When you take a child do you give the parent/parents a form that asks for the names of relatives where the child/children might be placed? And, if so, what happens to the form?In every case called in to me the question had not been asked! The little girls are immediately placed in a foster adopt situation. Strange since it is the law that relatives are the first ones considered for placement. Again, the question was NEVER asked in the cases that have come to me. CPS just takes the little girls. It has also NEVER been a little boy! How about a study on gender bias in CPS takings?
In the Stuth Case the judge had called me forward in a court room and I told the judge about relatives wanting little Alexis. The state had completely kept the information from the court! This was information that the CASA blocked and that the state eventually learned but also blocked. The judge was angry about the omission but still left Alexis with the foster woman. I was told by the Kent office that they would not tell the judge about relatives until after the termination!
OK...we all know that if I can't get an answer over the phone or in person that the answer is "No." They do not have such a form. Today I talked with an area administrator who verified that. I had to dig a bit but there was an admission.
Suggested letter to employees at all levels:
RE: Article ___ Section___ of CPS "How to Take a Child" manual.
Dear CPS Worker,
Thank you for your work in protecting children and preserving the families of Washington State. In order to improve our service to children and better comply with state law that requires placement of children with relatives when possible, as of today parents or guardians of children to be removed from a home shall be presented with the following form:
NOTICE OF INTENT TO PLACE WITH RELATIVES
(----- QUOTE OF THE STATE LAW REGARDING RELATIVE PLACEMENT -----)
Parent Name___________________ Name and age of child/children_____________________
Relationship to child?children____________
Name, address and phone number of relatives you believe to be qualified for placement. Please list in the order of your preference._________________________
The culture of this agency needs to change. Eighty percent of the changes are administrative. It does not take a law to enforce a law. In the real world there is punishment if the law is not followed. Respect for the law must be taught.