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child protective services
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services began investigating Tiffany Banks for alleged child neglect and abuse, she says, around the time her son started to misbehave in school and she pushed back on a plan for his educational services. Banks says she feels the school was trying to strong-arm her into transferring her son to a different institution. Credit: Caroline Preston / The Hechinger Report

This story about schools and child protective services was produced as part of a series, “Twice Abandoned: How schools and child-welfare systems fail kids in foster care,” reported by HuffPost and The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.

CHICAGO and NEW YORK — Tiffany Banks sat in her living room, a ruby-red wall decorated with family photographs behind her, listing all the ways her life had unraveled over the past year. Her 6-year-old son had been removed from her care for more than a month. She was forced to close an in-home child care business, and she’d been temporarily displaced from her preschool teaching job, which she’d held for 17 years. Her teenage daughter refused to talk to the 6-year-old, blaming him for the family’s troubles.

Banks didn’t blame her little boy. She blamed his school, and the investigators from the state’s child welfare agency they’d sent to her door.

Until last fall, Banks had only good things to say about her children’s school. She’d carefully chosen the K-8 institution, a magnet school across town from her single-family house on Chicago’s West Side, for its academic rigor and diverse student body. Her daughter, now 16, had thrived there, she said, and her middle son did well too. But when her youngest son entered first grade last year, he started misbehaving and making trouble for teachers. “He really struggles behavior-wise,” said Banks, a tall, self-assured woman who’d attended neighborhood public schools in Chicago and desperately wanted something different for her kids. “And at this school they have a low tolerance for it.”

“Calling ACS is one of the tools in [a school’s] repertoire to make the parents comply.”

The school wanted the boy to enroll in classes exclusively for students with disabilities. But Banks felt differently: Despite his behavior problems, for which he was eventually diagnosed with attention deficit and mood disorders, he did well academically, she said. Banks pushed back, going so far as to make complaints to the city’s education board and entering mediation with the school.

This was unfolding around the time the workers from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, or DCFS, began investigating her for alleged child abuse and neglect.

School employees in most states have a legal obligation to report any suspicion of abuse and neglect, and they can play a critical role in helping keep children out of harm’s way. But in nearly three dozen interviews conducted by The Hechinger Report and HuffPost, parents, lawyers, advocates and child welfare officials said that schools occasionally wield this authority in inappropriate ways. Fed up with what they see as obstinate parents who don’t agree to special education services for their child, or disruptive kids who make learning difficult, schools sometimes use the threat of a child-protection investigation to strong-arm parents into complying with the school’s wishes or transferring their children to a new school. That approach is not only improper, but it can be devastating for families, even if the allegations are ultimately determined to be unfounded.

Related: The opioid crisis took their parents, now foster kids left behind are being failed again

Banks’ first brush with DCFS came after the school sent her son to the hospital because he was acting out, she said. They wanted him to receive a psychiatric evaluation, she said, but Banks refused because he already had an appointment with his doctor for the following week. The second time a caseworker investigated her, she said, it was because her son’s doctor had prescribed him a new medication and the school hadn’t been properly notified. Next came an investigation after her middle child wrote a paper that Banks was told contained troubling content. One time, she gave her youngest son a spanking for running away from school. After he told school employees about it the next day, he was removed from her home for more than a month and sent to live with her sister-in-law while the child welfare agency investigated her for abuse, according to Banks. The most recent case was the most incomprehensible to her: Banks said she was investigated for letting her middle child go to school with a bad haircut he’d given himself. The haircut, Banks said she was told by an investigator, could amount to emotional abuse.

As a teacher, Banks herself had sometimes called the state child welfare hotline over the years, when she worried that her students were being abused or neglected. But in her case, she believes the school simply wanted her son gone. Banks said she’d heard from a handful of other parents who’d found themselves in similar situations, all of whom are African-American like her and whose children have disabilities. “All I’m looking for is a good education for my kid,” said Banks. She felt the allegations against her had been twisted and exaggerated to fit a narrative that she was a bad mother. “It severed the relationship that we’re supposed to have as a parent and teacher community.”

“When you go through this, it’s not just a nightmare for you, it’s a nightmare for your child, because the stress level it creates for our family is horrible.”

Emily Bolton, a spokesperson for the Chicago Public Schools, wrote in an email that the agency cannot comment on specific cases but that employees take seriously their responsibility as mandated reporters of abuse and neglect, and that there is no evidence of widespread misuse of the DCFS child-welfare hotline.

But even some former child welfare officials say the practice isn’t as rare as they’d like. “If schools don’t get the parents to agree to what’s being recommended — not all the time, but sometimes — they will call ACS [the Administration for Children’s Services, New York City’s child welfare agency] to pressure them,” said Don Lash, a former lawyer with ACS and author of the book, “ ‘When the Welfare People Come’: Race and Class in the US Child Protection System.”

He and many other experts also note that because of legitimate fears of overlooking kids at risk and vague definitions of abuse and neglect, school workers may sometimes be overzealous, calling in allegations over relatively minor issues such as broken eyeglasses, inappropriate clothing or small scratches. In interviews, more than a dozen lawyers said these investigations disproportionately affect low-income families of color, who tend to live in neighborhoods and attend schools that have bigger police and social services presences and whose children are more likely to show markings of poverty that can be confused with neglect.

Such families also have fewer resources to fight back. When a family in a wealthy Brooklyn neighborhood learned roughly two years ago that their child’s school had initiated an ACS investigation against them, they sued the city education department. Parents from lower-income, majority-black and Latino neighborhoods, few of whom can afford that option, say such investigations can be a regular, even expected, part of parenting. According to ACS data, there were 2,391 abuse and neglect investigations last year in East New York/Starrett City, a low-income neighborhood in Brooklyn, compared with 255 in the affluent, and far more populous, Upper East Side.

Race, and racial bias, can also play a role in whether families are referred to and investigated by child protective services, research suggests. Nationally, black children are roughly twice as likely as white children to enter foster care, and in New York and Illinois, more than four times as likely. Research reveals racial disparities at every step, from the numbers of calls to the child welfare hotline to the numbers of investigations and court findings of neglect.

“I don’t think I can think of a white family where I’ve ever seen it arise,” Chris Gottlieb, co-director of New York University’s Family Defense Clinic, which represents clients in child welfare cases, said of these types of school-driven investigations.

An intimidation tool?  

Accusations that officials with Success Academy Charter Schools have sometimes threatened parents with ACS involvement have been a focal point of legal and civil complaints against the charter school network, New York City’s largest. One lawsuit against a Success Academy school in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn alleges that the school unfairly singled out kids with disabilities for discipline. In an August ruling allowing the suit to proceed, a judge said allegations that school employees called police or child protective services on 4- and 5-year olds, would, if true, help to demonstrate enough “bad faith or gross misjudgment” to sustain the discrimination claims.

“It’s very hard because the whole system isn’t adequate in addressing families’ needs. It would be much easier to call ACS if you could count on them as a holistic agency to families that are marginalized.”

Nicey Givens, one of the parents in the suit, said she was told at least twice that Success might involve ACS if she didn’t quickly pick up her child from school in the middle of the day. The boy, who’d been given diagnoses of attention deficit and oppositional defiant disorder, often misbehaved, and Givens said she felt the school was pressuring her to remove him. Once, she said, the threat to involve ACS came after she’d sent the boy to school in boots instead of his uniform shoes on a cold, wet day.

“Calling ACS is one of the tools in their repertoire to make the parents comply,” said Irene Mendez, a staff attorney with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, one of several groups that filed the suit. A 2016 civil complaint filed with the federal Department of Education includes an allegation that a Success school in Manhattan initiated an ACS investigation against the mother of a 6-year-old as part of an effort to encourage her to send him to another school. Another lawsuit alleges that one of the network’s Bronx schools repeatedly threatened to call ACS to pressure a parent to remove her son from the school.

Success Academy officials dispute the suggestion that any of the network’s schools misuse calls to ACS. Ann Powell, executive vice president of public affairs for the charter network, said she could not comment on the specifics in the lawsuit involving the Fort Greene school because it is ongoing, but said that the network disagreed with the way Givens described her interactions with the school. Success also disputes the allegations made against the Manhattan and Bronx schools. Powell noted that as legally mandated reporters of child abuse, school employees must report any suspicion of abuse and neglect, and that “using that in a threatening way is just not credible.”

A legal obligation

Mandated reporter laws date to the 1960s, and in most states, school employees are among the professionals (along with doctors, social workers and others) obligated to report any suspicion of abuse or neglect. Mandated reporter trainings remind school employees that it’s not their responsibility to decide whether abuse is taking place but simply to pick up the phone if they have a concern, and the child welfare agency will take over from there. Mandated reporters typically have immunity from prosecution for making needless calls, so long as those calls are made in good faith.

“All of the pressure on mandated reporters is to report, report, report,” said Richard Wexler, executive director of the nonprofit National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.

If they fail to report their suspicions, and something terrible happens to the child, they can face fines or even jail time and wind up on the front page of a newspaper. Child welfare is often described as being caught in a scandal-reform cycle, with reports of neglect and entrances to foster care rising after high-profile child deaths. Both Chicago and New York are dealing with the repercussions of recent scandals — Chicago Tribune reporting on sex abuse in schools is spurring fresh resources and protocols, while in New York, calls to the child abuse hotline spiked after the deaths of two young boys under ACS monitoring in 2016.

“Our focus is always on the student, the child,” said Powell, the Success Academy VP. “Not to say that the parent doesn’t matter and those kinds of investigations can’t be awkward and disruptive, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, and there are just too many examples that you read of something that was overlooked.”

School officials also note that they have a unique responsibility in policing child neglect in many states. Child welfare laws in New York and 23 other states (not Illinois) list the denial of education as a form of abuse or neglect. In some parts of New York, school employees are required to initiate educational neglect allegations if a child has a prolonged absence and parents don’t respond to the school. Last year, school personnel in New York City made 16,301 reports to ACS, more than any other type of mandated reporter, according to agency data provided to Hechinger/HuffPost. Of those, about 43 percent involved an allegation of educational neglect.

Related: Teachers are first responders to the opioid crisis

child protective services
The Hankinses with their son David. A family court judge rejected the New York City Department of Education’s allegation that the couple had neglected their child by keeping him out of school and having “unrealistic expectations” for his education. Credit: Damon Dahlen / HuffPost

But critics say these too are misused or fall into gray areas of the law. Phillip and Tina Hankins, a couple in the South Bronx, have been tussling with the New York City Department of Education for more than a decade over where and how to educate their son David, who has a disability. They’ve been investigated at least seven times by ACS, including on occasions when they kept David out of class while fighting to get him into what they considered to be a more suitable institution, documentation shows.

“The schools have the right to call in whatever they think is not appropriate,” said Baffour Acheampong, an ACS worker who investigated several of the Hankins’ cases. “But in dealing with Mrs. and Mr. Hankins, what I saw was they have the best interests of their son.”

On the one occasion that ACS substantiated an educational neglect allegation against the Hankinses, a family court judge later overturned that finding. The judge noted that David’s intelligence test scores actually improved when the boy was kept out of school awaiting placement, and that the Hankinses had been doing all they could to fight for educational services. “In light of the Appellants’ year-long battle to get the child into an appropriate school, it is not clear what else they could have done to have enrolled David,” the judge wrote, adding that the agency did not provide a “single credible instance where they failed to exercise the required minimum degree of care.”

In response to questions about this case, spokesperson for the New York City schools Miranda Barbot said that the Department of Education works “closely with families to support them,” and “when there is reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect, we have clear policies in place that ensure it is reported.”

Michael Arsham, executive director of ACS’s Office of Advocacy, which responds to complaints from those involved in the child welfare system, said the agency acknowledges that hotline calls from schools do not always contain serious safety concerns, and it is working more closely with the education department to minimize needless reporting. Two years ago, ACS developed a “tiered response” system with the DOE to prioritize urgent matters and reduce the impact on families of investigations over smaller concerns. “We do want people to call potential dangers to children to our attention,” Arsham said. “But I think it’s fair for us to expect other human services professionals — whether they be in education, health care, anybody who is a mandated reporter — to use their independent judgment and discretion and understand there are consequences to making that call.”

Part of the challenge facing school officials, according to Leila Ortiz, a social worker in New York City public schools, is that ACS is primarily oriented to investigate families, not provide support. Chronic absenteeism could indeed be the canary in the coal mine, she said, signaling deeper troubles within a family. “If you don’t call that in, something could potentially be happening to the student,” she said. “You don’t know, they’re not in the building.”

“But at the same time,” Ortiz added, “you could be adding more stress and damage to a family that already has a lot on their plate. It’s very hard because the whole system isn’t adequate in addressing families’ needs. It would be much easier to call ACS if you could count on them as a holistic agency to families that are marginalized.”

Antagonistic approach

Despite ACS’s efforts to be more sensitive to families facing investigations, parents don’t tend to experience child welfare investigations as even remotely helpful. A New York City parent named Gabriela — who is going by her middle name for this article because her case is still ongoing and she fears retaliation — knows the type of havoc that a call to ACS can wreak on a family. Over the course of her decades-long career as an advocate for immigrants in East Harlem, she has developed an acute understanding of ways in which families can get unfairly wrapped up in an opaque process. Some of these cases have made sense to her. Many more have seemed unfounded, with cultural differences in child-rearing clearly playing a role.

But she never expected to have to use this ACS expertise with her own family.

Last January, when Gabriela received a knock on the door of her Bronx home from an ACS caseworker, she was shocked to learn that she was the subject of a child abuse investigation. Even more surprising was the source of the complaint: her 10-year-old child’s school.

“Our focus is always on the student, the child. Not to say that the parent doesn’t matter and those kinds of investigations can’t be awkward and disruptive, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, and there are just too many examples that you read of something that was overlooked.”

Days prior, Gabriela’s daughter had gone to her teacher with a secret: That her daddy — amid grief from the death of his mother — had started regularly drinking. Gabriela said that she had tried to keep this behavior from her daughter, and thought she hadn’t noticed the new wrinkles in family life.

What happened next was a whirlwind. The child, hysterically crying and scared, was pulled into a room with several adults and questioned about her home life. Under pressure — and wanting to provide the right answer — she said that her mom, Gabriela, had hit her, a charge that Gabriela denies.

Gabriela recognizes that the school was trying to help — and in some ways was carrying out a professional duty — but says they brought a “nightmare to my house.”

A Mexican immigrant who came to America as a teenager, Gabriela has been deeply involved in the education of her daughter at every step. Over the years, Gabriela has taken the time to get to know her daughter’s teachers and school principal, while advocating for the school’s immigrant families who need extra services. How could the school’s leaders, whom Gabriela knew so well, see her as anything less than a devoted parent?

“Why didn’t they use the social worker outside? Why didn’t they call me with concerns? Why did they go straight for the kill and call ACS?” questioned Gabriela.

Related: Institutions for foster kids aren’t doing enough to educate them

She wonders if, in the delicate balancing act of being an involved parent but trying not to overstep her role, she landed on the wrong side of the equation. Or if, in her role as an advocate for immigrant families, she pushed too hard.

She also wonders if this process would have played out differently if she had a different ACS caseworker. (Charges against her were sustained and she is currently amid the appeals process.) This caseworker has asked her on three separate occasions about her immigration status, apparently unable to believe that Gabriela is an American citizen, Gabriela recounts.

“When you go through this, it’s not just a nightmare for you, it’s a nightmare for your child, because the stress level it creates for our family is horrible,” said Gabriela, through tears, one Tuesday afternoon in August.

A representative for the school said that all employees receive training on child abuse and follow state law regarding reporting.

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After an employee at her child’s school reported Sandra for alleged abuse, she went from being very involved in her sons’ education to being fearful of teachers and administrators. Credit: Caroline Preston / The Hechinger Report

Even for parents who have their records cleared, the pernicious consequences of investigations can be permanent. In 2015, Sandra, a mother of three in Chicago, was investigated by DCFS after her youngest son went to school with what she describes as a minor scratch he sustained from roughhousing with his brothers.

After a DCFS worker arrived on her doorstep, her entire life was thrown under suspicion. The flowers that were a Valentine’s Day gift from her husband, for example? The investigator asked if they were evidence of her husband trying to repair damage from a marital fight.

Ultimately the abuse allegation against Sandra was overturned. But three years and $15,000 in legal fees later, she said she’s still reluctant to meet with or talk to school employees. Recently, the assistant principal at her youngest son’s school called Sandra and her husband in for a meeting to discuss the boy’s behavior, as he’d been getting frustrated in class and acting out. When the administrator suggested she take a stronger disciplinary approach, Sandra pushed back hard: “I am not going to yell at him or touch him because you guys already put me through this one time.”

Growing awareness

According to NYU’s Gottlieb, there needs to be a greater understanding of the damage caused by needless investigations and the higher rates at which parents of color are caught up in them. “You want to help parents make better choices for their kids,” she said, “and starting out by saying, ‘You’re abusive,’ is not the way to do it.”

One step forward, say critics of child welfare, could be to modify mandated reporter training — by using it in part to educate people about implicit racial bias, for example. The training that has long been offered to Illinois’ school employees is a one-time online course that takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete and includes no mention of race. Chicago Public Schools says that starting this year, it has begun offering an in-person, annual training.

Related: When foster kids are moved around, schooling becomes an afterthought

Meanwhile, experiments to reduce racial and socioeconomic inequities in the child welfare system have shown some success. New York’s Nassau County was able to significantly reduce the numbers of black kids put in foster care after placing an emphasis on workforce diversity among human services employees and withholding children’s demographic information from staff meetings. A second New York county, Onandaga, began removing fewer black kids from their parents after investing in afterschool and other school-based programs.

There were 2,391 abuse and neglect investigations last year in East New York/Starrett City, a low-income neighborhood in Brooklyn, compared with 255 in the affluent, and far more populous, Upper East Side

In New York City, ACS is rolling out a new approach to responding to low-risk calls that focuses on assessing which services fragile families need, said ACS’s Arsham.

Neil Skene, a spokesperson for the Illinois DCFS, wrote in an email that while a child welfare investigation is a “painful experience for anyone,” the agency feels it has a “particular obligation to be responsive to the concerns and professional knowledge of mandated reporters.” Skene added: “We are starting to work with local communities to identify cultural and racial disparities and how we can respond better.”

Out of options

Change can’t happen soon enough for families embroiled in school-driven investigations. For them, transferring schools can feel like the only way out.

In 2015, after the harassment Givens says she endured at Success Academy, she sent her son to a different elementary school nearby. “From first to fourth grade, no problems, no incidents, no suspensions, no fighting, no nothing,” she said.

Gabriela’s daughter has also switched schools, after feeling uncomfortable and mistrustful of the adults who called ACS on her parents. “She went from asking me, ‘Please don’t take me to school, can I stay with you?’ ” Gabriela said of her daughter, “to getting up in the morning, getting ready, excited to participate.”

Banks considered removing her two boys from their magnet school after the child-protection investigations began. Relatives, colleagues, even her kids’ pediatrician — they all warned that the hotline calls wouldn’t stop until her children left the school. Because she worked with kids, the investigations were particularly worrisome for her, she said, even though ultimately none of the cases against her had been substantiated.

But at the same time, she was reluctant. The magnet school offered four foreign languages, math teams and movie nights, things she worried her kids wouldn’t get at their neighborhood school. “I feel like they are winning,” she said. “I understand his behavior is poor,” she said of her youngest son, “but he does deserve to be at a school where he can get a good education.”

Plus, by the time she came to grips with the unrelenting nature of the investigations, the December deadline for applying to specialized schools had already passed. She looked into private schools before deciding they were too expensive.

This fall, feeling out of options, she sent her boys back to the magnet school. On the second day of the semester, she texted: “I am praying it is better this year.”

This story about schools and child protective services was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for the Hechinger newsletter.

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Letters to the Editor

10 Letters

At The Hechinger Report, we publish thoughtful letters from readers that contribute to the ongoing discussion about the education topics we cover. Please read our guidelines for more information. We will not consider letters that do not contain a full name and valid email address. You may submit news tips or ideas here without a full name, but not letters.

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  1. I’m in need of a lawyer my two children with special needs ADHD has been neglected and abused by CPS it’s was reported investigated and the Teacher resigned , before resigning the School retaliated and called Dcfs on me several times .

  2. I am currently going through something similar with my son’s school and would like to reach out. They’ve harassed me with dfacs on more than one occasion but the most recent is over a parasite they found in my son’s stool but no one even notified me or his father and now it seems like they are trying to pressure me into signing up for a parent aide program. Can the school legally force that? I live in Rome GA

  3. Hi my name is Jennifer my daughters in 8th grade and her old teacher has been asking her to move in with her and telling her all kinds of things to make her want to live with her but my daughter refuses so one day last week 04/19/2021 my daughter was pulled to the side by the teacher not her teacher but was asked if she was still dating a guy she been dating for over a year now well the teacher just kept telling her he was worthless he is a loser and always will be and much more well my daughter came home from school crying and wouldn’t tell us why she was upset well finally later that night I got her to open up about what was wrong then she told me what the teacher had said so I wrote that teacher politely asked her to not give my daughter relationship advise or any advise just stay out of it if we as parents find a problem then we will decide not her so that was sent to her 04/23/2021 and then today I get a visit from CPS on neglect of my child said she was not eating and we didn’t cook or take care of her well in my town we are plaques with drug addicts and kids growing up without there parents all because of the opioids and neglect well we aren’t rich we are poor but everything we have we put towards are children they never go without but yet this teacher is trying to destroy a family that’s not drug addicts not neglect our children this is the second or third time we have had a visit from CPS because the school would see a troubled teen just trying to figure themselves out they see abuse ? If you have a teen they are emotional and hormonal and when there having a bad day or been depressed because what a teacher had said we are being treated like we did something wrong when I’m fact it was the teacher gaslighting my daughter. I just don’t understand how a school or a teacher someone kids trust and as a parent you tell them to trust teachers just to have a teacher try and rip your daughter out of your home for there own isn’t right what so ever. During these times you would think schools would be the place where your child is safe other then home but how can it be safe at school if a teacher is emotionally destroying my daughter I have filed a complaint with the school about this teacher but what makes a teacher want to take your child away from you for themselves and your daughter is afraid she is trying to get her taking now we will be found innocent AGAIN but how do you make this stop what are my options it’s not right not fair and teachings my kid not to trust teachers at school cause they will try and take them away now CPS involved and we have to go threw the stress of proven ourselves. Something needs to be done with that whole system the schools and CPS they ruin families without hesitation even when they don’t have the full story your guilty untill proven innocent we are god loving people and I teach my children to be fair ,honest ,respectful and kind . So how do I teach them that there are bad teachers and good when I can’t tell the difference myself how do we keep our kids and families safe when others try and break your family apart with all that’s going on with COVID we are all already stressed then we have this just adds to the stress and makes my children worry they will be taken even tho I told them they won’t take them all they ever hear around here is broken families all in this town this was out of retaliation from the teacher could someone please help me do something about this it’s wrong and sometimes they don’t always know best most theses CPS workers don’t have kids but think they no better then someone who has raised kids for 21 years I have 5 children total and this is the first with someone wanting to steal my daughter away .

  4. I’ve been harrased for over 4 years with my son with preventive services and ACS. THEY wanted an update of my son’s new high school and I refuse to give them information on him and his new location. How can I refuse to give them any new information? We live in the Bronx If any advocacy available please email me. Thank you!

  5. Mi nombre es jose valentin,soy Padre soltero y tengo la custoria de mis dos hijas y un hijo desde 2012 ,Emily es especial las escuelas me
    an acusado tres ves y dos tuvieran que seral los casos en menos de 30 dias ahora lo an ello porque me canbiaro la escuela de Emily sin mi conosimieto o mi consemtimiento. La itoria es larga. THE new york time en 12/25/2012 hiso un reportaje.Caring for a Toddler Who Rules the House.

  6. This is not because she or her sons race. This happened to my family also. Its the FACT that the schools use child services to punish parents and children alike. Our case took many years because the school kept making up lies to get rid of me and my kids. They refused to let us be transferred to any other school and tortured us for nearly 5 years until i took legal steps and got the principle fired. The new principle had no issues and found no reason to make issues even commended me on being a “great dad that fights for my children. ”

    Then once a case is opened our faulty system actually gives cash bonuses to child protective services workers for each new child they take from a home.
    Dont believe me? Look up the details yourself it can all be googled.
    cps workers in most states are only supposed to handle around 30 cases at a time and most are taking 100 or more at a time. ( already breaking there own rules) then many cps workers will openly say they “like to keep cases open for 6 months or more” this is because they get cash rewards for taking these children and having them long enough for the state to start charging child support this brings the courts fees and fines making millions a year under faulse or illegal pretext while having legal immunity for the most part and zero accountability.
    Please look all this up google a few of these facts and you will find the actual data sheets showing the uptick of cases after the cash incentives where added and the number of children taken and many hurt or killed while in cps custody or paid foster care. The fact is the schools cps and the courts make millions through cps cases started by the schools.

  7. I am responding in reference to the above, named Jim and his letter.

    I have not heard about this particular snide endeavor however I do know that the public schools have to have a certain amount of students that go a specific amount of days to get their state funding. This makes for alot of child abuse cases in which I have and still am caught up in. I have chosen my life path actually all due to how the public system works in it’s entirety. The government is only out for one thing and it doesn’t care how it gets it. They use children as a means the most, given they have no voice and can be swept under the rug easier. I am choosing to be a voice for children in particular juveniles. I am striving to be a youth self empowerment/motivational speaker, attending elementary, middle school, foster homes and juvenile delinquent facilities are my main focus and moving along from that point. Our children are our future and if we look at our children now (I am talking about YouTube and Tik Tok idiots that influence our children) then we are doomed for any improvement within socialism, racial issues, etc. The government is Using and abusing our children that are vulnerable from birth all through adult hood. Foster care abuse usually ends them up in juvenile abuse, released at 18 to act in criminal behavior and then discriminated by cops while being pursued. This could be prevented if we cared more for our children, their needs instead of adults that abuse for their power and money. I don’t believe enough parents know their rights and how much power we have outside of the public school system. Homeschool is the way to go until every child has a web cam on them at all times during school will I ever feel safe to allow my children in their hands.

  8. This is true CPS is using dcfs as a power to go against parents that are looking for help for their special need child . My son was only 5 when he started hes first year in school. He would cry and throw himself on the floor because he would want to go with me home. Hes kindergarten teacher and the school administration decided one day to put him on a behavior hospital without me knowing what was going on. I got to my sons school to pick him up and i got called inside just to get the news of him being put in a behavior hospital. I tried to refuse but they told me if i didn’t comply with them they would call dcfs. I was scared my baby would be taken away so i complied. Once my son was in the hospital i couldn’t sleep i would spend days crying and my heart would break every time he would talk to me and say he wanted to come home. After weeks of him being hold in that hospital i got help and hes case was evaluated by another behavioral specialist . They came to a conclusion that due to hes age cps shouldn’t of put him in a behavioral hospital due to my baby just had turned 5 .

  9. Hello I am a mother of 10 children Acs was called on me in 2020 for Doe neglect during covid I had a mental break after the Acs phone call and now my children are in the system one have been left on a bus for 2 hours one was recently burnt and they are refusing to move him from the foster parents one has come to the visit with a black eye and neither of the foster parents are following protocol nor letting the agency know about what took place I am doing everything they have asked of me to do for my children to return home none of the agencies follow guidelines nor what’s being told of them during the court conference I found out I was pregnant during the time and they also removed my baby from my care as well and added him to the case this has been going on for 17 months now and now I am on trial

  10. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen first hand to a white family.

    A friend of mine would occasionally visit my farm during which time I would have plenty of time to engage with her children. One day, however, she told me that one child’s school told her that they believe the child had ADHD and that if the parent didn’t consent to medications they would use CPS to remove the child. The problem was that I was certain this child didn’t have ADHD. I spent enough time with the child to know that for certain. Instead, I suggested, that maybe the child was suffering from silent siezures (also known as absence seizures). I explained that the outward symptoms of silent siezures are often misdiagnosed as inattentive ADHD by persons who don’t spend enough time observing the child in question. I referred the family to a good neurologist I knew and a month later the school was forced to back off because it was confirmed that the child did indeed suffer from silent siezures.

    For those who don’t understand the difference: In a silent seizure a child will appear to stare off into space for 10 to 30 seconds with no apparant reason. There’s no jerking or loss of conciousness. It’s this symptom that often gets it confused with inattentive ADHD, but the difference is that while you can get the attention of a child with ADHD in some manner such as clapping your hands you can’t get the attention of a child in the middle of a silent seizure. Even if someone knows to test for this it needs to be tested more than once because it could be a coincidence that the seizure ended when you clap your hands. Another key difference, and an easier one to notice, is that a child with silent seizures will stop whatever they are doing – even walking or playing – then resume the activity the moment it ends. In contrast a child with ADHD will continue what they are doing will stop when it no longer captures their focus. It may be disrupted because they get bored of it or because something more interesting comes along.

    Had I not been there the child could have died. If a young child with silent siezures is treated as if they have ADHD the drugs they are given will not be effective. This typically results in an ever increasing dosage until the child dies of a drug overdose. It happens far too often. Sure, children often get blood work to make sure their livers aren’t damaged, but the blood work can be infrequent and a complication can occur rather quickly especially due to their small body size.

    I find it abhorrent that a school can force a child to take drugs under the threat of CPS especially when that school doesn’t bother to spend enough time to be able to tell the difference between ADHD and Silent Siezures. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that. Sure, they’ll often refer a child to a Psychiatrist, but a one hour session with a person not trained to recognize the difference isn’t enough time to make that determination and most families are not informed of their right to seek a second opinion. The failure to properly test these children constitutes medical neglect in my opinion. The tendency to then order drugs without a proper medical evaluation constitutes attempted medical abuse in my opinion.

    A lack of oversight clearly contributes to the harm children are put through. That’s why when I become a parent I will be home schooling my child. My state has education restrictions, but my education happens to be superior to most teachers at any school so I’d qualify. It’s sad that I can’t trust that a child will be free from abuse if placed in public school though and it’s especially sad that CPS – whose job is supposed to protect children – is used to facilitate abuse.

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