Monthly Archives: September 2012

Woman Looking To Adopt Nieces Challenges City’s Child Welfare System

Leave a comment on the original story

KYW News, September 26, 2012 5:15 AM

Dscn0169sm

By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia woman is asking Family Court to award her custody of her nieces in a case that her advocates say shows the city is biased against poor women.

City officials deny the charge, but the case highlights how complicated child custody decisions can be.

A small group gathered outside Family Court to support Carolyn Hill. Hill took her nieces when their parents lost custody of them, but she lost custody and supporter Phoebe Jones says Hill was told it was because she had no high school diploma or GED.

“We feel that there’s a lot at stake here for a lot of families,” Jones says, “and for these two girls and their aunt.”

DHS is prohibited from talking about specific cases, but a spokeswoman says the department doesn’t consider GED status when making custody decisions. She says the department changed the way it makes decisions, three years ago, and foster placements have dropped 30 percent.

Family reunification is the goal, but the case of 6-year-old Kalil Wimes shows there’s no magic formula. Wimes died in March, after being returned to his parents. They’re charged with his murder.

Woman Looking To Adopt Nieces Challenges City’s Child Welfare System

Add a comment on the original story

KYW News, September 26, 2012 5:15 AM

[[posterous-content:JfsdImpFzBhbFeDIyvje]]By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia woman is asking Family Court to award her custody of her nieces in a case that her advocates say shows the city is biased against poor women.

City officials deny the charge, but the case highlights how complicated child custody decisions can be.

A small group gathered outside Family Court to support Carolyn Hill. Hill took her nieces when their parents lost custody of them, but she lost custody and supporter Phoebe Jones says Hill was told it was because she had no high school diploma or GED.

“We feel that there’s a lot at stake here for a lot of families,” Jones says, “and for these two girls and their aunt.”

DHS is prohibited from talking about specific cases, but a spokeswoman says the department doesn’t consider GED status when making custody decisions. She says the department changed the way it makes decisions, three years ago, and foster placements have dropped 30 percent.

Family reunification is the goal, but the case of 6-year-old Kalil Wimes shows there’s no magic formula. Wimes died in March, after being returned to his parents. They’re charged with his murder.

Vigil outside Phila. Family Court, Sept 25

Defend the Hill family from racial & income bias in the child welfare & court system.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 9:30 am 
Family Court, 1801 Vine St. Phila, Pa.

Not having a GED is not a reason to take children from caregivers.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) took Carolyn Hill’s nieces from her care and put them in foster care with strangers. Why? Because Ms. Hill does not have her GED. Because she is a low-income Black woman. That’s why she was not considered suitable for adopting the children she loves and who love her. With our support, Ms Hill organized family, friends, the church, the community, elected officials and professionals to get the children back. All were appalled at this injustice and trauma to the children. One family member called the DHS treatment of Ms Hill “profiling”. On Tues Sept 25 the court will decide if the family will be reunited.

We are demanding that: ● Ms Hill be given legal standing in court ● the children be immediately returned to their aunt’s care ● Ms Hill be allowed to adopt the children ● DHS & agencies it contracts change their policies so that higher income standards are not used to judge and condemn grassroots families. No child should be taken from a loving home because they’re low-income. Instead of spending money taking children away, families should be given the resources they need to stay together.

Image001

Every moment that passes until the children are returned attacks their health, security and development. We must not let that continue! Please join us to let the court know that the community will not tolerate children being taken from loving families!

Every Mother is a Working Mother Network and DHS: Give Us Back Our Children
215-848-1120 philly@allwomencount.net

● DHS/Phila takes children at the highest rate in the country for a city its size ● Children from Black families are disproportionately taken ● 1/3 of former foster children report abuse in a foster care facility ● 1/3 of children would be home if their parents had decent housing.