While there are many good people working to help families and save children in our state...there are many cases where because of poor leadership, lack of accountability, and what can only be assessed as hidden agendas ...CPS too often just doesn't get it right.
Apparently, my writing about the facts has made some people very angry. They are working over-time to "get back at me" for daring to talk about things that need to be corrected in government. It reminds me of Lisa's foster care provider who, instead of supporting the law regarding relative placement, has assumed the child is hers. And, has complained about my belief that families come first. You see, I support the law that says children should be placed first with qualified family members. And, I believe legislators should try to hold government accountable when it acts outside of the letter and spirit of the law.
For the record...I have been told by several different people that once termination is the goal that does not change. Only a judge can change that. That is also absurd! Anyone who goes down the wrong road can change course. I have found that our CPS apparently never thinks it goes down a wrong road. We just need to read the papers to see how wrong they can be! There are several powerful people who want to punish me for having this political opinion and articulating the opinion.
Little Lisa's foster care provider, her brother's wife (having surfaced in this blog and KING TV's), and several government officials have, instead of addressing the law...chosen to defend the foster mother and argue that she is a fit person to take the child. In my opinion...she should not have had the toddler in the first place! It is cheating and if I had my way it would be illegal, to take a child from a family without following the law. They don't care about that law. I do.
One of my fellow senators commented to me that CPS line workers only last an average 1 and 1/2 years on the job. I have not checked that out. But, I was told that again the other day. Where is the survey on the poor job satisfaction? What is going on in that department? For the senate leadership onlookers of this blog...why aren't you asking the same things? Instead of helping to cure this mess you would rather vilify me...take me to the cleaners...run me out of office...perhaps, rid your own conscience?
It is the policy of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Children and Families...to withhold positive in-home studies of fit relatives willing to care for their relative children. The information is not given to the court.
1. Judge Schaffer did not know about the positive in-home study of Lisa's aunt and uncle in ND. The judge was angry when she found out she had not been told and whipped around to the CASA and asked why she had not been told. I witnessed this. I was the one who told her...not the CASA, not the attorney general, not the social worker, not the attorney for the CASA, and apparently...not the attorney for the mother!
(Thank you, Judge Schaffer for allowing me to read a statement to your court. I appreciated that. And, given there were facts about the existence of the ND relatives that you had not been told I think it was the right decision on your part. I also think it was the right decision on your part to assign additional counsel to help the mother's attorney who was so clearly out numbered. We were so far down the line at that point I don't know if things evened up.)
2. I was told by a CPS worker that the policy is that in-home studies were not given to the judge until after termination.
3. The aunt in North Dakota also mentioned in her letter (reprinted here in PRR) that she had also been told that.
I was flabbergasted when I was told that. In fact, it made so little sense that I didn't believe it! But, turns out it is true. No one wanted to give me a written policy regarding the matter. But, it is apparently a matter of practice.
These are things I find out by asking questions. Unfortunately, I can't always get a straight answer so I have to dig a little further. To formulate legislation there has to be an understanding of the problems. God knows I wish there were not so many!
It is 3:07 AM, the first day of 2009. PR