Parents you must protect your Rights How To Fight CPS & your agency" Step by Step Condensed
Communities of color especially parents need more than a support Group to get your children back. The ASFA Law states 15 to 22 months and your rights can be terminated.
Parents you have no time to waste. You must get all documents needed for your case and make sure that the attorney is working to help you and not against you. You must make sure that you enroll in the programs and not wait for caseworkers to do so.
These are your children and you must be proactive and not wait on anyone to do anything for you.Learn the child welfare laws. Get the agency policy so that you can hold them accountable.
Do not discuss your case with everyone. Not everyone is here to help you. Join FPA-Foundation and get a advocate. Parents must protect your rights 1 No matter what stage your "case" is in, the Number One (#1) thing YOU MUST DO- Document, Document, Document
This costs nothing and is the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do in your defense.
CPS agents "make mistakes", LIE, and TWIST your words. Don't let them get away with it- DOCUMENT IT.
Keep detailed records of who said what, when. Keep copies of EVERYTHING you send to them or receive from them.
ESPECIALLY document face-to-face and conversations on the phone. Record or video tape if you have it. This is a war fought with PAPER, paper FILED ON THE RECORD in court.
Insist on LETTERS to and from the agencies.They can't alter their words printed on paper that have been mailed to you. Nor can they alter your words either. KEEP COPIES of your letters to them.
#2 SIGN NOTHING, AGREE TO NOTHING If you are innocent or falsely accused, Do NOT agree to anything a CPS agent says. ABSOLUTELY do NOT sign anything a CPS agent shoves under your nose until you talk it over with your LAWYER or a trusted friend who has some legal savvy.
Anything they FORCE you to sign, you can add "Under Duress" before your signature if you don't agree with it.
If you already have agreed or signed something that you felt coercion to do, upon advice from your lawyer or knowledgeable friend, you can RESCIND your previous agreement or signature.
Be forewarned- this will really, REALLY piss off the CPS worker and they WILL undertake to punish you every way possible. But she probably planned on "doing their worst", hurting you every way possible, eventually.
About the "Service" or "Safety Plan"
SHUT UP--- SHUT UP--- SHUT UP! Quit talking with the CPS. You are waiving your FIFTH AMENDMENT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT and Miranda Rights every time you answer a question.
"The claim and exercise of a Constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime." --
Miller v. U.S. Source: 230 F 2d 486, 489 Personal and phone conversations are where "mistakes" (inventions and fabrications) happen when THEY write their report about the conversations.
Words you say float up into the rafters and come back twisted against you. If you feel you have to talk with them, record it or videotape it. You can then transcribe it into your DOCUMENT.
A Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations in the 50 States and D.C.
CPS is NOT your friend! DO NOT pour your heart out to a CPS worker or case worker with your agency.
1st Amendment & 4th Amendment being violated by ACS/CPS. The 1st amendment – Freedom of Religion, Press -Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the RIGHT of the PEOPLE peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Parents-You have first amendment rights even on the internet use them – don’t be afraid. It is your life and your child’s life that is at stake. Under the rights not privileges of the First Amendment, I as a parent have the RIGHT to assemble and post my story or go to the media pertaining to my child. It falls under freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Funded with our hard earned dollars, Child Protective Services (CPS) have taken absolute power with no regard to The Constitution of the United States of America.
American's petitions to our elected representatives at the local, state, and federal levels are ignored, never answered and therefore, are never resolved. This problem affects families in every city and in every state spanning our entire nation. Violations occur in secret and are, (more often than not) upheld in Family Courts. The unspeakable acts of Child Protective Services often result in American Parents and children paying the ultimate price, their loss of each other.
CPS is able to steal children simply because American's, for the most part do not understand their rights. In order to put a stop to these corruptions all Americans must have a thourough understanding of their rights as a United States Citizen and regularly excercise them!
Under The Constitution of The United States Of America-"No man who is in a position of authority over them is above the law. Those who have been victimized have the real ability to seek civil and criminal punishment against those who use the authority of the state to act outside the law with impunity.
" Under The Constitution of the United States of America all Americans have the RIGHT. to be free from threats, duress, coercion, or intimidation in their dealings with the State. If the parents or child does not take the CPS worker up on their empty promises the CPS worker then reverts to threats and more consistent harassment.
Threats, duress, and coercion such as these cause the parents to fear losing their children. In many cases the parents are so terrified they forget their fundamental Constitutional right to Due process. When this happens, their children are taken.
CPS CORRUPTION-Under the Constitution of the United States of America all Americans have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizure.-This right is violated when CPS workers and police officers take and/or question children without warrants or evidence that a crime has taken place. American children are their parents property.
CPS Workers go unannounced into schools where they interview the child away from the parent and without the child having an attorney. This is total disregard to the rights of the parents to be with a child when they are being questioned. Likewise, it is total disregard to the child's right to have a parent or an attorney present during questioning. CPS Workers do this "private interview" kind of questioning in order to put down on paper, things the child never said.
Reasons to tell the judge the children should be taken. The judge typically sides with the CPS worker sighting things such as "they are mandated by the state to tell the truth, so they must be telling the truth." Boom - the judge orders the child into foster care where it is virtually impossible for the parent to get their child back into their own home.
Under our 6Th Constitutional Amendment All Americans have the right to not be subjected to hearsay evidence against them.-In child abuse cases hearsay evidence is very often admitted into court. When the CPS worker tells the judge of the "private interview" with the child. Things that were said even if the child denies having said it, the courts typically side with the CPS worker and thus, allow hearsay into their final judgement.
Under the 5th Amendment of The Constitution of the United States America - All American's have the right to not be compelled to be a witness against him/herself. Family courts (under CPS suggestion), regularly order the parent to cooperate with CPS and to sign releases of private medical and psychiatric information. they are told if they do not sign they will lose their children.
By being given this direction through the courts a parents rights to not be a witness against him/herself is directly violated. Parents have the right to cross-examine witnesses and impeach testimony. Unfortunately, parents are being denied their right to submit evidence to the courts that would be in their favor.
Under the Constitution of the United States of America Parents have the right to not to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.-However, parental rights are terminated when the CPS agent removes their child from his/her home.
The Parents are then denied the right to be present at interviews and examinations and in many cases are not allowed to speak with their children. Visitations (if granted) are supervised places where children and parents are not allowed to talk about CPS.
Parents are being denied their rights to their own children before due process of law has occurred. Effectively proven guilty before having had the chance to prove themselves innocent.
The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children,including medical treatment decisions.
CPS and family courts regularly violate this right when they force CPS services upon families.Psychiatric evaluations, drug treatments and more, all through a "CPS approved" treatment center.These "CPS approved" treatment centers routinly find all bad in the situation and assist in children being removed from their home
Under the Constitution of the United States of America all Americans have the right to be legally protected from slanderous or libelous reports against them; and the right to be able to seek real retribution for any such violations against their character.
"When a parent's name is entered on a registry' of child abusers, without having been convicted of the crime of child abuse, it publicly presents this person as a though he were a convicted criminal and has the effect of legally slandering and libeling his character."
Dump kids and keep the cash-Adoptive Parents They gave up their hard to place kid but not the government check. Hundreds of adoptive parents in New York City who've sent their children to live elsewhere continue to get monthly government subsidies of up to $1,700 per child.
They can continue receiving the checks until the child turns 21 years old.This is a disgrace for the human race; they are essentially selling their children for a govt check - and the govt lets them get away with it. Our tax dollars at work.
9/2/2104-Here is the link to the story-http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/discarded-children-bring-checks-adoptive-parents-gave-article-1.1862778
Parental Rights-What Are My Rights? It is important that you know and understand your rights and responsibilities as a parent while your child is in foster care. If you do not fulfill your parental responsibilities, you may risk losing your parental rights
As a Parent of a Child in Foster Care, You Have the Right to: Be informed about the reasons for your child’s placement in foster care. Be informed about which foster care agency is handling your child’s case. Request that your child be placed with a member of your family, together with siblings, and/or in a setting that is reflective of and responsive to your child’s specific culture, religion, and background. Be informed of what needs to happen so your child can return home. Receive prompt notification of and attend any Family Court hearing about your child or about your parental rights (except if the Court acts in an emergency). Appear in Family Court. If you are incarcerated, you should be aware of your right to be “produced” for all Court hearings. Consult with a lawyer at any time and be represented by a lawyer in any Court action concerning your child or affecting your parental rights. Quickly receive services that support the goal to return your child home. Attend all service plan reviews and conferences, and be immediately consulted whenever a change in the service plan for you and your child is being considered. Apply for housing subsidies and other assistance to obtain housing if your child has been in foster care for at least 30 days and if lack of adequate housing is the primary factor preventing the return of your child. Receive regular updates from your case planner on your child’s health, mental health, development, behavior and progress in school. Attend school meetings and to consent to the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) for your child, if applicable. Consent to medication and speak with the prescribing doctor to know the reasons for medication, benefits and possible side effects. Note that if it is determined that your child needs medication and you refuse to approve this treatment, Children’s Services may override your decision. Notification of vacation plans involving your child and the foster family. Visit your child and request to carfare if you are unable to pay for transportation once an appropriate visiting schedule is determined. Request that your children visit each other if they are placed in separate homes. Have your complaints heard and responded to by either Children’s Services or the foster care agency where your child is placed. You also have the right to contact the Children’s Services Office of Advocacy to resolve a problem with your case. File a complaint against your lawyer if you believe he/she has violated the code of professional responsibility Receive notification as soon as possible of any serious medical emergency, and/or if your child receives any medical treatment. Call the New York State Central Register (SCR) Child Abuse and Maltreatment Hotline at (800) 342-3720 if you suspect your child is being abused or neglected in a foster home. This right must not be abused — false reporting is a crime. Request referrals to receive financial help, and/or clothing and furniture for your child, upon your child’s return home. Have a Advocate on your case.
WHAT ARE YOUR PARENTAL RIGHTS
You have a right to receive copies of your child’s case record/service plan, and to be kept informed about your child’s life, including their foster care placement, health status and school performance. Whenever there is a service plan review (referred to as an “SPR”) you have a right to be notified of this meeting at least two weeks in advance and to receive a copy of the plan afterwards. You can also speak to your case planner about participating in the meeting via teleconference. Unless your rights have been terminated or a court has ruled otherwise, you have a right to visits with your child. In most cases, you have a right to a minimum of one visit per month. You have a right to be present at all of your court dates. As a parent who is incarcerated, an “order to produce” will have to be issued for you to be brought to Family Court. The order needs to come from the Family Court but your case planner, lawyer and correctional officer can help to make sure it is issued. If you do not have a lawyer, you can request to be produced by writing a letter to the Family Court judge or clerk in the borough where the case is being heard. (This is most likely the borough where your child was living at the time of removal.) You can also contact the Inmate Records Office or someone in the Law Library at your facility to find out what steps you can take to make sure you get produced for Court. It is very important (although it may be inconvenient) that you be present in Family Court. This will make your case stronger, and show that you care about and are involved in your child’s life.
Responsibilities as a Parent Who is Incarcerated You are responsible for staying in contact with the foster care agency handling your child’s case and with your child. If you have not had contact with either one for a period of six months, this can be considered abandonment and can be grounds for terminating your parental rights. For this reason, it is very important to stay in contact with your case planner and to let them know if your location or situation changes. You are responsible for making efforts to stay in contact with your child through visits, letters, or phone calls. You should keep a list of every type of contact you have with your child and with your case planner to show that you are trying to parent your child even though you are incarcerated. Your list should include attempts to make contact, such as messages left, letters returned to you, any missed visits, etc. You are responsible for addressing the issues that brought your child into foster care. Your case planner should tell you exactly what you are expected to do (this information is part of your child’s service plan). Depending on your situation, this may include such things as taking a parenting class, participating in a drug treatment program, and/or therapy or counseling. You should keep a record of all the programs you participate in and complete, as well as those you are waiting to begin. These efforts demonstrate that you are preparing to permanently care for you child. What Do I Need to Know While My Child Is in Foster Care? Beginning the Permanency Planning Process If the decision is made to place your child in foster care the Child Protective Specialist will transfer your case information and service plan to the foster care agency case planner. The Child Protective Specialist will continue to appear in court on your case. Your agency case planner will assume responsibility for your case planning and service plan. S/he is responsible for providing guidance and counseling, and helping you to find services you may need by providing information and referrals. Your service plan is more likely to succeed if you and your case planner work together, and keep in close contact with one another. Family Team Conferences Your service planning began during the first Conference you attended with the Child Protective Specialist. However, once you and your child are assigned to a foster care agency, the agency case planner must work with you to develop a comprehensive assessment and service plan, including a visiting plan. At Children’s Services, we have identified a way to make sure we get all of the best ideas and concerns about your child’s safety, well-being and permanent family ties on the table. That is called a Family Team Conference (FTC). A Family Team Conference brings together people who are interested and care about your family: your child’s foster parent(s), your foster care agency caseworker, his/her supervisor, supportive community members, and anyone you’d like to invite to accompany and support you (for example, members of your extended family, a trusted family friend or a parent advocate). An FTC is held at certain strategic points in the life of your child to ensure that the best possible decisions about his or her future are made. For that to happen, we need the commitment and creative thinking of everyone who is closest to your child – and that includes you! The meeting will be led by a facilitator who is specially trained to ensure that everyone at the meeting – including you – has a chance to be heard and to express his or her thoughts, ideas and concerns in a respectful and open manner – without blame or shame. 1. Quarterly Permanency Conferences Three months after your child’s placement into foster care, you will be invited to a FTC known as a Quarterly Permanency Conference. This is a very important meeting. The Quarterly Permanency Conference will first focus on the safety concerns that brought your child into foster care and the strengths you have as a parent. The facilitator will then invite everyone to give their ideas about how best to create a plan to ensure your child’s safety and to shorten their stay in foster care. As a member of this “team”, your ideas and input are very important. It’s the facilitator’s job to help make sure your voice is heard. The action plan developed at this meeting will guide the work of your case planner over the next few months and identify the steps you will need to take to show that you can safely care for TIPS FOR PARENTS Bring a relative, friend, parent advocate or anyone who knows your family well to support you at Conferences. Be prepared to ask questions, provide information and take notes. Before you leave any Conference, make sure you have the names and phone numbers of all the people you can contact with questions or concerns. ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ ￼ your child. By your presence at the meeting and your participation in the discussion, you have an important opportunity to shape and develop that action plan. After that first Quarterly Permanency Conference is held, you can expect to be invited back for follow-up Permanency Conferences on a regular basis. These are important meetings for you to attend.
2. Reunification Conferences Most children who enter foster care have a permanency planning goal of reunification or “discharge to parent(s)” (called “01”). When all parties have agreed, and your case planner and supervisor have approved, that it is safe for your child to return to you, the agency will schedule a Reunification Conference to which you will be invited, along with your child’s foster parent(s) and other key players (service providers, supportive persons, etc.). At this conference, the team members will review the safety concerns that brought your child into care, make sure there is agreement that you are now able to keep your child safe and ensure their healthy development, and work with you to create a plan to put supports in place to help you and your children succeed at home. 3. Goal Change Conferences If, however, your child is still in foster care after 15 months in care, and reunification does not seem possible very soon, your agency is legally required to consider whether it is time to change your child’s permanency planning goal to adoption (called “04”). For some older teenagers, a goal change to “Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement” (called “03”) may be considered if neither reunification nor adoption is the best plan for them. To change a child’s permanency goal, a Family Team Conference will be scheduled. Again, the agency will gather the “team” of people who care about you and your child, including yourself, the foster parents and any supportive people you and your child (if s/he is an adolescent) choose.
Placement Preservation Conferences There is one last type of Family Team ￼￼￼￼￼Conference you should know about. At Children’s Services, our goal is to minimize the number of times that children move from one foster home to another while in care. If your caseworker finds out that the foster parent caring for your child feels that he or she can no longer continue to do so, or someone else expresses the feeling that the placement should change, your agency will schedule a Placement Preservation Conference, to which you and the foster parents will be invited. The goal of this meeting is to see if there is a way to help support the foster parent and stabilize your child’s placement. Sometimes, something as simple as adding an after-school program to give the foster parent a break or, if it is safe to do so, increasing your visits with your child, can prevent moving a child from a foster home placement.
Visiting with Your Child Visiting is critical to your child while s/he is in foster care. Frequent and ongoing contact with you and with siblings (if separated) reduces the trauma of removal, helps to maintain family bonds, improves his/her adjustment to placement, and expedites reunification. You have the right to visit and maintain regular contact with your child through phone calls and letters while s/he is in foster care, unless the Family Court has ordered otherwise. You should contact your case planner immediately to arrange visits with your child. Their number is available from the Child Protective Specialist who placed your child. (One of the first opportunities that can be used to visit with your child is at the initial conference after your child is placed in foster care.) At that conference, a visiting plan will be created, which must take into account your schedule and the needs of your child.
TIPS FOR PARENTS Participate in all Family Team Conferences (FTCs) involving your child. Ask to re-schedule your FTC meeting if you are unable to attend. Bring a supportive person of your choice to the FTC meeting. Arrive on time. Make sure you get a copy of the Action Plan that is developed at your Family Team Conference. If you do not agree with the change of permanency goal for your child, speak to your lawyer or request a Fair Hearing (see Resources, p. 34). You have the right to have an interpreter at all meetings. You have the right to request a meeting with your case planner and supervisor at any time. If you have questions or concerns about your service plan or anything else, you do not have to wait until the next Family Team Conference. You should contact your case planner at any time.
Casework contacts during your child’s placement in Foster Care When your child is placed in foster care, your case planner is required to make visits to your home. This is to assess whether your child would be safe if he or she was to return home. It is important that you provide any changes to your address so that you can receive notification of important events pertaining to your case. Maintain contact with your agency case planner in order to be aware of the current goals of your service plan and to properly plan for the return of your child to your care.
What Happens in Family Court? Attorney ( will be assigned to you free of charge, or you may refer to the list of legal services in your borough First Court Appearance (1027 Hearing) At this hearing, Children’s Services will present their position on the case first. Usually, a Children’s Services caseworker testifies about why the child was removed or should be removed from home. Then, the parent presents his or her position on the case. The Judge will decide whether the child should continue in foster care, and will also make a determination as to whether Children’s Services made reasonable efforts to prevent the child from coming into foster care. If the Judge decides that the child cannot go home at this time, this does not mean that they will nevergohome.Youshouldkeepworkingwiththe agency to have your child return home. The case will now continue to what is called “fact-finding” and “disposition” unless you request a 1028 Hearing (explained in the next section). At this initial Court appearance you have the right to: an attorney. a copy of the petition that contains the allegations against you (the neglect or abuse petition). the names of the Child Protective Specialist, Children’s Services attorney, and law guardian for the child. the name, location, and telephone number of the foster care agency where your child is placed and name of the foster care agency case planner. an immediate visit with your child unless The Family Court Process Children’s Services and the foster care agency make most of the decisions regarding your child’s case. However, a Family Court Judge makes all the legal decisions about whether a child has been neglected or abused, and if so, what should be done to protect a child’s safety in the future. For example, when a child is removed from home, Children’s Services asks a Family Court Judge to order that the child be temporarily placed (“remanded”) into the care of Children’s Services. Who’s Who in Family Court At the Family Court hearings, there will be at least three lawyers – one for you, one for your child (Law Guardian), and one for Children’s Services – along with the Judge, the Child Protective Specialist, and Court officers. The Judge will often refer to you as the “respondent” and to Children’s Services as the “petitioner.” The case planner and Children’s Services attorney will usually stand to one side of you and your lawyer. Your child’s attorney, called the Law Guardian, will usually be on the other side of you. Your Role in the Court Process Every parent who has a child in foster care has the right to attend all hearings in Family Court relating to the child. Your participation in Family Court proceedings and fulfillment of Court mandates are essential to your child’s return home. You should always go to Court when you receive a legal notice or phone call saying there will be a hearing about your child. It shows the Judge that you are concerned for your child. You have the right to have a lawyer with you in Court. If you cannot afford a lawyer, an 18-BAttorney will be assigned to you free of charge, or you may refer to the list of legal services in your borough.
First Court Appearance (1027 Hearing) At this hearing, Children’s Services will present their position on the case first. Usually, a Children’s Services caseworker testifies about why the child was removed or should be removed from home. Then, the parent presents his or her position on the case. The Judge will decide whether the child should continue in foster care, and will also make a determination as to whether Children’s Services made reasonable efforts to prevent the child from coming into foster care. If the Judge decides that the child cannot go home at this time, this does not mean that they will never go home.You should keep working with the agency to have your child return home. The case will now continue to what is called “fact-finding” and “disposition” unless you request a 1028 Hearing At this initial Court appearance you have the right to: an attorney. a copy of the petition that contains the allegations against you (the neglect or abuse petition). the names of the Child Protective Specialist, Children’s Services attorney, and law guardian for the child. the name, location, and telephone number of the foster care agency where your child is placed and name of the foster care agency case planner. an immediate visit with your child unless specifically restricted by Court order. ask that a relative be immediately assessed as a foster parent or custodian for your child. ask the Court to order services that would help you with the return of your child
1028 Hearing (Request to Return Children) You have the right to request the immediate return of your child at a hearing (called a 1028 hearing) within three days of your child’s removal. At this hearing, the Court decides if your child may be immediately returned to you while the rest of the case continues. In order to keep your child in foster care, Children’s Services must show that the child would be in “imminent danger” if returned to you now. The 1028 hearing is optional and only takes place if you request it. If the Judge returns your child(ren) to you after the 1028 hearing, your case still continues in Family Court. You can help your lawyer prepare for a 1028 hearing by getting important information to him or her quickly. Try to get copies of your child’s medical and school records, and letters from doctors and teachers who know you and can talk about your ability to safely care for your child. If concerns have been raised about your emotional or physical health, consider getting letters from your doctor, therapist, or clinic about your health status. If sobriety is an issue and you are in a substance abuse treatment program, consider getting letters or other proof of clean urine or blood screens from your counselor. If you are not in a program, speak with your attorney about asking the judge and the caseworkers to send you for an immediate drug test.
Fact-Finding Hearing At this hearing, the Family Court Judge will decide whether you have neglected or abused your children under the law. Children’s Services must prove the allegations that they made against you in the petition. You have several options: you can a) admit to the allegations, b) submit to the jurisdiction of the Court without admitting to the facts (this means your children can be placed in foster care and the judge can order you to comply with services), or c) go to trial. At the end of the hearing, the Judge will either make a “finding” of neglect or abuse against you, or find that Children’s Services did not prove their case. If so, the court dismisses the petition. The case will be over and the child will be returned to you, unless the decision is appealed and the Court orders that the children stay in foster care until the appeal is decided. Children’s Services may also agree to “Adjourn the case in Contemplation of Dismissal” (ACD). TIPS FOR PARENTS You have the option of admitting to the Judge that all of the allegations contained in the petition are true. If you make an “admission,” it has the same legal effect as if the Judge made a finding of neglect or abuse after a hearing. It gives the Judge the power to decide whether the child should remain in foster care or return home. You should consult with your attorney about making an admission. You also have the option of submitting to the jurisdiction of the court without admitting to the facts. This also gives the Judge the power to decide whether the child should remain in foster care or return home. You should consult with your attorney about submitting to the jurisdiction of the court (often called a “1051-a admission”). As with admissions, there can be advantages and dis-advantages to going to trial. You should discuss with your attorney the option of going to trial. ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ ￼ This means that your child may be returned to you upon specific conditions and that the neglect petition would be dismissed within a year or sooner if you comply with the terms ordered by the judge. You should discuss the terms of any proposed ACD with your attorney.
Dispositional Hearing After a Fact-Finding Hearing there will be a Dispositional Hearing which may be on the same day or a different day. At the Dispositional Hearing, the Judge must decide what is in the best interest of the child — whether the child should stay in foster care or be returned to you. The Judge should consider the steps you have taken to address any problems and plan for the return of your child. You have the opportunity with the help of your attorney to tell the judge what you think is the best plan for your child. At Disposition, several things can happen. Your child may be returned home with or without Children’s Services supervision; he or she may continue to stay in foster care; or he or she may be placed in the temporary or final custody of another person (a relative or other resource). To assist in this decision, the Judge may order you to be examined by a mental health professional prior to this hearing. (This is known as an “MHS” or “FET”- see glossary). Usually the judge will also order an “I & R” (Investigation and Report). This is a report made by Children’s Services that recommends what should happen to your child. It is important to cooperate with the Children’s Services worker. Be sure to ask your lawyer what Children’s Services is recommending. You may agree to the Children’s Services recommendation or ask for a full hearing if you do not agree. Voluntary Placement Proceedings If you voluntarily placed your child in foster care and it is determined that your child will remain in care for over 30 days, the Family Court reviews your Voluntary Placement Agreement at a 358-a Hearing. At this hearing, the Judge will determine whether you understood your rights and responsibilities under the Voluntary Placement Agreement and whether you signed it voluntarily. The Agreement will be approved if the Judge is satisfied that you are voluntarily placing your child in foster care and that foster care is in your child’s best interests. The Judge will also make a determination as to whether Children’s Services made reasonable efforts to prevent your child from coming into foster care. Permanency Hearing Approximately eight months after your child enters foster care, the Family Court must hold a hearing to review your child’s case. This review is called a Permanency Hearing and must be held whether your child came into foster care as a result of neglect or abuse or a Voluntary Placement Agreement. For Person in Need of Supervision (PINS) and Juvenile Delinquent (JD) children, the hearing will be held after an 17 TIPS FOR PARENTS Be persistent when trying to reach your attorney. It is important to present yourself in an appropriate, courteous manner at Court and Children’s Services meetings. Remain composed, dress appropriately, and speak to your lawyer before speaking in Court. Each Family Court has a Records Room where a parent can get their Court file (see Resources, p. 35). Each Family Court has a Petition Room where parents can file papers, including visiting petitions. In general, you do not need a lawyer to file
Housing Support Services (HSS) The function of the Children’s Services Housing Support and Services unit is to aid in the removal of housing as a barrier to reunification for children who are leaving care to return to their birth families; help prevent the placement of children because of housing related issues; and assist young adults who are being discharged from foster care, find stable, long- term housing. Specialists from the HSS unit work closely with partner agency staff. Applicants for housing assistance can apply in person at the Children’s Services office located on the 8th Floor at 150 William Street, New York, NY 10038 on a walk-in basis for any of the following programs: Children’s Services Housing Subsidy NYCHA Section 8 NYCHA Public Housing NY/NY III You should discuss the eligibility criteria for these housing services with your agency case planner. Not all clients qualify to receive housing services through Children’s Services.
Insist that your case planner discuss housing during all conferences, including your Service Plan Review, when you are close to completing your recommended or court ordered service program. It is important that you have a source of income (Public Assistance counts) before you go to the Children’s Services HSS office to complete a housing application. NYCHA will request income verification as part of their eligibility process. Your assigned case planner can assist you with applying for Public Assistance or referral for a job. Bring a copy of any order issued by the Family Court for Children’s Services to expedite finding you housing when you meet with the Children’s Services Housing Specialist. Insist that your case planner go with you to the Children’s Services Housing office. Remember to ask questions about the kind of housing that’s recommended for you, and be sure to secure the name, phone number or e-mail address of the Children’s Services Housing Specialist or Supervisor. Make sure you provide any additional information, such as a copy of your lease, or original receipts for furniture directly to your agency worker to submit with the housing subsidy application.
HOUSING SUPPORT SERVICES FOR PARENTS
Children’s Services Borough Offices To locate your child after he or she has been removed from home, call the Children’s Services Borough Office located in your borough and ask for the Applications Unit. Bronx Borough Office 2501 Grand Concourse Bronx, NY 10468 . . . . . . . . . . . 718 933-1212
Manhattan New York County Family Court 60 Lafayette Street, 1st Floor New York, NY 10013 . . . . . . . . 646 386-5200 Petition Room, 4th Floor. . . . . . 646 386-5220 Record Room, 7th Floor . . . . . . 646 386-5226 Queens
Queens Family Court 151-20 Jamaica Avenue Jamaica, NY 11432 . . . . . . . .718 725-3202/3, 718 298-0197, 0198, 0199 Petition Room, 1st Floor . . . . . .718-298-0132 Records Room, Basement . . . . .718-298-0109 Staten Island Richmond Family Court 100 Richmond Terrace Staten Island, NY 10103 . . . . . . 718 390-5465 718 390-5466 Petition Room, 1st Floor . . . . . . 718 675-8863 Record Room, 1st Floor . . . . . . 718 675-8860 Complaints About Court-Appointed 18B Attorneys It is best to promptly bring any concerns about your attorney directly to the attention of the Family Court judge on your case, or their Court Attorney. If that is not possible, you can report concerns to: For Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island: Grievance Committee for the 2nd and 11th Judicial District . . . . . 718 923-6300 335 Adams Street, Suite 2400 Brooklyn, NY 11201
In the Bronx and Manhattan: Grievance Committee for the 1st Judicial Districts . . . . . . . . . 212 401-0800 61 Broadway, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10006
FAMILY COURT LOCATIONS IN THE 5 BOROUGHS
Parents You Must hold your attorney accountable
PARENTS MUST SPEAK OUT AND CONTACT YOUR COUNCIL MEMBERS AND CONGRESS ABOUT ACS/FOSTER CARE AGENCIES IN 5 BOROUGHS
Child Protective Services in America and in other countries have repeatedly and undeniably turned their back on the law. They viciously attack innocent families in a way that is unnecessary - it is as if they are hunting rabbits with an elephant gun. The increase of blatant injustices practiced by this corrupt system has raised one red flag after another in the violation of the rights of parents and their priceless, innocent and harmless children.
Their illegal behavior has continued to harm the very children they are paid to protect. The chaotic and reckless way this system has behaved, their excesses and immorality, have caused irreparable harm. And their audacity to maintain their stance of “in the best interest of the child” is unwarranted and often a heinous display of truth-twisting exaggerations that are a far cry from reality.
FPA-Foundation-is asking that you contact your governor, state senators,council members and Public Advocate about your case and how you have been treated and if the agency has tried to help you and your family. I ask that you join FPA-Foundation in sending an email to congress and requesting that Child Protective Services be held accountable, and if warranted, tried for crimes against humanity. We want a over site committee over ACS .I am writing this and going forward because I believe that knowledge is power and there is strength in numbers. Will you join us in our fight? Make history with us, make your mark, and leave a legacy of peace within families for generations to come.
Visitation Rights of Grandparents in New York In New York, grandparents have a limited right to visit their grandchildren. Instead, the law recognizes that parents have a fundamental right to raise their children as they desire, including who visits their children. Therefore, a New York court will only grant visitation to grandparents if doing so would be in the best interest of the child.
Compared with other states, the grandparent visitation laws of New York are quite restrictive. They tend only to allow for grandparents visitation where one of the parents is deceased or under circumstances where the court feels intervention is proper. Moreover, courts will only consider requests for visitation from the natural grandparents, or grandparents by legal adoption. Some New York courts have held that aunts, uncles, and great-grandparents cannot obtain visitation rights.
New York Court’s Two-Part Test New York uses many factors in determining whether grandparents are entitled to visitation rights with their grandchild. First, the court must determine if visitation is in the best interest of the child. Second, it must determine that there is a well-established and functional relationship between the grandparents and grandchild.
1. Best Interest of The Child In determining whether visitation is in the best interest of the child, New York courts will consider all relevant factors. Although the court does not use a list of factors, some of these factors include:
Child’s wishes Emotional and physical needs of the child Motivation of parent’s limiting grandparents visitation Morality of parents Parent’s past behavior and conduct The atmospheres of the home environment Potential education opportunities 2. Pre-existing Relationship In determining whether there is a strong relationship between the grandparents and the grandchild, the court will also consider all relevant factors. If the parents made a deliberate effort to prevent contact between the grandparent and grandchild, and the grandparents make an effort to establish a relationship, the court may find one to exist. Additionally, if the grandparents had custody of the grandchild for a period of time before custody was returned to the parents, then there may be a strong pre-existing relationship.
Need for Legal Representation for Indigent Parents- (Organizations that do not receive grants from ACS)Conflict of Interest.
Parent Advocates hired within foster care agencies are a conflict of interest. Needs to be outside advocates provided to the families.
The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution states that no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. Parents possess an interest in the care, custody, and management of their children40 and children possess a reciprocal interest in being raised by their parents.However, these rights must be weighed against the governments interest in ensuring that children are free from abuse and neglect. Therefore, in child abuse and neglect cases, both parents and children are owed due process of the law and protection against the states interference with their fundamental interest in family integrity.
Children possess the right to be raised in a safe environment, which sometimes warrants the removal of the child from the parent.8 However, it is also in a childs best interest not to disrupt the strong parent-child emotional bond by unnecessarily removing the child from the family home, especially in many unfortunate cases where poverty has been mistaken for child neglect.The large number of low-income parents reported for child abuse and neglect results in the unfortunate separation10 of many low-income and minority families, making both children and parents victims of the United States child welfare system. FPA-Foundation examines the due process issues faced by low- income and minority parents who have been unjustly accused of child abuse and neglect due to their financial situations. As a result of their indigence, these parents are stripped of the constitutional right to raise their children.
A parents fundamental constitutional right to raise his or her child is a significant consideration when applying the standards of proof used in the judicial process for determining whether a parent is guilty of child neglect. There are three stages of proceedings for determining whether a child is the victim of child abuse or neglect.These three stages include (1) an initial hearing through adjudication, (2) case review, and (3) termination of parental rights.
PARENTS RIGHTS & DUE PROCESS VIOLATED BY ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN SERVICES, CPS,FOSTER CARE AGENCIES AND FAMILY COURTS.
Supreme Court Decisions Establishing Due Process Right for Parents to Raise their Children
Beginning in the early 1920s, the United States Supreme Court reviewed the rights of parents to raise their children and held that parenting is a fundamental constitutional right. In Meyer v. Nebraska, a case involving the right of children to learn a foreign language, the Court determined that the term liberty referred to in the Fourteenth Amendment included a parents right to raise his or her child. Nearly forty years later, in Stanley v. Illinois,30 the Court ruled that an unwed father had the right to raise his illegitimate child. Next, in Mathews v. Eldridge, a case ruling that disability benefits could be terminated without a hearing, the Court introduced the current balancing test for determining whether procedural due process rights have been violated.The test requires the consideration of: (1) the private interest that will be affected by the states action, (2) the risk of an erroneous deprivation of the fundamental interest through the procedures used and the benefit of other procedural safeguards, and (3) the Governments interest, including any administrative or fiscal burdens associated with substituted or additional requirements.
Parents you must organize and educate yourself. Learn the Child welfare laws & your Rights and Don't trust the system.
In the United States, parents possess diverse religious, ethnic, financial and racial backgrounds and thus raise their children in different manners However, judges and caseworkers sometimes fail to understand these distinctions This failure to recognize familial distinctions often results in the separation of families at the hands of the child welfare system. This is especially true for minority and low-income families who are vulnerable to the unjust termination of their parental rights. Reports of child maltreatment are sometimes made in situations where a parent is merely guilty of being poor.
It has been argued that the relationship between poverty and child abuse or neglect is due to reporting bias on behalf of professionals who are more likely to report low-income families to child protective service agencies. For low-income parents victimized by the child protective system, reporting bias may result in the placement of their children in the foster care system where many children are both neglected and abused. Frequently, children who remain in the foster care system for a long period of time are moved from foster home to foster home and are denied the care and nurturing of their parents from whom they have been separated due to the consequences of reporting bias based on their economic situation.
In essence, low-income parents due process rights are infringed upon in such a way that they are unjustly punished twice for their state of poverty: first when their children are removed from the home on the grounds of neglect when the true problem is poverty; and second when they cannot afford, nor are they guaranteed, counsel to defend themselves against charges of neglect. Without counsel, low- income parents face a greater risk of permanently losing their children, and thus their fundamental right to raise them, on the basis of their financial situation. The Court has long recognized the importance of family integrity as a fundamental value, yet this value has been diminished by not requiring states to provide counsel to indigent parents during parental termination proceedings.
Community's of color are targeted by Child Welfare System
How to make a complaint aganist a Socialworker,Therapist and other Professions.
To file a complaint against a psychologist, social worker, pharmacist, registered professional nurse (or any other of the 44 professions licensed by OP) you will need to fill out a complaint form. You can call the Office of the Profession's complaint hotline at 1-800-442-8106, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request a form or to get more information. You can also print out a complaint form from the Office of the Profession's Website, http://www.op.nysed.gov/opd/complain.htm. Send the completed complaint form directly to the OP regional office nearest you, or fax it to the main professional discipline office at (212) 951-6446. Complaints must be submitted in writing.
The Office of the Professions does not have authority to investigate fees you believe are too high or to intervene in fee disputes. OP can, however, investigate complaints involving fraudulent billing.
Examples of the types of complaints the Office of the Professions investigates include:
Revealing personally identifiable client information to others without the client's consent Failing to maintain a treatment record which accurately reflects the evaluation and treatment of the client Working while impaired by alcohol or drugs Insurance fraud Entering into a sexual relationship with a client Overstepping the boundaries of the professional relationship Negligence Physical or verbal abuse of a client Refusing a client or patient service because of race, creed, color, or national origin If the mental health professional has committed a crime against you, e.g. verbal, physical, or sexual assault, harassment, etc. report the incident to the police as well as filing a complaint.
Direct complaints about physicians, physician assistants, and specialist assistants to the New York State Department of Health at 1-800-663-6114. The Office of the Professions licenses professionals and investigates charges of illegal practice in these professions.
Legal Information for fathers
Find expert family law and father rights lawyers at www.findlaw.com/ Shared Parenting news at www.fathersandfamilies.org Free Legal Case Evaluation at www.fathersrightsusa.com Fathers for equal custody rights at www.fathersrights.org/ Legal issues for fathers at www.just4dads.org/ Divorce information at www.divorceinfo.com Divorce survival guide at divorceguidelines.com Single fathers at www.singlefather.org Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT) at www.liftonline.org Fathers' Custody Center at fatherscustody.org Fathers' Child Support Help Line at www.childsupport.cc/ Fathers' National Lawyer Referral at www.fathersattorney.com Legal Aid for families at www.familysolutioncenters.com/ Resources for fathers going through divorce at www.dadsdivorce.com/ Tool to make legal and financial decisions before marriage at www.poormansprenup.com Free NYC Family Court legal guidance at www.LIFTonline.org (Legal Information for Families Today)
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Your Rights as an Incarcerated Parent
Nationally Minority's Parent rights are being violated with no accountability from Child Protective Services
Disproportionality Rates for Children of Color in Foster Care Nationally
Children of color are disproportionately represented in the United States foster care system. In most states, there are higher proportions of African American/Black and Native American children in foster care than in the general child population. In some states, Hispanic/Latino children are disproportionately represented. Data also vary at the county level, with some counties experiencing more disproportionality than is evident statewide. This Technical Assistance Bulletin presents disproportionality rates for all 50 states and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Model Court jurisdictions. Starting in 1997, the Adoption and Safe Families Act (P.L. 105-89) required child welfare agencies to submit data regarding children in foster care to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). Released annually, the AFCARS data include the number of children who have entered foster care, the number who have exited foster care, and the number who are still in foster care at the end of the year. The dataset also contains the race of each child. In 2000, African American/Black children represented 38% of the foster care population while they comprised only 16% of the general child population, indicating a disproportionality index of 2.5 (i.e., African American children were disproportionately represented in foster care at a rate 2.5 times their rates in the general population). Native American children represented 1.9% of the foster care population, yet only encompassed 1.3% of the general child population. Hispanic/Latino children, although not overrepresented nationally, were disproportionately represented in 7 states. In 2010, ten years later, these numbers have changed. While disproportionality rates increased between 2000 and 2004, African American/Black disproportionality has now decreased to 2.0 from 2.5 nationally. Native American disproportionality has increased over the last ten years from 1.5 to 2.1. Hispanic/Latino children are now overrepresented in only five states.
The 2000 and 2010 disproportionality rates for children in foster care for each state and nationally.The 2007 Government Accountability Office report identified every state’s disproportionality index using 2004 population estimates from the U.S. Census and 2004 AFCARS data. We have duplicated these calculations using the same sources for 2000 and have included 2011 data for comparison. Some states have substantially reduced their disproportionality. Other states show slight increases or decreases, or have remained consistent in the ten-year time span. In particular, Indiana’s African American disproportionality rate has decreased 44% in the last decade, dropping from 4.1 to 2.3. In contrast, some states have shown increases in their Native American disproportionality; Minnesota, for example, rose 48% since 2000, increasing from 8.1 to 12.
The HHS National Incidence Study has shown since the early 1980s that children of all races and ethnicities are equally likely to be abused or neglected; however, African American children, and to some extent other minority children, have been significantly more likely to be represented in foster care. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to analyze the factors influencing the proportion of African American children in foster care, the promising strategies implemented by states and localities to address the disproportion, and ways in which federal policies may have influenced African American representation in foster care.
The GAO investigated using a combination of data from a nationwide survey, a review of research and policies, state site visits, analyses of child welfare data, and interviews with researchers, HHS officials, and other experts.This report details there methodology and findings, strategies thus far, as well as presents recommendations for changes in policies, funding, and support strategies to address disproportionality.Here is the link http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-816
New York-Law Libraries Parents Do your research Appellate Division Law Library Assn. of the Bar of the City of NYC Criminal Law Library of NYC New York County Lawyers' Assn. Library New York State Appellate Division Law Library, 4th Department New York State Supreme Court Library at Buffalo New York State Unified Court System
Spanish-La Guia de Supervivencia al Sistema del Bienestat del Menor de NYC
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Getting out and meeting new people consistently—to inform and engage in our work, and invite them to join our membership.
Providing organizing, political, and consciousness-raising training opportunities for members, and supporting people in stepping up and taking on new risks and roles.
Formulating research from the ground-up that is informed by our members’ lived experiences; that brings a unique perspective to the issues; that is driven by, and drives, action and change.
RUNNING STRATEGIC CAMPAIGNS
Crafting campaigns with clear goals and objectives, strategies and tactics, timelines, and end-games in order to influence concrete policies, programs, and budgets that affect low-income families’ lives.
Utilizing creative, non-violent actions and demonstrations to bring priorities to those that have power to change things. Engaging in discourse to reveal existing problems, highlight alternatives, and demonstrate possible solutions to social issues.
Engaging members in civic life by informing them about basic governmental systems and players. Providing people with the skills and tools to actively and effectively participate. Motivating people to get involved in both political and non-political processes.