Adoption abuse

Lawsuit: Abuse claims overlooked
Ex-state employee takes court action

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A former state social worker has filed a whistle blower lawsuit against two of her former supervisors with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, alleging they pressured her to overlook allegations of abuse in foster homes that were trying to adopt special-needs children.

The pressure was applied because the cabinet was under the gun to approve more adoptions so it wouldn't lose federal subsidies, the suit says.

The suit was filed Jan. 14 in U.S. District Court in Covington by Pat Moore of Elsmere, who, the suit said, was forced to resign as Northern Kentucky Health and Family Services Office Permanency Team supervisor when she refused to comply with her superiors' orders to keep quiet about abuse claims and allow the adoptions of special-needs children to proceed.

Moore asks for unspecified actual and punitive damages, lost wages and reinstatement to her job. She alleges, among other things, that her civil rights were violated when she was forced out in retaliation for voicing concerns about abuse at foster homes under consideration for adoption placements.

In the 17-page complaint, Moore details three cases that she contends demonstrate how her rights were violated by agency administrators in the last quarter of 2004.

Among them was one in December in which, the suit says, she filed a custody report with Campbell County Family Court after she was ordered to go ahead with an adoption at a home that she said had been the subject of numerous complaints over a two-year period, including allegations of drug abuse and child molestation.

Moore alleges that her supervisors were enraged by her actions and that her immediate supervisor at the cabinet's Northern Kentucky regional office in Covington, Karen Bremenkamp, committed an "ethical breach" when she phoned Campbell County Family Court Judge Michael D. Foellger in the midst of his supervision of the case and urged him to dismiss the action.

Foellger ordered the children removed from the home after reviewing the files and the report of a court-appointed child advocate, finding probable cause for abuse and neglect in the foster home. "At that point, because she reported it to the judge, she started getting retaliation at work," said Shane Sidebottom, the Covington attorney representing Moore in the suit.

That included supervisors verbally abusing her and claiming that she falsified case plans and, finally, forcing her to resign Dec. 27, the suit said.

All the alleged actions are violations of Kentucky's Whistle Blower statute, the complaint contends.

The suit claims that Moore had an exemplary work record before she started clashing with her supervisors over what she considered inappropriate adoption placements.

Sidebottom said the children Moore was trying to protect have physical and/or emotional problems that make them "the most fragile" in the state's custody.

"These are the ones they have a hard time adopting out," he said.

The state receives $4,000 in federal money for each adoption it completes, and $6,000 for each adoption of a special-needs child, according to the suit.

Gil Lawson, spokesman for the cabinet, said Monday he could not comment because he was unaware of the suit.

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Target 5 Investigates Alleged Adoption Abuse, Neglect

Target 5 Investigates Alleged Adoption Abuse, Neglect

Caseworker: State Ordered Her To Overlook Abuse Allegations

The following is a transcript of Jesse Jones' report, shown exactly the way it appeared on WLWT News 5 at 11 p.m. on May 3, 2005. 

Anchor: Did the State of Kentucky approve an adoption despite allegations of abuse and neglect? Documents obtained exclusively by Target 5 show the answer is yes. Jesse Jones has more on this disturbing case. 

Jesse Jones: It's all spelled out in a lawsuit against the state. It claims managers are putting money ahead of children's safety. And that the state had more than 1 million reasons to make troubled adoptions work. From the outside, this home looked almost perfect for an adoption. 

Foster parent: "When they brought him to me, they said I was his last hope -- that if it didn't work out here that he's have to go to an institution." 

Jones: Two foster children -- a young, disabled boy and a teenaged girl -- were about to become brother and sister, daughter and son. 

Foster parent: "She fit right in -- a tomboy." 

Jones: But there were troubling allegations inside that home, from sexual abuse to a felon supervising the children. And even knowing that, the state moved forward with the adoption of these children. 

Jones: "Do you think the state put kids in harm's way?" 

Tom Beiting, court appointed attorney: "Absolutely. No hesitation whatsoever. In this case, absolutely." 

Jones: This was Pat Moore's case. She's a former caseworker who is now suing the state. The Elsmere native claims she was ordered by her superiors to overlook allegations of child abuse and molestation in some adoption cases. 

Moore: "I did what I felt like I had to do. It was the right thing to do and I stand by the complaint." 

Jones: Pat Moore's not talking about just one case. Shane Sidebottom is Pat Moore's attorney. 

Sidebottom: "As a result of reporting this and bringing these allegations of potential abuse and neglect and, in some cases, possible molestation issues, she was penalized at work. We feel she was retaliated against." 

Jones: Was millions in federal dollars the motivation? 

Beiting: "So this is about money. This about money and numbers, I believe. That's sad. That's criminal." 

Jones: Attorney Tom Beiting was hired by Campbell County to represent the children in one of Moore's cases. 

Beiting: "In this case, I am critical of the Cabinet. They did not do their job." 

Jones: One of the examples in the lawsuit begins here in that Verona home last summer. The foster parent decided to adopt those two children. Holly Hill Children's Services was contracted by the state to work much of this case. And what its caseworkers found was troubling. One inspection found a case of beer in a child's play room. The house was dirty and infested with flies. Stale food was found in the living room and a child's bedroom. We've hidden the foster parent's identity to maintain the children's privacy. 

Foster parent: "I don't want to say the whole thing is all made up, but it's blowed all out of proportion." 

Jones: There's a report noting that the foster parent's own son was supervising the children. The problem? He's a felon with drug and burglary convictions. 

Jones: "Did he ever watch the kids?" 

Foster parent: "No. They kept saying I was doing that and he was not watching the kids." 

Jones: However, documents show two Holly Hill caseworkers saw the felon with the kids. And according to the state's own report, another family member was charged with sexual abuse. The charges against the family member were dropped. However, three allegations of sexual abuse in that home would follow. Each was unsubstantiated by state caseworkers. But Kenton County Prosecutor Ken Easterling has had his doubts about the Cabinet's unsubstantiated findings. 

Jones: "Have you pulled a child, even though the paperwork says the case was unsubstantiated?" 

Easterling: "The prosecutor's office has pulled children where the Cabinet has found that the allegations are unsubstantiated." 

Jones: The foster parent also hadn't taken one of the children to therapy for two months, was a no-show for several state-required meetings, and failed to return almost a dozen phone calls to case workers. Pat Moore meets with Holly Hill workers and fires off this memo to her bosses, saying that Holly Hill could not guarantee the safety of the children and it will be closing down the home. Pat Moore's bosses in the Cabinet responded with this -- a memo recommending that the adoption should proceed quickly while building the greatest safety net possible. 

So how did this happen? According to Pat Moore's lawsuit, money. According to several sources, if the adoption went through, the foster mother would receive $1,800 a month for both children. More than $1,100 of that would be given to the foster mother every month for the life of the disabled child. 

The money trail doesn't end there. The State of Kentucky gets thousands of dollars for each adoption. However, Target 5 has learned the state was under pressure, facing a $1.7 million fine from the federal government in part for not completing enough adoptions. 

Sidebottom: "Our theory is that the basis for this is the tie to the federal money that, every time a child is not placed in the home, the State of Kentucky, through its Cabinet, is losing money." 

Jones: According to her lawsuit, Pat Moore and a Holly Hill manager filed a custody report in Campbell County family court. Moore says her bosses told her not to give the case files to Tom Beiting, the court appointed attorney handling the case. 

Jones: "The state did not want you to see those records." 

Beiting: "Absolutely not, not the local representatives."  

Jones: Beiting subpoenaed the records and filed his report. And Judge Michael Folleger wasted no time in removing the children from the home. 

Jones: "Do you think it was the right decision?" 

Beiting: "It was the only decision. Judge Foellger did a very good job in immediately removing those children." 

Jones: Prosecutor Ken Easterling says this is nothing new. He's removed children against the Cabinet's wishes before. 

Easterling: "There are occasions that we thing a child should be removed, that the Cabinet doesn't remove them, so we remove them without the Cabinet's consent." 

Jones: Shane Sidebottom, Pat Moore's attorney, said his client was called on the carpet by supervisors for stopping the adoption. 

Sidebottom: "Despite the judges ruling, Ms. Moore was called into two separate meetings where she was verbally chastised for not agreeing with her supervisors." 

Jones: In court documents, Moore says she stood up to management in two other similar cases. The bosses wrote her up and she quit. But her attorney says now more caseworkers are coming forward with an even larger number of children. 

Sidebottom: "I see a bigger problem. Like I said, I have been contacted by other people who are coming forward now." 

Jones: The state declilned to respond to the allegations made in this report. The foster mother strongly maintains that many of the court's findings were wrong and the kids should not have been taken away. Finally, we do not know the whereabouts of these children. That information is private. In the start of the show, we mentioned children adopted into home with sex offenders and drug dealers. These are allegations and proposed adoptions -- not finalized adoptions. Jesse Jones, Target 5. 

Kentucky Foster Care Rife With Corruption

Report: Kentucky Foster Care Rife With Corruption

POSTED: 8:24 pm EST February 7, 2007
UPDATED: 12:59 pm EST February 8, 2007

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Two years ago News 5 revealed that Kentucky’s foster care system pushed for quick adoptions, putting children in potentially harmful situations. And now a report showed that corruption hasn't gone away. 

Over the past several months News 5 has been speaking with dozens of parents who claimed Kentucky social workers rattled the foundation that foster care should help build. 

A recently released state report showed that parent’s claims were all too real. 

The report, released by Kentucky’s inspector general, revealed a culture where some caseworkers thrived on the power to control families. It claimed that some caseworkers lied to judges, falsified documents and ripped families apart all for their personal gain. 

Some parents said their children were severely abused on top of it all. 

"My youngest grandchild was beaten -- made to stand in a barn,” said Connie Marshall, who had three grandchildren taken by the Kentucky foster care program. She said her grandchildren were “made to go without food, and my oldest grandchild was putting food in his pockets to feed the younger grandchild.” 

Other parents had similar horror stories. 

"They just left her laying in a car seat nonstop. You'd pick this child up and she was shaped like a car seat,” said Aldonica Kiger, speaking about one of her children taken in 1997. 

Many parents said they believed their children were subjected to the system with no justification. 

One parent, Phyllis Richardson, said she called child protective services for advice on how to handle her teenage daughter. She said instead of helping, the they simply took her children. 

“They took my daughter and the youngest one at the same time,” said Richardson. “It's just a mess. Instead of offering families more help, they just want to hurry up and take [the children]." 

Parents said it was all about the money. 

Foster parents get hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars a month for each child, and the state gets thousands for each adoption. 

Families called it "the other Kentucky lottery," because it seemed like a game of chance where the unlucky ones not only lost their children -- they also lose their rights. 

That's what caught the attention of the inspector general. 

The report compiled a long list of complaints against the system, below are some of the most egregious. 

  • The state emphasizes adoption, not reunification.  
  • Caseworkers falsified documents and lied to intentionally misled courts.  
  • Parents were denied legal representation for important court hearings.  
  • Caseworkers would intentionally overwhelm parents financially and emotionally until they quit trying to get their kids back.  
  • Some employees faced retaliation for opposing supervisors.  
  • Some foster parents were told they would not get children placed in their homes if they talked to investigators.  
  • Any foster care youths who become parents themselves were forced to give their children up to the state once they leave the system. 

"It’s very disturbing and those are attitudes we will not tolerate and we'll take necessary steps to ensure that is not prevalent throughout the state,” said Tom Emberton, the state undersecretary at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. 

While the inspector general’s report focused on central Kentucky, there have been allegations of corruption throughout the state.

Witnesses also showed that the corruption reached all the way to the upper echelons of the state bureaucracy.

A former social worker for the cabinet said she attended meetings where supervisors from northern Kentucky would discuss how to force undesirable workers out of the cabinet.

Emberton said he blames the previous administration for all the wrongdoing and credits this administration for finding the corruption.

“We didn't stick our head in the sand. We've identified it and we're taking the necessary steps so it doesn't continue,” said Emberton.

As of Wednesday 13 workers could face criminal charges, but some are still employed.

A state panel is expected to discuss the inspector general's findings Thursday morning.

The inspector general also made sure to point out that most social workers are good people and that his report didn’t touch on those that did their job well.

Copyright 2007 by WLWT.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Report: Kentucky Foster Care Rife With Corruption

Report: Kentucky Foster Care Rife With Corruption

POSTED: 8:24 pm EST February 7, 2007 UPDATED: 12:59 pm EST February 8, 2007

http://www.wlwt.com/news/10957912/detail.html?taf=cin

The report, released by Kentucky’s inspector general, revealed a culture where some caseworkers thrived on the power to control families. It claimed that some caseworkers lied to judges, falsified documents and ripped families apart all for their personal gain.

Some parents said their children were severely abused on top of it all.

"My youngest grandchild was beaten -- made to stand in a barn,” said Connie Marshall, who had three grandchildren taken by the Kentucky foster care program. She said her grandchildren were “made to go without food, and my oldest grandchild was putting food in his pockets to feed the younger grandchild.”

Other parents had similar horror stories.

"They just left her laying in a car seat nonstop. You'd pick this child up and she was shaped like a car seat,” said Aldonica Kiger, speaking about one of her children taken in 1997.

Many parents said they believed their children were subjected to the system with no justification.

One parent, Phyllis Richardson, said she called child protective services for advice on how to handle her teenage daughter. She said instead of helping, the they simply took her children.

“They took my daughter and the youngest one at the same time,” said Richardson. “It's just a mess. Instead of offering families more help, they just want to hurry up and take [the children]."

Parents said it was all about the money.

Foster parents get hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars a month for each child, and the state gets thousands for each adoption.

Families called it "the other Kentucky lottery," because it seemed like a game of chance where the unlucky ones not only lost their children -- they also lose their rights.

That's what caught the attention of the inspector general.

The report compiled a long list of complaints against the system, below are some of the most egregious.

# The state emphasizes adoption, not reunification.

# Caseworkers falsified documents and lied to intentionally misled courts.

# Parents were denied legal representation for important court hearings.

# Caseworkers would intentionally overwhelm parents financially and emotionally until they quit trying to get their kids back.

# Some employees faced retaliation for opposing supervisors.

# Some foster parents were told they would not get children placed in their homes if they talked to investigators.

# Any foster care youths who become parents themselves were forced to give their children up to the state once they leave the system.

"It’s very disturbing and those are attitudes we will not tolerate and we'll take necessary steps to ensure that is not prevalent throughout the state,” said Tom Emberton, the state undersecretary at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

While the inspector general’s report focused on central Kentucky, there have been allegations of corruption throughout the state.

Witnesses also showed that the corruption reached all the way to the upper echelons of the state bureaucracy.

A former social worker for the cabinet said she attended meetings where supervisors from northern Kentucky would discuss how to force undesirable workers out of the cabinet.

Emberton said he blames the previous administration for all the wrongdoing and credits this administration for finding the corruption.

“We didn't stick our head in the sand. We've identified it and we're taking the necessary steps so it doesn't continue,” said Emberton.

As of Wednesday 13 workers could face criminal charges, but some are still employed.

A state panel is expected to discuss the inspector general's findings Thursday morning.

The inspector general also made sure to point out that most social workers are good people and that his report didn’t touch on those that did their job well.

Previous Stories:

     * May 4, 2005: Target 5 Investigates Alleged Adoption Abuse, Neglect

Copyright 2007 by WLWT.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CURRENTLY CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES VIOLATES MORE CIVIL RIGHTS ON A DAILY BASIS THEN ALL OTHER AGENCIES COMBINED INCLUDING THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY/CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WIRETAPPING PROGRAM....

CPS Does not protect children... It is sickening how many children are subject to abuse, neglect and even killed at the hands of Child Protective Services.

every parent should read this .pdf from connecticut dcf watch...

http://www.connecticutdcfwatch.com/8x11.pdf

http://www.connecticutdcfwatch.com

Number of Cases per 100,000 children in the US These numbers come from The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington. (NCCAN) Recent numbers have increased significantly for CPS

*Perpetrators of Maltreatment*

Physical Abuse CPS 160, Parents 59 Sexual Abuse CPS 112, Parents 13 Neglect CPS 410, Parents 241 Medical Neglect CPS 14 Parents 12 Fatalities CPS 6.4, Parents 1.5

Imagine that, 6.4 children die at the hands of the very agencies that are supposed to protect them and only 1.5 at the hands of parents per 100,000 children. CPS perpetrates more abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse and kills more children then parents in the United States. If the citizens of this country hold CPS to the same standards that they hold parents too. No judge should ever put another child in the hands of ANY government agency because CPS nationwide is guilty of more harm and death than any human being combined. CPS nationwide is guilty of more human rights violations and deaths of children then the homes from which they were removed. When are the judges going to wake up and see that they are sending children to their death and a life of abuse when children are removed from safe homes based on the mere opinion of a bunch of social workers.

BE SURE TO FIND OUT WHERE YOUR CANDIDATES STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF REFORMING OR ABOLISHING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ("MAKE YOUR CANDIDATES TAKE A STAND ON THIS ISSUE.") THEN REMEMBER TO VOTE ACCORDINGLY IF THEY ARE "FAMILY UNFRIENDLY" IN THE NEXT ELECTION...

Investigative Report

Investigative Report Regarding Allegations of Misconduct by Certain Employees of the Department for Community Based Services’ Lincoln Trail Region Related to the Removal of Children and/or the Termination of Parental Rights Based on Alleged Abuse, Neglect, or Dependency.

Pound Pup Legacy