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DAYTONA BEACH -- Mom says state using her IQ, lawsuit to keep kidsin foster care



 
 
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Old May 20th 08, 09:42 PM posted to alt.support.child-protective-services,alt.support.foster-parents,alt.dads-rights.unmoderated,alt.parenting.spanking
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Default DAYTONA BEACH -- Mom says state using her IQ, lawsuit to keep kidsin foster care

Mom says state using her IQ, lawsuit to keep kids in foster care
By DEBORAH CIRCELLI
Staff writer

http://www.news-journalonline.com/Ne...EAST052008.htm

DAYTONA BEACH -- Brightly colored shirts and lacy dresses hang still in
a packed closet, where they've remained untouched for six months.

New Dora the Explorer and Batman bedding wait with stuffed animals in
two neatly organized children's rooms.

A 38-year-old Daytona Beach mother's apartment has all the signs three
children live there. But all is quiet.

The mother has fought since November to get her children out of foster
care and back to their own beds. Since they were initially removed from
her home in 2006, one of the children was molested and exploited while
in the state's care.

The latest battle in trying to bring her children home, according to her
attorneys, is child welfare officials questioning her parenting skills
because of a low IQ test -- an issue nationally with a high percentage
of developmentally disabled parents losing their children temporarily or
permanently.

The mother believes the timing of the second removal of her children is
not a coincidence. She filed a notice in October to sue the state after
one of her daughters was sexually abused in a Deltona foster home. Her
children were returned to her after the abuse and almost a year in care,
but a month after she made it known she intended to sue the state, her
two daughters and son were again removed.

The abusive foster father, Robert R. Clinton, is serving a life prison
sentence. The actual lawsuit, on behalf of the child, will be filed this
month, attorneys say.

The case has raised red flags with other officials. Community
Partnership for Children, the local foster care agency contracted by the
state, last week took the case away from Neighbor To Family, which it
subcontracts with for sibling foster care. The children will remain in
Neighbor To Family foster homes, but will have a new case manager and
supervisor from Community Partnership for Children.

Ron Zychowski, president and CEO of Community Partnership, said he's
concerned about the length of time the 2-, 4- and 7-year-olds have been
in foster care. He wants to make sure there's no perception of a
conflict because of the sexual abuse by the former foster parent and
pending suit by the mother. He also wants to get the mother any help or
services available so her children can be returned. He said the move and
review, prompted after questions from The Daytona Beach News-Journal, is
probably something his agency should have done long ago.

"(I want) to make sure everybody is getting a fair shake," Zychowski
said. "I don't know that the management has been wrong. What I want to
do is put a fresh set of eyes on this."

The single mother, Lisa, whose last name is not being used to protect
the identity of the daughter who was sexually abused, said she loves her
children and wants them home.

"They don't need to keep putting me through this and my kids through
this," she said. "It's not fair to me or my kids."

Lisa's three children were removed by the state Department of Children &
Families in June 2006 after one of her daughters, who was 2 1/2 at the
time, went to the emergency room unresponsive with swollen eyes and lips
after her mother said her daughter got into a friend's hair product. The
three were placed for 15 days in the foster home of Clinton, who police
later found molested Lisa's daughter, now 4, and posted sexually
explicit photos of himself with the child on the Internet. He was sent
to prison in September 2007.

The children remained in other foster homes for almost a year before
returning to Lisa last June. But they were removed again in November
after the mother said day-care officials reported her daughters were
taking off their clothes and sexually acting out. The mother and her
attorneys attribute the behavior to the foster home abuse. There was
also concern whether she provided enough diapers and clothing and was
taking her children to counseling.

State officials would not confirm why the children were removed and
court records are closed. But a November case plan Lisa provided shows
concerns about her developmental disability, lack of steady employment
and 19 hot-line calls over the past 10 years alleging abuse or neglect,
which Lisa and her attorneys dispute. She also has a 20-year-old son who
was in foster care as a child and a 15-year-old son who lives with his
father.

Regarding her current case, Gordon Johnson, CEO of Neighbor To Family,
said the nonprofit organization has been trying to find services for the
mother.

"We always have been supportive and have not treated her any different,"
Johnson said.

But Lisa's court-appointed dependency attorneys, Ronald Kowalski, and
his wife, B.R. Ferfel, said Neighbor To Family case managers have
consistently stalled the case and are using the mother's low IQ as an
excuse. An April court hearing was postponed for no reason until
September, they said. The mother, who does housekeeping work, has
finished two parenting classes, a budgeting class and anger management.

But Neighbor To Family staff asked that Lisa take a special parenting
class for people with developmental disabilities that now both DCF and
Zychowski agree doesn't exist. She's on a wait list for other services.

"I've seen her with her kids and she's a great mother," Kowalski said.
"She's not a nuclear scientist. But she's perfectly capable of taking
care of her kids."

A court-ordered evaluation showed Lisa's IQ was 62, which she disputes.
While she dropped out of school in the eighth grade, she says she reads,
cooks, cleans and pays her bills. An IQ of 50 to 70 is considered mild
mental retardation, national reports show. Zychowski, with Community
Partnership for Children, said he wants a different type of evaluation
done to see if her parenting is a factor and wants to find state
services that may help the mother with employment and other assistance.

"I take care of my kids. I don't understand why they keep messing with
me," she said.

National studies show 40 to 60 percent of parents with mental
disabilities have their children removed, mainly for neglect.

"It's just tragic. We need to provide the supports to help people be
successful parents," said Deborah Linton, executive director of The ARC
of Florida, which represents developmental disability agencies.

Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child
Protection Reform, who lobbies against removal of children from their
homes, said the state should take the money it's paying for foster
parents and put services in the mother's home. He said the children have
already been traumatized enough by the state by being placed in an
abusive foster home.

"The question right now is who has done a worse job of being a parent
for these children -- their mother with the low IQ or the geniuses with
(the state) who placed these children with a child molester," Wexler said.

Back at Lisa's house, she showed off photos of her children, along with
her parenting class certificate.

She said it's hard not knowing what to tell her 7-year-old son when she
visits.

"He always says, 'Mommy, when am I going to come home?' " she said. "I
just want them to leave me alone and let me have my life with my kids."



What's Happened in the Case

Local child welfare officials are reviewing the case of a single Daytona
Beach mother whose children are in foster care. Her attorneys question
why the children -- one of whom was molested while in state care -- have
not been returned. Here's what's happened:

JUNE 2006: State officials remove Lisa's three children after her then-2
1/2 -year-old daughter was hospitalized after she got into a friend's
hair product. The children were temporarily placed in the Neighbor To
Family foster home of Robert R. Clinton of Deltona.

NOVEMBER 2006: Internet portal Yahoo files a complaint with National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children after discovering Clinton was
posting pornographic pictures of children.

FEBRUARY 2007: Clinton is arrested and charged with possession of
pornographic images involving children, including images of himself
molesting Lisa's daughter.

JUNE 2007: Children are returned to the mother after she finishes
parenting and other classes.

SEPTEMBER 2007: Clinton sentenced to life in prison.

OCTOBER 2007: Attorneys make official the mother's intent to sue state
Department of Children & Families and Neighbor To Family for emotional
damage to the child.

NOVEMBER 2007: The three children are again removed after day-care
officials report two of her daughters are sexually acting out, Lisa said.

APRIL 28: A dependency hearing in the case is delayed by child welfare
officials until September

LAST WEEK: Community Partnership for Children, the lead foster care
agency for the state, takes the management of the case away from
Neighbor To Family.








An Inconvenient Truth about Child Protective Services, Foster care, and
the Child Protection "INDUSTRY"

Child Protective Services Does not protect children...
It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even
killed at the hands of CPS.

every parent should read the free handbook from
connecticut dcf watch...

http://www.connecticutdcfwatch.com

Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the US
These numbers come from The National Center on
Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN)
Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS

Perpetrators of Maltreatment

Physical Abuse CPS/Foster care 160, biological Parents 59
Sexual Abuse CPS/Foster care 112, biological Parents 13
Neglect CPS/Foster care 410, biological Parents 241
Medical Neglect CPS/Foster care 14 biological Parents 12
Fatalities CPS/Foster care 6.4, biological Parents 1.5

Imagine that, 6.4 children die at the hands of the very agencies that
are supposed to protect them and only 1.5 at the hands of parents per
100,000 children. CPS perpetrates more abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse
and kills more children then parents in the United States. If the
citizens of this country hold CPS to the same standards that they hold
parents too. No judge should ever put another child in the hands of ANY
government agency because CPS nationwide is guilty of more harm and
death than any human being combined. CPS nationwide is guilty of more
human rights violations and deaths of children then the homes from which
they were removed. When are the judges going to wake up and see that
they are sending children to their death and a life of abuse when
children are removed from safe homes based on the mere opinion of a
bunch of social workers.

THIS IS AMERICA'S HIDDEN HOLOCAUST

Currently Child Protective Services violates more constitutionally
guaranteed liberties & civil rights on a daily basis then all other
agencies combined, Including the National Security agency/Central
intelligence agency wiretaping programs…

THE CORRUPT BUSINESS OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
BY: Nancy Schaefer Senator, 50th District of Georgia

http://www.senatornancyschaefer.com/...s.php?filter=6

This is Child Protection?
By Gregory A. Hession, J.D.

http://www.jbs.org/node/4632

Mercenary Motherhood: "Memoirs of a Babystealer."

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...nion-rightrail

FOSTER CARE IS A 80 PERCENT FAILU. A Brief Analysis of the Casey
Family Programs. Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study. By Richard Wexler

http://www.nccpr.org/reports/cfpanalysis.doc

HOW THE WAR AGAINST CHILD ABUSE BECAME A WAR AGAINST CHILDREN

http://www.nccpr.org/issues/1.html

Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the Madness
DSS and affiliates rewarded for breaking up families
By Nev Moore Massachusetts News

http://www.massnews.com/past_issues/...May/mayds4.htm

A recent study has found that 12-18 months after leaving foster ca

30% of the nation’s homeless are former foster children.
27% of the males and 10% of the females had been incarcerated
33% were receiving public assistance
37% had not finished high school
2% receive a college degree
50% were unemployed

Children in foster care are three to six times more likely than children
not in care to have emotional, behavioral and developmental problems,
including conduct disorders, depression, difficulties in school and
impaired social relationships. Some experts estimate that about 30% of
the children in care have marked or severe emotional problems. Various
studies have indicated that children and young people in foster care
tend to have limited education and job skills, perform poorly in school
compared to children who are not in foster care, lag behind in their
education by at least one year, and have lower educational attainment
than the general population.
*Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support

80 percent of prison inmates have been through the foster care system.

The highest ranking federal official in charge of foster care, Wade Horn
of the Department of Health and Human Services, is a former child
psychologist who says the foster care system is a giant mess and should
just be blown up.

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=2017991

Four rigorous studies have found that at least 30 percent of America’s
foster children could be home right now if their parents had decent housing.

This study found thousands of children already in foster care who would
have done better had child protection agencies not taken them away in
the first place.

Front-page story in USA Today.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...m?csp=34#Close

Read the studies online.

Casey "alumni" study: "Improving Family Foster Ca Findings from the
Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study,"

http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publi...lumniStudy.htm

MIT study: "Child Protection and Child Outcomes: Measuring the Effects
of Foster Care,"

http://www.mit.edu/~jjdoyle/doyle_fo...arch07_aer.pdf

Texas comptroller's "Forgotten Children" reports:

www.window.state.tx.us/forgottenchildren

The bottom line? - Child Protective Services and the Foster Care system
for the most part turns out young adults that are nothing more than
walking wreckage...

CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CONSTITUTIONALLY
GUARANTEED LIBERTIES & CIVIL RIGHTS ON A DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER
AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY/CENTRAL
INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WIRETAPPING PROGRAMS....

CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, HAPPILY DESTROYING THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT
FAMILIES YEARLY NATIONWIDE AND COMING TO YOU'RE HOME SOON...

BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF
REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES
TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY
ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...
 




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