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Tag Archives: Violation of due process rights

more about “Parents upset after DSS won’t let hea…“, posted with vodpod

 

 

Mecklenburg DSS has Prevented Noblely Lawson, who is finally well enough after almost being killed, from going home with her parents.

nobley01

Noblely’s parents have done everything in their power to make sure that they had a suitable place to live for when Noblely was released from the hospital, but apparently, Mecklenburg DSS wants this baby no matter what. You can see the full story here.

These parents almost lost their daughter through the carelessness of someone else.  For the last month and a half, they have had to watch Noblely suffer in agony on a daily basis.  They have had to endure what no parent should ever have to, their child in pain, while they stand hopelessly by and watch. 

Any parent who has ever had an injured child knows this agony, the overwhelming fear, the sense of helplessness that occurs in this situation.  You long to be able to trade places with your child, if you could, you would gladly suffer the pain for them.  You live each and everyday wishing you really could kiss away the boo boos and make it all better, you live each and everyday wondering if your child will ever be the same again and the quality of life they will  have now.

…and now after these parents, Shane Lawson and Summer Brown, who were also struck by this car, have lived through the fear of loosing their child, the unknown results of this horrible accident, spent countless nights and days by their daughter side watching helplessly her struggle to survive…DSS has taken custody of this child and refuses to let her go home with her obviously loving parents.  

WHY?

Why would they do this?  Is this some kind of sick sadistic game that Mecklenburg DSS is playing?  What does Mecklenburg DSS do, sit in their director’s $20, 000 office and decided how to make a families life’s more hell then it all ready is?  These parents and this child have been through enough!  Noblely almost died and instead of reaching out a helping hand to these parents, Mecklenburg DSS decides to kick them while they are down.  There was no reason to take this child…no evidence of abuse or neglect, if anything, these parents have went above and beyond DSS’s minimal requirements of care.   Mecklenburg DSS is way out of line with the removal or Nobely Lawson from her parents!

Everyone who reads this story needs to contact the media in Charlotte, as well as Lanier Cansler the Secretary of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Governor Bev Perdue, complain about  the treatment this family has received, complain about the corrupt actions of the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services.  I have listed the contact information at the end of this story.

Let me just say that DSS that work in glass offices should not throw stones…

DSS Director Mary E. Wilson glass filled $20,000 office

DSS Director Mary E. Wilson glass filled $20,000 office

Earlier this month I published on this blog a story about Mecklenburg DSS , in that story it was stated that Mecklenburg DSS Director Mary E. Wilson had spent $20,000 redoing her office, money that I felt could have been better spent on the Lawson family or some other families in this community.  I stated then and I still stand by what I said, “Look at this office…my living room doesn’t even look like this…do you know how many people she could have helped with all of the money she spent redoing her office…This is a prime example of why they have no money and are always requesting more funds…this just proves…they have the money, but they don’t use it to help children or the community!”

VIDEO: DSS director spends $20,000 renovating office

http://www.wcnc.com/video/?nvid=305319&shu=1

Not only did Mecklenburg County DSS spend $20,000 dollars on the Directors elaborate office with plasma screen T.V., they also spent $20,000 dollars on their annual holiday party, below is the video for this story.

While most workplaces are scaling back their holiday parties, one local government agency doubled their budget

http://www.wcnc.com/video/?nvid=314488&shu=1

That is a grand total of $40,000 dollars that they spent on themselves.  Less then most of their “clients” make in a year!!!  And they spent this amount of money on two things…the directors comfort and a party that they refused to allow the media to attend.  On my earlier blog I stated, “DSS could have used the $40,000 dollars that they spent on themselves on this family so Nobely and her family could have a place to live that would accommodate the equipment she now needs to survive.  Instead of using funds to help families like the Lawson’s, Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services blows thousands of dollars on themselves and then uses lack of funds to tear families apart or as an excuse not to help because of “lack of funds”.

They also use the excuse of lack of funds when they fail to protect a child from child abuse, “we are short staffed, we don’t have enough funds”…how many times have we heard this excuse as to why children died, why the child was not monitored closely enough…I, for one, am tired of their shitty excuses.  They are spending money left and right, misappropriating funds, stealing from the very people who need it the most…and where do you think this money comes from in the first place???  The taxpayer wallet…this is our money that they are blowing!  These are our children, neighbors, friends, and follow Americans that they are failing…if you step back and look…you will find one person, one child, one family member, or one friend that DSS has failed that you personally know….enough is enough…the time has come to speak out against this corruption.”

I stand by my earlier statement and add that the time to speak out is now, we cannot continue to allow these corrupt Department’s of Social Services to get away with their illegal, unethical, and corrupt behavior. 

There is currently a huge audit occurring at the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services,

 Among the findings:

  • Mecklenburg County officials cannot account for $162,000 in donations meant to buy gifts for needy children. That includes a $10,000 check made out to an employee.
  • Of the 840 receipts inspected for that program, 799 had problems, including receipts that were altered, whited out or omitted in photocopying. (This to me is a nice way of saying falsified, forged receipts were found.)
  •  In a separate year-round program, auditors said, money meant to help foster families buy clothes and other necessities for children was spent on office supplies. (would that include, plasma T.V.’s, Queen Anne Desk and matching table, window treatments)

You can read the full story at: Spending probe spreads at DSS

And did you know that Mecklenburg County has been under a firing freeze, but apparently that can be lifted so long as the new employee has political connections.

Who did they hire??

  • The I-Team found that even though the county Department of Human Services was under a hiring freeze, Director Mary E. Wilson hired a friend and former co-worker who is the wife of an at-large city councilman.
  • Wilson hired Samara Foxx, wife of councilman and mayoral candidate Anthony Foxx, last July after posting the position for only one day, according to a DSS spokeswoman. (To read Mrs. Foxx’s statement to the I team, clickSamaraFoxxResponse.)
  • DSS hired the daughter of CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe in January
  • and the daughter of Superior Court Judge Yvonne Mims-Evans in February.

To see the full story, visit the following link:

‘Cronyism’ investigated in DSS hiring

 

My earlier blog post about Noblely Lawson and the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services can be found at the following links:

MECKLENBURG DSS AUDIT/SPENDING HABITS/MISAPPROPRIATION OF FUNDS

DSS THREATENS TO DESTROY FAMILY INJURED BY CAR CRASH

MORE ON NOBLELY LAWSON’S STORY:

Father Describes Moment Car Hit Baby’s Stroller

Parents may lose custody of child who survived crash

As young girl recovers, family’s future is in question

Parents may lose custody of injured baby

What Can You Do To Help The Lawson Family?  (From http://angiemedia.com/?p=4130)

What Can You Do To Help The Lawson Family?

The Lawsons don’t have the money or political connections to fight DSS. They need the help of people around the world who are willing to fight abusive government.

Here’s what you can do to help them:

  1. Pass around this story and others linked below about DSS harming this family. Help put pressure on DSS to leave this family alone.
  2.  

  3. If you’re in the Charlotte, North Carolina area and have room to spare in your home and room in your heart to help out an abused family, consider offering space for the Lawson family to live while they recover from the car accident and the DSS threats.
  4.  

  5. If you have some spare money for a good cause, consider donating to help the Lawson family protect their child from DSS and pay for her medical care:Donations may be made to the “Noblely Yvonne Lawson Assistance Fund” at any branch of Wachovia bank or they can be mailed to:Wachovia Bank, NA
    Attn: Noblely Yvonne Lawson Assistance Fund
    PO Box 26090
    Richmond, VA 23260-6090Please make checks payable to the Noblely Yvonne Lawson Assistance Fund c/o the fund’s administrator, David B. Pevney, Attorney at Law, PLLC.
  6.  

  7. If you know the Charlotte, North Carolina, DSS personnel involved in the abuses against the Lawson family, spread their names and contact information around to as many people as you can. Encourage people to contact these DSS staff to make them personally accountable for their abusive conduct. Telephone them, email them, and fax them to let them know that you do not appreciate their abusive and corrupt behaviors.Director Mary E. Wilson
    email: Mary.Wilson@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
    704-336-2472 (main)
    704-336-6279 (direct)
    704-336-5887 (fax)
  8.  

  9. Tell everyone you know about DSS being a corrupt and abusive organization that wastes taxpayer dollars and trains its employees to abuse children and families for the financial benefit of DSS.
  10.  

  11. If you live in Mecklenburg County, vote out the current county supervisors. Talk with your neighbors about the rampant corruption, illicit hiring practices that smack of nepotism and benefit those in power, irresponsible spending, financial “controls” that can’t account for hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing money, and targeting of families like the Lawsons for abuse to obtain financial gain for DSS.

CONTACTS:

 

Charlotte Media:

*NewsChannel 36
1001 Wood Ridge Center Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina 28217-1901
Phone: 704-329-3636

Send us a story
If you see news breaking, call us:
704-329-3600

*WBTV News Channel 3

News Tips:  To report breaking news, call 704-374-3691 or email assignmentdesk@wbtv.com.

Consumer storiesTo send suggestions for a consumer-related story, email kmiranda@wbtv.com.

PSI Charlotte:  Got a story you want our Problem Solvers Investigators to look into?  Call 704-374-3511 or email problemsolvers@wbtv.com.

More contacts at WBTV…

Address

WBTV TELEVISION

 1 Julian Price Place
 Charlotte, NC 28208 

Main phone:  704-374-3500, ext 1

 
*WSOC-TV channel 9
Phone: 704-338-9999 (Main switchboard)
Phone: 704-335-4871 (Newsroom)
Street address: 1901 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28206
Mailing address: P.O. Box 34665, Charlotte, NC 28234*NEWS 14 CAROLINA

316 E. Morehead Street
Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 973-5800

Lanier Cansler

Lanier M. Cansler, Secretary
919-733-4534; fax: 919-715-4645

2001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-2001
Location: Adams Building, 101 Blair Drive, Raleigh

 

Governor Bev Perdue

Citizen and Community Services Office

The Citizen and Community Services Office responds to requests and questions that the Governor’s Office receives from citizens throughout North Carolina.

(800) 662-7952
(919) 733-2391

Expedited passage of child abuse bill sparks opposition

 

Rightist groups speak out for parental freedom, but some say fears overblown

 

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/state-local/expedited-passage-of-child-abuse-bill-sparks-opposition-1.1761914

Erin Mulvaney

Daily Texan Staff

Published: Thursday, June 11, 2009

Updated: Thursday, June 11, 2009

 

Karina Jacques/The Daily Texan

Brian Russell, State Republican Executive Committee member, and his daughter Elizabeth participate in the Anti-CPS Rally at the Capitol.

A coalition of conservative and libertarian groups rallied on the south steps of the Capitol on Wednesday, asking Gov. Rick Perry to veto a controversial measure they claim would take away parental rights in Child Protective Services cases.

The bill would give the Department of Family and Protective Services more control in child protection cases. Supporters of the measure, such as the Center for Public Policy Priorities, say the bill offers a more specific outline for child protection cases.

The legislation essentially gives the Department of Family and Protective Services workers more control in the legal process during an investigation of potential child abuse by removing the current requirement of “showing good cause” and instead requiring a police affidavit, which is similar to a criminal search warrant.

Austin resident Tracie Upham, a mother of three, said she went to the rally to urge the governor to veto the measure.

“Anyone who is a parent is now subject to investigation,” Upham said.

Jane Burstain, a Center for Public Policy Priorities analyst, said the protestors might not understand the measure.

“This measure actually lowers the bar,” Burstain said. “Parents cannot be searched on pure speculation. It is very similar to a criminal charge.”

Representatives from the Texas Center for Family Rights, the Texas Eagle Forum, the Free Market Foundation, the Texas Home School Coalition, the Libertarian Party of Texas, the Campaign for Liberty, the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas, Texans for Accountable Government and the Parent Guidance Center claimed that the measure was unfairly placed on the local and consent calendar.

“It seems like we’re throwing the Fourth Amendment under the bus,” said Tim Lambert, president of the Texas Home School Coalition. “It completely undermines parental rights.”

The House unanimously passed the seemingly harmless bill, authored by state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, toward the end of the legislative session in late May. The original bill called for speeding up the execution of an uncontested judicial order pertaining to child support.

Brian Russell, Texas Eagle Forum member, said he was shocked when he saw that there was no opposition to the bill.

“It was unsettling,” Russell said.

The measure passed through the Senate on April 16, but was not debated in the House because of the Democrats’ efforts to “chub” the contentious voter ID legislation.

The disputed amendment was tacked onto the child support bill and was placed on thelocal and consent calendar, which usually contains non-controversial bills, and was passed unanimously in the House.

I received this email today from the Eagle Forum of Georigia ACTION….

Help protect the fundamental rights of parents!

Calls are needed to request Governor Rick Perry of Texas to veto Senate Bill 1440 that would give even more power to Child Protective Services (CPS) to remove children from their home while investigating alleged abuse. At this very hour, children are being taken from their parents unnecessarily and are six times more likely to die in foster care than in the general public.

A source of conflict with the legislation is an amendment focused on the situation when a parent refuses to allow CPS social workers inside his or her home to investigate.

Should the bill become law, a judge could grant CPS a court order, like a criminal search warrant, that would allow a CPS social worker to immediately enter a home, remove a child or children, and confiscate medical and/or mental-health information. The parent or guardian would not be notified in advance of the pending home-search. This is very disturbing.

This procedure and the granting of more power to CPS makes clear the need for legislation that requires a court order before any social worker can enter the residence of a parent or guardian to seize a child.

This bill going before Governor Perry is another attempt to destroy parents’ rights in America. Parents are living in fear now that CPS will appear at their door. Poor parents are the ones most often targeted to lose their children because they do not have the where-with-all to hire an attorney and fight the system. Being poor or living in a barely adequate home does not mean you are not a good parent or that your children should be removed or placed somewhere with strangers.

Parents have a Constitutional right to be a parent. “The rights of parents to the care, custody and nurture of their children is of such character that it cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions, and such a right is a fundamental right protected by this Amendment (First) and Amendments 5, 9, and 14. Doe V. Irvin 441 F Supp 1247; U.S. D.C. of Michigan, (1985).”

Citizens must begin to see the big picture connected with Child Protective Services (CPS). The separation of families and the “legal kidnapping” of children in America is growing as a business because State governments have grown accustomed to having tax-payer dollars, sometimes reaching into the millions, to balance their ever-expanding budgets.

The Adoption and the Safe Families Act, set in motion first in 1974 by Walter Mondale and later expanded upon in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, offered cash “bonuses” to States for every child the State adopted out of Foster Care. In order to receive the “adoption incentive bonuses” local Child Protective Services would need more children.

Some counties offer $4,000 to $6,000 bonus for every child adopted out to strangers and an additional $2,000 for a “special needs child”.

But that is only the beginning figure in the formula in which each bonus is multiplied by the percentage that the state has managed to exceed its baseline adoption number. Therefore, states and local communities work hard to reach their goals for increased numbers of adoptions for children in foster care.

The funding continues as long as the child is out of the home. There is funding for foster care when a child is placed with a “new family”. Then the “adoption bonus funds” are available. When a child is placed in a mental health facility, more funds are involved as well, through Medicaid. No wonder children in America are being over medicated.One in every five school age children is diagnosed with alleged mental disorders.

Walter Mondale in 1974, made the statement, when signing off on the Adoption and the Safety Families Act, that he hoped it would not turn into a business. Well it has! It is big business and the bureaucracy of state and “other” employees looking to the children in state care for their job security, is staggering!

So, to have the power to remove children from a home on an “anonymous tip”, which happens frequently, is unconscionable not to mention the fact the language in Senate Bill 1440 that required CPS to prove “good cause shown,” was stricken! How convenient for CPS.

If families are destroyed, the “State” will become the parent. We must never let this happen. We need to defend and restore parents’ rights. It is the family that holds our nation together. SB 1440 will lead, through false allegations, to more abuse of parents trying desperately to protect their children.

CALL OR WRITE GOVERNOR RICK PERRY’S OFFICE
URGE HIM TO VETO SENATE BILL 1440

Texas Opinion Line: (512) 463-1782
Switchboard for Governor’s Office: (512) 463-2000
Fax Governor’s Office: (512) 463-1849
Governor’s mailing address: Governor Rick Perry, P.O. Box 12428,
Austin, Texas 78711

Governor Perry has until June 21st to sign the bill, veto the bill or let it become law without his signature.

CALL OR WRITE GOVERNOR PERRY TODAY

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”
Psalm 33:12

Eagle Forum of Georgia
Phone: 706-754-8321
Web-Site: www.eagleforumofga.org
Email: nancy.schaefer@nancyschaefer.com

 

State child abuse registries have faced legal challenges

 

http://www.detnews.com/article/20090604/METRO/906040367/1409/State-child-abuse-registries-have-faced-legal-challenges

Catherine Jun / The Detroit News

Decades after federal legislation triggered the founding of child abuse registries, many states have expanded their policies and procedures, drawing court challenges in several instances.

Still the registries remain controversial, and how they are handled ranges from state to state.

Michigan has over the years both expanded its access to the list and contracted its criteria for listing. In addition to a finding of neglect or abuse, the caseworker must also find a”high” or “intensive” risk to the child’s well-being, save for a few exceptions. Then and now, criminal conviction is not necessary.

“It makes it more difficult to be placed on the registry because it’s looking at our more serious cases,” said Zoe Lyons, manager of the Children’s Protective Services division of the Department of Human Services.

Twenty-three states had policies restricting their central registries to claims that were substantiated, founded or indicated on reports, according to a 2003 report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Approximately 30 states allow or require a check of central registry or department records for individuals applying to be child- or youth-care providers, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Many states began adding names to their registries as early as 1975, following the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which required all states to keep such records to qualify for funding for child welfare programs.

And several have faced legal challenges that in some cases forced child welfare agencies to bolster their due process protections:

• In 1991, a school paraprofessional filed a class action lawsuit against New York state arguing that placing her name on the registry violated her rights of privacy and substantive and procedural due process. She was eventually awarded more than $115,000.

• The Maryland appeals court ruled in 1996 that people accused of abuse or neglect have the right to a trial-type hearing before the state lists them. State officials were soon thereafter required to schedule hearings in front of an administrative law judge in all cases in which it’s requested.• Late last year, a federal appeals court ruling in San Francisco prompted the California attorney general to review that state’s procedures for appealing a listing. The state offers no procedure for a listed person to seek removal from the list.

Child welfare attorneys say that the move to use registries as a hiring tool goes far beyond its original purpose.

“I don’t think the intent was ever to have this be an employment resource,” said Linda Spears, vice president of policy and public affairs at the Child Welfare.

 

My Opinion On This Matter:

First and foremost unless you are convicted in a criminal court or found guilty of abuse by a judge by an abundance of evidence supporting CPS’s Claim…your name should not be on any list.  This list turns people into criminals without ever going to trial.

Most of the people on these lists, should not even be there….CPS is a civil matter.  When CPS substantiates abuse against you it is just their own personal opinion, it is not a matter of law.  Many times it is to get even, as it was in our case…to discredit our valid complaints against them.  There is no trial, there is no evidence…they can do what they want. 

I say these lists need to be abolished, if CPS needs a list to refer to in cases of abuse…then that list needs to be private, employers should not have access to it…NO ONE SHOULD! 

And unless you have actually been convicted in court of the crime of child abuse and neglect…your name should not be on any list…Whatever happened to due process, the right to a fair trial, the right to face your accuser in court and present evidence in your defense….this list is bullshit and should be abolished in all 50 states!

Lawmakers Investigating Past CPS Actions

http://publicbroadcasting.net/kera/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1479830&sectionID=1

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

AUSTIN, TX

 (2009-03-11)
 
Representative Elliot Naishtat

 Almost a year ago, the state’s Child Protective Services removed more than four-hundred children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch outside Eldorado. And a few months later, the Texas Supreme Court said C-P-S overstepped its authority, and ordered most of the kids back to their families. Now a group of state lawmakers is about to take a look at what went wrong. KUT’s Nathan Bernier reports.

State Representative Elliot Naishtat – an Austin Democrat- will lead the specially formed subcommittee. The panel will look at what can be learned from the raid on the Y-F-Z Ranch, which some people have characterized as a fiasco.

Naishtat: “My initial reaction was that it appeared to me that the due process rights of the children and the families were violated. That ultimately is what the Texas Supreme Court said.”

The panel was formed by Representative Patrick Rose – a Democrat from Dripping Springs. He hopes to glean lessons that could be applied broadly to Child Protective Services.

Rose: “That’s what we’re going to find out. I think how we coordinate with law enforcement. How we handle such a large group of children coming into the system. How we can deal with particular circumstances like this, an isolated group of folks.”

But critics of C-P-S say that while the raid is unique – the practices of the agency are not. Regardless of any charges of polygamy being practiced on the ranch. Richard Wexler runs the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.

Wexler: “The FLDS case was not an aberration. Taking away children with little or no evidence. Throwing them needlessly into foster care. Traumatizing them in foster care, and doing all of that harm in the name of children happens far too often in Texas and across the country.”

A spokesman with the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints told a Salt Lake City newspaper he welcomes the committee’s probe. Representative Naishtat says the first hearing should take place in two or three weeks.
© Copyright 2009, KERA

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