Avery's Law - Developing change for children under the care of Social Services.
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The petition and contents were written by Tammy Risen. Avery’s grandmother and care giver. The contents will be included in an up and coming book and one day, hopefully part of concept for a futuristic organization called D.E.A.R. (Developing Essential Advocate Restoration.)
Introduction into Avery’s Law
Avery was a child of preschool age that was bright and creative with a great understanding of her circumstance. Avery is not alone. There are many children in her situation. Children, we still have time to help.
Avery was removed from Britney Roll Mayes when she was three plus weeks old. Mayes was charged with child abuse and convicted of child endangerment. Avery sustained several injuries, including a skull fracture in a bathtub.
Avery’s parents decided they wanted Avery placed with her paternal grandparents and signed their custodial rights over to them to avoid Jobs and Family Services’ involvement. However, JFS Child Protection, who was to present the custody agreement to the court, either altered or completely changed the documents inciting no party wanted guardianship. Avery was then an award of the state due to someone’s corrupt actions.
Therefore, Avery resided with her grandparents from 2011 to 2015 on a kin-ship plan. Avery also had an excessive revolving visitation with other grandparents during this time, where she had close relationships. These grandparents united filed individually for the custody of Avery against her Mother. The maternal grandmother was the only petitioner to support reunification, contradicting her motion for remand and placing Avery in danger.
All efforts these parties made failed due to JFS’s and a Guardian’s recommendation for reunification. They deemed there were no issues regarding Britney Roll Mayes, and she was appropriate for permanent placement. The Magistrate and the Head of Family Court sided with the proposal. They reunited Mayes to her child after countless allegations of ongoing abuse by mandated reporters, family members, and other parties. Not to mention, Avery herself.
After reunification, JFS removed Avery due to abuse that mirrored all previous allegations made by the paternal grandparents. All parties who held motions for custody were to be notified of any change in placement to resume their custody motions. JFS withheld the information from two parties going against a mediated agreement. When the two parties questioned the change, JFS fabricated the reasons why Avery’s placement changed. After approximately 14 weeks of removal. JFS and the Guardian ad Lit-em returned Avery to Mayes care.
People who had visitation with Avery noticed a severe decline in her health, appearance, and mental awareness. Avery herself made reports of cruel acts of brutality against Mayes, Mayes’ husband, and Avery’s maternal grandmother. Many individuals addressed these concerns to the proper parties. Those contacted consisted of the magistrate, guardian ad lit-em, a special police division, local authorities, and child protection services. Only five of the numerous allegations were under investigation at the time of Avery’s death.
Late July of 2016. Avery requested to speak to the “Judge.” Avery made this request on several occasions, but the Guardian Ad Lit-em claimed Avery was not cognitive enough to speak on her behalf. Avery was almost five but had the comprehension to desire the ability to request her return to the paternal grandparents, where she knew she was safe from abuse. Avery wanted to advocate for herself. Avery said the people in court were silly, and they needed to listen to her, but the system took her voice away because a guardian ad lit-em said she was not cognitive.
July 29, 2016, Avery was tortured and assaulted by her Mother in the same fashion that resulted in guardianship to her grandparents. Injuries that were again sustained in a bathtub Avery remained in a coma for three days before she died from the attack on August 1, 2016.
August 10, 2016, Hamilton County Prosecutors charged Britney Roll Mayes with one count of aggravating murder with special circumstances, two counts of murder, and one count of child endangerment.
January 2020. Mayes plead guilty to aggravated murder on a plea deal. She received a Life Sentence with the possibility of parole after twenty years. She has currently filed an appeal.
If Avery had the right to speech and had the rights of the following petition, we would not have buried her as an unrecognizable child. Nor would her little body been stored for nineteen days until another court determined to banish the mothers’ rights leaving her father, who had no rights throughout the entire process, to bury a deteriorating body of his child’s broken remains. A child JFS and a Guardian ad lit-em swore safe in the hands of her murderer.
I can not express the anguish of our family, who fought extensively to keep Avery secure only to lose her to a horrific act of preventable violence. Actions we adamantly warned the court would actualize through our consistent allegations of blatant torture and abuse. I being her paternal grandmother, can only petition to change the conditions that could have prevented Avery’s demise with the hope of avoiding the deaths of other children.
You do not have to agree with this petition as a whole. I only request that if you decide that children have the right to safety and proper advocacy, that you stand up to promote a change in policies, procedures, and the appropriate protection of our children.
One child’s death is one too many lives lost. We must rise together to alter the violence we allow. I stand as the voice of Avery and all other children residing in a casket instead of their warm beds.
Our society is in desperate need of a transformation. Through Avery’s death may come someone’s survival if you support me in making a difference. Help me eliminate Legalized Assisted Murder of Abused Children via the Systems put in place to protect them.
I stand to fight.
Part A: Periodic Medical Assessments during the reunification process.
P.M.A. consists of:
Forensic interviews, radiology assessments & medical examinations.
Reunification is a process of uniting children back into the care of their parents after being in the custody of Jobs & Family Services. Parents currently must complete programs and following specific protocols to regain parental custody.
Protocols include the following:
Assessments, Commitment and Preparation, and integration.
With P.M.A., once reunification has been achieved. The periodic monitoring will take place for an undetermined length of time.
P.M.A. after reunification may include:
Periodic unannounced visits from social workers, appointed guardians, and other therapeutic obligations.
All cases would include medical assessments to screen for any ongoing violations to a child that’s united to a parent with historical indicators of previous abuse.
The importance of these assessments is to aid non-verbal children who can not indicate their maltreatment, who are unaware of their abuse, fearful of their abusers, and or otherwise unable to communicate. This evaluation would become their voice in their safety.
If P.M.A. testing was mandatory after the reunification process, it could prevent further abuse, if not, the child’s death.
P.M.A. testing should be periodic and random for up to five years with four medical evaluations in the first twelve months post-reunification.
Example of P.M.A. in use: A local child who was only two years old at the time of her death. Had she been monitored using P.M.A., Her abuse would have appeared in testing showing she was thirteen pounds at two years old along with injuries that only violence would have presented. With mandatory screenings, This child’s care would have included medical care and diagnosis over a social worker’s ideas of the appropriateness of a child, which may have saved her life.
Example of P.M.A. in use: Averylee Hobbs. She was almost five years old at the time of her murder. Avery was verbal with high cognitive skills but feared her mother. She had previously sustained a severe injury that resulted in her mother’s incarceration. If P.M.A. were in place, validations of abuse would not have been necessary from Avery since a trained guardian could or would not identify the violence she sustained. Trained medical personnel would have recognized the apparent maltreatment of Avery over untrained persons such as a social worker or guardian. Thus, having the opportunity to save their lives.
P.M.A. would be out of the hands of social services, appointed guardians, and parents. The contracted examination would be mandated and governed by the State with testing only by authorized medical facilities.
Part B: Immediate Medical Response Act (I.M.R.A.)
When a child is removed from their homes and placed under the custody of family services, evaluations take place to begin or deny the reunification process. If reunification is the plan, the child who resides in a foster care situation has monitored visitation to parties who are attempting to regain custody.
Jobs and Family Services motion and remove a child from their home life when there are allegations or substantiated abuse. During visitations to the abuser, this act could prevent ongoing maltreatment when there are signs of suspicious and reoccurring injuries or mental declines in a child—byways of mandating foster parents to have the child evaluated if there are any indicators of abuse.
P.M.A. or other medical assessments would permit counteractive measures by a medical staff that could substantiate allegations.
During these evaluations, the person that the allegation is against can not gain access to these screenings. They may be on location, but they can not be present during the child’s evaluation, ensuring proper measures to protect a fearful or non-verbal child.
Also, during times of evaluations, the parental party would lose their visitations until the allegations are confirmed or denied.
Under new acts, foster parents would be seen as mandated reporters and would have the right to I.M.R.A. screenings without permission from any custodial party. The foster parent’s role would be to notify other parties of the medical testing. It would not require other parties’ inclusions since the fosters actions would be a preventative measure to constitute their appropriateness as the child’s appointed caregiver.
The importance of this screening:
A) It’s a significant measure of protection of a victim that may mitigate further and ongoing abuse.
B) It would aid children that are non-verbal and others that are mentally unable to protect themselves.
C) It would provide voices to children by way of evidence from medical examinations.
D) It ministers foster parents the right to adopt safety standards for the child within their care by providing that individual with the power of customary advocacy.
I.M.R.A. and or P.M.A. testing may hinder abuse by indications provided through forensic evidence.
This screening is non-negotiable by way of social services or appointed guardians. If these parties negotiated such testing, it could taint the results. These examinations would be utilized much like that of any rape case where the collection of evidence is imperative for people’s safety while identifying the persons who violated them. Therefore, this testing would play a vital role in a child’s safety when integrated with a party already suspected of abuse.
Part C: Child’s Protection Registry
A child’s protection registry would be similar in construction to a sex offender registry.
Persons that must register would be anyone convicted of child abuse, neglect, or endangerment.
This database would be readily available to mandated reporters.
The database must include:
Names and aliases, current address, and all convictions.
A database for child abusers presents us with power against predators.
It would hold merit by way of but not limited to, the following:
A) public notification to families in the area of a convicted abuser to impede danger.
B) complete case summary of offenses, including allegations or investigations made by social services.
C) immediate response from authoritative persons in awareness of the predator if there is a concurrent citations of abuse.
Example of C.A.R. in use:
Had this type of database been active in conjunction with our current sex predator registry, a case much like an abusive daycare worker may not have existed. If in place and used, it may have prevented the thirteen cases of child abuse against this party while sparing his victims. Children who were from eight days to three years old and did not possess the skill of communication.
Abuse is not just for sexual description and should not be limited in our registry. Violations have many forms. Therefore, a record of offenses committed against individuals should be listed and treated equally to that of sexual abuse, substantiated, or not. An allegation alone could spare someone of brutality.
Part D: Child’s Rights to Self Protection.
In 1974 Children’s Wishes was established. It states that any child that has the ability of reasoning may be interviewed by a magistrate to determine their wishes.
Most states have an age range of a child’s eligible to speak to a magistrate without the recommendation of service workers and government employees that are involved in a custodial case. In some instances, children become interviewed by social workers, therapists, and or appointed guardians. Their response to the interview is their verbal acknowledgment in court.
This motion would protect children from a bias nature that may be resulted in a lengthy custody battle and would give a child a voice.
A motion to advocated in an abuse/custody case would allow “Any” person involved with the safety of a said child to file on their behalf.
Local courts would adhere to this motion giving rights to a child regardless of age as long as the child had the ability of speech. All other skills would be irrelevant, and an interview would take place upon the motion, which would invoke a child’s rights to safety against their abuser.
If a motion for a child to self-speak becomes denied, the placement should be the secondary voice of the child with the highest position for consideration for the child’s wishes since they are the acting parent.
Example of C.R.S.P. in use: Had Averylee Hobbs been interviewed by a magistrate or had her caregiver been permitted to speak in her place. She may still be alive. Parties interviewed Avery but changed her wishes and allegations against her parent inciting there were no concerns. The guardian claimed Avery was incompetent in her summary of abuse and claimed the assaults as imaginary, and Avery’s actions were standard in the reunification process. Avery’s rights that J.F.S. and a guardian blatantly denied directly resulted in her murder.
In all cases, when reunification is the goal to place an abused child back to their predatory parent, that child should be interviewed directly by the magistrate. All adjacent interviews should be video recorded for the magistrate’s review if there are conflicting presentations from different parties of the case. If the placement is in disagreement with the findings of the social workers and or guardians, the state should provide the caregiver with a certified class for C.A.S.A., so their voice is in legal standing for the child.
These actions would not only uphold the current Children’s Wishes, but it would accelerate the 1974 act into this millennium with the use of our technologies and advancements. Much like our courts have authorized the improvements of the D.N.A., we would give children a proper and accurate voice to their Civil Rights and their Safety.
Part E: Social Service Department of Investigations
The optional Organization in creation for this division would be D.E.A.R.
( Developing Essential Advocate Restoration ): The outside resource of external investigations into social services and appointed personnel.
As an example: D.E.A.R. would be a specialized unit adjacent to Child Protection Services where any person can make complaints against a social worker, case manager, guardians, or other parties partaking in their case. Any person in a foster care position would possess entitlement in filing a grievance. Upon a filed charge, the complainant’s advocate would receive all documentation involved in the said case, including the monthly visitation reviews of parental or motioning parties by social services and guardians. Grievances must consist of evident proof of misconduct in the child’s case. Once reviewed, if the contents have merit, the case managers and guardians would be immediately removed from the said case and passed on to their supervisor or newly appointed social workers/guardians.
A department such as D.E.A.R. would be essential with the overload of cases already in the counties’ system. Often, appointed personnel dismisses crucial information from their summaries voluntarily or not; this lost data could be relevant in the care of a child. Due to the neglectful acts, the county’s system can not assure the professionalism of all employees.
The only way to secure the competency of our employees would be to record all interactions with appointed parties, caregivers, and those motioning for custody. Currently, with allegations against public officials, many officials are mandated to wear body cameras, while others must record telecommunications, such as 9-1-1 operators. Using these methods would protect appointed parties as well as civilians in the same manner as public officials.
If the State chooses not to follow the utilized technologies with Social Services, any person who partakes in conversations can legally record these events themselves and present them to a magistrate, law enforcement, or a division such as D.E.A.R., in a child’s welfare case.
The recordings can include any telecommunications as well as in-person interviews. (At no time should a caseworker or guardian use their private phone to make communications within a child’s case. If they use their non-work related phones, the recipient can deny the call without prejudice.)
A complaint department such as D.E.A.R. would fall under a child’s rights act aiding in many cases from further abuse and or deaths. It would also supply a child’s voice to parties allowing them to mediate their situation within a complaint department.
When mutual discrepancies present themselves, the investigations department would have options which may include suspension, unpaid suspension, discharge, grievances filed to their licensing board, and criminal charges due to misappropriate and unethical behaviors.
Ohio should not ignore the need for an institution such as D.E.A.R. It would make us the leader in a modern society where all care affiliates of children are equivalent in advocating for children’s rights. Therefore, an organization such as this would only excel and provide excellence in the care of children bringing Ohio to the forefront.
Part F: Zero Tolerance Act of Child Abuse
Any person convicted of child abuse, neglect or endangerment where there was evidence of substantial injury, mental harm, or death would abolish their rights to the abused child or surviving children. All attempts to regain custody of said victim or siblings would dissolve, leaving zero possibility for reunification.
An investigation should take place against any individual residing in the abusive residence. If parties knew or partook in the abuse, they would lose the ability to reunify along with the convicted party.
All convictions, no matter of underlying circumstances, would prevail and be upheld by the zero-tolerance act with no statute of limitations.
If the courts ignore this act and reunite children back into an abusive home where repeated maltreatment actualizes, the person(s) responsible for that reunification would fall under immediate investigation. If evidence appears against this person indicating misconduct, that party may face criminal charges and or grievances filed against their licensing.
The Zero-Tolerance Act should include a strike-out mentality when regarding children. The goal to reunify families in dire situations should banish when historical indicators present themselves. This act would step in eliminating the powers of social services as it would be a law. The Zero-Tolerance would ban current policies that service workers mold around the petitioner’s case to case tightening the reunification process while prioritizing authoritative figures in charge of the affairs.
“The Right to proper Advocacy.”
“Avery’s Law is implementing ideas that may aid in the reunification/placement process.”
Proper advocacy aids all cases of removed children due to alleged or founded abuse. To protect victim children, we must impede bias behavior of authoritative figures while dismissing conflicting interests and injustices to any party partaking in the safety of children.
We could promote proper advocacy by:
A) All custodial cases should remain in the appointed social workers’ and guardians’ care unless there has been a complaint filed against them with supporting evidence to their misconduct. Their case should then transfer, eliminating their return to said case.
Depending on the nature of the complaint, the filing should remain in documentation against these parties. If accumulating grievances appear against a worker, appropriate actions may result in suspension, unpaid suspension, filing with licensing boards, and possible discharge of their employment.
B) Person(s) of placement should have a separate social worker and guardians from the person(s) motioning custody. ( No matter how you divide workloads, the number of cases is the same.)
C) Social workers and guardians should NEVER announce their visitation with motioning parents. Scheduling supervised visits is an injustice to all children leading to erroneous information gathered by social services.
D) Any conflicting interests between any or all parties of a custody case would adhere to mediation to resolve a dispute. The results of that intervention would then be presented individually to the magistrate allowing him or her to make recommendations on the case.
E) Any person(s) in a foster position has the most knowledge of the protection of each child. Therefore, they should have a comparable opinion in all transactions. The fostering party has uninterrupted views yet is underrated in court procedures. If desired, the court should provide fosters with a certified class of C.A.S.A. accrediting these parties with the legalization of their observations.
F) Appointed parties associated with said cases are required to fill out a signed monthly visitation report after supervising fosters and petitioners. Fosters, being a part of the safety measure for these children, should also be mandated in filling out the same document. By adding their summary, the case would develop with complete insight.
“The above petition to change current laws and to create new may or may not be the answer to every case. I do believe that it would be the answer to children that are under notable care of our current systems. We can not begin to develop a safer environment unless we are willing to change. What we have now is not enough. If it were, we would not have dead children lying in a morgue by avoidable and preventable acts. While we can not prevent terrible actions of violence as a whole, we certainly can stand together to try to make it more difficult and the punishments stronger to hinder these events. Together as a nation. Together as parents and as people. We must protect our future, and that lies in our children”.
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