The average person working within these human service professions receive little to no training on how to preserve or protect the rights of people they will be serving; and just as importantly, how to avoid violating the person's rights out of ignorance...In my experience, social service and mental health professionals do not have even a basic understanding of what a client's individual rights are; nor do they have a minimal awareness of the fact that not observing the effective mechanisms codified within the law meant to preserve and defend those individual rights, means these rights are not effectively preserved; but are in fact violated with impunity. The impact this can have on any child should be of a concern to all of us, as these are people working for us.
The mandate of Child Protective Services is to preserve and foster a family's unity, with the understanding that a family is the primary social unit within our society and that absent abuse or neglect, a parent has the right to raise a child according to the parent's self-determined morals and values. CPS is mandated to support this by providing social services which assist families who are in crisis, and also by providing foster care when children who are in immediate danger and must be removed due to parental abuse or neglect. One of the most troubling aspects of this program is the statistic that children removed by 'child protective services,' are abused and killed at a higher rate than those who are not removed from their families. In recent years, parents who are do not consent to giving a child teratogenic drugs has resulted in CPS action, and the removal of children to enforce a prescription of psychotropic drugs; clearly an abuse of power and authority.
This is an ongoing and growing problem caused by the failure to inform/educate individuals who are state employees or state contractors how to perform the legal duties required of them and an abject failure to hold mandated reporters responsible when they fail to file reports with Law Enforcement they are required by law to file. The failure is specific to known or suspected instances of abuse or neglect which victimizes children or vulnerable adults who receive services through DSHS programs. State employees compound the crime by failing to refile the reports they are mandated by law to file. Failure to report is a gross misdemeanor crime. The individuals who commit this crime keep their jobs; the victims are left to tend their injuries with a brutal realization that they are not protected from harm. Supposedly, this is done in service to the state, to protect it from potential liability.
In this instance, "the state" is everybody except the victim(s). This strategy is hardly serving us as a society, it isn't consistent with how potential liability should be defined in such a scenario. Most obviously, allowing people who have failed to act in defense of a child and who fail to report abuse or neglect crimes, should not be in a position of any responsibility; such a person is in fact, a liability. Unless of course, society acknowledges that this approach is used because it serves to protect state employees who increase the state's potential liability for the damages caused by these same employees' ethical and criminal failures. The effect is to protect primarily agents of the state who are putting us at risk of further liability because they lack the fortitude to perform their jobs they are paid to perform. Specifically, taking care of children and vulnerable adults, directly or by performing jobs in support of that mission.
How many times have we heard that Child Protective Services or Adult Protective Services employees have failed to make legally mandated referrals to Law Enforcement for criminal investigation? Has there ever been any criminal investigations and prosecutions for this abject failure? It seems that the only way anyone is held accountable is by the victim filing a lawsuit. Other than being legally compelled from outside of DSHS, I have never heard of a person experiencing any consequences such as losing their job or being prosecuted for Failure to Report, have you? The lack of accountability for state employee's or assignee's failure to perform the legal duties required of the job; is a liability to the state. It is the individual's ethical and legal failure, which becomes the state's justification to cover up such failures which puts more children and vulnerable adults at risk, so that DSHS can avoid being found negligent and liable for damages. This strategy ensures that children and vulnerable adults will be victimized and harmed, disabled and killed. Once they are victims, the victims are perceived as be a liability to be avoided. They are not treated as victims to whom the state owes a duty to protect from further harm, nor are they treated as crime victims and provided help to recover.
Children's Administration in effect, acts 'in loco parentis' for children and adolescents in state care, indeed they are the arbiter of who becomes a ward of the state, and who does not. When a child in state care is prescribed drugs and given the drugs without Informed Consent first being obtained from a parent; who is authorizing this be done? If a child then sustains an iatrogenic, or "physician caused" injury, becomes disabled from the adverse effects of the drugs prescribed which have well-documented potential risks for causing chronic impairments and life-long disabilities; who is responsible? 3-year old drugged in TX
13 year old dies
I know the answer to that. No one is responsible, not the federally funded research psychiatrist, and not Children's Administration; the state pretends there is no need for accountability for harm done by agents of the state. It's impossible for me to pretend that professionals shouldn't be responsible for the harm they've carelessly caused my son. My son is disabled as a direct result of the state's criminal negligence. According to one of the state's attorneys, the state fulfills some of it's mandated duties; but others require citizens to take legal action against the state. Not the most ethical perspective for a legal advisor responsible for ensuring state designees preserve the individual rights of their clients. This ineffective method serves more often to effectively deny a client any recourse once their rights are violated. It's as if I've been informed DSHS employees are allowed to violate State and Federal Law, and are allowed to violate a client's individual rights in a Court of Law with impunity. When there is cause to believe crimes were committed, e.g. A well-documented written report detailing how 2 Officers of the Court and 2 mental health professionals used fraud and perjury as "evidence" in Superior Court obtaining a Court Order against a client who was seeking hopitalization---The state has a legal duty to conduct a criminal investigation on behalf of the victim.
After a criminal complaint was filed, the department proceeded to deny it owes my son, any legal duty. The state has also proceeded to defend the criminal acts of it's designees, the Desigated Mental Health Professional, the psychiatrist, the Deputy Prosecutor, and the Assigned Counsel for the client. The state had a duty to refer a Criminal Complaint to Law Enforcement; and did not. I know I'm more than a little disgusted by the fact that public servants in the state's publicly funded social and mental health "service systems" are obviously enabled to routinely avoid being held accountable for their obviously negligent criminal conduct. I know that as a MadMother, it's more than horrifying to know there is no accountability for ethical and criminal failures of the people whom we entrust to protect children and vulnerable adults who are served by the social services "safety net."
It's not the veracity of the excuse offered in the AAG's message that most troubles me, it is the purpose of the message, i.e. to (again) deny any legal duty to a client victimized by the state's designees, no duty to investigate the Felony Crimes reported. My own perceptions are biased, but I believe my opinions are ethically and legally sound. The state's employees and it's assignees have repeatedly caused my son harm; and whether their actions were merely careless, or criminally negligent, the state enjoys an undeserved immunity. I know that no crime committed by public servants which victimized and injured my son that I have reported has ever been investigated by Law Enforcement. That tells me that not filing legally mandated reports with Law Enforcement is the rule, not the exception--it explains why unethical behavior is so as common as it is...
There is no way in hell I will become complicit in the crimes which victimized my son. I believe to be silent in some instances is to be complicit. The major flaw in the accountability system for DSHS programs in this state, is that there isn't one. There is no accountability within DSHS; true accountability requires ethical integrity; it should not require a citizen having to take legal action against the state.
I've been living a nightmare for almost twenty years, virtually from the moment I discovered my son was victimized. My horror is compounded by the knowledge CPS had received several credible reports alleging children in the foster home my son was assaulted in, were being abused; prior to his placement there. The damage to my son has been further compounded by the criminal manner employees of the state and it's contracted "service providers" have "provided services" to my son and my family, more often than not, the services were not what was recommended or needed, and caused all of us further harm.
photo credit: weprocessweserve.com