Thursday, May 5, 2011

Foster care in Michigan: Is Marcia Lowry’s licensing obsession holding Maryanne Godboldo’s daughter in an institution?

UPDATE, MAY 6, 3:45PM: Detroit News now confirms: In spite of the obstacles put in the way by the Michigan Department of Human Services and the state's dreadful child welfare consent decree, Maryanne Godboldo's daughter has been freed from the institution and is in the custody of her aunt.

At a minimum, the decree imposed on Michigan by the group that so arrogantly calls itself Children’s Rights (CR), and its leader, Marcia Lowry, is the excuse, at worst it's the last barrier to freeing Maryanne Godboldo's daughter from an institution.

Godboldo’s daughter was seized by caseworkers for the Michigan Department of Human Services after a chain of events, described in these previous posts, that began with her seeking help for a daughter’s mental health problems. She now has been needlessly institutionalized for seven weeks.  That’s 24-times longer than Leo Ratte, the white middle-class child in the Mike’s Hard Lemonade case, spent in any form of substitute care.

According to the Detroit Free Press, doctors on all sides reached an agreement on a treatment plan, but a DHS caseworker is balking for two reasons.  According to the story:

“… a DHS foster care worker testified Wednesday that, among other things, she found the treatment plan too vague and said the girl's aunt and likely caregiver, Penny Godboldo-Brooks, needs to complete foster care licensing paperwork.” [Emphasis added].

That paperwork didn't exist as a prerequisite for placement before the consent decree. That decree imposed Marcia Lowry's bureaucratic obsession with licensing on thousands of loving grandparents, aunts and other relatives. That obsession already has resulted in the expulsion of 1,800 children from the homes of relatives.  Now it stands in the way of finally getting Maryanne Godboldo's daughter out of an institution.

Even the judge, who initially seemed sympathetic to DHS, appears to be getting fed up.  She said she has no problems with the treatment plan.  She says the licensing process can be completed after the child is placed with her aunt.  And she says Godboldo’s daughter must be released tomorrow, or she’ll hold whoever is holding up that release in contempt.

In that case, she may want to consider serving papers at the New York offices of CR.  Because they share the blame for this mess.