The Family Defense Center is a non-profit organization that focuses on advocating for justice for families whose children have been removed by overzealous child welfare systems. According to their website, a great many parents around the U.S. “lose custody of their children to state foster care systems primarily because they are poor or because they are victims of abuse themselves.” This is precisely why the Family Defense Center exists to begin with, and why they are celebrating three recent victories in major federal civil rights cases that challenged the illegal removal of children from their homes. While all three cases dealt with children that were removed from their homes by the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), all three were very different from one another. Below is an overview of the three cases in which the FDC has recently celebrated victory against an invasive and abusive CPS system:
The first case, from November 2013, involved a false claim against a mother in which it was alleged that she was suffering from a mental illness. Someone called a hotline and claimed that the mother was a paranoid schizophrenic who refused her medication. In response, the DCFS removed her 18-month-old child from her custody without a court order. In truth, the mother had no mental illness and no prescriptions that she was refusing to take. DFCS insisted that she admit herself to the hospital and undergo a psychiatric evaluation nonetheless. In addition, the DCFS then only allowed the mother to have contact with her child if she was being supervised by the same family members who falsely accused her of a mental illness. She was also charged with child neglect.
The second case began in October of 2014, and involved a mother who fled an abusive home, and took her twin toddlers with her. Subsequently, her abusive partner’s family called the hotline to claim that there was mold in the basement of the home where she was staying, and that her children were now at risk. This was, of course false, as there was no mold anywhere in the house. Still, DCFS insisted that the mother move into a shelter for abused women, and give up her children into the custody of the abuser’s family. After that, contact with her children was only allowed when supervised by the abuser’s family, but the abuser had unrestricted access to the children.
The third and final case was based on an incident that took place in January of 2015. A mother took her baby to the doctor for his cough. He was diagnosed with croup, given a prescription, and told to come back the following day for a check up. While waiting in the examination room at the doctor’s office the following day, the baby lurched out of his mother’s arms and fell, resulting in a severe head injury. The child was immediately hospitalized, placed under investigation by DCFS, and removed from his parent’s care. He was given to a relative to care for, and the parents were not allowed to visit unsupervised. Even though doctor’s examinations had come back as “inconclusive” regarding abuse, DCFS still took the child from his parents. When the court finally returned the baby to his parents after finding that DCFS had no probable cause, DCFS continued to threaten the mother with “conclusive findings” of child abuse in her case.
All three of these families have been united, and thanks to the lawsuits, there are no spurious charges or false allegations hanging over their heads. In addition, DCFS policies have been revised to ensure that situations like this don’t ever occur again.
We would like to take this moment to honor the work of organizations like the Family Defense Center. Unfortunately, the lack of oversight in CPS agencies all over the country, and the unbridled power that they are afforded by governments fearful of being seen as supportive of child abuse, makes for a frightening number of situations where they overstep their legal bounds and tear families apart for no reason. It is a battle that we fight yourself, on a daily basis, for Michigan families who have been falsely accused by CPS.
If you or a loved one are facing child abuse charges based on the false accusations and lies of others, we are here to help. Defending against false allegations can be a difficult job, as it is much easier to prove that something did happen than to prove that it didn’t. But the attorneys at the Kronzek Firm have decades of combined experience protecting parents from CPS overreach, and defending families against state-funded kidnapping. So call us immediately at 866-346-5879. We can help you get your family back together.