Investigation Finds Kentucky CPS Illegally Taking Children from Homes with Pre-signed Judge’s Orders
Kentucky social workers are failing to have courts properly scrutinize and approve the drastic step of taking some children from their homes, relying instead on blank removal orders with pre-signed judges' signatures, which is illegal according to several attorneys and judges. The allegations, which involve cases of purported parental abuse or neglect, have prompted numerous complaints to judges and state officials. They revolve specifically around the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services workers using pre-signed emergency custody court orders to remove children on weekends and after the courthouse has closed for the day. "The system that is currently set up allows for the social workers to call an on-call judge on the phone and then fill out the order themselves, a blank order with a judge’s signature on it," attorney Karen Faulkner said in an interview. "Children are being illegally taken from their home without judges’ proper authority."