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San Diego County Grand Jury Letter Regarding CPS Abuses


February 14th, 2009
The San Diego County Grand Jury conducted years of investigations into misconduct of San Diego County DSS and CPS and their social workers. Despite overwhelming evidence of a routine pattern of misconduct and government abuse of power, the problems have not stopped even years later. This letter from the San Diego County Grand Jury in 1992 explains the problems well. Sadly, nothing much has changed other than the name of the agency, now called Child Welfare Services. The children and families, particularly the fathers, continue to pay the high price of lives damaged and destroyed by San Diego County Child Welfare Services.

In the early to mid 1990’s, there was a push to force CPS agencies to behave according to due process and to be accountable for their misconduct. This was only partly successful. Although the extreme atrocities of the Alicia Wade and Dale Akiki cases are now less common, CPS continues to abuse its power and acts with incompetence, irresponsibility, and impunity ruining the lives of children and their parents without due process.

Social Worker Immunity Leads to Abuse of Power

The following letter was not released to the public for two years. It is the result of the San Diego County Grand Jury investigation into CPS as a result of the Alicia Wade case.

Mothers who’ve lost their babies to adoption know that similar social worker abuses have existed for decades. Fathers who have been victimized in child custody battles with parental alienation and false accusations of child abuse also know social workers frequently side with the abusive parent.

San Diego County Grand Jury Letter regarding Social Worker Abuses in California

Date: April 20, 1992

From:  Grand Jury, County of San Diego
1420 Kettner Blvd, Suite 310
San Diego, California 92101-2432

To:  Honorable John Burton
Assemblyman, 16th District
Chairman, Public Safety Committee
California State Assembly
2179 State Capitol

Dear Mr. Burton & Committee Members:

The San Diego County Grand Jury has spent nine months in an intensive study of the Juvenile Dependency System. This has included hundreds of professionals in the system, review of literally thousands of pages of documents, study of hundreds of Juvenile Court cases, observation of approximately one hundred Juvenile Court proceedings, and one month of sworn testimony. This study resulted in Grand Jury Report #2, “Families in Crisis.”

Since issuing this report, the County Grand Jury has been inundated with an additional flood of citizens and professionals desiring to testify regarding their adverse personal experiences with Child Protective Services. The Jury has serious concerns that these abuses have seriously eroded public confidence in CPS’ ability to fairly protect children and their families. If the legislature does not approve legislation to control social worker abuse of public confidence the Jury fears a public backlash which may seriously impact society’s ability to protect children.

The S. D. County Grand Jury made ninety-two (92) recommendations to improve the system, including that the Board of Supervisors seek legislative changes in immunity provisions governing social workers and others involved in the child abuse system. This may, in fact, be the most important recommendation of the Jury because that single change carries the potential to remedy a great many of the other problems found in the system. The Jury believes the current system of absolute immunity is the single greatest deterrent to change. It is sad but true that many of us change our behavior primarily to avoid adverse results.

This Jury is well aware of the historical reasons for extending total immunity to social workers. This Jury recognizes that the majority of social workers perform their tasks appropriately. It is empathetic to the difficult decisions facing social workers and does not seek to impair their ability to perform these tasks.
Police officers are faced with very similar situations. Wisely, they have only been granted qualified immunity.  Social workers who perform their tasks in good faith will have nothing to fear protected by qualified immunity.

The San Diego County Grand Jury has witnessed the unfortunate truth of a statement made by a trial attorney within the Fourth District Court of Appeal. “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Absolute immunity is absolute power.” The Jury was hesitant to reach the conclusion that absolute immunity must go, but having seen the results of this immunity in the lives of the citizenry, we adamantly believe it must.

The San Diego County Grand Jury has:

  • seen repeated episodes of social worker perjury in court reports, and indeed, even in court testimony;
  • heard testimony by attorneys and court-appointed therapists that social workers have threatened to remove them from court approved lists if they failed to adhere to social worker recommendations;
  • heard testimony that social workers have threatened to remove additional children from families who fail to exactly follow social worker recommendations even when there is no issue regarding that child;
  • heard testimony that even repeated adverse reports by professionals about individual social workers have resulted in a failure to discipline;
  • heard testimony by attorneys that when faced with the most blatant abuses of power, there are still no remedies available to their clients;
  • heard therapists testify that social workers have threatened to ruin their careers with a report that they have “accommodated the denial” of a client, or questioned a “true finding”;
  • seen documented evidence of social workers conspiring to place children for adoption with their own family members even while reunification with natural families was in process;
  • seen evidence of social workers placing children in particular foster homes which would render the opportunity to reunify non-existent;
  • heard testimony of social workers lying to adoptive parents about the past history of the children available for adoption;
  • heard testimony of social workers misrepresenting to natural family members, in order to gain their necessary consent to an open adoption, that they will be able to have a permanent role in the life of the child when the law does not guarantee that right;
  • seen evidence of social workers placing children with an unfit parent in apparent reprisal against the other parent;
  • read numerous Social Study reports written by social workers and filled with innuendo, half truths and lies.
  • seen evidence of social workers so obsessed with molestation scenarios that they were unable to maintain even a semblance of objectivity.

 Absolute immunity fosters these wrongs and then when the system has wrought devastating financial and personal harm on individuals and families, leaves them no recourse. More significantly, however, absolute immunity promotes societal damage by removing any deterrent to repeating these same types of activities, thereby removing a primary incentive for change.

It is the view of the Jury that it is ultimately the children of California who have been most damaged. We have seen the results of the adoptions which must be undone, the relatives still seeking their children, the throw-away children on the streets, and the extraordinary costs of this system to the taxpayers.

This can not be totally rectified by this legislation but it will mean some accountability among the line social worker and every Department head. It will allow the system to purge itself of the the social worker who abuses power and leave in place those who are the willing to live within the standards of law.

This highly sensitive and very vulnerable area of social service is not the place for the abuse of power.

Further Reading

San Diego County Grand Jury Report “Families in Crisis.”

Torture of the Wade Family by San Diego CPS


  1. This is not just happening in San Diego. It is happening all over the USA and many other countries.

    Please see this Newsletter:Government Racketeering Child Protective Services, DHS, Judges Involved;
    Our Children Were Kidnapped and Now Sold

    These children were never abused until 6 girls were kidnapped at machine gun point with lasers on them by Government/DHS in a swat style raid.

    None of these girls were abused. see for information and videos.
    Now they have stolen more children in a roadside raid. see this video of them being stolen from their parents.

    Also so the web site

    These children are now being abused in DHS foster care. DHS attorney Mary Helen Mitchel made this statement: “The Lord giveth, and the DHS taketh away!
    along with many other gross and cruel statements.
    One loving mother is now in jail because she will not turn over her other children so they too can be abused in DHS foster care. Would be like turning them over to the Nazi’s
    see this video…
    also this video….
    Also a father is in jail for not turning over his children.
    These kids were happy, healthy and well loved by their parents and now they are being abused and because of this judge they cannot even speak out about what they are doing to them in court or about the DHS abuse that is going on.
    Please feel free to pass this on to others.
    These kids want to come home!
    This is totally unconstitutional, inhumane and incedious!

    • lawdoll
    • Posted February 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm
    • Permalink


    You are correct this is happening every where and it has got to stop. That is what this blog is for to raise awareness to this type of behavior by the departments who’s duty it is to protect these children. I try to do stories from across this country, to show that it is the entire nations system that is broking. It is not working and children are dying because of it.

    I will post the links that you left here on the my blog roll to try and help you get your story out. Your story has gained a lot of publicity, use it… speak out, the news stations would probably be interested in hearing from the people involved in the story you posted. The problem is that the media will not do stories like this very often and we need them to get the word out…so use them to get the word out. Do some interviews, tell your side, put it all public! If you can.

    • Lawrie M
    • Posted April 21, 2009 at 2:45 pm
    • Permalink

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009
    This is a copy of a letter with just a few highlights from our situation!

    Dear Kathy Jackson.
    My name is Lawrie Mantwell & I would like to file a formal complaint against San Diego County CPS & some of their employees.
    On March 29, 2009 my son in law was beating up my daughter so she called 911. When the police responded & he had left but the police apprehended him in the church parking lot. My son in law was arrested for domestic violence, DUI & child endangerment.

    The Fallbrook police then went to my daughters appt broke the door down because she did not answer, she thought it was her husband coming back to beat on her again so the police broke the door down. My daughter was arrested for child endangerment & my Grandson was taken into custody by San Diego County CPS. My husband (a police officer) arrived on scene almost immediately after the police did. When he was told that she was being arrested my husband asked if we could take the child which was 3months old we were emphatically told “no” that CPS was enroute.

    Yet the detention report clearly states “The child has been left without any provision for support; or the child’s parent has been incarcerated or institutionalized and cannot arrange for the care of the child; or a relative or other adult custodian with whome the child resides or has been left is unwilling or unable to provide care or support for the child. We were there, we wanted to take the child that statement is untrue!!!

    So my husband asked if they would call us as soon as they found out where the baby had been taken. We never received that phone call, it took us almost 12 hours to find out where he was & several phone calls. When we finally got in touch with the social worker she said “I am glad you called because we had no contact information for family, later on she would tell us when we complained about the officer not relaying the information she replied “oh well it was in the report I just didn’t have time to call you”

    So we told her that we would like our eldest daughter Kimberly to take to get emergency custody of the baby because my husband & I planned on bringing our daughter home from jail to stay with us.
    No one told us there would be a detention hearing until we kept asking many different questions over & over & pushing for answers, finally were informed of the hearing!
    My eldest daughter & I showed up for the detention hearing, we were told to be there at 8:00 am so we did. The case was not heard until after the lunch break at 1:30. Before the lunch break the social worker Shari Medeiros told us they were breaking for lunch but we would be first on the calendar when they come back. I then asked her if she would be back. She said “no” I questioned her as to why not? Her response was “well I need to get back to the office” & I was a bit disturbed by this & I told her “but you’re the social worker”!

    Shari Medeiros then told me she would in fact come back to represent the child. Well she never did & when we called her & asked her why? She said she had to go back to her office & prepare the placement paperwork which was subsequently not submitted for another week! Shari Medeiros was untruthful about that. CPS placement office told us when it had in fact been turned in.
    Shari also told us that the child could NOT be placed with her for emergency placement because she had a Riverside County CPS complaint against her. We both emphatically impressed upon her that the case was “unfounded” we waited & waited & when I asked her if she had even called Riverside County CPS she said “I would have to say no” she made no attempt but it’s also my understanding is “unfounded means just that, unfounded, they cannot use it against her! So then when we kept asking her why they were trying to use that to avoid placement then she came up with the excuse, that Kimberly my oldest daughter had a traffic citation 5 years ago, seriously, I thought that CPS would rather place the baby with a relative??? Or is this about $$ Then there have been other issues such as; San Diego County CPS has a terrible record of returning phone calls to our family, my daughter tried to contact Sharon Grove for well over a week calling every day to book an appointment for fingerprints she NEVER called back.

    They pulled both her & her husband out of the TDM meeting to do their finger prints well over a week later! Then proceeded to tell us it would take about 10 days to get them back. She should have called back a week prior!

    Shari Medeiros is having my eldest daughter & her husband go all the way to Escondido to pick up the baby from foster care, they live in Wildomar, 45 min away to give the parents supervised visits, isn’t that the job of the social workers job? & Nick her husband does the supervised visits with the father because he is not comfortable with his wife going alone because of the fathers violent past.
    The social worker Shari Medeiros told them they need to be impartial.
    Shari Medeiros has clearly demonstrated the she is partial to the father of my Grandchild & gets personally involved! During one phone call she told my daughter Heather (the baby’s Mother that when she moved out she took Chris’s (the baby’s father) toothbrush & he would like it back!

    Shari Medeiros has told the father she has the case plan done & has made an appt to go over it with him, she has not done that with our daughter. My daughter asked for a copy of the case plan in writing and she refused, said “You will get it the day of court”

    The San Diego County CPS worker that did the home inspection has not returned my eldest daughters phone calls & she has left several voice mail messages.
    NO paperwork or check list was given to my eldest daughter prior to the home inspection at all, she went into it blind!

    Now that we are nearing a month that CPS has had custody of my Grandson, all they can tell us is that they are still waiting for paperwork and have no idea, it could be days or weeks. Today she spoke to them and they said they are waiting for the C.L.E.T.S report that could take weeks!!!!

    Shari Medeiros at first the day of the detention hearing told us that my daughter needs to get away from this guy for both her & her baby’s safety, now she is constantly encouraging her to “re unify” with her aggressor!

    My daughters husband told her “if you ever try and divorce me I will kill you!” and we informed Shari Medeiros of that! What did Shari Medeiros do, she told my son-in-law that my daughter is filing for a divorce, is that her place??? Does she care to see my daughter injured again? He has a violent past and she had to know this would be dangerous, we did not want him to know until the TRO was in place and she was made aware of that!

    After telling Shari Medeiros at the TDM. That we planned on putting a restraining order on him she told Heather (the baby’s Mom) that she would like her to go into a 6 month in patient drug rehab to get away from “the influence” of her family, she is not on drugs & I feel that is what family is for to support each other?

    The day of the detention hearing the judge told both parents that they had 6 months to get it together & if they did not the baby could be adopted out, so in our minds time is of the essence BUT Shari Medeiros told Heather she could wait till May to start her classes we were amazed & very scared for her to wait. Does this social worker want the baby adopted out?

    She continually puts road blocks & discourages Heather from seeking services in the county in which she reside in Riverside County. Heather has no drivers license so one of us has to drive her all the way to San Diego county every time! When there are services Shari Medeiros has required minutes away from us! shari Medeiros has required Heather start new substance abuse classes when she is already enrolled in one. San Diego County CPS has refused to cover the cost of the parenting classes in which they are requiring her to attend, yet my daughter has NO source of income at present!

    Shari Medeiros has told my daughter Heather that your Mom making threats is just going to slow the process”
    This department has made it clear that they have the power & if we question things it will be our loss.

    There is family that wants sincerely wants this baby, charges were dropped against my daughter & her abusive husband again! unfortunately. We would like to do whatever we can to get our Grandson out of foster care and placed with family as soon as possible!
    & not like to fear reprisal from CPS.
    Keep us well informed, be honest & truthful, return phone calls, obey the law, & stop taking sides.
    We would like for the case to be transferred to Riverside County where the Mother currently resides.
    Do what is best for the child, the bonding process for this child is vital to his viability!
    Please hear our pleas & make this department be held accountable,

    Lawrie Mantwell
    (909) 615-0308
    Governor of California
    Congressman Darrell Issa
    Greg Cox San Diego County Board of Supervisor
    Dianne Jacob San Diego County board of Supervisor
    Pam Slater San Diego County Board of Supervisor
    Ron Roberts San Diego County Board of Supervisor
    Bill Horn San Diego County Board of Supervisor

    • Patricia Samms
    • Posted June 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm
    • Permalink

    June 18.2009

    To Whom It May Concern;

    To see my grandchild because CPS first, asked me and the father not to take Cameron home and set up a safe house. He did anyway. CPS invited me to do a family plan and I am disabled and could not drive that day. They lied and said they would call me, then cut me out because the mother said she did not want me there. They made up a lot of lies about me which I do not know all and since the mother who is under investigation for drugs, stealing and protestution said I could not see my grandchild, I went above the CPS workers head and she finally called and was very irrate with me like I did something wrong and now I am not allowed to see my grandson. This is very bias and not right. Cameron loves his grandmother and its gonna hurt him, besides me I am his buddy. What they did was wrong and not healthy for my grandson, My daughter is using it for vengence along with her father for vengence because they stole money from me. What can I do?

    I am a regular grandmother that plays with my grandchildren and talks and loves them. I never have yelled or did anything or say anything abusive in anyway. They did not even check my record. They should have checked the grandfathers record, because he has 3 domestic abuses, and went to prision for making drugs and still gets in fights and starts fights, last one about 2 months ago.

    CPS lied to me and I went over her head, so she was really irrate with me and as I said I have a witness that heard her from the phone she was so loud. The father of my grandson wouldnt ask the police, so I had to do it. My second daughter was suppose to report the dirty emails, so I did it. My daughter knows I am the one that contacted CPS for the safety of my grandchild and to get her some kind of help. So they think I am a nut case because I cried because it hurt me as a mother, when I found out she was doing sex acts in front of my grandson, that I would not get angry and upset because that would not happen if they did their job?

    CPS will not let me see my grandson for no reason except his mother my daughter said no, because she has stuck me with a huge SDGE bill and stole my SSI money out of my bank account and reported abuse. Also the fact of the Social Worker did not do her job no suprise vists, never came to my house, and I called her Supervisor. The father does want me to see my grandson, because he knows Cameron has fun over nana’s and the mother is the one being investigated. Her father was allowed to attend and he has a record, making drugs, 3 wives with domestic abuse. Just got out of a fist fight 3 months ago. I am also disabled and I feel that they violated my human rights and rights as a grandmother, because they r very venful people. the CPS worker was really rude and irrate with me and she was so loud a friend of mine heard every word she said sitting on the other side of the couch. Something should be done about it. She even told me that its ok for my daughter to protestute in her home as long as its not in the presence of Cameron. I thought prostution is a crime and illegal prescription drugs are a crime. I guess its ok with CPS.

    Patricia Samms

    • Lawrie M
    • Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm
    • Permalink

    Can I tell you San Diego CPS like to persuade Mothers to go back to abusive fathers as well. Sherry Medeiros did everything she did to encourage my daughter to go back to her abusive husband even strongly imply that if she didn’t she could stand the chance of not ever getting them back.
    We tried to tell our daughter this was NOT TRUE, they cannot keep you from your children just because you refuse to take him back!
    Well guess what Sherry Medeiros she did as you insisted and he has beaten her again! Only this time Riverside County CPS has taken her kids away for “Failure to protect” her children!
    She finally mustered the courage to leave him and Murrieta Police Department told her that if she didn’t file a Temporary Restraining Order against him she would loose her children. So she did and now they are punishing her for filing it! They have taken the children again!
    How in Gods name do these people decide what it is that they want???
    They tell her not to leave her abusive husband in one county or they will take her children then in another county, they tell her they are taking them because she did exactly what they coerced her to do in the opposite county???

    • Posted December 18, 2010 at 8:05 am
    • Permalink

    Quest for Justice for John and Gretchen

    It seems that Wake County ADA Amily McCool has gotten a GRAND JURY Indictment handed down on a Mebane man without any solid proof of this crime, which is “attempted 2nd degree RAPE…so how exactly…

    Click the following link to view the full article:

    • Bonnie Gill
    • Posted March 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm
    • Permalink

    I am a mother and my children were taken. I was arrested for something that I did not do. CPS was told I was crazy. They started from the beginning telling me that I am crazy and they can do whatever they want to me and my children. They said if I do not do what they say they would hurt my children and I more. I took numerous tests proving I am not crazy but they kept it all out of court and filled every report with lies. They write the opposite of what I say. I told CPS when they had a meeting about putting my 6 year old with my husbands’ mom that my husband was accused of severe mutilation and sexual abuse by my children. I also told them that his mother aids and hides her son and his crimes and threatened to get rid of me if I tried to get justice. She did not even care about my children or me and helped her son abuse me for years knowing he locked us out in nowhere without food or money or a way out and abused me all night. I finally found a chance to run away and then all of this happened. CPS gave my child to my husbands’ mom and she has claimed abuse consistently ever since. Dear God please can anyone help me make this nightmare stop? I need a miracle for my baby. Please. I do not have money or any idea of what to do. CPS stopped me from being able to report the abuse and they are trying to help my husbands’ mom adopt my baby. They hide the abuse and my baby almost died once. All she asked me is could she please at least come home for the weekend before daddy kills her. I am dying everyday and I am so desperate. Please can anyone help me?

    • Concerned Auntie
    • Posted March 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm
    • Permalink

    I dont understand why my brother in law cant get custody of his son when the mother got him taken away! She had a new baby with her boyfriend that was hitting her so she got 2 kids taken away.. They both went to a foster home and now there in the custody of the abusive boyfriends mother that is known to be on drugs and when her son gets released from jail thats were he lives! They told my brother in law they are doing this to keep the kids together and not seperate them. I think it’s because she has money and my brother in law is currently unemplyed. He doesnt have his name on the birth certificate either and has not even been asked to do a DNA test. The childs mother made up a bunch of stuff about my brother in law to CPS because she didnt want him to get custody. The only true thing is he has had problems with drugs in the past, but never when he had his son around him. Now they are making him go to drug rehab classes and parenting classes for 1 year because he was dirty when they popped over to tell him his child was taken away from the mom. He didnt even have the child in his care at the time. The childs mother took off with him for months and then he finds this out. He’s clean now and doing everything he’s suppose to, to get his son and all CPS has been doing is bouncing his son around from grandparents to foster parents and now to his little baby sisters grandmother who isnt even related to him! I never mentioned before the idiot mother has gotten her son taken away 3 x for domestic violence. They ended up giving him back to her everytime except this time, at least not yet. I thought when domestic violence was involved you got one chance and that was it. When my brother in law found out this last time the mother was back with the abusive boyfriend again he called CPS to notify them right away that his son was in danger. They never returned his calls, not even the supervisor. They later said he knew what was going on and is just as guilty as her because he never reported it. I was there when he called a couple different times. The first time he left a message and the second he actually got a hold of a supervisor and told him what was going on. The supervisor said he’d look into it and call him back but never did. A month later they came knocking at his door letting him know his son saw his mother beaten. If they would of done there job in the first place that would of been prevented! Everytime he goes to visit his son he’s crying to go home with his dad…
    Do they have a right to do this to him and his son, And since there not helping him what can he do to get custody?
    ~Thank you~

  2. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. My family too have been victimized by the ContraCosta CPS. They took away my niece almost two years ago destroying everysingle one of us. 2 of the relatives were supposedly eligible to be foster parents while this process is ongoing but all what I’ve seen from social workers are lies and traps. They are making excuses and lies because they want to keep my niece. The social worker Sandra Andrade even had the courage to tell me that there was no reason whatsoever, it was just that they didn’t want to give us my niece back…. , so is this discrimination? racism? bad intentions? or what! . There’s so much corruption and dishonest social workers, they can have power on this earth but there’s one God who is watching everything and nothing stays hidden from him. Someday justice will come, meanwhile, do not get intimidated by them. Everysingle one of us can make a difference by showing them that we are so much better than them. We are not going to stop fighting until getting my niece back even if it takes years and years. If only there was a good lawyer that could fight against these injustices…

    • heartbroken mommy
    • Posted May 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm
    • Permalink

    if you research, California CWS has performance bases hiring and offers bonuses for how many kids they take and adopt out but there are no incentives for reuniting children with their families

  3. What’s up, I log on to your blog daily. Your humoristic style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!

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  1. […] San Diego County Grand Jury Letter Regarding CPS Abuses   February 14th, 2009 The San Diego County Grand Jury conducted years of investigations into misconduct of San Diego County DSS and CPS and their social workers. Despite overwhelming evidence of a routine pattern of misconduct and government abuse of power, the problems have not stopped even years later. This letter from the San Diego County Grand Jury in 1992 … Read More […]

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