California civil rights attorney Shawn McMillan recently sat down and spoke with Tammi Stefano of the National Safe Child show regarding his work in litigating against corruption within Child Protection Services (CPS). McMillan gained national headlines at the end of 2016 in a case against Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) when a jury awarded his client, Rafaelina Duval, $3.1 million in damages for wrongfully seizing her child. In this interview with Tammi Stefano, McMillan explains how he makes his living by exclusively suing county and state agencies that are involved in child abuse investigations, and violate parents' and children's Constitutional rights by misrepresenting facts to the court, either when they remove the children from the home, or afterwards. When Stefano asks McMillan why he does this, why he is so passionate about it, McMillan states: "They're stealing kids."
This is National Child Abuse Month and we have Tammi Stefano, host of the National Safe Child Show joined by a CPS whistleblower (whose identity remains hidden to protect them) that has worked with the Department of Children and Family Services in LA County for over a decade coming forward now to reveal egregious corruption within the department. This social worker has come forward after being privy to a case where they saw that court ordered family visits were impeded by the department allegedly in an effort to manipulate the judges' ruling in favor of adopting out the child instead of reunification with the family by making it appear that the family was not choosing to visit their child, among other things. This whistleblower says that this family is a safe and loving family who has done nothing wrong, yet they are suffering at the hand of a corrupt system, a system that is right now seeing some of its own social workers criminally prosecuted by Los Angeles D.A. Jackie Lacey in the Gabriel Fernandez death. A department that during business as usual allegedly accepts "orders for children"--taking children away from their loving families to adopt them out for financial gain--while on the other hand is caught ignoring the cries of a young boy being tortured to death may not be a department that works in the best interest of children and their families.
Julian J. Dominquez, the author of "A Culture of Fear: An Inside Look at Los Angeles County’s Department of Children & Family Services" (DCFS), is a former social worker for LA County DCFS. Mr. Dominquez recently left his career of 18 years with DCFS which included working as an emergency response worker, family maintenance and reunification worker and a dependency investigator. In addition, he created and conducts training for child welfare and other support agencies and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. In this shocking interview, Mr. Dominquez tells the world just how corrupt LA County DCFS is, revealing inner policies and practices that harm children and families, not protect them. From an insider perspective, Mr. Dominquez tells us how reports against parents are falsified by managers who have no contact with the families, how parents are being labeled Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy when they have legitimate medical concerns for the child, and how parents are losing their children because they are asking for a second medical opinion. How long will we as a nation allow such corruption to exist in our child "protection" social service agencies as apparently exists in LA County, the largest Child Social Service agency in the United States?
Tammi Stefano of the National Safe Child Show interviewed Melinda Murphy regarding the abuses of the LA County Department of Children and Family Services. Melinda Murphy has worked in Child Welfare for over 20 years. She has a master's degree in counseling and educational psychology. She is co-author of the book A Culture of Fear: An Inside Look at Los Angeles County’s Department of Children & Family Services. She worked for DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) in LA County for 10 years in various capacities, including: social worker, supervisor, investigator, and court officer. She was known for handling tough cases that other social workers could not handle, and when she left the agency, she left on good terms. So why did she leave after working there for nearly 10 years? "Because I had a conscience. I wanted to be able to sleep at night. I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror. When I went to work for them, I thought I'd be working for the children, I'd be working for the families, building on their strengths. I discovered no, what I am doing is I am working for the Department of Children and Family Services. I am a PR agent. I'm not protecting the children and the families. I am protecting the Department of Children and Family Services. And I couldn't live with that."
Investigative reporter John Boel has exposed much of the corruption taking place in the "child protection" system in Kentucky. His reports were broadcast in the local media, and include some amazing interviews with former CPS whistleblowers, documenting the depth of the alleged corruption within Kentucky CPS. In a report aired originally on WLKY Target 32 News, news anchors begin the story by explaining that the station had to go to court just to get permission to air their investigative report, because the State of Kentucky attempted to censor their report from the public. Reporter John Boel states that they were "being swamped with complaints" against CPS in Kentucky. He explains that his report gives an "in-depth look" into Kentucky CPS which exemplifies what they were hearing from so many other families who were coming to them. Boel reports that children are often removed quickly with no evidence of parental wrong-doing, and that the State retaliates against those who try to fight back.
ABC 15 Arizona interviewed a former CPS caseworker turned whistleblower regarding some of the alleged abuses in the Arizona foster care system. The caseworker reportedly quit her job after seeing the abuse of power within CPS last year. Keeping her identity hidden, the former caseworker claims that many of her colleagues forged reports and were not truly investigating the welfare of children taken into state custody. She claims there was one instance in which a child died while in state custody, and the caseworker knew nothing about it. ABC 15 did an excellent investigative report showing court documents in which judges admitted that children were removed from their parents' home simply because the caseworker "got ticked off" at the parents. The Arizona CPS whistleblower states in the interview that these are not isolated cases, but happen frequently.
Carlos Morales, a former CPS investigator turned whistle-blower, has just released a new book: Legally Kidnapped: the Case Against Child Protective Services.