Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Public Hearing "CPS Abuses"...April 16th ...High Noon... In Olympia

There will be a joint legislative hearing on "CPS Abuses" on April 16th at 11:45 in Senate Hearing Room 1 of the John Cherberg Building on the Capitol Campus.

Representative Kretz, Representative Short, Senator Pam Roach and others will be hearing from the public.

20 comments:

Bari Willard said...

I will be there Pam. I believe we all should ban together and fight for our children....

Anonymous said...

I will be there
Jan Smith

knowledgetree said...

My husband and I live in Tacoma. We are seasoned parents and willing to help teens gain the skills to make a brighter future. My husband is a registered counselor in Washington State with a Bachelors degree and many years of teaching experience. I am a technology engineer with 30 years of experience in my industry, an MBA and many years of experience teaching. We both have recently passed FBI fingerprinting and background checks to work with at risk youths. Hence, we believed we met the criteria for being foster parents. We believed we could be foster parents by helping at risk teens through our successful parenting, communication, and teaching skills. We submitted the application, have current CPR, first aid, blood borne pathogens certification and training, obtained TB tests, evaluated our home and found it appropriate to the task and began the PRIDE training. The first two classes created more questions than provided answers so I began researching the foster program, DSHS, Children's Services, the WACs and other foster care related organizations. I was saddened by what was revealed. The one clear fact is that the foster care system is dysfunctional; it moves and breaths but is not thriving.

We decided to discontinue our effort to be in the foster care program due to the risks being too high for foster care providers regarding liability, our child being vulnerable to being pulled from our home if an abuse claim was made on one of us regarding a foster care child in our care, and the lack of protections and support for foster parents. Basically, as far as we can tell from the documents published on DSHS and CA's websites, FPAWS, the WACs, and NFAPA.org the foster care provider carries all the weight of care and liability. The CA regional meeting minutes repeatedly make claims that foster care providers are not getting appropriate support. When an issue does arise where the foster parents need representation they are not provided legal representation and are financially responsible to provide for it on their own. This is unacceptable when exposed to such an unstable population. We are interested in helping teens move from dysfunctional to functional members of our society. However, we cannot forego the stability of our lives and family that we have struggled and worked on achieving over the past 40 years without some measure of protection from litigation and libel from false accusations.

The fact is that it is not a matter of if but a matter of when a foster parent is accused by a child in their care. A false accusation would be very damaging to our reputations, financial stability, and futures in our fields and businesses. The single fact that our daughter would be taken from our home on a false accusation was enough to halt our effort. Honestly, why not just remove the foster child for purposes of substantiation of the claim? The risk of transference and emotional extortion by a youth using the system to control the system are obvious. We would pass all checks and verifications prior to becoming foster parents yet would be treated as "guilty until proven innocent" instead of "innocent until proven guilty". This was purely unacceptable.

I would venture to say that a better system would be to place the emotionally and physically challenged children into facilities that could better evaluate and manage their initial care; moving them through proven counseling and treatment methods to stabilization. Once the child was stable, similar to being stabilized in hospital care then moving to in-home or nursing facility care, the child would be able to then learn from their immersion in a foster care home. Using foster care providers as a halfway portal to reintegration in society and with their parents would be a far more effective system.

The current system uses regionally dispersed services (over extended caseworkers from a varied number of agencies, school, medical services, mental health services, etc.) that the foster care provider must access to care for the child. A child's success or failure to thrive is influenced by a dizzying array of influences. During the first few months the child is placed in a state of disorientation due to all the activity, instability, and conflict. No wonder the child still wants to go home before parents are ready to accept them back even if it is violent, inhospitable, or dangerous; it is a known element. A foster care parent can effectively offer a stabilizing influence but only when the child is ready to absorb such teaching. No one learns when they do not want to learn. Learning takes trust, a desire to learn, a feeling of safety, and security. Maslow's basic needs must be met before you can truly alter how a person perceives themselves or their surroundings as needing change.

My opinion is surface level of course. However, it is sufficient enough to effectively deter individuals such as ourselves that have a wealth of experience and understanding to infuse. These are children who are ill. They have been abused, neglected, and are mentally exhausted and damaged. If this child was in an automobile accident they would get the right type of care and appropriate convalescence. The problem is a system that comes at this problem of child abuse and neglect from the wrong direction. CA is sending children to a nursing home and hopes that they will not bleed to death, but if there is too great a blood loss then they go to the hospital. Hence, the children's needs are not being met nor coming first. Instead they are being sent to volunteer field medics with inadequate training in foster care homes that are expected to keep them from emotionally bleeding to death with Band-Aids.

After the brief research I performed I found that the administration of DSHS is a problem. CA is working within the larger bureaucracy; hence, change is ineffectual unless coming from the top. As I mentioned above, making a legal requirement that "children entering into foster care from biological home care must be housed in a professional triage care facility, evaluated and provided an initial stabilization plan within 10-15 days of entry into care" would require that the location of housing and care initially be a professional facility not a foster care home.

I believe that foster care is a good venue for teaching and setting appropriate parenting expectations. It is a good venue for integration into our larger society from isolation in a care system. Due to the population serviced this would mean in-home foster care teams must be a professionally trained team of mental and physical health care givers. Just meeting the minimal requirements for a Washington State Counselor's license with required training in developmental and mental health issues would be a start.

As per the DSHA-CA website, "The mission of the Children's Administration is first to protect abused and neglected children, to support the efforts of families to care for and parent their own children safely, and to provide quality care and permanent families for children in partnership with parents and kin, Tribes, foster parents and communities". A bad system can do everything at a mediocre level stated in this mission except "provide quality care" to an acceptable level for foster parents and communities. We, the community, are the ones who set the expectations. If a foster care home is not welcomed with open arms by a community then that is a strong indication that the people living in those communities do not trust that their interests are being considered.

I realize that there are many people with an abundance of experience and education involved in this effort. Your commitment has always astonished me in light of the burden of witness you must bare. My concern is that you may be too desensitized to take the actions necessary to truly transform care for this resource of our future.

I look forward to hearing how we can help make the big changes needed happen.

Anonymous said...

Had Washington State DSHS not taken all our money...we'd be there to share our opinion!

Anonymous said...

Man, I'd LOVE to be there !

Anonymous said...

Dear Senator Roach,

We know you have been very busy...but..what's going on in the Lilly case..

You keep us hanging on..

Anonymous said...

Senator Roach,

Is there any hope for couples or relatives who have children or kin who were taken by CPS when they were young children who are 18 and older to be reunited? Could there be any kind of monies to be made in this effort?

infinite freedom said...

I will be there to testify. Thank You so much for bringing us the opportunity. My Mother (Dylans' Grandma) will be there as well. I would have loved to be able to bring Dylans' two brothers, but one will be in school, and one will be at work.

-With Liberty and Justice for All.

Feminist Martron said...

I am definitely going to be there! I wouldn't miss this for anything in the world. Hopefully, the more people that attend that show their grave concerns for the corruption in this department, this issue will get taken seriously deal with as it should.

I still have the freedom and right to hope in the country, right?

Anonymous said...

Somebody needs to do something. These terrible tragities have to come to an end. Save our children. Give them every opportunity to be with their families. These terrible events will have a lasting effect on them for a lifetime. God be with you Pam every step of the way!

Anonymous said...

To the person above, families can be reunited but it costs about $400-600 going through an organization who specializes in reunification and has the ability to get in the court records and go to court. Locating people can sometimes be difficult but having a social security number helps. It is one of many things that needs to change regarding the court system. Many other states are more lenient. They close the books on adoption and I disagree with those laws wholeheartedly.

Anonymous said...

In response to knowledge tree - are you a communist? Or have you never visited a state run facility before? I can understand your argument about false accusations, but are you looking at the statistics regarding true accusations? To assume that all children coming out of biological family homes are actually abused in a misnomer. Read the Ombudsman report showing that TWO THIRDS ARE UNSUBSTANTIATED. So, what you are suggesting is taking two thirds of the removed children who have no business being removed in the first place then place them in a cold, state run facility where half will end up drugged when they don't need to be on psychotropic medications not approved for use on children. How do I know this? They are already doing that in Washington.
Some of the scariest places I have ever been in my life were state run. One of them was a group home with the mentally handicapped. These individuals were truely in jail and possibly being sexually abused.
Another one was a facility for people who were on their medical last legs sitting in their own urine and half out of their minds.
So, you want to put kids in facilities? Better do some homework before you spout off a utopian ideal that comes nowhere near reality.
Jan Smith

Anonymous said...

The problem is that a biological family does not know what a child was told by CPS or others while they were growing up and by whom. If the adopting family or foster family does not prepare a grown child to understand that in some instances and they (foster or adoptive) may not even comprehend it either that it is their biological parents and kin who are the victims then they don't understand the mental anguish and pain that they continue to display towards their biological family and for what reason? Maybe the adoptive family and foster family know and don't care. I don't know. Either way grown children should be called to hearings to see what it is that they understand and why they are separated from their biological relatives or why they are not communicating wih them. Who is telling them not?

Anonymous said...

Our family did make an attempt to go through an agency for that very reason; we thought they were experienced. We paid the $350.00 for them to conduct a search. We attempted to tell this agency that this our relative may not even know that she was adopted since she never lived with her biological parents or kin. She was taken directly out of a hospital room at birth by CPS. She was a healthy baby. Anyway, this agency made things worse; you would have thought we had just hired an attorney for her and her adoptive parents. CPS had never made any attempts for her to meet her biological brother so we were also trying to unite her with her biological brother but this agency destroyed our relationship with him after our attempt to try to find her. He had made me aware though that the aoptive parents had contacted his former foster mother which is why I am wondering what that conversation was all about since they in no way, shape or form should have contacted them as the former foster parent was no longer involved! So what was that all about???

CC Tillett said...

Dear Senator Roach,

I was able to trade a trip to get the 16th off..soooo...

I shall be there as well to testify in behalf of my nephew Alden Thomas Tillett..

They terminated parental rights when the child HAD NOT BEEN EVER OUT OF THE FAMILY HOME..I have the court transcripts to prove it.

CC Tillett
Washington Families United

Anonymous said...

Any chance the AG, Gov or new kid on the block will be there?

Feminist Martron said...

Talk about making sure I get to a meeting on time and keeping my word to be at the meeting....I was ready to do some business today with y'all and I loaded my friend in my car and we trekked on down to the building.

Yep, once in a while I go on idiot mode and do things like that. However, let me share this with everyone that plans on going...you are going to want to be parking a half and hour prior to the start time of the meeting to give time to walk...if you want good seating.

There's going to be a demonstration at the same time of the meeting. There was a demonstration today and there was not a parking space in sight close to the building.

I have really dark brown hair, blue eyes and I am tall, for anyone who might want to meet me. Heck, if that don't help anyone to figure out who I am, just look for a damn liberal woman! LMAO!!!!

Today wasn't a total waste of time, at least it gave me a trial go at it and now I know where to park and where to go...I absolutely loved the colors of Spring with the trees and flowers blooming..it was beautiful.

I can't wait till I get to meet everyone tomorrow! :)

Bless everyone of you!

Feminist Martron said...

Senator Roach,

I forgot to ask, that if there is any last minute things you want us to know about tomorrow, please share it with us.

I am looking so forward to meeting you tomorrow and I know it's business tomorrow, but I sure hope a hug would be deemed proper! :-)

Have a good sleep tonight!

Feminist Martron said...

Knowledgetree,

Why don't you venture to say that maybe CPS does all they can to locate a protective, stable and loving family first to place the abused child in before considering ANY OTHER OPTION?

I do not understand how you could even think that a child that's already damaged could get better by being hearded in like livestock in an institution....where they will not get the proper amount of attention and affection...and will have state ran head shrinks who lie constantly in their diagnosis so they can promote the pharmaceutical companies needs to fill their greed for money.

Who pays for this? Sick to say, us tax payers do...they all bank on our taxes!!! But, what's even sicker, is this poor kid who would do so much better and faster at healing in the care of safe and loving family members...without being drugged and possibly suffer from drug induced medical and mental health issues....is now all nice and drugged up...ready to mold into their perfect little puppet.

Don't even get me started on that...my children are suffering abuse because the damn CPS decided that they were too old an damaged to see as marketable merchandise....what's answer to that...DRUG THEM TO MAKE THEM COMPLIANT AND ACCEPT ABUSE! When all CPS would have to do it take them away from our abuser and place them with me and we could all start healing! It's the pure KISS approach...keep it simple stupid.

As a protective and loving mother, I can't wait till CPS gets their day of reckoning so they no longer have the power to threaten to take my children totally away from me, because I demand that they do their job to protect my children and complain when they don't.

Feminist Martron said...

And another thing Senator Roach...I had a thought today. Since you and I see eye to eye on things...could it be that I am not turning into a Republican...but, perhaps you may have been a Liberal all along and it's taking time for you to realize it? >>>>BIG BRATTY GRIN<<<<

I'm in a good mood, can't wait till tomorrow! :-)