Couple Accused of Medical Neglect

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The Generation Trap: Grandparents often find themselves without support when forced to take over raising their grandchildren

When one hears the phrase sandwich generation, it evokes visions of post-graduate adult children needing a spare bedroom and laundry facilities at their working parents’ house until the right-paying job comes along. The reality of multigenerational housing, however, is much more grim.

But the onus isn’t so much on the still-active parents of a semi-slacking Fine Arts degree holder; it’s on the grandparents who are spending their golden years raising their young grandchildren on their own. And the middle part of that sandwich, the parents? Conspicuously missing.

According to the United States Census Bureau, across the United States more than 5.8 million children are living in their grandparents’ homes, with more than 2.7 million grandparents taking on the responsibility for these children. And for one million children living in these homes with their grandparents, none of their parents are present.

There are several reasons why grandparents are finding themselves – once again – the primary caretaker of children; not for their children, but their grandchildren. In the 1970s, about three percent of children lived in grandparent-maintained households. Now, the number is double that.

Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, typical grandparent/grandchild relationships were defined by holiday get-togethers and summer vacation getaways. But this pattern shifted in the 1990s and 2000s by the need of the adult children – and the grandchildren – for support, childcare and both short- and long-term co-residence due to teen pregnancy, divorce or financial hardship. Recent research backs this up, finding that people experiencing economic distress – brought on by such issues as the sluggish economy, slowly recovering housing crisis and high unemployment rate – are more likely to live in multigenerational households. People can not afford such gifts as replica Rolex, or simple cheap watches.

There’s a darker reason for the increase in parents dropping their children off with Nana and Papa for good: the pervasiveness of drugs and alcoholism. According to the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, more than 28 million Americans are children of alcoholics, nearly 11 million of which are under the age of 18. The number is magnified considerably when you add those children who have parents impaired by illegal drugs.

Three out of four child welfare professionals across the nation cite substance abuse as the top cause for the dramatic rise in child maltreatment. Additionally, these same professionals say that children of addicted parents are more likely to enter, and stay longer in, foster care.

Each year, nearly 12,000 infants are abandoned at birth or kept at hospitals, 78 percent of whom are drug-exposed. This is an indication that addicted parents would be prone to leaving their children with their own parents. Coupled with the dramatic rise in heroin use – the Centers for Disease Control have stated that deaths from heroin have quadrupled since 2000 – it’s no surprise the numbers of grandparents raising their young is high.

Adding to the conundrum is the fact that laws typically don’t favor grandparent/grandchild custody issues. Oftentimes, out of fear of being discovered and their grandchildren taken away by CPS, the grandparents keep quiet about the living arrangement and don’t avail themselves of services that might help them.

This ignorance, according to the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) “GrandFamilies” website, compels the parties involved to remain isolated. They lack information about the range of support services, resources, programs, benefits, laws and policies available to help them successfully fulfill their caregiving role. Ironically, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, grandparents who find themselves raising the grandchildren without the participation of either parent tend to be at higher poverty levels than grandparents living alone or providing co-residence with their own adult children.

So what if you are a grandparent who finds yourself with unexpected and permanent tiny house guests?

Grandparents play an important role in their grandchildren’s life, and can develop strong bonds that last a lifetime. Today, every state has some type of grandparent visitation law. Typically, in certain circumstances, grandparents may file suit requesting custody if they believe it is in the child’s best interest, and a court can authorize grandparent visitation of a grandchild if visitation is in the child’s best interest. These circumstances include the parents being divorced; one or both parents abusing or neglecting the child; one or both parents being incarcerated, found incompetent, or died; a court-order terminating the parent-child relationship; or the child having lived with the grandparent for at least six months.

But frequently the deck is stacked against the grandparents. Most visitation statutes do not give a grandparent an absolute right to visitation. Also, a grandparent may not request visitation if the grandchild has been adopted by someone other than the child’s step-parent.

Grandparents who are finding themselves are the caretakers of their grandchildren – whether their adult children are residing with them as well or not – must seek legal counsel immediately to get answers, protect themselves and their grandchildren, and benefit from services that may be available to them, especially if they intend to file for legal custody. Petitioning for an official kinship placement is a double-edged sword. The second an official record is opened, you have to see it through to the end, and you’re at the mercy of agencies like CPS if you even get to keep your own grandchild or minor family member. Carefully weigh your options before making a decision like that, and certainly try to talk with a lawyer who is dedicated to putting your family’s welfare first.


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If you have questions about adoption, listen to Where Justice Lies

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It’s time to say to CPS: no more excuses; no more lies; no more dollar signs; no more pinwheels.

The problem that I have with this “feel-good” article below is that it presents Child Protective Services (CPS) in a false light. Pinwheels do nothing for the children – our children – who are lost and victimized by the very system designed to protect them. CPS admits that they do not have the infrastructure – “soldiers on the ground” as they put it – to keep up with the growing number of child-abuse victims. One has to wonder why: Is it because the abuse and neglect of children is increasing? Or is it because CPS is creating “abused and neglected” children? Unfortunately, it’s the latter. Federal and State financial incentives have led CPS down the rabbit hole… and they simply do not have the insight to find their way back.

My response: Hey, CPS! Stop harassing parents and ripping families apart when abuse and neglect isn’t there! You do have the “soldiers” – you just don’t have them on the battlefield!

To those who want to help these children, drop the pinwheels and pick up your sword. Join those of us who are the voice of these broken children. Exposing the corruption and mismanagement that runs rampant within CPS and the Courts is vital! This isn’t about pinwheels; this is about opening our eyes and ears. Look at what CPS is doing to our families. Listen to the children who are torn from their mothers’ arms.

Pinwheels? How sweet. The children sleeping in strange beds tonight will be grateful for all the pinwheels throughout the communities, I’m sure. The brothers and sisters who are separated will feel comfort knowing that people took the time to place each pinwheel on display. As I drive through neighborhoods, towns and cities seeing the small blue patches of pinwheels peppered throughout I can only shake my head, thinking, “If only everyone knew.”

It’s simply time. It’s time to say no more! It’s time to say Stop! It’s time to stop being afraid to stand up to CPS and the Courts. It’s time to say to CPS: no more excuses; no more lies; no more dollar signs; no more pinwheels.


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So, How do We Prevent Child Abuse?

April was Child Abuse Prevention Month. The problem with “honorary months” is that the second the first of the next month hits, you’re on to the next thing. So, I’m not being a month behind here; I’m keeping last month’s momentum going. And I can guarantee you that child abuse didn’t end with May 1st.

The simple fact is, a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.

The U.S. has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing an average of between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect. Every year, more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children.

Just how bad is the issue of child abuse in the United States? Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. It’s a widespread war against our children that we have the power to stop, and the first step is to recognize what “child abuse and neglect” really is and is not. And the test – when determining the “is” and “is not” should be an objective test; not subjective. The question should be “what is reasonable under the circumstances?” not “how does that make me feel?” We all walk through life with our own biases and prejudices. And because of this, none of us should have the unbridled authority to determine someone’s ability to parent.

So, let’s start with what child abuse and neglect “is not.” It is not, in and of itself, poverty, ignorance, or a lack of education. It is not a mistake, an accident or a one-time-bad choice. It is not a “maybe,” a “could happen,” or a “risk of.”

Now for what child abuse and neglect is: it’s the inability to learn and change your behavior. It’s the absence of providing for those who can’t provide for themselves. It’s the consistent failure to protect, the intentional act done with a harmful purpose, the life choices that affect others to significant harm. It’s the history, the imminent risk, the now.

How do we prevent child abuse? Knowledge. Parents should know what it is and is not. Teachers, medical personnel, therapists, social workers and most importantly, our judges and our legislators. Once we know what child abuse and neglect is, we can walk away from those cases that fit within the “is not” category. Now we can focus on the “is” cases. Now we can help those children; we can teach those parents; and we can support and guide those families to become healthy. Now CPS won’t be spread so thin. Now the courts won’t be overwhelmed with unjustified cases. Now our foster care system won’t be oversaturated. Now our children won’t get lost in a broken system that revictimizes instead of heals. Now we can start preventing child abuse and neglect.

Now we can spend the time and money to properly train the investigators, the caseworkers, the supervisors and program directors. Now we have clear lines, clear rules, clear definitions. With this clarity, each individual charged with protecting our children can do so without infringing on parental rights or violating the due process afforded to all of us.

So how do you “do your part” in the prevention of child abuse and neglect? You don’t call CPS. Not unless it’s warranted. Not unless a child is at risk of death or serious injury. Instead, reach out to that parent, that child, that caregiver. If you can’t reach out, call someone who can. Be aware of your biases and prejudices. Look at situations objectively and with reason. And if you absolutely have to call CPS, do so with no other motive than to protect a child. Do not call CPS out of anger, revenge, or malice. Know that once you make that call, you are changing the life of a family… of a child.

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Government-funded researchers tested AIDS drugs on hundreds of foster children.

It’s the Tuskegee Experiment all over again! This is no better than the program that started in the 1930s where black men were also “sorta-kinda” treated, lured in by the promise of health care and treatment. For FORTY YEARS this program ran, where these men were NOT treated with the effective drugs known as ANTIBIOTICS. What a dark age for America, and when the full extent of the program was discovered and disbanded, we all said “NEVER AGAIN.” Well, look again, folks. To use CHILDREN as GUINEA PIGS when by law they can’t even decide their own fate, and to make sure they’re in the system so that there are no pesky parents to ASK QUESTIONS!

Once again, the system is “played.” This must stop. Join me in my efforts to protect our children from the government agencies who have sworn to help them but do anything but. #WhereJusticeLies

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CPS, I’m talking to you! Are you listening?

Even high-end neighborhoods like The Woodlands are suffering from a plague of sex crimes against children! Last year, Montgomery County law enforcement was given enough funds to handle the projected 9 to 11 cases of sexual crimes against children, How many cases did they actually have to handle? 56. SOMEONE was looking through rose-colored glasses! And this year isn’t shaping up to be any better. CPS needs to concentrate on cases that actually impact the lives and well-being of children, not step in at the first sign of an accident or innocent incident.


CPS, I’m talking to you! Are you listening? Read the article below for some news that will churn your gut.

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My recent radio interview on The National Intel Report

I had the pleasure of being interviewed on The National Intel Report with John Stadtmiller the other day. Below is the link to it. I hope you enjoy it!



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Social Worker in Kentucky Faces Disciplinary Action

I recently came across a case out of Boone County, Kentucky that I found appalling. A social worker, Karey Cooper, is being reprimanded for attempting to help a 7-year-old girl after reports of abuse and neglect. Cooper was a Special Investigator for the State Cabinet for Health and Family Services in Northern Kentucky. She has been removed from that position and assigned to desk duty while being investigated. She also faces disciplinary action and possible termination.

This is indicative of how asinine CPS agencies are across the country. This caseworker went to help a child after family members had called her many times to report abuse. The family’s new caseworker was not returning their phone calls, which is incidentally one of the primary complaints made against caseworkers. So they called Karey Cooper, who had been their caseworker before and had worked with the family for a year.  They knew her and trusted her.

When Cooper went to visit the girl at her school, she found the child looking unkempt and uncared for. Her hair was a rat’s nest and the girl was hungry. The little girl told Cooper that she was not being fed, came home to an empty house after school and was not being taken to her court ordered therapy sessions.

Later, Ms. Cooper was informed by a supervisor that her visit was a violation of Cabinet policy. What Ms. Cooper did not know is that the child’s current social worker had closed the case, stating that no further action was necessary.

Cooper addressed her concerns about the little girl’s case in a letter to Teresa James, Commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services. Then, in a second letter to James, Cooper states that she is experiencing retaliation from her supervisors for being a whistleblower. Cooper is now under investigation by the Cabinet. Her time sheets and travel vouchers for the past six months have been pulled as part of the investigation. This is completely outrageous.

In her two years as a social worker, Cooper’s performance has been exemplary, receiving good performance reviews and being singled out for praise by supervisors.

Karey Cooper should not be punished for her actions. She was the only one in that agency who was looking out for the child. The only reason for the Cabinet’s retaliation against her is to save themselves embarrassment. She didn’t try to hide it, she turned in a report. She’s in trouble because another social worker already closed the case, so now the department is subject to both embarrassment and liability.

Karey Cooper was doing the right thing. This isn’t about the kids anymore and it hasn’t been for a very long time. If it was, this caseworker would be praised for going out of her way.

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Outing a Too-Powerful Texas CPS Baby Mill Agenda

I am passionate about defending families and the rights of parents in cases involving Child Protective Services. Frequently, CPS also removes children from their homes and places them with foster-to-adoptive parents. I believe this is happening far too often.

The role of CPS has changed over the years. They have become too powerful and have shifted their focus from offering guidance and support to acting as a punitive force. Historically, CPS would provide in-home services to help stabilize families in need of assistance and maintain children in their home. Preventing child abuse and ensuring a safe home environment was the ultimate goal.

In 1997, Congress passed the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which established strict timelines for returning children in foster care to their parents or for terminating parental rights, thus freeing the children for adoption. In some cases, states are authorized to dispense with efforts to reunify the family and move directly to termination of parental rights. This legislation started with good intentions, but it was the seed for corruption.

CPS frequently oversteps their boundaries, opting to remove children from their homes, placing them outside the home and in to foster-to-adopt homes for monetary advantage. CPS profits every time they place a child outside the home for adoption. It has stopped being a resource for families in need and has instead turned into an adoption mill.

Many couples wanting to adopt children decide to become foster parents. Going through an adoption agency can take years, and babies are a hot commodity. Foster-to-adopt parents can request an at-risk placement of an infant, a toddler or a sibling group. They can even be part of the lawsuit to fight the birth-parents for the chance to adopt.

We have to attack corruption on a case-by-case basis. One victory against CPS corruption is the recent passing of SB 1876, a bill recently signed by Governor Greg Abbott that will go into effect on September 1. The bill specifies that court officers in CPS cases will be appointed on a rotating basis. This prevents corrupt judges from appointing attorneys they have in their pockets. In many instances, the same handful of lawyers are being assigned multiple CPS cases, for which they have profited handsomely – all at the taxpayers’ expense. I’m honored to have assisted the research committee for the bill and sharing my knowledge and opinions in interviews with the committee.

Final thought:

Another problem with CPS is their lack of qualified, trained case-workers and supervisors, not to mention the lack of qualified attorneys and guardians ad litem. The only requirement for becoming a CPS caseworker is a bachelor’s degree, and not necessarily in social work or child development, and they essentially are given very little training.

Is this who you want to have the fate of you, your children, and your entire life and family in their hands?

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