Monday, January 19, 2015

WHETHER TO REMOVE OR TO RETURN

Parents frequently find it so difficult; it is almost impossible to recover custody of their children, once the child is removed. The emphasis of the cases changes from whether the child should have been removed, to should the child be returned. Now the parent must demonstrate entire cooperation with CPS, good behaviour, complete control of emotion and attitude and the tongue, and fitness to be reunited with the child. The need for the CPS agency to demonstrate the need for out-of-home placement evaporates. The burden of proof shifts from CPS to the parents by virtue of who has physical control of the child. It is a procedural spectacle. Once a child is removed it is very difficult for lawyers to get a child returned to parents whether the removal was appropriate or it wasn't. Children who are removed, are likely to remain in government care for a long time, perhaps years.

7 comments:

  1. "Children who are removed, are likely to remain in government care for a long time, perhaps years."

    This raises an interesting question. What happens to those children who are made crown wards?
    Often, child protection lawyers will argue that children need to be made permanent crown wards and access to the parents cut-off so that they are free to be adopted and given a "forever home". More often than not, children will remain in foster care until they age out of the system. In the worst cases, children will be bounced around from foster home to foster home or into group homes.

    Instead, should there be some mechanism within the system to go back and re-evaluate the parents or other family members after a certain period of time for kids who have languished in foster care. People and circumstances can change over time. Maybe they are no longer neglectful (i.e. poor) of their children's needs, or have learned to be more emphathatic. It would mean that some children will have the chance of being re-united with their families as kids, instead of having to wait until they are adults. I realize this may cost more, and tax resources in the system, but as is often the quote "We need to act in the best interests of the child".

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  2. "I realize this may cost more, and tax resources in the system, but as is often the quote "We need to act in the best interests of the child"."
    Correction required.
    Actually, a new Restorative Mechanism like this will cost less ... for the taxpayer that is, which is fortunate.

    However, it will be unfortunate for the special interests involved in this merry-go-round maze, there will be less profit to be made&scraped off by the private+public sectors, if the child is returned to the biological parents.

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  3. Comments so often appear to put the cart before the horse. We need to go right to the start of the process. The way the law is written is supposed to guarantee a certain process in order to protect the best interests of the child and a fair court process for the parents. Cases on young children should be conducted in a timely manner according to the Act. Hearings should proceed in about six weeks and there must be full legal notification given to the parents. There must be prompt disclosure of the director's evidence and it must be tested under due process. Temporary care orders cannot exceed three months for a maximum of one year. This is to protect young children from the emotional damage caused by prolonged separation. The problems start right at the beginning because the law is seldom followed and nobody takes responsibility for ensuring that it is. It seems to me that all these arguments about the pros and cons are secondary to the issue of determining whether or not the parents are fit to care for children. There is a built-in risk to foster care, so one should always weigh the degree of risk in the parental home against the risk in foster care. No risk exists in the parental home unless it has been proved with reliable evidence that has been tested under due process. The big problem is that the proper process and protection of rights under law is seldom followed. The protection system and the court systems are too broken to deliver what they are supposed to do and so directors are left with almost unlimited power by default. This collapse of the systems cannot take place without a lot of collusion between social workers, prosecutors and judges. Worst of all is that defence lawyers also collude by being very passive and not challenging the others. Half the time they have not even boned up on the law before going to court. All a parent can do is to arm themselves with enough knowledge to make sure how to pick a lawyer and how to make them do their job. This blog has offered much advice about this in the past and continues to do so.

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  5. No more Silence, an open letter to the Government:
    This was part 1

    My name is Lisa Arlin I am a Survivor of Domestic Violence I took back my power and from a system that would not help me. )For legal purposes I can provide police reports and court related documents upon request his is my journey all which is respectfully submitted. No more silence!!!!

    Women who are fleeing from domestic violence or abuse live in fear of their life. and losing their child in the process. I was one of those women. I turned to the Ministry of Children and Family Development to get help and keep my children safe. I had very limited options accept for a women’s shelter. The social worker met me at the shelter. She explained since there were no support services in place your child is at risk in your care. She then called me a few days later to see her at office and when I was there told me specifically “If you leave this office you won’t be with your child if you resist, and don’t cooperate, you will be arrested.”

    Since my son was placed in foster care, the Ministry of Children and Family Development made the home I fled the abuse from, a restricted foster care home. I was not safe I pleaded with the social worker to have visits somewhere else. My request denied. The Social worker explained "We won’t be rescheduling any more visits, and if you don't attend your child may be adopted." Since my request was denied I suffered further violence and was rushed to the Emergency hospital as I was beaten black and blue. I showed the social worker the bruises on my back and hospital records including a doctor’s note and she did not change her position.

    I hoped that I would get help from the Judge, never the less he just stated, there were too many cancelled visits, were largely due to the fact, I just cancelled them. He continued to say , I choose not to have a relationship with my child, there is no relationship then he is being adopted. In hindsight the judge also stated that because I suffered the emotional and mental trauma from the violence it would continue to impair my ability to parent that I most likely never would be capable. I suffered further abuse from the system and was completely power less I was at a rock and a hard place nowhere to get help. The police did nothing for me either just took reports and gave me a bother file number like when you have a restraining order just a piece of paper. I have submitted my open letter to the Government this is really happening you can ignore it but then social workers can still harm kids. How many times dose a women need to say I need help to the police before she actually is helped I got no support from anywhere but I have took back my power and now I am an advocate helping women flee from violence I go to court with them I go to the police I work with several women's organizations and no body likes to talk about women being abused or kids dying in foster care but we need to in order to stop it!

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  6. A was a recent case by Ian Mulgrew the Ministry of Children and family development had sided with Sexually abusive dad. They lied about the mothers mental health. I too was forced to fight charges I was mentally ill and this is what happens when the government cuts back valuable women's services and spends money of this case which last 92 days sometime times years. The Ministry of Children and Family Development Are not protecting children, in the process of victimizing, parents and lying about thier situation, and actin in bad faith they have for got about the children. The Government needs to be doing more for women and children and appologized to them for beings badly treated by the Ministry of Children and Family Development
    Sincerely Lisa Arli

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