Baby illegally detained by DCFS – Press conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Who: DCFS Give Us Back Our Children
What: Mothers and grandmothers demand baby detained by DCFS be freed
When: Monday 10:30am July 26
Where: DCFS office at 8300 S. Vermont Ave., LA 90044
Contact: 323 646 1269

Baby Illegally detained by DCFS, placing infant at emotional risk

DCFS Give Us Back Our Children, mothers, grandmothers, family supporters and community members are holding a press conference to demand that the Department of Children and Family Services return Cashmere Alexander, a 14-month-old baby, to her maternal grandmother, Deborah Farris. Cashmere has been under Ms. Farris care since her birth. Ms. Farris has done an exemplary job of providing food, shelter, clothing, and other care for the baby while receiving no material support from DCFS.

The actions of DCFS in removing Cashmere from her family – a family ready, willing and able to care for her – removing her from everyone she has known and is attached to, exposed a happy and well adjusted child to feelings of abandonment and future problems of attachment. This is abusive first of all to Cashmere, but also to her primary caregiver Ms. Farris and other family members who are bearing the emotional trauma of this precious infant being snatched from them. No one at DCFS was able to tell the family over the weekend where Cashmere was or who was caring for her, and no one had inquired about allergies or other health issues Cashmere might have.

California law that stipulates every effort must be made to place children with family members before detaining them was broken when Cashmere Alexander was detained by DCFS on Friday, July 23, 2010. Additionally, Federal law under the American Disabilities Act was also broken, since Cashmere was detained after her primary caregiver, her maternal grandmother had a seizure brought on by continuous harassing by the social worker.

The mothers and grandmothers in the group say that their relationship with their children is not seen as important and valued, making it too easy for their children to be taken and placed needlessly in foster care with strangers or put up for fast track adoption.

They also say that all too often families are penalized for simply being poor and that rather than making resources available to help mothers or grandmothers care for children, families are torn apart. The resources that could help these families instead are diverted to foster care with strangers. Also past records of contact with the criminal justice system and/or DCFS are used to block family members who now have clean records, and whose contact with criminal justice were for minor offenses to begin with. This has a disproportionate impact on communities of color which, due to poverty, institutional racism and more, are more likely to have been under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system. Black children are detained at a disproportionate rate: Black children are 8% of the total LA County child population but are 34% of the foster children. LA County takes away children at a higher rate than most major metropolitan areas – and the number of families torn apart has increased most years since 2004.

Those victimized most are the children – taken needlessly from mothers and grandmothers whose only crime may be poverty, and then consigned to the chaos of foster care. Study after study has found that in typical cases children left in their own homes do better in later life. According to the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (nccpr.org), foster care “alumni” found they had twice the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder of Gulf War veterans and only 20% could be said to be “doing well”.

We demand the immediate return of Baby Cashmere to her grandmother.

“DCFS Give Us Back Our Children!” is a self-help, multi-racial support and action group of mothers, other family members and supporters working together to end the unjust removal of children from their families by the Department of Children and Family Services. They are coordinated by Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, have a sister group the Philadelphia-based DHS-Give Us Back Our Children, and are part of a growing national movement.

Their DEMANDS are:

DHS/DCFS to prioritize –in practice – the protection, reunification and maintenance of families, recognizing that most children are safer and better off in their own home.

Prioritize placing children with family members if they truly can’t remain with their own parents (according to state law), not fostering them out to strangers. Children are almost always safer with family than with strangers.

1/3 of those who were in foster care report abuse by an adult in a foster care facility (Casey Family Programs)

Stop removing children from a mother because she is suffering domestic violence. Families need protection from violence, not the further violence of separation.

The Federal Government, the State and County must provide adequate resources for mothers to keep families together, including financial support, housing, childcare day or night, family-centered drug treatment, support for people with mental and physical disabilities, legal and other help. A financial crisis is no excuse for inaction since this kind of assistance costs less than warehousing children in foster or group homes and destroying their futures.

One third of children would be home tomorrow if their parents just had decent housing! Richard Wexler, Natl Coalition for Child Protection Reform

End financial incentives for DHS/DCFS and provider agencies to keep children in foster care.

Families need access to free, respectful and accountable legal representation. Professionals must explain clearly what is happening in each case

DHS/DCFS and related agencies must stop hiding behind confidentiality to keep information from the public; allow families to decide if they want their case heard in courts open to the public.

End discrimination on the basis of race, gender, poverty, age, disability, immigration status, cultural differences, sexual preference, being a victim of domestic violence or any other.

End the run-around, delaying of cases and abuse of power by workers, lawyers, so-called “child advocates” and others, and give mothers the time they need to meet DHS/DCFS goals. Children need their mothers and/or other family members who love them, not be detained and then given a teddy bear.

Mothers and families must be treated with respect, not threats, harassment and arrogance. They have the right to the support and accompaniment of family and community members in all dealings with DHS/DCFS and Family Court.

Black children are more likely to be taken from their homes, to stay in protective custody longer and never to return to their parents. (Cincinnati Post)

Mothers must not be forced to choose between homelessness and staying with an abusive partner who may be her only source of financial support – either way the child is hurt and they risk losing custody. Welfare must be available.

When childcare arrangements fall through or when children are sick, mothers must not have to choose between staying with their children and getting fired, or leaving children alone or with inadequate care. Welfare must be available.

Independent public scrutiny of how cases are handled.

Accountability by case workers, supervisors & administrators for the welfare of children.

Accountability on how DHS/DCFS and related agencies are allocating their funding, ie how much goes into foster care and adoption and how much to services families need to stay together.

 

18 thoughts on “Baby illegally detained by DCFS – Press conference

  1. stephanie

    I think they should actually look into every case individually and not judge by past cases,for instance,a child was detained from the mother for drug use ,the mother was not completely finished with the drug program when the closed the case ,however mother did complete residential successfully, the mother became pregnant again giving birth to a clean baby, but unfortunately the father was abusive with mother,there was a no contact between the two so police contacted cws and the mother “the victim”was judged from the drug abuse history and orders to do parenting and the hole programs over again. when she was in no violation or wrong doing she just called the wrong people for help, and they took her baby for no reason untill she meet requirements . Why was she all the sudden the subject and not the victim. They victimized her more and the perpetrator a slap on the hand with misdemeanor charges what justice

    Reply
    1. Monique

      The is happening to me! I need help! Monday is the court hearing to detain. Please someone help me. My baby means the world to me. I don’t know what’s to come if they take her from me.

  2. Stephanie Tucker

    My son was taken from me July 23, 2013 by DCFS here in Los Angeles California. I thought it was because I was homeless at the time of his birth July 15, 2013. He stayed in the hospital for 7 days because he was born with an A-B/O incompatibility. But I found out that they took him because someone made false accusations about me saying that I hallucinate, I have visual problems (I wear eyelasses by the way), I’m incoherent, I’m unable to make decisions, and I supossedly have a “medical marijuana card” that I might use irresponsibly. Now a few days before my son was to be released from the hospital I gave the hospital staff that was in charge of caring for my son while he was in the NICU, my uncles address and phone number because he told me that my son and I can live with him until I can get my own place and a job. He said that him and his wife will help me in this and help me care for my son while I’m working. I even gave my uncle the hospitals contact info and the hospitals social workers number as well so he may contact them in order to verify my new living address. He also said that he will come to california and get us but even with all of this great news and proof they still took my son…… since homelessness is NOT a reason to take a child away from his/her family, they have to make something up in order to take a child away……

    Reply
  3. natalie ramirez

    Please I need help and advice. I’m currentyl going through this dcfsnightmare and have no oneto help me with advice. I feel lost without my kids so much so that it leterally hurts breathe everyday. Please if you can give me any advice I would appreciate it. Call me at 626)494-3547 Natalie Ramirez thank you!

    Reply
  4. Jennifer Aaron

    On November 5, 2012, our lives were radically changed.! The Department of Children and Family Services targeted my family, and wrongfully detained my daughter, (Madissen Aaron) and newborn, (Chance Aaron)…
    DCFS stormed in removed my daughter from our warm and loving home. Their basis were that she was being sexually abused and that I (her mother) was aware of any such abuse, and that I failed to protect the original cause for in investigation began over some nude photos that were found on the neighbor girls nintendo DS, allegedly there were two photos of my daughter, I have never seen these photos , I can’t even get a copy of the police report. This investigation came to an end to quickly, there was no one brought up on any charges and the criminal case was thrown out. The childrens court also dismissed and unfounded almost all of my original allegation .
    The only grounds DCFS had for detaining my newborn were all based on the original allegations and my failure to protect my daughter. giving DCFS concerns about his safety. The original allegations were already dismissed, and unfounded and yet they still used them anyway. What I’m having a hard time understanding is why when I did everything the department and the courts asked me to do?

    Note: The reason the courts asked me to do another program was over a statement made by my CSW Social worker (Emma Kazarian), saying, “I failed to complete after care. This is not true I have a completion letter and my program counselor (Linda Rowe) to prove this allegation untrue. In Fact I enrolled in a intensive outpatient program ( Now and Forever), and attended from January 3,2013 through to the end of July 2013 successfully completing I was in complete compliance with EVERYTHING the dependency courts requested me to do.

    Reply
  5. Jennifer Aaron

    I’ve been stripped of my pride and my family has been broken. The Department didnt do their job and I know that I have been done so wrong and this whole thing will mom she needs her family especially during this impressionable stage in her life. It feels as though were being punished and I dont know how to deal with it. I This take a life time to repair the damage it has had on my family, please release her to my has made talking to anyone hard and is effect my judgement losing my faith in people has I find all these allegations to be extremly demeaning and very insulting and can prove my innocence but I know until my babies are out of the system I would like help fighting to place them in a family members custody so our family can start the process to recovery in repairing the emotional damages.

    In my closing I want to thank you for your time and understanding and want you to KNOW that any help at this point in time is greatly appreciated and my family and i will forever be grateful.

    Sincerly,
    Jennifer M. Aaron
    (818) 724-2041
    (818)984-5777

    Together We The People Can Make A Difference By Supporting The Cause.

    look up our family up on facebook, igoogle, & Twitter
    (ALL4ONE.MFA@gmail.com)
    .

    Reply
  6. Orla Kavanagh

    My son is being forced into a dcfs adoption (by my niece) throughout the case my niece has lied to soc wrks to protect herself. she has broken several court orders and failed to report my son was at risk due to ongoing DV in her home (she’s a teacher). My lawyer (LADL Inc.) failed to properly represent me by not challenging false accusations and not filing petitions I had requested . When they threatened to terminate my parental rights my lawyer was also upset – I told her I wanted to fight it and she agreed. I signed an internet to file an appeal and she told ne to gather my info for the appeal and then contact her. I made several attempts to contact her but I never actually spoke to her not one of my calls or emails was returned – (this firm is notorious for doing this). The last time I spoke to my lawyer, Mrs. Jones, she said she was leaving the firm but made no mention as to when. Then in April of this year I got a lengthy letter from LADL Inc. telling me they would not be appealing. This decision was based on the court records – which is littered with incorrect information. I never actually spoke to any of the firms lawyers and to make matters worse my attorney was no longer employed with the firm. The letter indicated I should contact my new attorney Mrs. Burkes to discuss the matter. I once again tried to make contact with this lawyer with no success. Approx. 2 week before the next hearing a different lawyer, Miss Lara, contacted me and informed me she was now representing me. I began explaining how my case had become such a horrible mess of lies and assumptions and how my previous council was largely at fault for not properly defending me. My new lawyer, Mrs., Lara said, “We are not going to make this conversation a Candace Jones – lets just concentrate on where we are now and what we are going to do.” Problem being where we are now is due to the poor representation by a now former LADL Inc. employee. I need HELP!!!!! I need someone in my corner. I tried filing a petition to change a court order and get Family Reunification re-instated and it was denied. HELP ME PLEASE!!!! Orla Kavanagh 661-255-3687

    Reply
  7. darniecesha Johnson

    Im currently going through the same thing with dcfs I dont like my social worker they falsely detained my kids placed them in Foerster care now while they where in the care of some one else my son at that time was 10month old was being abused by the Foerster lady I raised hell about it I m tryna sue dcfs but I dont have the money for a attorney… I got my kids back within four months that they where gon im half wsy done with the courts requirements now they tryna find away to keep my case open people making false allegation on me in my social worker just go along with what anybody say im still being corporative with what they asking but im not about to let them use my babies as colatrol if I do this they gon take my kids its not right I need a attorney to call me at 6613710053

    Reply
  8. vanessa soto

    IM DOING EVERYTHING I’M REQUIRED TO DO TO GET MY KIDS BACK
    BUT THEY ARE MAKING FALSE ACCUSATIONS AND THREATING TO TAKE MY KIDS
    I NEED SOMEONE TO FIGHT FOR ME … I NEED HELP
    3238738135

    Reply
  9. Julie Asperger

    Help me (323) 873-5985 my abusive ex knew a social worker he introduced me to five months before my daughters birth he said would help him take my child. A little over two months after her birth sure enough she forged a judges signature and took my kid. I get no refferral my social worker for the last seven months can’t be reached or when I do she yells at me calls me Mrs speaks over me and hangs up. I can’t find a psycolofist to do the court evaluation my insiriance won’t cover it and I don’t have the funds. Dcfs won’t give me referrals and my whole case against me is lies and fabrications my ladinc lawyer won’t make objections and gives wrong/bad advice I have no voice at all in this process

    Reply
  10. nicole belcastro

    Yes my baby was stolen by dcfs too because the hospital and doctors I saw while I was pregnant had me on morphine medication for 8months of my pregnancy and when they finally took me off and put me on morphine, it was already too late. These people took my children from me and I’ve been fighting to get them home for over 7yrs already with no avail. I’m disabled and poor and have no way to fight them adequately and my children are the ones who are suffering. I will no longer sit idely by while my babies are going through hell, I will tell our story over and over as many times as it takes in an effort to gain help of any kind againagainst these monsters. Please can anyone help put my family back together.

    Reply
  11. Roshelle Banks

    PLEASE IF ANYONE KNOWS OF ANY PROGRAMS OR PEOPLE WHO HELP WITH THESE SITUATIONS, MY CIVIL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN REPEATEDLY VIOLATED, THERE WAS NO FORM OF ABUSE OR NEGLIGENCE AGAINST, IN FRONT OR AROUND MY KIDS OR MYSELF. I WAS A LICENSED MMJ PATIENT FOR ANXIETY AND NERVE DISORDERS , DUE TO MY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS I DO NOT BELIEVE IN MAN MADE MEDICINE, AND LIKE BEING IN CONTROL OF MY OWN MIND. MY BOYS WERE WRONGFULLY DETAINED, I AM POSITIVE WITH THE RIGHT DEFENSE ATTORNEY I WILL WIN MY KIDS BACK AS WELL AS FEES FOR EMOTIONAL TRAUMA AND DISTRESS
    PLEASE CALL (714)583-1068 OR (747)243-1278

    Reply
    1. Rae Belanger

      Have you received any solutions to this major issue, that is destroying family across the USA? I ask you this because it has just happened to me, on the second court hearing I finally spoke out loud in the court room to the judge and said, ” I am not sitting hear quiet today, I am determined to make progress in the reunification of my children. But, that is as far as I have gotten, my attorney finally spoke up and denied the states accusations. When she did, the whole court room went crazy, like she was speaking in a language they did not understand…..amazing! So we shall she but, I plan to do the same as you other mothers continue the fight for my given rights.

      Sincerely

      Rae

  12. Irene

    Hi my name is irene. I’ was a victim of domestic violence. One day I diced to leave the abuser. After a month of asking him to help with money for diapers and he wouldn’t help. In my desperation I txd him saying bad words . Well he used that to say that I was mentally unstable. Social worker took the baby 1and half baby and give to the abuser . I’m so disappointed. I’ll just keep praying that my baby come back to me . This people are horrible.

    Reply
  13. shauna

    I can’t believe how many cases I have read about since this has happened to us? For 12 mo my daughter did everything that was asked from her, never missed or failed her drug tests, never missed a visit, almost finished treatment, she quite smoking , got a job, and the only thing she couldn’t do was find her own place. So they were going to perm. Take her boys. We said we’d let her stay with us till she could get some place but they said she couldnt. The garnished her checks for child support and left her with 30 bucks so they knew she couldn’t do it and the stress of it broke up her relationship with the father. they told her to apply for housing, food stamps, etc and when she couldn’t afford a place the caseworker told her they would prob. The children from her! These stories sound alot like ours, and I don’t know how they live with their actions and what they do to these kids. My oldest grandson got night terrors, and they blamed it on us. They have him on meds that make him mean and they keep giving him more, they gave him a disorder that is totally not true, the caseworker got caught lieing a couple times but nothing happened. I am still in shock that they took them. She got scared that she would never see them do she signed an open adoption with a family member and the state stopped the adoption and won’t let us see them and won’t let us talk to family member. They get what they want a d if you protest they take you out of the picture. I wish someone would stop this, and help us get them back but I don’t think any one can cuz u can’t fight them. I fill like I let them down and my daughter isn’t the same. Please help change the system!

    Reply
    1. Arenee

      Hi Shauna, would you PLEASE contact me about what you shared here above. I think I can help. six-two-six two-zero-two five-seven-eight-two

  14. Jody

    Hi my name is Jody I became involved with DCFS after my children’s father was beat to death with a baseball bat and my uncle’s ex wife made a false report against me I never had a open case before this was the first and they never investigated they automatically came and took my girls I did everything over and over that DCFS asked me to do my oldest is 9years old now I have not seen my girls since 2012 I miss them so much it breaks my heart everyday knowing these people kidnap my children and I can never see them unless their is hope. DCFS kept my case open for over 5 years and I had 5 different case workers I’m begging for some help or advice please.. My kids are my life
    jodyglover89@gmail.com

    Reply

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