” program specialist Arthur Bussey wrote to Mesa on Oct. 21, 2005.

Mr. Bussey said this even while attaching a list of deficiencies that mentioned a nighttime child-care service being run by Mr. Warner and his wife, which could have conflicted with being a dutiful foster parent. Another violation said Mr. Warner was unfit.

Ms. Nelson said she was relieved to hear that Mesa has relinquished its $7 million state contract for placing abused children in foster homes, and the state has moved to revoke the company’s license. Mr. Cockerell said the revocation would last five years.

He said Mesa’s 350 foster children and 160 foster homes have been transferred to other placing agencies’ supervision.

Patrick Crimmins, the department spokesman, said 140 of the former Mesa homes have been assigned to Therapeutic Family Life, an Austin-based nonprofit with Dallas operations.

New standards Jan. 1
Mr. Cockerell said newly revised standards for child-placing agencies take effect Jan. 1. They will require the firms to hire more staff to oversee foster parents and, in some circumstances, reduce the number of children a foster parent may care for. He also said his licensing division will place “weights” on violations so that serious ones lead to more intensive scrutiny, while mere paperwork lapses do not.

Representatives of placement agencies said the state should move forward with its privatization plan. The plan calls for measuring performance, and whether children spend less time in fewer foster homes. If so, the agencies would be rewarded financially. If not, they’d be punished.

But Ms. Nelson said a pilot project, to test proponents’ contentions, might be in order.

“We need to make sure that we move very slowly until we’re sure that the protections are in place,” Ms. Nelson said. “I don’t object to privatizing … It’s just we’re talking about kids. You can’t afford to lose a kid.”

Child Protective Services – An Abuse of Power – It is time to Stop It

What shall we say ?

What shall we say when history asks how such crimes came to be committed in the name ” In The ‘BEST INTEREST’ of OUR Children” Will we say that we stood silently by, shrugging our shoulders, filling our bellies, closing our eyes? Or will we be able to say: We saw. We dissented. We resisted. We condemned. For all those who want to open their eyes to the horrors of the illegal kidnapping OUR children , and to the brutality, social injustice and moral corruption of the Child Protective Services . Go, see, open your eyes, and let them know — these torturers, these bloodstained betrayers of our common humanity – let them know that you know what they are, what they have done.

Text of DeLay’s farewell address -June 8, 2006

“… these children throw their despair and distrust into a black plastic trash bag, along with their few belongings, and head off to the next place… the next let-down. They are abused and neglected long before they ever reach our abusive and neglectful foster care system – and once in, things often only get worse. Children are dying, Mr. Speaker, inside and out… and it’s our fault.” Read more….
Congressman Tom DeLay

Child advocate in Chicago said: “-an infant in a paper bag on the freeway at rush hour is safer than a child in protective custody there.”

Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the United States. These numbers come from The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) in Washington.

Perpetrators of Maltreatment

Physical Abuse: CPS= 160 – Parents = 59
Sexual Abuse : CPS = 112 – Parents = 13
Neglect: CPS = 410 – Parents = 241
Medical Neglect: CPS = 14 – Parents = 12
Fatalities: CPS = 6,4 – Parents = 1,5
Did you know that…..?!

More than 75% of care leavers have no academic qualifications of any kind !!!! Read more…..

“This is a matter of conscience,” – “How can I know what’s happening to children and families out there and still let it continue to happen?”
Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the Madness
For every child that can get adopted, there is a bonus of $4,000 to $6,000.
DSS and affiliates rewarded for breaking up families! Must read

Information provided by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, in Fiscal 2003, 30 foster children died in our state’s care; in Fiscal 2004, 38 foster children died; and in Fiscal 2005, 48 foster children died.
“Data shows that while the number of foster children in our state’s care increased 24 percent from 26,133 in Fiscal 2003 to 32,474 in Fiscal 2005, the number of deaths increased 60 percent. Read more….

Please Give Innocent Children a Voice !
Last year over two million American families were falsely accused !!!
It is not in any one individual state but is now a worldwide epidemic.

Since the Adoption & Safe Families Act, with states in competition for the Federal Funds offered for promoting adoptions, Walter Mondale expressed concerns that states could create a business in dealing with children.

In the name of “child protection” children have been beaten. In the name of “children’s rights” children have been raped. And in the name of “erring on the side of the child,” children have been murdered. These are the stories of some of those children: In memory of Children protected to DEATH by CPS.

In The Name of Those Children
We are asking For:
-Victims of Child Welfare Memorial Day-
to remember those who have died as a result of Child Welfare in their lives. –
Take Action Send Citizen Request To: The White House

“When will justice come? When those who are not injured become as indignant as those who are.” -Leon Tolstoy