Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Groundbreaking Possibilities...Thank You KING 5 And Susannah Frame

Investigators: Judge considering legal first in Poca's case

11:31 PM PDT on Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Video: Judge considering legal first in Poca's case
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A huge battle brewed both inside and outside a courthouse in Everett Tuesday over a tiny 4-year-old foster child. The KING 5 Investigators have been exposing the case of "Poca" for weeks, shining a light on the state's poor decision-making and red tape that led to the child being taken from the people who've raised her – her foster parents. Tuesday, the foster parents went before the judge to ask if they could be granted the right to request that Poca come back to their home.

It was an explosive hearing.

Outside the courthouse friends and strangers alike rallied for Poca. They’re angry the state and a judge had her taken from the family who raised her since infancy – her foster parents, Amy and Dick Langley of Snohomish County.
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After nearly four years with them, she was taken away last month.


The state accused them of meddling in the case to deliberately keep Poca from ever going back to her birth parents, and the judge agreed. CPS took Poca away from her parents when she was a few months old because of abuse and neglect concerns.

In court Tuesday, the Langley's asked Judge Anita Farris for something nearly unprecedented in Washington state: to allow them –not the biological parents, but the foster parents – to officially weigh in, or become a party to, the custody case.

Historically, foster parents do not have such rights.

Deane Minor, their attorney, says the Langleys should be given the rare opportunity because after so many years, they should be able to present evidence to the court on why Poca should be allowed to go back to their home.

"We have a huge problem. This child has spent not just her formative months, but formative years in one family home (the Langleys). And a legion of experts agree that she's done well there," said Minor.



While the attorney for DSHS, Assistant Attorney General Shara Delorme, agreed that the Langleys should be officially heard in court, everyone else involved said: no way. The birth parents' attorneys, Adam Ballout and Monty Booth, and Poca's court-appointed advocate, Chris Desmond, said the Langleys aren't fit. The attorneys accused them of lying about Poca's special needs, such as a seizure disorder, and about her difficult behaviors stemming from neurological problems, including having a hard time with transitions. They say that she's doing much better now in her brand-new foster home with people she’s only known for a few weeks.

"None of these (difficult) behaviors are being seen, so I can only conclude that either the Langleys have been lying about her behavior or they have created an environment in their home such where (Poca) was displaying those behaviors. In my view it's not in the best interest for the child to return to that environment, ever.Now, or in the new future or the far future," said Desmond.

After months of studying the case, the KING 5 Investigators have found the Langleys in the past have been mislabeled as liars and troublemakers, and that Poca was unfairly removed.

Judge Farris said she is troubled by the Langleys' actions in the case. "There is evidence in this case that is very, very concerning, said Farris." Despite that, she ruled she will take the rare position of considering the Langleys be able to intervene in the court case so they can answer to criticisms and present evidence.


Amy and Dick Langley

"I'm glad the judge is going to consider it. Frankly, I'm not real hopeful that the judge is going to rule in our favor in this, but I'll be praying about it," said Dick Langley.

The judge is expected to make her decision sometime soon.

Since the KING 5 Investigators started asking questions, the governor has intervened in Poca's case. She's called for a thorough independent investigation of exactly what has happened.

The new DSHS secretary, Susan Dreyfus, tells KING 5 they are finally working to legally sever the biological parents’ ties with Poca.The state is expected to ask the judge to sign off on that change in the case on June 12.


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that DSHS would even say one thing about foster parents doing just what the dep. dose on a regular basis in Franklin Co.WA
thanks you for the support Pam

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to the Langleys, We went through the court stsyem in Montana asking for three young children we had for 22 months to be returned. These children have been placed in Washington State with a couple in their mid to late 60's with appearent medical conditions. When the children had visits with the couple the children were returned to the Case Worker in soaking wet clothes when it was snowing outside, brought to a meeting with a poopy diaper, the couple was not going to change the child prior to the meeting. I went to our Van got a diaper and wipes and changed the child. I provided them with a diaper bag full of diapers. This all took place in front of the Case Worker and her Supervisor. When we took the children to the home in Washington we along with a Case Worker had concerns with safety and supervision in the home. She was told by her Supervisor to leave the children. My husband asked her if she would leave her children in the home? She replied, "I can't answer that I would loose my job."
It was the wishes of the Bio Parent and extended families that the children be adopted by us. It was also reccommended by the GAL and Foster Care Committee that it would be in the childrens best interest that the children by adopted by us. We were also told by the Case Worker we would have visits with the children. When ever we asked for a visit the Case Worker said she would need to talk to the childrens therapist and get back to us. She has never gotten back to us. These children thrived in our home per reports by the Case Worker, OT and other professionals and now they see a therapist. It is time to change the system, too many children are being hurt by the system which is to protect them. Studies done by First Star on What happens to former foster children?
Number of children in the foster care system: 799,000 xix
Number of children that aged out of foster care in a year: 26,517 xx
Percentage of the general population that have a bachelor’s degree: 23% xxi
Percentage of former foster children that have a bachelor’s degree: < 2% xxii
Percentage of the general population in jail or prison in 2008: 1% xxiii
Percentage of former foster children incarcerated after aging out: Males: 44.6%, Females: 16.4% xxiv
Percentage of the general population who experience homelessness over the course of a year: <1% xxv
Percentage of former foster children who experience homelessness after aging out of the system: 25% xxvi
Prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among the general population: 4% xxvii
Prevalence of PTSD among Vietnam veterans: 15% xxviii
Prevalence of PTSD among former foster children: 25% xxix
Percentage of former foster children who reported being unemployed 1 year after aging out: 53% xxx
Percentage of former foster children who reported living on food stamps after aging out: 45% xxxi

Lovingfitfather said...

More of the same, just like in Stephens county and everywhere else Right !!!