Reform DCFS/CPS, Juvenile/Family Court, and Foster System Laws and Regulations

Reform DCFS/CPS, Juvenile/Family Court, and Foster System Laws and Regulations

July 1, 2022
Signatures: 300Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Trisha Escamilla

Parents and children worldwide are suffering unjust power abuse from DCFS (Defense of Child and Family Services; AKA CPS or Child Protective Services). DCFS/CPS inserts themselves in the lives of families that do not require their intervention. They rip families apart, and are allowed to  commit crimes and ignore due process while others who commit the same crimes are given full penalties of the law.

Social Workers abuse their power and act as if they are above the law. Instead of caring for the well-being of children, helping struggling families, and advocating for ALL kinds of child abuse (mental, emotional, and physical), they cause unnecessary trauma by unjustly removing children from home and taking advantage of families in poverty.

Children are instead, not proactively protected from abuse, and the courts do not take into account account a child's mental and emotional well-being. The courts are reactive, and often times by the time DCFS and courts take action, the child has become traumatized or in some scenarios, are killed. By then it is too late, and the families have irreparable damage. And the parents trying to protect them-that they were unjustly taken from-are given gag orders, ultimatums, and have their ability to protect their children revoked.

Social workers are allowed to believe lying to a family, not giving full disclosure, falsifying documentation, lying within court, and withholding information from parents is within their rights. While parents are forced to believe they cannot fight them and it is not within their own civil rights to have such information. But the problem is, it is within parents civil and constitutional rights to have and be presented with the factual and full, unaltered facts, truth, and information as well as the right to fight back and protect their child/children.

The Juvenile Courts and even sometimes in District/Family Courts also, unfortunately, almost always side with DCFS/CPS regardless of circumstance, creating an unhealthy and toxic imbalance of power and impaired and biased judgement. Hence, making families, and more specifically their children, victims to not only abuse but human trafficking.

DCFS/CPS work alongside the foster system, and get paid bonuses when a child enters state custody or gets adopted. Robbing parents' of child support and not providing enough financial support to the children they care for, because it is instead going to the pockets of those employed by DCFS/CPS or the Foster Systems. Thus, rendering children as nothing more than another form of income, rather than a child who is a US citizen, with thoughts, opinions, emotions, and rights.

Once a child is in State's Custody, they become nothing more than a tool. They are no longer human and are treated as if they are juvenile delinquents. Often times, children in Foster Care and State Custody end up abused, raped, mentally unstable, or even killed. All because the Foster System in which we trust for our youth, does not value their lives enough to ensure their well-being and stability. I experienced first hand the abuse of the Foster Systems, because I once was within State Custody. It is corrupt and does not value the children within it, trying to force the children to conform to the State's definition of a complacent citizen. 

Furthermore, if you make CPS/DCFS social workers dislike you in any way, for any reason, because you do not submit and bend to their will, this becomes the fate of your child. Then heaven forbid you don't have enough money for a proper attorney, because court appointed ones will not defend you. They will throw you under the bus and just tell you to do everything DCFS/CPS demands.

I am a victim of the above crimes and so are my children. But I am just one of millions of families ripped apart and traumatized everyday by the actions of one government program supposedly designed to "protect" our youth. My story is one of many, where DCFS wrongly entered my home, manipulated and twisted facts and information, removed my children unjustly, and caused lasting trauma that cannot be erased.

Unlike millions of others, I was among the lucky few to get my children back. But DCFS/CPS continues to wrongly insert themselves into my home and a custody/parent-time case, after repeatedly stating DCFS/CPS does not get involved in custody/parent-time matters.

Due to my ongoing case, I am not at liberty to share names, or intricate details at this time, but I can share the effect on my children and my home. What once was a happy home, with well-behaved, peaceful children, no problems, and financial stability, has become a nightmare in the course of a few short months. I became drowned in debt in order to meet the demands of DCFS/CPS and hire an attorney, and every member of my family now has sustained trauma that requires a therapist. Yet still this is not enough for DCFS/CPS.

Even with attorneys being astonished that a case was even opened within my household, and despite having no proof or legit allegations of actual abuse and lack of an order to show cause filed within legal limitations, they were able to open a case and cause harm to my family.

I was told by my court appointed attorney (I have since hired a proper one) that there was nothing I could do. I was guilty until proven innocent and had to just accept what was happening. That I couldn't fight it and just needed to meet their demands and be "good."

In the course of less than 6 months, my oldest child has been forced to endure parent-time with a parent who abandoned them and who the child never knew existed, by the fault of my ex's negligence to exercise their parent-time or show desire to be in the child's life.

As a result, their development has regressed horribly, they have suffered physical, mental, and emotional abuse at the hand of their once absent parent, and at the hands of a foster family for the duration of their removal. Their behavior and trauma continues to worsen with every visit with my ex. They become more and more aggressive, violent, and irritable. What's worse, is I as their parent, am unable to provide my child with the relief they desire when they beg to stay home, or even when they tell their therapist they don't want to go to my ex's visitations.

This is because if I don't, I will be held in contempt. Then my youngest and only other child will be without adequate support and will suffer more trauma, because I would be ripped from both my children with no explanation. I am the stay at home parent and my spouse is our sole income. So my presence is crucial to their well-being. Thus, I am forced to drop off my child, and pick my child up after every visit, every week.

Each visit, there is more and more evidence of abuse, but the courts still refuse to act. It's not enough evidence, despite my child speaking out and the marks on my child's body. I am forced to co-parent with third parties who pretend to be my ex, while my ex remains uninterested in their child. All while suddenly after years of no exercised parent time, my ex wants sole custody and to remove my child from their safe, loving home, demand child support from me, and remove my visitation rights, with no regard to the well-being of or impact it has on our child's emotional and mental state. DCFS/CPS and the Juvenile Court is allowing and encouraging this toxic behavior to continue.

To make matters worse, their sibling has to suffer trauma as they see and feel the effects on their sibling. Out of fear and lack of understanding, they too, are placed through trauma. Trauma of losing a sibling, facing their recoiling emotions, and the lingering threat of losing their own parent(s).

My current DCFS/CPS team also refuses to hand over physical copies of mine and my spouse's Psychological Evaluations. And by unjust laws, they are allowed to because they paid for it, and thus we cannot even request the record or gain access to it to have it added to our own medical records. The most allowed is for attorneys to discuss it, but even then, my social worker told me they do not typically release more than the recommended treatments. Which is corrupt and violates constitutional and civil rights and liberties as a US citizen.

My attorneys have repeatedly reiterated how DCFS/CPS cases are very often, similar and worse than mine. They have told me that the Juvenile Court System is not designed to properly advocate for parents or children. And instead, causes unnecessary detriment to children worldwide.

My case is far from the worst one. Other parents have had their children removed permanently and adopted out, never to be seen again. If not adopted, they're sent to abusive homes that result in the child's long term abuse and trauma requiring intensive therapy for hears to come. And in some of the most severe cases, results in the child's death by suicide or child abuse and homicide.

In other cases, Social Workers have manufactured false documents and evidence and information, in order to remove children unjustly from their homes. An excellent example of this is the social worker Michelle Harper and her involvement in a Utah DCFS/CPS case.

All this happens and more because DCFS/CPS abuses their power and rip families apart. They deny parents their rights to protect their own child/children, and then manipulated and take advantage of their position in a government program to place money into their own pockets. All while the children's best interests were never considered. Nor was the child's opinion or voice heard.

Parents worldwide need to be given proper representation and resources to adequately protect our youth from the dangers within our own government, regardless of race, age, gender, or poverty level.

The entire system designed to "protect" our youth needs to change. The Juvenile Court should not be allowed to remain solely reactive, but made proactive. DCFS/CPS should be held to the same standard as every other US citizen, not given more power and the ability to be above the law. Parents should not be guilty until proven innocent-as is sadly the case with every DCFS/CPS case opened. Whether opened on lies or truth is irrelevant, because DCFS/CPS often fails families that are actually in need of intervention. 

No proper investigation is ever conducted, and children are never required to undergo proper physical, emotional, or mental evaluation in order to prove abuse or lack thereof. Often times, that responsibility is left to the parents to shoulder. Not only is this unethical and irresponsible on the part of DCFS/CPS, but often times, parents lack the kind of finances to pay for custody evaluators or other evaluators of the like. This makes them vulnerable to the allegations and accusations of DCFS/CPS with no real resources to back them. 

This results in the destruction of innocent families, and the mental, emotional, and even physical deterioration of our youth.  There needs to be reform, to protect our children from the trauma and trafficking inflicted and conducted, by DCFS/CPS and their partners-the Juvenile Courts and Foster Systems.

With this change, new laws need to be implemented. Laws that give parents the right to protect their children from unjust removal and forced parent time. Laws that grant them a protected due process. New mandates need to be implemented that prioritize not only a child's physical and sexual well-being, but their mental and emotional, even developmental well-being as well.

Parents should be allowed the freedom to exercise the right to protect their children, to deny DCFS entry-without risk of warrant without prior notification-and without the threat of jail time. DCFS/CPS should be required to conduct proper investigations which include parent testimonials before a judge instead of manipulated overviews. DCFS/CPS should not be allowed to threaten or intimidate prospective families in order to achieve whatever may be on their agendas. It should be required that DCFS/CPS be required to conduct psychological and physical evaluations of children alleged to be within abusive homes by neutral third parties with no ties to the government program. The requirement to give full factual disclosure within court and to parents should also be actively enforced and regulated, instead of allowing lies to obtain results that, otherwise, would never exist.

Parents should be given the right to appeal decisions to remove their children, the chance to submit evidence and testify without the "guarantee" they will lose by a court appointed representative. DCFS/CPS should be limited to how long they can "supervise" a family is in a PSS (Parental Supervision Services) case and forbidden from even addressing any form of custody or parent time arrangement within Juvenile Court. Instead, if concerns arise with Custody and Parent-time, they should be required to alert the proper district that hd jurisdiction over custody and parent-time so that it can be addressed with the proper processes and proceedings.

It should be required any court ordered medical/psychological evaluation/test to be made available to the individuals who were evaluated/tested, so they have access to their own records and treatment.

Children should also be given a voice by unbiased Guardian ad Litems, who prioritize the child's entire well-being, not just ohysical and sexual. Step Parents should be given rights, especially in situations like mine where a step parent had to take the role of the absent parent for extended duration-in my case, years. The absent/negligent parents should not be allowed parent time or the right to alter custody if/until they can prove commitment and stability to and for the child, through a process supervised by professionals and enforced by the courts. A child should not be forced to have a relationship with a toxic parent who will cause mental and emotional trauma and only abandon their child once more when given the opportunity.

Judges should not be allowed to silence parents with gag orders and ultimatums, or restrict their voices in court to solely that of their attorney or whatever may come of a DCFS/CPS report. Parents should be offered resources and the opportunity to use and take advantage of those resources, prior to any case undergoing intensive investigation or cases being opened to make changes-such as the removal of children. Had I been given help I had desperately needed when my case began, the entire reason for which DCFS/CPS opening my case would have been null and void.

Absent parents should be required in a court of law, to undergo a proper reintroduction schedule, complete with professionally supervised visitations, current parenting classes, current co-parenting classes, current anger management classes, current substance/alcohol/drug abuse classes(if applicable), and a probationary period (ideally 6months-1year)  to prove commitment and evaluate the mental, emotional, and physical state of the child/children it affects.

Co-parenting should also be more actively enforced to be healthy and stable, to fit the ideal model they teach about. A written agreement  of the co-parenting agreement should be made and actively enforced between parents prior to and during parent-time. While consequences for not following it are also enforced. 

Third parties without rights to visitation, such as extended family or friends WITHOUT any or sufficient relationship/bond to the child/children, should not be allowed to make choices in behalf of or for the parents. If such suspicions arise, it should be investigated and made so that parents with legal rights can mediate with confirmed identity and without external influence. Third party family/friends should be required to submit their own motions in order to obtain visitation if their visitation with the child is in conflict with one or both parents or not in the best interests of the child/children.

However, extended family WITH lasting and sufficient relationships/bonds with the child/children should be allowed a voice in court and to be applied to proceedings that impact the child's well-being. After all, "it takes a village" to raise a child. We need to allow these "villages" to be built, even in the court systems. It also provides support resources to struggling parents and families.

This is only touching the tip of the iceberg of all the changes needed. I'm sure there are more revisions that are needed that address how these processes can be properly implemented, improved, and altered, to the benefit of the children. I'm sure there are many more points that need to be added than just these I have listed, and given the opportunity, we can address them all. The legal system should care about more than just the physical and sexual well-being of children.

These are our youth. Our legacy and next generation. If their mental and emotional states are harmed by trauma, it results in an influx of mental health issues and toxic adult and teen behavior. Which can then lead to homicide, suicide, rape, bullying, terrorism, insanity, instability, and ultimately, unsustainability. We have to protect our youth in all ways, not just outwardly, but inwardly too. We the people have a duty and responsibility to ensure the best futures for future generations. 

A stable home is imperative to achieve this goal, and if organizations like DCFS/CPS and their partners are allowed to ravage and mutilate that sanctity, then our future is dreary at best. So fight with me. Fight for change, to protect our children. To protect our future. To give our children the rights to have happy healthy lives, free from the abuse of external powers that would desire to destroy the sanctity of a stable home and family. For both the children and our own futures.

If this change can be achieved, families will no longer be unjustly ripped apart. Children can live happily, innocently, without having to face the horrors of the traumas caused by DCFS/CPS, the Foster System, and Juvenile/Family Court. Parents would be given more power and resources to care for and protect their children.

Children won't be forced to split up from family, friends, or siblings, and the sheer number of children within the Foster System would drastically reduce, because DCFS/CPS would no longer be able to place so many within it without just cause. As a domino effect, homes would become more stable, adoption more easily achieved, and maybe even more accessible as laws continue to change to support this reform and movement. 

The world would be more peaceful, and families would be subjected to less abuse and turmoil just because they are mixed families-regardless of other factors like sex, race, and religion. Mental health issues would decline as well, and family culture would morph to take on a more loving and accepting stance. It would reduce fighting and encourage fixing families, not destroying them and throwing away what cannot be fixed. It would empower our future to be better. Stronger. And enable our future generations to achieve greater success and happier lives than we could ever imagine.

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