Thursday, April 7, 2005

Hot, hot, hot!!

Yes, my water is hot again. Just stepping out of a very welcome shower, wrapped in a mist of Samsara. I feel wonderful. I slept really well last night, dreamed even. (And, oh, what dreams I had... I could have used just a couple more minutes, lol) I'm behind, naturally, on my writing and on my cleaning... but, I'm not letting it bother me today. I'm just going to focus on one thing at a time, make today a Zen experience.

And, now, on to today's news items. In the CPS world of child removal, over the past decade there's been a push to reduce the time that it takes to terminate parental rights. 12 months is the high end of the goal, with some states being as low as 3 months, especially if the child is very young. Concurrent planning is now standard operating procedure, meaning that almost from the moment a family becomes involved in the system -- and remember, by the government's own numbers (dig deep, run the numbers yourself...), only a small minority of removed children are taken away for sexual or serious physical abuse -- case workers are planning for alternative permanent placement for the children, often at the expense of working towards reunification.

In fact, right here in New York, on Wednesday, Governor Pataki initiated legislation that, according to an AP report published at, would:


"...eliminate a requirement that children remain in foster care for 12 consecutive months before a judge may free them for adoption."

The Pataki proposal also would permit local child welfare officials to ask the court to immediately terminate parental rights when a child has been abused after being returned home, if a child has been in and out of foster care at least twice, when an infant has been abandoned or when the biological parents aren't participating in services designed to allow the family to be safely reunited."

"Under the governor's plan, child welfare agencies would have to move quickly to develop plans for the child, court hearings would be expedited..."

Pataki's "permanency bill" is meant to help the state meet federal requirements aimed at speeding up adoptions of foster children under the Adoption and Safe Families Act."

That, in addition to thousands of dollars in "adoption rewards", results in hasty adoptions of children and shoddy background and compatability checks.

Officials mum over 7-year-old boy's death



The governor and the state's foster care agency are waiting to learn why 7-year-old Tyler DeLeon died.

"At this point, we cannot release any information until the police complete their investigation," said Kathy Spears, spokeswoman for the Department of Social and Health Services.

The boy's death in January is under investigation by the sheriff's office in Stevens County, which is in northeastern Washington.

The Medical Examiner's Office in nearby Spokane has not determined a cause of death.

The death came to light Friday after a report by The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane. The newspaper reported that state Child Protective Services workers had received multiple reports of abuse at the child's home before his death.

Spears noted DeLeon lived with his adoptive mother and wasn't in state custody.

Note: his adoptive mother, several abuse reports, and as usual, CPS cites confidentiality... like they always do when questioned. It often takes years for information to surface out of the dark depths of the black hole in which CPS functions.

And, also, note this in regard to the 12 month limit -- with court systems overwhelmed by and case workers drowning in caseloads inflated by unnecessary removals, the pace of the court system crawls, caseworkers don't even see the children in their placements as often as the law requires, let alone set up and follow through on the family visits and other requirements for unification. So, often the inadequacies of the system eat up huge chunks of the 12 month period, not malingering parents. (Which is not to say that there are no malingering parents, but rather to inform you that there are not as many as the self-serving propagandists -- follow the money -- would have you think.)

Until Next Time...

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