Stop DFCS in their 'WAR ON our KIDS' sign now

If what is decided to be right for Social Workers, Expert Witnesses, Courts, Prosecutors, Judges and the Parents, is wrong for the child then it was not right to begin with!


It is said that there are three ways to change the law:

1) Through legislation

2) Through precedent setting court decisions

3) By force and rebellion

There is at any given time an abundance of cases available where any one case could be chosen by any of these groups to take the issues to the courts and bring about change. There are enough resources, an abundance of legal, financial, and support resources that these changes could have been made already.

These groups are not interested in successfully bringing about these changes for these changes would mean the loss of many jobs and careers.

Many organizations who promote change limit their participation to "passing along information," making referrals, organizing and basically making a very stable living off of the situation as it is and truly have no desire to see the changes needed being made.

As long as there is confusion, discontent and suffering these advocates will make a substantial living and exist on the status quo.

What is really needed is a group to form that will use the financial resources to take some of these cases to court and get these cases into the higher courts and make these changes that the lower courts will have to abide by if the legislators can't seem to get the message. Many of these groups will never do anything more than promote change, pass out fliers, pamphlets, and make referrals. Change can come about, look at what Ralph Nader has done for the consumer; look at what the American Civil Liberties Union has done for the rights of some individuals and many organizations. It should be said that the rights of children are not a priority of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Change is not likely to come about until it is needed by the many instead of the few, that is the way the system works in this democracy. If corruption was confronted and dealt with because it is the right thing to do, there would not be much corruption.

Now here is my story: Began on August 28, 2003


Re: Georgia's DFCS and Foster Care Workers and their roles as child care prevention
From: Scott & Jerri E. Dutton of Douglas County, Georgia
Status: Ongoing case since 8/28/03, emergency removal of our 3 children 12/8/03, with no substantiated evidence. Next court date: April 2004



I am writing my story to anyone and everyone that may find interest and considerable emotion and loss Douglas Co. DFCS has caused my family. If you or an organization you know can help in any possible way PLEASE do not hesitate to contact myself or my husband ASAP. I am writing this in urgency not only for my family but for any other Georgia family this has or WILL happen to in the future. Thank you in advance for reading this and hopefully returning my plea for help!


August 28, 2003, a normal Thursday, besides being the 7th birthday for my daughter, I arrive at my 2 oldest childrens elementary school and take in the 48 cupcakes to my daughters class and also the staff in office. Briefly chit chatting about PTA and fundraiser stats with Assistant Principal and Fundraiser Organizer, which I have proudly for 5 years now been actively involved in. Rush off to finish last minute details for Bday party, with my 18 month old son tagging along. I arrive home shortly before my kids arrive home at 3:15, to only be called away for an emergency away from home. My mother in law baby-sat my 3 children for me while Im away. When I return home, she informs me that a Chad Rutherford from DFCS had stopped by. In total 'Shock and Awe' I am still more shocked by the manner in which they examined my 18 month olds body, to look for bruising I assume, inspected my home, my pantry and fridge. Then only to learn that from that exact moment on I would have the worst possible HELL imaginable. My children would begin asking and worrying about issues that no child should EVER ask much less think. The allegations against myself and my husband were as follows, Meth. and marijuana use, drug dealing inside home, that we intravenously inject ourselves, that my children are aware of the fact, that I abuse neglect and maltreatment were factors, and not to mention(which this was added just last mth) very traumatic 'domestic violence' in the home.

I was asked to prove my side of the FALSE allegations by submitting to a drug screen, having my criminal background pried into, having my children yanked numerous times out of their classes, and having my life that I have created and established over a 13 year time frame, turned UPSIDE DOWN! !
I have resided in Douglas County almost my entire 26 years, lived in my husbands childhood home for 12 yrs, thought I was creating roots and stability for my family. I was involved in the school avidly, I donated and volunteered for numerous functions, my husband was my oldest sons Cub Scout den father, and we were/are the typical middle income family.
My first son is from a previous relationship before my marriage to my husband. My sons natural father wasn't too involved in his first few years nut I insisted that he be a part of his life, knowing that eventually regrets would surface. At the birth of my oldest, his father and I were still in high school. But, I never allowed the age effect my parental motherly instinct. As of now, his father has remarried and purchased a home, and has a steady income. So when DFCS yanked my children out of my care I allowed his father to take TEMP custody until this blew over. As well as keep one of my children out of DFCS's grip. In return for my devotion and commitment as a mother his father rewards me with court papers to fight me for custody PERMANETLY!!
I submitted to a drug screen, my husband came to the assumption that this was an invasion of his privacy. I agreed but thought that risking the slightest chance of jeopardizing my kids lives wasn't worth it. The 1st screen I did was misplaced. The 2nd as I knew, NEGATIVE. My husband and I are served w/ papers to appear in juvenile court. I was informed by Chad Rutherford (CM) that I was only to appear for support. Arriving 15 mins late, the evidence was already presented and ruled on. Met CM, coming out of court room and he persuaded the Judge, Peggy Walker, to allow us to be heard. Not knowing the procedures and/or rights we just were clueless. So therefore the findings were substantiated, because we weren't there at 8:30am to defend ourselves. 3 days later my CM disappears. I took another screen, NEGATIVE. 8 days later a knock on the door. DFCS again, but its a new CM. Carol Britten. Chad had quit his job at DFCS. Once again the whole process all over. Kids yanked out of class again, and questioned. Invasion of my home and personal matters again, and questioned about issues that are irrelevant to this case. 2nd court appearance DFCS requested a continuance due to they hadn't collected enough information. Fine. 3 more screens and 3 more negative results. Thanksgiving I had an emergency with my father turning very ill so I take the opportunity with kids on break to go to Florida for a visit. Having had called DFCS a week prior to my departure, informed by a Supervisor, Ms. Wheeler, my file had been misplaced and I was in the middle of getting a new case worker. I called back the day of my leaving and found my new CM, Ms. Cheryl Awuku, which is VERY rude and unprofessional, demanding she had to see us before I left. IMPOSSIBLE!! I only called to due as told by 2nd CM, if I leave the county for any length of time to call. Headed out for the 13 hour trip Friday. Since scheduling an appt with Ms. Awuku Monday @ 3pm, I packed up all 3 kids and their begging me to stay early Monday AM (exactly 6:30am). Only to have had the worst possible luck imaginable for a women alone w/3 kids traveling could encounter. By 2pm, sitting in dead stopped traffic in Valdosta and the storm of the century above us I called to let them know I didn't believe I could make it. Agreeable and very understandable the lady I spoke to said she'd give the memo to Cheryl Awuku. NOTE: Just for curiosity I managed to finally get home at 10:30pm. Following AM knock on door, another screen from a Victor, employed by Redeemers, Inc. Positive is what he said. In totally disarray I asked, "For what?" Meth, marijuana, and opium (I believe). I know now the way he administered all my previous tests was wrong. 3rd court date 12/8/03 only having met Cheryl one time in her office, and she was suppose to come to my home following week to inspect our house and kids never have showing up, she starts to question me on where, if just in case my kids were removed, of names and addresses of relatives. When I start to become upset, she asks, "Why are you crying?" "I don't understand why this is bothering you" as I sit in the ladies room, and her bending under the door. My husband was very animatedly telling me they were fixing to take our kids to just leave the courthouse. I wanted to, but felt he was wrong. After waiting in turn for our case to go in for 5 hrs and still not 16th on list, we were next. NO sooner did I sit down in court and I hear Ms. Cheryl Awuku ask the Judge for EMERGENCY INTAKE of my 3 children, due to domestic violence and cancelled appts, and dirty drug screens, also that I had not cooperated at all w/ the dept. The next 30 minutes I am blank on the leaving and driving home. I admit to racing home to get my kids because I was not allowing them to take them away from me 17 days before Christmas. They eventually got them that night; they were put into a foster home. The 72 hr hearing was that Wednesday. My life had died. I testified on the stand that everything they were accusing us of was a LIE> my court appointed attorney is a JOKE. This whole process is excuse me, but BULLSHIT!!!! To make this long even more involved story short, my oldest son is with his father in another city, my other 2 are with my niece, who works for George Stein, and her husband an Austell Narcotics Officer. I am on the 7th CM now, it was found that Victor from Reedemerswas altering test, my husband and I were asked to take a test at the first placement best placement meeting and it showed + results, so immediately after we took an independent test on our own and results were all NEGATIVE. I never was given a case plan until 2/16/04. My children are miserable, my oldest never gets to see his sister and brother, or me and this family, No one will tell me anything, they refuse to give us any documents on their findings, wont allow us to record conversations in our home of DFCS statements, I am allowed to see my daughter and son who turns 2 in 3 wks only on Thursdays at a church for and hour and half a week. THATS IT! Do you know how draining and devastating this is on all of us? How their misplaced and false accusations are affecting childrens futures? Every thing I have tried to raise my children to live breathe and think is being erased. My 18 mth old (now 2) is changing so much and becoming his own little person not because of me but because of my niece. God love her and owe her my life forever but they are MINE! I miss the little things that the most of society takes for granted daily. My marriage is failing now, our financial state is like non existent, my husband lost his job right after the removal of our children, and the stress this has created is in return adding emotional scars to us all. I despise waking up with out my babies. Their rooms are so lifeless. Their cries and pleas for me on Thursdays when its time to say goodbye are like someone taking a pair of tweezers and yanking my eyelashes out one by one. My 2 oldest kids who fought just like any brother and sister actually miss each other terribly. I could go on and on.....

PLEASE with your every emotion and love for our children PLEASE feel my story......I have actual physical substantiated proof of my case and all the lies and threats made to me in very organized and detailed order. If anything just hear me out and put DOUGLAS COUNTY DFCS as the main target for inspection. I as of March 1st 2004 have come to the conclusion that I may NEVER get my children back. Renee Burns(current CM) is another uneducated, underhanded lying saving her butt case worker !



A FEW QUOTES OF VERNON HOWARD

"If shocked or hurt by bad human behavior; they are then being gullible, preferring fantasies about human nature over facts."

"Human stupidity is only dangerous to stupid humans."

"Be grateful, not resistant, to anything that makes you aware that you were unaware."

"No one is betrayed by other people without first betraying themselves."

"When wanting something from the sheep, the wolf always insists he only wants to give something to the sheep."

"Unconscious participation in social illness is what perpetuates it."

"What is right for you cannot be wrong for anyone else."

"You can tell when someone begins to understand human nature because human nature no longer confuses, or surprises them."

"Seek truth, not happiness, and then see how your ideas about happiness change."

"It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error." U.S. Supreme Court in American Communications Association v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, 442

In the past if I would have listened to anyone attempt to tell me that these agencies and courts are rampant with fraud, corruption and official misconduct I would have thought these people to be crazy, disgruntled, misinformed or just plain nuts.

Since then I have become aware of considerable amount of case records, documentation and an abundance of evidence of this fraud and corruption which do include, Class Action Lawsuits, higher court decisions, hundreds of newspaper articles and United States Department of Justice investigations and convictions.

Unfortunately, one thing I have learned from my personal experiences is that for the most part any attempt to bring these issues and evidence to the attention of elected representatives can be compared to a dentist attempting to remove several teeth from a patient without the use of any painkillers, or novacaine.

I have found that there is an extreme amount of resistance in the legislature to even acknowledge that the taxpayers are funding this fraud, corruption, official misconduct and negligence. I very strongly suspect that the reason for this is that many of the agencies, individuals and professionals who profit at the expense of the taxpayer and the welfare of our nations children are also heavy contributors to the campaigns of the elected who pass the laws that promote this profit.

I also suspect that any elected legislator who does take a stance of these issues and acknowledge that there is a need to investigate this fraud, corruption, official misconduct and negligence in the child welfare system would be committing "political suicide."

From time to time the news media does indeed touch upon these issues and it is even more true that since the popularity of the Internet there is an abundance of web sites that cover many of these issues that the press appears to "back away from."

I also highly suspect that one of the main reasons there is not the level of public scrutiny these issues demand is that the majority of the population just is not directly affected by fraud, corruption, official misconduct and negligence in the child welfare system and the politician is actually personally better off not to acknowledge these problems and issues.

I have been praying, watching, waiting, and hoping for the day when those appointed, and elected,
individuals who have accepted the public trust realize that there is a need for "open public hearings" regarding fraud, corruption, official misconduct and negligence in the child welfare system on a State and more specifically on the Federal level and that congressional hearings would be most appropriate.

As I very strongly believe it is only a matter of time when these issues cannot be ignored any longer and that there will be a time when these injustices will no longer be tolerated by this society for the truth is that these problems and issues are not going to go away and they are getting worse as time goes by and those agencies and people who are not being subjected to competent oversight and review are eventually going to be an embarrassment and an outrageous "black mark" in this nation's history when the public finally realizes the scope and extent of what the taxpayer has been funding in the name of child protection.

One particular and specific "case on point" can be found in a Michigan Court of Appeals decision that has recognized that Judges may appoint an expert witness who may fabricate, manufacture and destroy the welfare of a child in this process and do so with malice and still enjoy immunities for doing so, even if actually caught. I personally find it most outrageous that this decision by a Michigan court is not widely publicized and criticized for what our legal system has evolved to, or that people do not understand the legnth that courts will uphold immunities and the extent that these immunities are abused: [Quoted, in part, from Bielaska v Orley Michigan Court of Appeals decision dated February 9, 2001, COA Case Number 215287]

"Our Supreme Court affirmed dismissal of the civil action, finding that summary disposition was warranted under MCR 2.116(C)(7) and (8). Id. at 118. In that opinion, the Court explained the scope of the witness immunity doctrine in Michigan. The Court stated: [W]itnesses who testify during the course of judicial proceedings enjoy quasi-judicial immunity. This immunity is available to those serving in a quasi-judicial adjudicative capacity as well as "those persons other than judges without whom the judicial process could not function." Witnesses who are an integral part of the judicial process "are wholly immune from liability for the consequences of their testimony or related evaluations." Statements made during the course of judicial proceedings are absolutely privileged, provided they are relevant, material, or pertinent to the issue being tried. Falsity or malice on the part of the witness does not abrogate the privilege."
There is a lot of information I would like to present to you so that you may realize that there is an abundance of credible and relaible information available with regards to these issues but then I would have to forward thousands of pages of documents to you and I know you do not have the time to review them. It has also been my previous experience that doing so more often than not is a waste of my postage, time and money.
It is my prayer and hope that someday our society, social services and the court system may actually work to protect our most precious resource, the children. The system currently protects the accuser, the prosecutor, with immunities and child welfare agencies further protection from disclosure as well as confidentiality laws that are often abused. The current system also protects the social worker and court appointed expert/therapist/evaluator from their own negligence with immunities. The child welfare system and laws affecting children gives the judge discretion and immunity from negligent decisions based on what is convenient for the court and not in the best interests of children.

When the current child protection laws are "corrected," to not only protect children from actual abuse situations, but to also protect children from negligent and incompetent social workers, psychologists, judges, and prosecutors, as well as many of the court appointed attorneys involved then we will have effective and just child protection laws.

Any law that can effectively protect children must also effectively acknowledge system abuse, incompetence, and negligence in order to protect children. If the government cannot, or will not, protect children from its own negligence and incompetence, then many of these children will not be protected and when this happens while the government intervenes in these cases the government and its many taxpayer funded agencies then becomes responsible for promoting the child abuse it presents to the public it intends to prevent. These children suffer the injustice and indifference promoted by those presumed to protect the best interests and the rights of children who profit from the current laws, procedures, and public policies.

Fraud, corruption, official misconduct and negligence in the child welfare system is not a popular subject with the elected or there would have been much more recognition of the problem and the issues by now. I can only hope that your awareness and intertest of these issues will make a difference and that children's rights will someday cease to be mere rhetoric and politics as usual.

I want to thank you for your valuable time by allowing me the opportunity to communicate with you on these issues and I pray that you will listen. I also want to thank you for considering that these issues are important to the needs and rights that our nation's children deserve.
It has been most disturbing to discover the extent to which this nation's prosecutors are given wide discretionary authority to fabricate allegations, manufacture evidence, and even participate in instructing state's witnesses how to commit perjury against US citizen's accused of crimes the prosecutor knows are false while these prosecutors have totally immunity from civil lawsuits when prosecutors are caught applying these tactics against a citizen, or even in cases involving a child's welfare during child protective proceedings in courts.

In 1935, The United States Supreme Court addressed this issue: Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78 (1935) http://laws.findlaw.com/us/295/78.html: "As such, he [the prosecutor] is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor-indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones."

Now, 67 years later, the federal courts are taking a different view towards prosecutors using these tactics to win cases: (January 23, 2002) Rowe v Ft. Lauderdale F.3d, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 885 (11th Cir. 2002) United States Court of Appeals 11th Circuit No. 00-16361 D.C. Docket No. 97-06832 CV-PAS Appeal from the U S District Court for the Southern District of Florida:

"We begin by discussing whether Lazarus was entitled to immunity from Rowe's claims. A prosecutor is entitled to absolute immunity for all actions he takes while performing his function as an advocate for the government. Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S. 259, 273, 113 S. Ct. 2606, 2615-16 (1993). The prosecutorial function includes the initiation and pursuit of criminal prosecution, Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 424, 96 S. Ct. 984, 992 (1976), and all appearances before the court, including examining witnesses and presenting evidence. See Burns v. Reed, 500 U.S. 478, 492 111 S. Ct.. 1934, 1942 (1991). Under these principles, it is clear that, even if Lazarus knowingly proffered perjured testimony and fabricated exhibits at trial, he is entitled to absolute immunity from liability for doing so."
February 9, 2001 Michigan Court of Appeals Docket Number: 215286 Bielaska v Orley [unpublished]
"Witnesses who are an integral part of the judicial process "are wholly immune from liability for the consequences of their testimony or related evaluations." .. Falsity or malice on the part of the witness does not abrogate the privilege.... In this case, we are concerned with the absolute privilege for statements made during the course of judicial proceedings.... The immunity extends to every step of the proceeding and covers anything that may be said in relation to the matter at issue, including pleadings and affidavits."
My understanding of immunities and these current policies is that a prosecutor is not lawfully prevented, punished, or discouraged from the use of these tactics, or misconduct, while administering the public trust and that any litigant who may prevail over these tactics must do so with an extraordinary demand of diligence being imposed upon them. Even the witnesses that prosecutors know are committing perjury also have these immunities. In a nut shell the accused must successfully convince the court in a timely manner the prosecutor is wrong, or forever waive a right to address the issue on appeal:
"This Court has repeatedly declined to consider arguments not presented at a lower level, including those relating to constitutional claims. In re Forfeiture of Certain Personal Property, 441 Mich 77, 84; 490 NW2d 322 (1992). Moreover, the Michigan Court of Appeals "functions as a court of review that is principally charged with the duty of correcting errors" that occurred below and thus should decline to address unpreserved issues. See Michigan Up & Out of Poverty Now Coalition v State of Michigan, 210 Mich App 162, 167-168; 533 NW2d 339 (1995)."
Any citizen being falsely accused before any court, may prevail and have a case dismissed, or reversed on appeal, but the prosecutor is free to repeat these tactics in any case and at any time the prosecutor chooses to do so. A citizen may not proceed with a lawsuit; only a government agency may prosecute this misconduct, or corruption.
What is very disturbing is that this truth is so outrageous and unbelievable that the ordinary citizen being informed of these policies is not likely to believe it, or see a need to accurately verify it. The truth also is that it appears that the press has been suspiciously silent about these "standards of conduct."

Representative , I do know that you have the resources available to you to independently verify the accuracy of these current policies regarding immunities and I am asking you to inquire into this as accurately as you are able in an honest administration of the public trust and as a representative of the people. I am praying that I am not the only citizen who would ask this of you. And I would like to know your opinion on this issue. I am asking that you seek out the opinion of the President of the United States on behalf of your constituents in this regard. Our nation's judges have adopted very lenient policies for prosecutor and judicial misconduct.

Perhaps, most important of all, is your opinion on how these policies affect the rights of children who are "processed" through the child welfare system and the courts in the name of child welfare at taxpayer expense. Is it possible that you are not concerned that far too many children's lives are being affected with serious negative consequences because a prosecutor, children's protective services, and the expert witnesses being used are allowed to do anything to win a case even at the expense of the rights and welfare of a child?

Are these the same standards which you would have your own children subjected to?


"Traditionally, a private citizen has no standing to vindicate a public wrong or enforce a public right where he is not hurt in any manner differently than the citizenry at large." Waterford School Dist v State Bd of Ed, 98 Mich App 658, 662; 296 NW2d 328 (1980)."

INADEQUATE SELECTION, TRAINING AND SUPERVISION OF CASEWORKERS
DFCS Defendants have engaged in a policy, pattern, custom and/or practice of failing to train caseworkers concerning the adequate care and treatment of foster children, of failing to provide appropriate supervision of caseworkers, and of failing to hold DFCS staff accountable for their failure to exercise reasonable professional judgment in making decisions concerning the care and treatment of foster children. These Defendants' policies, patterns, customs and/or practices, alleged in paragraphs 87-89, injure and create a risk of imminent harm to Plaintiffs and Class members. DFCS Defendants have been and are fully aware of these policies, patterns, customs and/or practices, have failed to act to prevent or correct or alter them, and the harm and risk of harm to Plaintiffs and children in the Class is foreseeable. Through these actions and inactions, DFCS Defendants have failed to exercise professional judgment in providing the training, supervision and management needed to ensure foster children's safety and well-being and have acted with deliberate indifference to the welfare, care and safety of these foster children and to these foster children's legal rights.
87.
DFCS caseworkers and supervisors in Fulton and DeKalb Counties too often do not have the educational background, social work experience or other skills needed to provide appropriate care and treatment to foster children, many of whom have significant emotional, behavioral, medical, and educational needs.
88.
DFCS Defendants consistently assign caseworkers to foster children's cases before they receive adequate training. Once assigned to cases, caseworkers do not receive the additional training, supervision and support necessary for them to adequately monitor foster placements, ensure that foster children and their foster and biological families receive needed services, and engage in case planning and case management consistent with the law and reasonable professional standards.
89.
DFCS Defendants also consistently fail to ensure adequate supervision of foster care casework; fail to appropriately discipline incompetent caseworkers; and fail to hold caseworkers accountable for casework practice that is inconsistent with the law and reasonable professional judgment.
D. EXCESSIVE CASEWORKER CASELOADS , TURNOVER AND LACK OF CONTINUITY
90.
DFCS Defendants routinely fail to employ a sufficient number of caseworkers to handle foster children's cases. In DeKalb County, DFCS caseworkers frequently have caseloads of 35-50 cases each, and in Fulton County, caseworkers are commonly assigned even higher caseloads, more than two or three times higher than the range of 12-15 cases recommended under accepted national standards.
91.
As a result of these excessive caseloads, caseworkers regularly fail to see some foster children for months at a time and fail to arrange for the services needed by these foster children and their biological and foster families.92.
Foster children are consistently shuffled from one caseworker to another, in part because DFCS Defendants have not acted to correct circumstances when there is excessive caseworker turnover, and because they have implemented and maintained a system that mandates the transfer of foster children's cases to different caseworkers at several points in their cases.


93.
DFCS Defendants routinely allow foster children's cases to remain unassigned for significant periods of time, and fail to ensure that there is an appropriate transition when cases are transferred and that receiving caseworkers have complete information.
As a result of DFCS Defendants' practice of failing to act to remedy circumstances in which there are excessive caseloads and turnover, and their failure to ensure continuity of planning and casework activities, caseworkers consistently fail to adequately monitor foster children's safety and well-being and to meet their known needs.
E. INADEQUATE MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM
95.
DFCS Defendants have engaged in a policy, pattern, custom and/or practice of failing to maintain information systems that contain and provide the information necessary for them to reach informed decisions concerning foster children's best interests and to plan for foster children's needs consistent with reasonable professional judgment. As a result, these Defendants deny adequate protection, care, treatment, and services to Plaintiffs and members of the Class.
96.
Information systems maintained by DFCS Defendants concerning foster children frequently fail to contain accurate or timely information and fail to provide adequate security to protect the integrity of the data contained therein. These information systems too often fail to adequately and reliably track individual foster children; identify a child's actual physical placement; permit DFCS Defendants to reliably match foster children with appropriate, available placements and services; and provide sufficient information necessary to plan for foster children's needs. As a result, foster children are harmed and are continually at risk of suffering harm while in foster care because government employees responsible for their care cannot determine where they are or what services they require.
97.
Information systems maintained by DFCS Defendants concerning foster children are insufficient to properly assess whether these Defendants are fulfilling their legal obligations to Plaintiffs and the Class members. Among other things, these Defendants cannot accurately ascertain caseworker caseloads, caseworker turnover, numbers of placements for individual foster children, or numbers of maltreatment reports for particular foster homes or facilities.
F. DENIAL OF ADEQUATE AND EFFECTIVE REPRESENTATION
98.
Fulton and DeKalb County Juvenile Courts appoint child advocate attorneys to represent the vast majority of foster children who are the subject of petitions alleging they have been abused or neglected (called "deprivation petitions"). This attorney/client relationship continues after the child is determined to be abused or neglected ("deprived") until the child is placed out of foster care and out of state custody, or until a petition for termination of parental rights is filed which frees the child to be adopted. When a petition to terminate the parental rights of a child is filed, a child advocate attorney is appointed pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 15-11-98 (a).
99.
In Fulton County, there are no more than four child advocate attorneys who are assigned to represent approximately 2,000 foster children, including foster children who are the subject of a petition to terminate parental rights. In DeKalb County, there are two child advocate attorneys appointed to represent approximately 1,000 such children.
100.
On information and belief, the number of child advocate attorneys, and consequently their workloads, are determined by the budgets established by Defendants Fulton County and DeKalb County, which provide the funds for the child advocate attorneys. The funding provided by Defendants Fulton and DeKalb County is wholly inadequate to financially provide for the number of attorneys actually needed to effectively represent Plaintiffs and members of the Class.
101.
As a result of the workloads of the child advocate attorneys assigned to represent Plaintiffs and members of the Class, these lawyers are routinely unable to consult with their clients prior to court appearances and are unable to provide effective and adequate counsel or zealous representation.
102.
As a direct result of the inadequate funds Defendants Fulton County and DeKalb County make available to cover the cost of providing attorneys to foster children in Juvenile Court, Plaintiffs and members of the Class are denied adequate and effective legal representation and a meaningful opportunity to be heard in the Juvenile Court.
G. BREACH OF GEORGIA'S CONTRACT WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT103.
The federal government has approved the State Plans submitted by the State of Georgia to receive federal financial assistance under Titles IV-B, IV-E and XIX of the Social Security Act to help fund the State's child welfare, foster care and adoption, and Medicaid programs respectively. These State Plans are contracts into which the State of Georgia enters for the express benefit of Plaintiffs and Class members, who are third party beneficiaries of these contracts. DFCS Defendants are directly responsible for fulfilling the obligations undertaken by the State of Georgia when it entered into these State Plan contracts, including but not limited to the obligation to administer the programs in accordance with specific relevant state statutes, policies and all applicable federal statutes, regulations and other official issuances of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Defendants have breached their obligations under these State Plan contracts.


(Substantive Due Process Under The Georgia State Constitution)
(Asserted by all Plaintiffs and Class members against DFCS Defendants)
193. Each and every allegation of the Complaint is incorporated herein as if fully set forth.
194.
The foregoing actions and inactions of DFCS Defendants constitute a failure to exercise an affirmative duty to protect the welfare of all Plaintiffs and Class members, which is a substantial factor leading to, and proximate cause of, the violation of the constitutionally protected liberty and privacy interests of all of the Plaintiffs and Class members. The forgoing actions and inactions of DFCS Defendants constitute a policy, pattern, practice and/or custom that is inconsistent with the exercise of reasonable professional judgment and amounts to deliberate indifference to the serious and constitutionally protected rights and liberty and privacy interests of all Plaintiffs and Class members. As a result, all Plaintiffs and Class members have been and are being deprived of the substantive due process rights conferred upon them by Article I, Section I, Paragraph I of the Georgia State Constitution. Defendants have arbitrarily and capriciously deprived Plaintiffs and Class members of their due process rights in the absence of any countervailing state interest.
195.
These substantive due process rights include, but are not limited to: the right to protection of their person and from unnecessary harm while in government custody; the right to a living environment that protects foster children's physical, mental and emotional safety and well-being; the right to services necessary to prevent foster children from deteriorating or being harmed physically, psychologically, or otherwise while in government custody, including but not limited to the right to safe and secure foster care placements, appropriate monitoring and supervision, appropriate planning and services directed toward ensuring that the child can leave foster care and grow up in a permanent family, and adequate medical, dental, psychiatric, psychological, and educational services; the right not to be deprived of liberty by retention in government custody or locked detention facilities beyond necessity; the right to treatment and care consistent with the purpose of the assumption of custody by DFCS Defendants; the right not to be retained in custody longer than is necessary to accomplish the purposes to be served by taking the child into custody; and the right to receive care, treatment and services determined and provided through the exercise of accepted, reasonable professional judgment.


COUNT IV
(Substantive Due Process Under The United States Constitution)
(Asserted pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 by all Plaintiffs and Class members against Defendants Roy Barnes, James Martin, Beverly Jones and Wayne Drummond)
196.
Each and every allegation of the Complaint is incorporated herein as if fully set forth.
197.
The foregoing actions and inactions of Defendants Roy Barnes, James Martin, Beverly Jones and Wayne Drummond in their official capacities constitute a failure to exercise an affirmative duty to protect the welfare of all Plaintiffs and Class members, which is a substantial factor leading to, and proximate cause of, violation of the constitutionally protected liberty and privacy interests of all of the Plaintiffs and Class members. The forgoing actions and inactions of Defendants Roy Barnes, James Martin, Beverly Jones and Wayne Drummond in their official capacities constitute a policy, pattern, practice and/or custom that is inconsistent with the exercise of reasonable professional judgment and amounts to deliberate indifference to the serious and constitutionally protected rights and liberty and privacy interests of all Plaintiffs and Class members. As a result, all Plaintiffs and Class members have been and are being deprived of the substantive due process rights conferred upon them by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Defendants have arbitrarily and capriciously deprived Plaintiffs and Class members of their due process rights in the absence of any countervailing state interest.
198.
These substantive due process rights include, but are not limited to: the right to protection from unnecessary harm while in government custody; the right to a living environment that protects foster children's physical, mental and emotional safety and well-being; the right to services necessary to prevent foster children from deteriorating or being harmed physically, psychologically, or otherwise while in government custody, including but not limited to the right to safe and secure foster care placements, appropriate monitoring and supervision, appropriate planning and services directed toward ensuring that the child can leave foster care and grow up in a permanent family, and adequate medical, dental, psychiatric, psychological, and educational services; the right not to be deprived of liberty by retention in government custody or locked detention facilities beyond necessity; the right to treatment and care consistent with the purpose of the assumption of custody by DFCS Defendants; the right not to be retained in custody longer than is necessary to accomplish the purposes to be served by taking the child into custody; and the right to receive care, treatment and services determined and provided through the exercise of accepted, reasonable professional judgment.
COUNT V
(First, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution)
(Asserted pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 by all Plaintiffs and Class members against Defendants Roy Barnes, James Martin, Beverly Jones and Wayne Drummond)
199.
Each and every allegation of the Complaint is incorporated herein as if fully set forth.
200.
The foregoing actions and inactions of Defendants Roy Barnes, James Martin, Beverly Jones and Wayne Drummond in their official capacities constitute a failure to exercise an affirmative duty to protect the welfare of all Plaintiffs and Class members, which failure is a substantial factor leading to, and proximate cause of, violation of the constitutionally protected liberty interests, privacy interests and associational rights of all of the Plaintiffs and Class members. The foregoing actions and inactions of Defendants Roy Barnes, James Martin, Beverly Jones and Wayne Drummond in their official capacities constitute a policy, pattern, practice and/or custom that is inconsistent with the exercise of reasonable professional judgment and also amounts to deliberate indifference to the serious and constitutionally protected rights and needs of the Plaintiffs and Class members. As a result, Plaintiffs and Class members are being deprived of their liberty interest, privacy interests and associational rights conferred on them by the First, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution not to be deprived of a child-parent or a child-sibling family relationship absent compelling reasons.
COUNT VI
(Right to a Properly Screened and Supervised Home: O.C.G.A. 49-5-12)
(Asserted by all Plaintiffs and Class Members against DFCS Defendants)
201.
Each and every allegation of the Complaint is incorporated herein as if fully set forth.
202.
As a result of the foregoing actions and inactions of DFCS Defendants, Plaintiffs and Class members who have been, are or will be in family foster homes have been deprived, or are at imminent risk of being deprived, of the right to have their welfare safeguarded while in a foster home as a result of such Defendants' failure to thoroughly investigate the home in which they are placed and the character of the persons residing there and to supervise the home during the placement, in violation of O.C.G.A. 49-5-12(j).


COUNT VII
(Right to Case Plans and Their Implementation and Permanent Placement:
O.C.G.A. 15-11-58)
(Asserted by all Plaintiffs and Class Members against DFCS Defendants)
203.
Each and every allegation of the Complaint is incorporated herein as if fully set forth.
204. As a result of the foregoing actions and omissions of DFCS Defendants, Plaintiffs and Class members are being deprived of rights conferred on them by O.C.G.A. 15-11-58(c), (j) and (m). These rights include, but are not limited to: the right to a timely written case plan containing mandated elements, and to the implementation of these plans; the right to have a petition to terminate parental rights filed, or have a compelling reason documented why such a petition has not been filed, in accordance with specified, statutory standards and time frames; and the right to planning and services to obtain a permanent placement at the earliest possible time, including documentation of the steps taken to secure permanency.


Do Not Allow this to CONTINUE to happen to any more Families....Please the future of our world is in the hands of the children. So what good are we to them if we DON'T do something to end this war on DFCS and CM? Help is NEEDED, NOW! Our President isn't going to do it, our elected officials are cowards, and DFCS, as if! Sign this petition not only for yourself but for ours TOO! !

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Latest Signatures

  • 20 November 2015250. Penny M
    and/or Suggestions: dfcs should have to answer for there actions as any other. an accuser should not be annonimous and if allegations are false the accused should be informed of who is causing the harrasssment. the false accuser should be held accountable
  • 16 November 2015249. Robert P
    and/or Suggestions: D-epartment of F-amily and C-hildren S-layers, NO abuse found however they hold my children in "Safety mode" in another home. My own children lied and instigated this farse with the help of a busy bodied nosy woman that has her snout u
  • 15 November 2015248. Christi H
    and/or Suggestions: DFCS DEFINITELY NEEDS OVERHAULING Status of DFCS case: Finally coming together correctly! Took long enough....I'm on the other side, which child abuse was involved. Took 3x before DFCS finally got the child out of the home! Name and St
  • 17 September 2015247. Donnie H
    and/or Suggestions: Dfacs needs a complete reform. Status of DFCS case: open
  • 08 September 2015246. Susan R
    and/or Suggestions: The abuse by DFCS has to be stopped. There is no justice for parents. Status of DFCS case: no case, just a concerned parent Name and State you live in: Fayette Co., GA
  • 03 September 2015245. Lisa P
    and/or Suggestions: My kids were emergency taken by coweta county dfcs wrongfully as well !! help !! Email: [email protected] /* */ Status of DFCS case: 2 baby girls remain in foster care Name and State you live in: Coweta county, Ga
  • 21 August 2015244. Cynthia P
    and/or Suggestions: NEED MORE CONCERNED PARTIES TO JUMP ON THIS BANWAGON, HELP STOP THE ENSLAVEMENT OF OUR CHILDREN Email: [email protected] /* */ Status of DFCS case: georgia Name and State you live in: GEORGIA
  • 20 August 2015243. Shericka C
    and/or Suggestions: I feel so sorry for people who are wrongly accussed. My husband and i have recently gone through the same thing, but it was with a foster child. This foster child had a history of making false accusations and threats whenever he could
  • 12 July 2015242. Ken V
    and/or Suggestions: I can relate to the issue with DSS/DFCS on a personal level. They also took my 2 children for no apparent reason except by fabricating accusations Status of DFCS case: Closed(THANKFULLY) Name and State you live in: Arkansas
  • 25 June 2015241. Edith G
    and/or Suggestions: I am going through something similar, I ahve been accused but there is no proof of allegations and now I can't even see my kids. Status of DFCS case: Pending Name and State you live in: GA
  • 22 June 2015240. Lesley M
    and/or Suggestions: I am dealing with this same situation Email: [email protected] /* */ Status of DFCS case: Termination Name and State you live in: Lesley Murell Ga
  • 17 June 2015239. Letia R
    and/or Suggestions: My family is going though the same problems with Lowndes County DFAC Workers and taking us through HELL. Status of DFCS case: Case is still onging right now Name and State you live in: Valdosta, Georgia
  • 19 May 2015238. Chase Ansleyh
    and/or Suggestions: DFCS let us go back home where we belong...PLEASE ! Status of DFCS case: ACTIVE Name and State you live in: GEORGIA
  • 26 April 2015237. Amanda Elizabethr
    and/or Suggestions: sick of harrassment Email: amanda.russo1986@hotmail Status of DFCS case: Investigation 2nd time in 2 months Name and State you live in: Fannin County, Georgia
  • 01 April 2015236. James Em
    and/or Suggestions: DFAC,s are as corrupt as the people they are resposible to!!! Email: [email protected] /* */ Status of DFCS case: They refuse to protect the child because his paternal grandfather has political connections in Gordon County. Name and
  • 17 March 2015235. Sarah Willis
    and/or Suggestions: DFCS do not know what the HELL they are doing. In court in cases nor in the lives of our children!! Status of DFCS case: My grandchildren are in an ongoing INVESTIGATION Name and State you live in: Georgia
  • 06 February 2015234. Cathy Leblanc
    and/or Suggestions: Similiar Situation and Need Help Status of DFCS case: One child in Temporary Custody Name and State you live in: Carroll Cty
  • 05 February 2015233. Melissa Allahguardianoffriendsc
    and/or Suggestions: going through similar situatuion also in douglas co, almost 1 yr now---Same judge-- call me pls Status of DFCS case: on-going, but going nowhere! Name and State you live in: cobb county, ga #770-941-1281
  • 19 December 2014232. India Nelson
    and/or Suggestions: my daughter was taken from me Status of DFCS case: open Name and State you live in: ga
  • 09 December 2014231. Daniel S
    and/or Suggestions: Educate DFCS that child illness (ITP) is not Deprivation! Email: [email protected] /* */ Status of DFCS case: Pending Name and State you live in: Dan Scott , Covington, Georgia.
  • 16 October 2014230. Tihesha P
    and/or Suggestions: I understand how it feels to have your kids taken away from you at the drop of a dime, due to false accusations. Mine were removed on 1/20/2006 due to my grandmother in FL, calling the police on me, and accusing me of abusing my childr
  • 15 October 2014229. Tammy M
    and/or Suggestions: approve legislation requiring DFACS to follow guildlines and approve rights for people involved in DFACS cases that do not involve having o get an attorney Email: [email protected] /* */ Status of DFCS case: closed Name and State you
  • 27 September 2014228. Janice Knox
    and/or Suggestions: Try hard to fight this all the way, I watched my best friend go through this. Status of DFCS case: Don't have one. Name and State you live in: Janice King, Georgia
  • 27 September 2014227. Blaine F
    and/or Suggestions: please call me @205-657-7020 I believe you will be interested in what I have to say Thank you, blaine Email: [email protected] /* */ Status of DFCS case: don't know ?????
  • 05 August 2014226. Tori Js
    and/or Suggestions: Incompetence know it all dont use facts only there opinion Status of DFCS case: unknown, getting attorney Name and State you live in: Walker co Georgia
  • 20 July 2014225. Brittaney J
    and/or Suggestions: I want to help and I am in need of help with my dfcs case too Email: [email protected] /* */ Status of DFCS case: They just took my parental rights, I am going to appeal, but I done nothing wrong to lose my children, but I was a prod
  • 17 July 2014224. Marie Gordon
    and/or Suggestions: dfcs has my kids to and they are lieing to keep them Status of DFCS case: kids in dfcs for last 15 months Name and State you live in: dublin georgia

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Carly WestBy:
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Petition target:
Georgia Elected Officials

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