Kentucky Families who lost their children to the State.

by Health Impact News/ Staff has been reporting alleged corruption within Kentucky’s Cabinet Department of Community Based Services (DCBS) for over a year, but the history of alleged corruption goes back much further. Even though the corruption was investigated and exposed, it appears today in 2016 that Kentucky DCBS and Family Courts still conduct “Business as Usual,” sanctioning adoption over family reunification resulting in what many refer to as “child trafficking,” according to the many stories we continue to receive from parents on a weekly basis.

Will new leadership and new laws keep Kentucky families and children safe from DCBS and Family Court exploitation?

In an article we published last year where we reported that the FBI had begun to investigate corruption in Kentucky after a Harvard study identified Kentucky as “one of the most corrupt states in the country,” one of our readers commented that in Kentucky, “we treat horses here better than we do our mothers, fathers, and children.”

“i am so overwhelmed by this article it is answer to my many prayers i can relate to almost every post on here Clark Co is one of the most corrupt co. in ky. it is sad that it has taken this long and that so many have suffered the consequences of pure arrogance on behalf of officials that represent justice law.. there is no justice in ky. there is the almighty dollar and a favor. i pray that the fbi really grasp what is going on in this state that is why i firmly believe that we also rate pretty high on the scale of drug abuse and disfunction because of all the lives that are affected by the politics of the ungodly state. we are breeding drug addicted mothers and fathers and the children the victims of this corruption are being scared beyond repair therefore forcing them as well into a substance relief or crime something to find themselves due to the circumstances created in their lives by the government operating in good ole KENTUCKY… we treat horses here better than we do our mothers, fathers, and children. pray for the fbi during this investigation that God will reveal all and give them the favor that they need to stop the maddness!!!!”

Kentucky Unbridled Spirit official KY state brand

“Kentucky Unbridled Spirit” is the official KY state brand.

Let’s take a look at the history of Kentucky DCBS and Family Court corruption, and its current condition.

“Business as Usual” for Newly Appointed DCBS Commissioner?

Adria Johnson

Adria Johnson. New DCBS Commissioner. Source.

In 2015, Kentucky elected a new governor, Matt Bevin. But as much as he ran on a pro-Family and pro-Tenth Amendment (State’s Rights to free themselves from the grip of Federal Government overreach) campaign, Bevin is also outspoken on being pro-adoption, and many families fear that he will not do much to address the alleged corruption within Kentucky DCBS when it comes to allegations of DCBS’ stealing kids for profit.

In early January of 2016, Bevin appointed Adria Johnson as the new commissioner of DCBS. According to an article in the Courier-Journal: 

“Johnson will take over a problem-ridden agency that oversees child abuse and neglect investigations, adoptions and foster care… The agency has been plagued in recent months with high turnover of social workers, statewide staff shortages, allegations of mishandled foster care and child abuse cases, and a record number of children in the state foster care system.”

As the new commissioner of the DCBS, will Johnson protect KY families from DCBS abuse and corruption, and prioritize reunification – not adoption –as the Cabinet’s goal, or will she simply increase the hiring of social workers to reduce caseloads and shortages so social workers can do a “better job” at removing Kentucky’s children and to gain more federal adoption funds?

Of particular concern to some KY families was Glenna Bevin’s comment that one of her top priorities is “improving conditions for foster care and making it easier for Kentucky families to adopt children.” (Source: Bevin names new Ky. social service commissioner.)

One concerned KY resident wrote online:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. It’s kind of crazy to expect Commissioner Johnson to clean up child protective services when she didn’t do so as deputy commissioner. It’s also kind of crazy to keep a Beshear appointee around in a sensitive position so when a bunch more kids die under the Cabinets care the daggers can be thrown directly in the Governors back. Guess no lessons were learned from the Ernie Fletcher debacle of keeping his enemies around him. Sad day for Kentucky parental and grandparent liberty interests.” – Amy Mischler. Source.

Long History of Kentucky DCBS Corruption

 John Boel News32 Investigations

In 2007 News32 aired shocking reports exposing alleged corruption within DCBS following a 3-year long investigation.


Whistleblowers Reveal CPS Child Kidnappings in Kentucky Adoption Business 

According to Boel’s investigations, family victims, attorneys, social workers and officials described:

  • Quick trigger child removal with no proof of parental wrong-doing
  • Threats and retaliation against those who fight back
  • Fast-tracked adoptions for Federal Adoption Reimbursements
  • Requests for “white” babies
  • Abuse of power, falsified documents, lies in court
  • Workers pressured to boost adoption numbers

Kentucky Youth Advocate Investigation (KYA)

Kentucky Youth Advocates

Kentucky Youth Advocates. Image from website.

As a result of Boel’s investigations, KYA and National Institute on Children Youth & Families, Inc. collaborated on a 95-page report released in 2006 called “the ‘other’ Kentucky lottery: Child Protection & Permanency for Abused & Neglected Children in Kentucky in 2005.”

Through KYA’s email and telephone hotline, 255 families, social workers and other professionals responded from around the state, concluding that families contacted by DCBS unwittingly played a “game of chance,” based on whether or not they received a dedicated & trained social worker who helped the family with resources, or if they received a social worker who was hateful and treated the family in deplorable, discriminatory & punitive ways, or if they even received a social worker with a degree in social work at all, since not all DCBS case workers are degreed social workers.

The study revealed some astonishing findings:

  • 11% of children were removed for abuse, whereas 34.2% were removed from their homes due to allegations of dependency (a child without a caretaker) or 42.6% neglect (lack of food, clothing, or shelter), suggesting that poverty and lack of parenting skills were the main reasons children were removed from their homes.
  • 21% increase in children placed in more expensive out-of-home care (OOHC), like foster care, psychiatric facilities, and private residential facilities, instead of utilizing Family Preservations Programs and Kinship Care programs.
  • Although DCBS is mandated to help dependent, neglected & abused children and their families, services offered to OOHC caretakers was not available to children staying in the home with their parents.
  • Because DCBS works 2 case plans simultaneously (reunification and adoption), children may be “steered toward adoption instead of reunifying the child with his family because services are not delivered to the families and the goals set for the families may be unrealistic.”
  • Social workers complained of excessive paperwork, low morale, high turnover rates, and inherent dangers in CPS work, and punitive action taken against good social workers.
  • Federal adoption funds may have incentivized the state to “fast-track” adoptions, since Kentucky received a $1,074,000 bonus in 2004 for increasing its adoption numbers from the previous year.
2004 Funding

Table 11 Kentucky Adoptions “Finalized” & Federal “Bonuses” Received. (October 17, 2005 Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services, Department for Community-Based Services response to NICYF Open Records Request of September 12, 2005.) Image from ” the ‘other’ Kentucky lottery”

2007 Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Report

In 2007, Robert Benvenutti, Office of the Inspector General (OIG), also conducted a 12-month, 5000-hour investigation based on hundreds of call, emails, letters, personal interviews with DCBS staff and complainants, as well as 75 DCBS case files.


The OIG report supported findings similar to the KYA report, including:

  • falsification of records and dishonesty by caseworkers
  • case plans that were unreasonable and often included burdensome and unrelated goals, like completing a GED or requiring domestic violence assessment, mental health assessment, and substance abuse assessment whether or not they pertained to the family
  • no representations for the parents or the children at the 72-hour judicial hearing
  • children staying in the foster home, not because the parents were unfit, but because the foster home was “better”
  • higher standards set for biological parents than foster parents; promoting adoption over reunification and mismanagement of cases, and more

The OIG report also reprimanded the Cabinet for its definition of “abuse and neglect” as being too vague to be applied fairly:

“The vagueness of the definitions of neglect, abuse, and a dependent child under KRS 600.020 makes it difficult to apply the statute in a fair and uniform fashion. Likewise, the statute’s broad terms create the opportunity for findings of neglect, abuse, and dependency to be inappropriately applied. For example, as written, the statute can and, in some cases, has been applied to impoverished families as well as accidental injuries and deaths. The Cabinet should work with the Legislature to make any and all appropriate modifications to the statute to clarify the intent of the statute and, to the extent possible, eliminate the potential for misuse or over-application of the statute.”

Why Are Corrupt Child-Welfare Workers Still at Work?

After these reports came out, a Grand jury in Hardin County, Kentucky released a criticizing 6-page report, but failed to indict anyone. According to an article by Deborah Yetter of the Courier-Journal in 2007,

“A grand jury in Hardin County has declined to indict any state child-welfare workers over allegations that some of them lied in court, falsified records and otherwise abused their authority.

The grand jury, in a report released yesterday, found too much time had elapsed to charge anyone with criminal violations in 18 cases it reviewed of workers’ conduct in child abuse and neglect cases.

But in the harshly worded report, grand jurors called for more outside oversight of the state’s child-welfare system and tougher laws to deal with errant workers, noting they have “potentially devastating power” over children and parents.” Source.

Current Complaints of Corruption Suggest Things are Getting Worse, not Better

Even after all the years of investigations, it appears nothing has changed in Kentucky.  With every story we print, Kentucky parents today continue to share their stories with us via emails and comments, which echo complaints of those past investigations.

Medical Kidnap cover photo

Readers Can Comment on Our Stories in our Medical Kidnap Community

One reader shared:

“I just went through DCBS bull crap for the 2nd time in my life. FIRST when i was a child. And this past time. With my own two kids. I can say its messed up the crap they pull. My case from me being a minor was supposed to be sealed. But dcbs used it against me. Just got our kids back after proving we were innocent. Never charged with anything. Did everything they asked. But some how come every court date dcbs “accidently” forgot some paper work or “forgot” to call on a witness. Or better yet the new workers we got every two weeks. Went through 20 workers. Always got changed right before our next court date. And dcbs refused to let any family take our kids in. From day one they said foster care. Then the foster parents were constantly talking about how they wanted to adopt to little girls just like ours and how in 7 months they might….. My husband and i fought from day 1 to get our kids back. Never gave up. Then we get them back and the foster parents just show up at our house no call nothing. Dcbs is full of crap. Spent 16 years in foster care cause they convinced my grandparents they couldnt take care of me. Almost got adopted 4 times. But each time i refused and told them i wanted my grandparents.”

One mother revealed, during a phone interview, how she was coerced into terminating parental rights:

“my plan for my daughter changed from “Reunite” to “Terminate Rights” when a foster family came forward wanting to adopt her (after about 3 years in the system and 11 foster homes later).  I had been working my plan, but because I just had a newborn, DCBS threatened to take my newborn to make me to “voluntarily” sign over my 11 year-old for adoption.”

A grandmother who was denied kinship care of her grandchildren after being told she would get them, related her heartache to us:

“Dcbs came in my house and kidnapped my grandbabies while telling me ‘its nothing you’ve done, we’re not taking them from you.’ Family court judges, and several others plus DCBS pushed for these people to adopt ‘because they got attached to the babies.’ Well, don’t they think the family’s attached? I’ve been So Depressed and Down that I don’t want to go to my Dr. appointments, the grocery when I do it’s 3:00-4: 00a.m because little ones aren’t there. Church was the one place I could go for spiritual help. I was there Every time The doors were open. The last time I went a little one yelled ‘Nanna’ and I had to get up and go to the restroom. I Couldn’t Take It. I have no reason to get up. I’m grieving myself too death and can’t STOP myself.”

One aunt emailed us to relate how DCBS “stole” her sister’s children:

“They target young, poor women and families and blackmail and twist things around until these families are torn apart and not even sure of what happened in the end. These social workers use their powers to play God by either making them out to be inferior to them or by falsely befriending them to gain trust and then steal these children.”

A mother who lost custody of her children due to alleged corruption within the family courts shares this:

“They set up a case plan which I followed however my attorney Jason Howell and Andrea Nelson were allowed to just say that I wasn’t complying. Even though I did everything they asked. This went on for a year. Then at the last court date in 2009 my attorney put a piece of paper in my face and said I had to sign it. Judge Mattingly read me my rights and asked me if I knew what I was signing and I told him no. But they still made me sign the paper. I learned 6 years later that I had signed my custody over. There was never an explanation, there was never any trying of unification, or anything. There was no evidence and I was told because of that they were able to just do a family interview and that was enough to charge me with dependency, abuse, and neglect.”

Another mom shares:

“my day in court, two years later, I was beaten down (even by my own pro-bono attorney), exhausted, …………I was an emotional and mental wreck. It culminated in my son staying in state care and a babysitter getting custody of my daughter. … BTW, the 2 doctors who called CPS? GONE. QUIT or FIRED. Psychologist, two, one for me and one for daughter. RETIRED or MOVED. Original investigator who substantiated both cases for each child. Suddenly QUIT. Social Workers involve in our case? QUIT …………and the women in charge of DCBS in Frankfort? GONE, new director assigned.”

And another:

“we went to court, the social worker was swore in under oath and lied right there on the spot, and when I said something about it; I was told that if I didn’t shut my mouth I would go to jail. The medical records have been altered 3 different times, luckily I have all 3 different sets, but our lawyers will not bring it up in court. The social workers had deleted pages from the medical records that was in the discovery package. Then for some reason the hospital had changed them also here recently.”

And another:

“I completed case plan and still got nowhere and I am now having to fight to keep them from trying to terminate my parental rights and adopt my babies.”

And another:

“I was ordered to undergo counseling by a judge. It was also later put in a ‘protection plan’ by the social worker that I had to follow all court orders. Well, the counseling place in Jefferson County KY is called Seven Counties. Seven Counties policy is that to receive counseling the meeting had to be scheduled by the social worker and both the social worker and I attend together. The Jefferson County Social Worker wouldn’t call Seven Counties to set up the appointment. The original Pike County social worker then put in the TWIST records that I wouldn’t call Seven Counties and make the appointment to get counseling to be in compliance with the judges order and the protection plan. I later won an administrative hearing against the social workers for failing to provide services. It was an empty victory because neither social worker was ever disciplined for failing to do their jobs.”

And yet another:

“The case worker committed perjury in court under oath by saying my parents made all these ridiculous statements about me that she says came from my parents. The judge turned to my parents who were in court with me and asked if they said these things and they said no they did not. The judge then said he didn’t understand why she said they did … He never said a word about the perjury the worker committed verbally in court and again on her official report about the findings of her investigation… By allowing the worker to commit perjury without even a warning and to then treat me as if it were all true the judge undermined the foundation the legal system…”

As long as families continue to share their stories with us, will  continue to report how DCBS workers and Family Courts allegedly abuse their power, have no oversight, and cause needless trauma to children and families, and that overall, DCBS and Foster Care is a really just a bad idea that should be abolished.


Does the State Ever Have a “Right” to Remove Children from a Home?

Tell Congress to End Federal Funding for Child Welfare – Let Local Communities Take Over 

Baltimore Child Welfare Director: Foster Care is a Bad Idea – Kids Belong in Families 

How “The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997” Created a Lucrative Business for the State

The issues of the past and those of today appear to stem from The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) which proponents say was meant to prevent children from languishing in foster care by providing “forever homes” through adoption, but many argue that it has created a lucrative business for the state, using children as a commodity.

According to ASFA:

“reasonable efforts shall be made to preserve and reunify families—

(i) prior to the placement of a child in foster care, to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the child from the child’s home; and

(ii) to make it possible for a child to safely return

to the child’s home;” Source.

Are Kentucky’s children still being removed without regard to reasonable efforts to prevent child removal and trauma? According to the 2007 OIG report, KRS 620.130 Alternatives to removal from custody:

(1) … when the court is petitioned to remove or continue the removal of a child from the custody of his parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision, the court shall first consider whether the child may be reasonably protected against the alleged dependency, neglect or abuse, by alternatives less restrictive than removal. Such alternatives may include, but shall not be limited to, the provision of medical, educational, psychiatric, psychological, social work, counseling, day care, or homemaking services with monitoring wherever necessary by the cabinet or other appropriate agency. Where the court specifically finds that such alternatives are adequate to reasonably protect the child against the alleged dependency, neglect or abuse, the court shall not order the removal or continued removal of the child.

(2) If the court orders the removal or continues the removal of the child, services provided to the parent and the child shall be designed to promote the protection of the child and the return of the child safely to the child’s home as soon as possible…

Even though the ASFA says that before states can receive theses adoption funds, “reasonable efforts” should be made to prevent a child’s removal from their home, many argue that child “protective” services and family courts routinely remove children while disregarding the “reasonable efforts” clause in order to guarantee a steady commodity of children who would bring in a steady revenue of Title IV funds to the state.

If federal funding ceased, how many social workers, administrators, lawyers, court personnel, court investigators, evaluators and guardians, family court judges, juvenile court personnel, therapists, counselors, foster and adoptive parents would be out of a job?  One of our readers boldly alleges:

“CPS in Kentucky routinely violates their own policies IAW with their on-line manual (google DCBS, Kentucky, standard operating procedures).  Children are removed BEFORE a hearing and parents do not speak with an attorney BEFORE their first ….or more hearings (nor do children).  Attorney do NOT keep their clients informed during the process.  It’s important that families are treated as valued customers which they are not.  Afterall, it is their money.  In fact, One child removed for six months, pays for 25 CPS employees–it is the only way they are paid.”

Lack of Transparency in Kentucky’s Secret Family Courts

Family Courts started in Kentucky in 1991, and initially had no statewide rules specifically governing family law cases, so judges followed the rules of civil court. In 2011 a uniform set of rules was created for family court judges called: The Family Court Rules of Procedure and Practice (FCRPP) 2011.

Family Court is cloaked in secrecy, and proceedings for dependency, neglect, abuse, termination of parental rights and adoptions are not open to the public, and yet the KY Supreme Court said:

“The principle that justice cannot survive behind walls of silence is so deeply imbedded in our Anglo-American judicial system as to give our people in today’s modern society a deep distrust of secret trials … One of the strongest demands of a democratic system is that the public should know what goes on in their courts. This demand can only be met by permitting them to be present in person and by permitting the press, who have the facilities to properly inform them, to be present upon their behalf.” – Johnson v. Simpson, Ky., 433 S.W.2d 644, 646 (1968). Source.

The 2007 OIG Report rebuked the courts, saying:

“ … we believe strongly, the cloak of secrecy that currently dominates this process is not in the best interest of Kentucky’s children and must be removed as part of any material reform. Simply stated, these are not matters of national security, wherein effectiveness often requires secrecy. Rather, they are social service issues that demand the full light of day in order to better ensure the integrity of the process. The fact that children are involved in the process should no longer be used as an excuse to protect these proceedings from meaningful public oversight.”

Currently there is strong support for open court proceedings in Kentucky Family Courts, but Senate Bill 40 would only allow the KY Supreme Court to approve a pilot project to open some family court proceedings.

2014 Federal Awards

Portion of the 2014 Court Audit showing some of the Federal Award Monies. Image Source.

According to one of our readers:

“The courts budget are all behind a veil of secrecy but I discovered through the annual auditors report that the KY courts receive a yearly substantial amount that covers the budgets of the juvenile branches of AOC [name of KY Courts]. That amount comes from putting children in foster care.  What I am is saying is that the KY Courts cannot meet its budget for salaries for juvenile services unless there is a quote of children in foster care receiving Title IVE funds.  What is juvenile services? Everything to do with juveniles including the employees who are supposed to monitor and train the Citizen Foster Care review boards.  No instate attorney will ever challenge AOC on this conflict of interest because they will be blackballed by the courts. It’s got to be challenged by an out of state attorney in Federal Court.”

Anonymous Allegations Used to Kidnap Children by the State Unconstitutional

According to the 6th Amendment of the Constitution, criminal defendants have the right to confront the witnesses against them, and yet families report how they and their children are torn apart and traumatized based on anonymous, and often unsubstantiated, allegations in Family Court.  Many argue that those reporting abuse should be made to identify themselves and stand as witnesses in court,  which would eliminate most false reporters, vengeful neighbors, or just busy-body trouble-makers.  Shouldn’t families accused of abuse in Family Court have the same constitutional rights as criminal defendants?

An online commenter suggested:

“Anonymous reporting needs to be done away with. They should have physical evidence and stand face to face with the person they accuse.” – Lisa Amel. Source.

Another online commenter said:

“It’s time for reform the entire CPS system in Kentucky. Social workers making false complaints is too common and usually they get away with it. Also, social workers look up information in the system on friends and families. I am speaking from experience.” – Amy Mischler. Source.

Look what happened when this type of power was used by a corrupt social worker in Kentucky recently:


E’town couple shaken by false child-abuse calls

Ex-social worker faces more criminal charges 

Documented Sexual Abuses Ongoing in Foster Homes

As quoted earlier, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.” Many articles we have printed expose that foster homes are often more dangerous than the “troubled” homes from which children were removed by CPS.

Recently in Kentucky, a WKLY news report reveals that a foster parent/youth pastor admitted to sexually abusing a 7 year old, over the course of three years. (See: Kentucky youth pastor accused of sexually abusing child.)

Other Medical Kidnap documenting the dangers of foster care:

Foster Care Children are Worse Off than Children in Troubled Homes – The Child Trafficking Business 

Foster Homes: Where Good Kids Go To Die

Is Foster Care “In the Best Interest of the Child”?

Corruption Will Have Its Last Day, Not the Last Say

How You Can Help

Continue to share our stories and raise awareness. Let politicians know that Kentucky’s children are “not for sale.”


Child Protection Services is Out of Control – What Ordinary Citizens Can Do About It

Advocate and Ask Questions

Contact Matt Bevin and Adria Johnson with your concerns about DCBS policies and Family Courts. Ask what they plan to do to protect families from this continued corruption.

Share Concerns

Contact your local Representatives and share your concerns.

Demand Adherence to Constitutional Rights

Contact your local sheriff and urge them to protect Constitutional Rights in your community.


Are Constitutional Sheriffs America’s Hope to Ending Child Protective Services’ Tyranny? 

Join our safe & secure Kentucky Group in the Medical Kidnap Community

Join our Health Impact News Community by creating a registered account, and join our private grassroots group: KY Bluegrass Families United Against DCBS Corruption in the Medical Kidnap Community

Read and Share our Other Kentucky Kidnapping Stories:

CPS Defies Doctors and Police to Take Young Children Away from Mother 

Medical Kidnapping in Kentucky: Mother Coerced to Give Up Daughter to Adoption in Order to Keep Son

Destroying Families in Kentucky via State-sponsored Child Trafficking: United We Stand, Divided We Fall 

Kentucky is Being Investigated for Corruption: Will the State’s Sordid History of Legal Kidnapping Finally be Punished? 

Is Kentucky The Most Corrupt State in the Country Trafficking Children Through Child “Protection” Services?

Pregnant Homeschool Mom Assaulted by Sheriff as CPS Kidnaps Her Kids in Kentucky 

Kentucky Baby Medically Kidnapped Along with Siblings and Forced on to Formula

Kentucky Parents Found Not Guilty of Charges in Criminal Court but Family Court Refuses to Return Children