Protect Children in DFCS Custody - By Sue Ella Deadwyler
Sue Ella Deadwyler, President of Eagle Forum of Georgia writes in her commentary on WMVV Radio on March 17, 2008.
During two terms in office, Senator Nancy Schaefer heard so many horror stories about the way the Department of Family and Children Services takes children and handles them while they're in custody, she decided it's time for a change.
On February 6 she introduced S.B. 415 to address some of the issues. Since current law requires closed hearings in cases of delinquency, deprivation or unruliness, she decided open hearings could result in more accountability. Also, though delinquent and unruly acts are easily spotted, deprivation is very subjective. So, to prevent corruption and assure accountability from all parties involved, S.B. 415 requires deprivation hearings to be open to the public. At the same time, it allows a parent or guardian to present a written request for their hearings to be closed.
Under current law, the Department of Human Resources, its employees and agents have total immunity from liability in the care and supervision of children. So, DHR can consent to the medication of children and, whether the medication helps or harms the child, DHR and its personnel will not be held responsible. That would change under S.B. 415, because it removes DHR's authority to medicate children if a parent or guardian objects and it would hold DHR and its agents responsible if the children experience seizures.
Another problem with the taking of children goes back to 1997 when Congress passed the Safe Families Act that offers financial incentives for state agencies to provide children for adoption. While that could be a good thing, it's now bordering on "legal kidnapping." Unethical officials have been charged with taking children from good homes and adopting them out, simply, for the money. For each child adopted out of state child protective systems, the state is entitled to as much as $6,000 in federal money. To counteract that, S.B. 415 prohibits any state entity from applying for financial incentives provided under the Safe Families Act.
S.B. 415 was a good bill, but it was gutted, watered down, made worthless. So rather than accept a do-nothing bill, Senator Schaefer took it off the table and it's dead.
WEBMASTER NOTE: Nancy is a woman of true integrity. She is the Mother Theresa of children and families throughout the United States. Nancy is a Saint to MILLIONS and one day the truth will prevail.
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