Problems & Corruption in Child Protective Services (CPS)
The articles on this page expose some deep problems that shouldn't be ignored within Child Protective Services (CPS).
We recognize that there are good child welfare workers and good judges, and the child welfare system, even with its faults, works better in some places than in others. We appreciate the good workers within the system, and recognize that no one has a right to abuse a child and that intervention is sometimes necessary. However, we also wish to speak out for those suffering innocently and expose aspects of child protection that need changed.
The problems in the CPS system also emphasize how important it is that children not be taken unless they truly need intervention. Sadly, though, as other pages on this site show, many children end up in this broken system unnecessarily. This needs to stop--parental rights need to be protected.
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Examples of Issues in the CPS System
Note: Parental Rights Foundations does not necessarily agree with all views expressed in these articles. They are provided here to give a glimpse into what is happening in the news.
- Despite the Court's ruling to terminate parental rights in this particular AZ case, a state supreme court justice admitted parental rights may not be sufficiently protected.
"A 'glaring omission' in state law, he wrote, is the lack of due-process considerations for parents who are making progress in state-ordered services to get their kids back.
"The 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling [Santosky v. Kramer] required states to make 'diligent efforts to encourage and strengthen the parental relationship.'
"That requirement does not exist in Arizona law, neither in how DCS views efforts to help reunify families, nor in how the courts treat termination requests, he wrote."
- Activists Say Return of Little Falls, Minn., Boy Shows Overreach by Child Welfare Officials
"The child protection system in Minnesota is unjust and harmful to children, an advocacy group argued Tuesday, and as evidence, pointed to the decision by a state judge last week to return a 1-year-old boy to his mother....Erick Kaardal said the child protection system is a 'public health abuse' because counties can remove children before a trial."
- 13 Investigates: DCS Violated Parents' Rights, Took Kids Away
"Judges from the Indiana Court of Appeals have issued a scathing rebuke of the state's Department of Child Services, saying the agency repeatedly violated parents' rights. The appellate judges identified 'significant violations of due process occurring in termination of parental rights cases throughout the state.'"
- Thousands of parents show support of child protective services lawsuit against Minnesota
"Robin Stoltman moved two of her children out of Minnesota to maintain custody of them. Amanda Weber did the same thing. And so did Dwight Mitchell when he regained custody of his two children.
"The three are among thousands of parents clamoring for change in Minnesota's child custody laws."
- Dozens Rally for Foster Care Reform
"Right now in our state, criminals have more rights than parents. I've had families that don't even meet their attorney until their hearing." - Denise Johnson, Board Member, Montana Child Protection Alliance
- Florida Illegally Separating Children of U.S. Citizens from their Parents – Where’s the Outcry?
In the Tampa area of Florida, a peer review team appointed by the head of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCS), Mike Carroll, found that fear of media consequences has led to illegal seizures (we would call those “kidnappings”) of large numbers of children “needlessly.”
- DCF and the Poor: Is the System Fair?
“The confusion of poverty with neglect is the single biggest problem in American child welfare,” said Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform. Poor parents are more likely than middle-class parents to have their parental rights terminated because they’re more likely to have their children taken in the first place, he said.
- FERRIER FILES: Do Criminals Have More Rights than Parents in Tennessee?
"And even if you do absolutely nothing wrong, your children can be taken from you."
- A Broken System: Child-Parent Sanctity (CPS) - This article explores some of the failings in the CPS, pointing out how innocent families often suffer and lack protection. While there are good workers within the welfare system, this article points out some issues that need to be addressed before more families suffer.
- 5 Times Child Protective Services Separated Kids from Parents for No Good Reason - While acknowledging that there are situations where children need to be taken from their parents, this article highlights several cases that illustrate how there is often simply "no good reason" to separate families, yet they are being separated anyway.
- Official Snatching of Children: A Growing Business Paid for by Your Taxpayer Dollars
"What happens when a system that was designed to protect children fails?
"Many caseworkers and social workers are great at what they are charged to do....On the flip side of this, there are caseworkers and social workers who are often guilty of fraud."
- Mom Brings Coughing 10-Month-Old to the Hospital. Days Later, Cops Take the Baby.
"This practice—overly suspicious government officials seizing children from their parents—isn't confined to Minnesota."
Lying in Court
In a Texas case, a child services investigator had to be sanctioned by a judge for lying in court to illegally remove a child from her father.
Abuse in Adoption
In North Carolina (2016), a young man sued the child services supervisor "who adopted him, only for her and her boyfriend to spend several years abusing him."
Workers Force Way into Home
In Loudermilk v. Administration for Children, Youth, and Families, a federal district court ruled that Arizona child services investigators were protected by immunity when they forced their way into a family’s home without a warrant using threats of taking the couple’s children away. Such threats, according to the court, do not constitute coercion, so the parents’ Fourth Amendment rights – says the court – were surrendered voluntarily.
Report Hidden from Parents
In California, a diabetic child services investigator took a little girl from her mother’s (Vanessa Wilson) care under the incorrect assumption that the diabetic girl’s blood sugar numbers should be comparable to her own. When checked at the local hospital, the little girl was found to be healthy and stable, her numbers improved from when she was recently diagnosed with the condition.
Yet child services investigators and prosecutors withheld the doctor’s findings from the judge and parents through two separate hearings. They kept the child for more than a month before parents finally saw the report and had the child returned.
Social workers in Kentucky proved completely vindictive when a mother (Vanessa Shanks) stood up to them. Social Services took her children, took children of her relatives (at 3:00 in video), and even removed the children of her lawyer (at 4:15) from the lawyer’s home!