Thursday, September 29, 2011

Foster care in Texas: Child wins an order of protection – AGAINST CPS

UPDATE, OCTOBER 4: WELCOME STATE GOVERNMENTS:  There’s been a big surge in traffic to this website today, almost all of it going directly to this post, and a lot of it coming from state governments.  For those who haven’t been here before, welcome to NCCPR.  After you’ve checked out this post, I hope you’ll take a look at our main website,, for lots more information about child welfare that you’re not likely to find elsewhere.

And be sure to check the post below this one for a link to our publication concerning how much federal foster care money would be available for better alternatives in your state if you apply for, and receive, a child welfare funding waiver.

Talk about turning the tables.  It’s not unusual for a battered woman to go to court and obtain an “order of protection” against an abusive husband or boyfriend.  The order requires the abuser to keep away.  Now a child has won such an order of protection – against Texas Child Protective Services.

Here’s what happened according to KHOU-TV:

The 14-year-old child was taken after allegations of neglect, apparently as a result of a misunderstanding.  After 18 months during which she was repeatedly abused in a group home, she couldn’t take it anymore and ran away.  According to the family’s lawyer, the caseworker then said something that speaks volumes about whether the child ever needed to be taken:

”The case worker called (her) mom and said she ran away, but you find her, you can keep her," said Julie Ketterman, the [family’s] attorney.

The mother did find her daughter.  And then Ketterman went to court and won the family that order of protection.  The court ruled that the abuser in this case, CPS, should not have access to the abused child, and must stay away.  According to the ruling:

[CPS] engaged in conduct constituting family violence and good cause exists for issuance of a protective best interest of the child.

This is still another egregious case from Houston, the same region that tore apart the family of Prince and Charlomane Leonard solely because they couldn’t afford adequate housing.

But any joy at the outcome of this latest case must be tempered by what’s already been done to the child, and the fact that she remains afraid, as can be seen in this video from KHOU:


P.S.: Come to think of it, a courageous child like this could be the perfect “named plaintiff” in a class-action lawsuit, like the one being brought against Texas CPS by the group that so arrogantly calls itself Children’s Rights (CR).  Except, of course, for the fact that there is no evidence CR gives a damn about children being wrongfully removed and CR’s actions sometimes have made that problem even worse.