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TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES
TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES: DR. FLETCHER BROTHERS
AND FREEDOM VILLAGE LEADING THE WAY
By Rick Kern
The black market teems with the sinister bustle of self-satisfied
profiteers as they cash in from the shadows. Among the nation's most
enterprising entrepreneurs, their backrooms, alleys and restaurants host
countless underhanded business transactions where the players move in
and out like phantoms as they continue to sink to new lows and broker
all kinds of seedy deals. Their inventory includes the usual goods and
services -old standards such as harlotry, marijuana and other illicit
drugs, electronics, bootlegged CDs and DVDs and on and on it goes. If
someone wants it, someone else will find a way to sell it -there's gold
in them there cesspools.
And as is typical of even this squalid underside of corporate America,
the roost is ruled by the law of supply and demand. But there is an
alarming demand for one item so shocking that even the most artful
brokers can't keep the shelves stocked. What is this latest craze
sweeping America -break out the Rolaids, sit down and buckle your
seatbelts. It is our children. The foster care system is big business
and business is booming big across the country. In fact, the cheerful
chime of the cash registers has echoed so loud that our neighbors to the
north have opened their own franchise, granting their counterpart of the
United States' Child Protection Services, (CPS), benignly dubbed the
Children's Aid Society, (CAS), powers so broad that they out-muscle and
eclipse even the sweeping reach of our own Department of Social Services.
Tongue and cheek aside the problem is real, graphic and driven hard by
our bourgeoning godlessness, ever declining moral standards and the
devastating breakdown of the family. The issues facing Child Protection
Services are complex and varied. Like most government agencies, they are
under staffed, under funded and over burdened with profoundly
consequential problems. Still, there is much more to the mix, but you
have to dig down to the bottom of the sewer to get to it. Among those
emerging on the local front as a force to reckoned with against these
heartbreaking inequities is Pastor Fletcher Brothers, Founder and
Director of Freedom Village USA. Established in 1974 the organization
has been transforming the lives of troubled teens for some 30 years and
catalogs a remarkable anthology of success stories. At any given time
the group houses over 150 teens on its sprawling campus and addresses
every problem imaginable including drug and alcohol addiction,
rebellion, prostitution and even suicide with the love and grit
necessary for struggling victims to get their lives back on track. And
while Senator Hillary Clinton may not have had Freedom Village in mind
when she wrote It Takes a Village, the comprehensive program has
revolutionized thousands of shattered lives creating a mosaic of hope
and stability among our nation's traumatized youth that has earned
Brothers even the grudging admiration of his many detractors.
Pastor Brothers learned of the widespread problems within the Social
Services system by getting up-close-and-personal with the jagged edges
of the many lives left shattered by it. They are not statistics that
find a home on his desk, but savaged young lives that find a home in his
heart. "Don't get me wrong," he declares in his typically forceful
manner, "we need a system to protect children and there are many
wonderful people working within it. But the system that is supposed to
be protecting them is now part of the problem, the system's out of control."
He should know he has cradled its victims in his arms and brushed their
tears away with his hands while crying his own. There are the stories,
each more heartrending than the one before it. M, now a 23 year-old
Freedom Village resident spent seven years in the system as M's lesbian
mother (along with her lover) was approved to be a foster parent and
hosted children in an environment that rats would run from. She suffered
every type of cruelty and neglect imaginable as the "foster parents"
continually abused drugs and alcohol. According to M the children
repeatedly endured beatings, primarily from her mother's lover, and she
was also sexually abused. The refrigerator was kept locked and things
only grew worse whenever anyone complained or cried.
M estimates that during the course of her mother's tenure as a foster
parent, Child Protection Services visited their home over 200 times to
evaluate the quality of the care being received by the children who
resided there. She explains that she would sit on the steps during these
visits with ripped clothes, unkempt hair, dirty, bruised and scratched
wondering why the CPS workers could not see what was going on.
A, now 19 years-old, had similar experiences including foster parents as
an infant who left her alone with only her young brother for two days.
She wasn't changed or bathed regularly and wound up hospitalized as a
result of the care (or lack thereof) given her in the state approved
home. When she was older she was placed in a foster home where she was
continually locked in her room and rarely allowed to do anything. She
was beaten frequently and even pushed down the stairs.
The stories reverberate like an aching echo throbbing through life after
broken life. There is 15 year-old C who was in eight different foster
homes and abused in four of them. And J, also 15 years-old, who spent
nearly half of her life navigating the deadly reefs of the foster care
system. Of the 26 foster homes she drifted through, J estimates that 17
of them were abusive. The same can be said for Z, aged 17, who endured
unspeakable horrors in 17 of the 20 foster homes he lived in.
The nightmares are not confined to Western New York but have polluted
the entire system. For example, in Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa
County, a class action lawsuit, Bogutz v. Arizona, was filed on behalf
of foster children in 1994. It is emblematic of the alarming scope of
sexual abuse of children in state care. The suit charged that more than
500 of an estimated 4,000 foster children had been sexually abused while
in state care. The action also alleged, that "the acts and omissions of
Defendants were done in bad faith, with malice, intent or deliberate
indifference to and/or reckless disregard for the health, safety and
rights of the Plaintiffs."
As might be expected, the problems related to foster placements in
Arizona are not confined to sexual abuse. Like the victims at Freedom
Village, studies have shown that during a two-year period, one foster
child died on average every seven and a half weeks in the state of
Arizona. Four of them were reported as having been "viciously beaten to
death" by their foster parents," (Jeff Jacoby, "Catastrophe in Foster
Care," Boston Globe, July 18, 1995).
Similar tragedies have been reported from every corner of the country.
Both Tai Aguirre, Executive Producer and host of Talk Radio's Could YOU
Be Next and The Charlotte World, an alternative news publication that
publishes more stories each week than any other alternative news outlet,
are among the media sources that have covered the disgraceful government
sanctioned abduction of one year old Shaday Fasinro. The outrage
occurred on Dec. 15, 2000 when social workers and police officers came
into the couple's home in the evening and took the terrified baby away.
Aguirre quotes Yinka Fasinro the child's distraught father on his web
site, (www.couldyoubenext.com), "Agents from the Department of Social
Services and police pushed their way in and forced our baby from our arms."
According to Angie Vineyard's disturbing story in The Charlotte World,
the travesty was driven not by abuse or neglect that had been carefully
investigated and documented, but by Yinka and Vanessa Fasinro's
religious convictions which "led them to a vegetarian diet,
breast-feeding, and skepticism about vaccinations for their baby."
"These same convictions also led social workers to their door," Vineyard
reports, "who took their baby from them." Interestingly, the couple is
reported to embrace the Christian faith and Yinka is not Mr. but Rev.
Fasinro, reflecting mounting concerns that a disproportionate number of
Christians are finding themselves in the Department of Social Services'
crosshairs. Ms. Vineyard also covered a related, glaring scandal in
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina that explains the how the
well-intentioned system feeds off of itself in the hands of corrupt men.
A Charlotte World exclusive entitled The Fight For Spencer, was prefaced
by the ominous warning, "Across the Carolinas, Christian families are
battling local departments of social services for custody of their
children and other basic parental rights." Vineyard wrote, "After
battling the Department of Social Services (DSS) in court for an entire
year, a Christian couple has finally been given full custody of their
oldest son. A hearing judge for the clerk of Mecklenburg County Superior
Court ruled on February 19 that 18-year-old Spencer should immediately
go home with his parents, Jack and Kathy Stratton." The Strattons were
allegedly victims of not just a deeply flawed system, but of Richard
"Jake" Jacobsen, a predatory Director of the Department of Social
Services (DDS) in Mecklenburg County who is accused by some of running
an unthinkable money-making scam by franchising the very children he has
been hired to protect. "There is a government run and sponsored black
and interracial child slave trade operation in Mecklenburg County in
which black and interracial children are illegally kidnapped from their
parents, labeled "special needs" because they are black or interracial
and then held for years in state custody while Mecklenburg County
collects an estimated $30,000 to $150,000 per child per year," claims
the Family Rights Association on their web site. "We have first hand
documentation of this racketeering operation because we are an
interracial couple whose 10 children were illegally kidnapped from
another county on January 30, 2001 by this Mecklenburg County cartel."
The charges continue, "The man hired to run this multi-billion dollar
operation is Mecklenburg DSS Director Richard "Jake" Jacobsen, a man who
was removed from the same position as DSS Director in San Diego,
California in 1992 after two Grand Juries found his administration
guilty of stealing children and committing other atrocities in San Diego."
If the allegations are on target it is just another grim reminder that
no system can be greater than the integrity of those who staff it. In
1997, Congress passed the Adoption and Safe Families Act a provision
intended to expedite the removal of endangered children from perilous
living conditions. Additionally, it provided financial incentives to
states to encourage them to find adoptive or other permanent homes for
foster children, especially those with special needs.
Under the "Adoption Incentive Payment" section of the act, a state can
receive as much as $4,000 for adopting out a child. Under a subsequent
provision, technical assistance is offered "through grants or
contracts?to assist states and local communities to reach their targets
for increased numbers of adoptions." This financial assistance can be
used to expedite the termination of parental rights and "encourage the
fast tracking of children who have not attained 1 year of age into
pre-adoptive placements." Technical assistance is also appropriated to
the courts to the tune of a whopping $5,000,000 for each fiscal year.
Most applaud the spirit of the law, to move children from foster homes
into permanent adoptive placements thus establishing a greater level of
stability. But the obvious danger is that the very governing state
agency entrusted with protecting children from dangerous environments
and working with parents to reunite their families, is also given fat
bonuses by the federal government if they push to terminate parental
rights and increase their adoption numbers. The counter productive
potential of the kick-backs in the hands of unprincipled men is obvious
and lend plausibility to the sinister allegations against the
Mecklenburg DSS Director. Talk Radio's Could YOU Be Next? also covered
the Stratton nightmare on its web site, saying "A sworn affidavit by
witness Gaston County Patrol Officer Jeannette Seagle states that "there
was no need for the removal of the children."
South Carolina apparently got gold fever and joined the rush as well.
The Charlotte World also reported in a feature, Christian Family Ripped
Apart that "with virtually no warning, the Greenville Department of
Social Services came into Bill and Debbie Rettew's home, removed 15 of
their 18 children and placed them in foster homes." The family, which
was so talented and exemplary that Bill Rettew was named Father of the
Year, (an honor reportedly bestowed by the South Carolina Attorney
General), and invited to appear on Focus on the Family to meet Founder
and president Dr. James Dobson and sing on his weekly radio broadcast.
And while such an excessive seizure begs countless questions, in light
of the federal incentives the internal dynamics of the Rettew family
shed no small light on the subject. As the Charlotte World explains:
"Having given birth to Will and Autumn, now 32 and 24, the Rettews felt
strongly that it was their Christian mission to care for children others
might not want. So they became foster parents and eventually adopted
multi-racial kids and children with medical problems. Every one of their
adopted 18 have physical, emotional or mental disabilities. The reasons
the children were taken into DSS custody remain unclear since Family
Court Judge Amy Sutherland placed a gag order on the Rettews and DSS
officials, prohibiting them from discussing the case."
In an article entitled, The Real Abuse, appearing in" National Review,
(April 12, 1993), psychologist and author Dr. Seth Farber lamented "Only
a small minority of these children have been separated from parents who
are dangerous to them. The overwhelming majority have been separated
from loving and responsible parents. One does not need to be a child
psychologist to realize the devastating effect of removing a child from
parents with whom he or she is deeply bonded."
But what if those children were not only ruthlessly and unnecessarily
stripped from their homes, but subsequently placed in same-sex
households! WorldNetDaily.com ran a blockbuster expose last summer that
loosely probed the probability of gay couples being supplied with
children from heterosexual parents through the Social Services system
(posted July 1, 2004). "The vast majority will come, because they
already do come, from pre-existing heterosexual families," wrote Stephen
Baskerville. "In Massachusetts," he continued, "Forty percent (40%), of
the children adopted have gone to gay and lesbian families," according
to Democratic state Senator Therese Murphy."
According to Pastor Brothers, Child Protection Services can, through the
extremely broad powers granted them, be on your doorstep demanding your
children based upon an anonymous complaint. And the way the system
works, the agency removes the children first (to get them out of harm's
way), and asks questions later. However, the questions asked and the way
they are posed can be insidious causing the protracted placement of your
children into the foster care system until the truth can be ascertained
and addressed by an overburdened court system. But by then the damage is
done, potentially causing emotional damage and financial ruin for
children and parents who incur costly legal expenses fighting the system
to regain custody of their kids.
In her Parents Guide to the System, Cheryl Barnes, National Director of
CPSWatch, a grassroots watchdog that advocates on behalf of victims of
the SSD, notes some of the creative ways CPS workers "stack" their
affidavits. The petition may read, "there's a hole in the kitchen floor"
when the truth is "there's a tear in the linoleum." Or the petition will
read, "child was covered with bruises" when the truth is "the child has
minor scrapes and bruises on shins from climbing trees." And in an Oscar
winning spin the petition reads, "home was piled to the ceiling with
clutter," when the truth is that "the parents were packing to move."
The courts may be doing their jobs returning sixty to sixty-five percent
(60 to 65%) of the children to their homes after declaring that the
complaint (which can be a two-minute anonymous phone call remember) is
Unfounded. However, Pastor Brothers notes that some seventy percent
(70%) of those return on mind-altering drugs, usually prescribed via DSS
physicians/mental heath professionals to help the children who have been
traumatized because they have been torn from their homes and forced to
live with strangers. In San Antonio, Texas the figure was closer to
eighty-five percent (85%) according to an investigative report done by a
television station there.
His counsel, "The average Christian doesn't know their rights," he says.
"The minute you let the Department of Social Services in your house
you're surrendering your rights as a parent, you're letting the Devil in
your house." Accordingly, he has begun an aggressive thrust to enlist
Christians in Pre-Paid Legal Services, a bourgeoning program that offers
a complex of attractive legal services for extremely reasonable fees.
For more information about Freedom Village USA, one of the finest foster
care facilities in New York State, call them at: 1-(800) 842-8679.
|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|An Inconvenient Truth about Child Protective Services, Foster care,and the Child Protection "INDUSTRY"||fx||Spanking||0||December 16th 07 02:21 AM|
|Janet Napolitano is taking a wait-and-see stance on possible legislativeproposals to improve state Child Protective Services.||fx||Spanking||0||September 28th 07 08:02 AM|
|Janet Napolitano is taking a wait-and-see stance on possible legislativeproposals to improve state Child Protective Services.||fx||Foster Parents||0||September 28th 07 08:02 AM|