Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

DCS Part II: > problems. Listen to "Mouthwash" 11/16/at 9 on FB

PART II: DCS PROBLEMS. Tues., 11/16, 9 p.m. on FB, I’ll be a guest on “Mouthwash,” John Schmitz’s podcast. Topic: Department of Child Services a/k/a DCS. If you’re affluent, you might not know about it. But DCS can take your kids. 1/10

Fed law requires DCS to seek Termination of Parental Rights (“TPR”) if a child’s been out of a parent’s home for 15 of the most recent 22 months under a dispositional (ChINS) order. If DCS doesn’t that can impact DCS funding. Sometimes DCS changes positions overnight. 2/10

After all, with reunification (moving the kid back home) is the initial goal, it’s a sea change for DCS to seek a TPR But DCS does that. Suddenly services are stopped. The FCM (4th or 5th by now?) Who once smiled & encouraged now reports why TPR is in the kid’s best interest. 3/10

Burden of proof in TPR is clear and convincing evidence, higher than preponderance in a ChINS, but the file from the ChINS case, w/some redactions, usually is the main exhibit in a TPR. Nearly always the TPR is heard by the same judge as heard the ChINS. 4/10

Judges are not rubber stamps for DCS. Increasingly TPRs are denied at trial court. Even some ChINS are denied. Still, percentages are against parents. Parents can appeal a TPR judgment, but percentages are not good, generally, for Appellant. 5/10

Termination of parental rights means just that. You never can see your child; maybe when he/she turns 18 or 22, when s/he isn’t a kid. Wait: it gets worse. You decide to move on & have another kid. Kid’s born. You’re waiting in the hospital room and a DCS FCM appears. 6/10

You have a case history with DCS. DCS is ever-watchful. They’ll seek to file a ChINS because you’ve had a TPR. Oh, and some TPRs involve people w/three generations “in the system.” There are changes that should be immediate. 7/10

(1) Parents should be advised of their rights to remain silent when a DCS FCM knocks at the door; (2) Burdens of proof should be the same in both ChINS and TPR; (3) Prosecutors and DCS should be kept separate:... 8/10

children should not be held hostage by DCS so a desperate parent will talk; (4) Any record of IA’s should be inadmissible in any courts; and (4) A DCS “history” should not be permanently chained to a parent. One last change? Reverse privatization of services. 9/10

Particularly during the Daniels administration DCS began to privatize services. DCS employees, paid less than their peers in the private sector and with a greater caseload, began to leave DCS for that private sector. It is not unusual for a parent to be ordered to four providers. 10/10

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