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.
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?