A man claims a Gaston County social worker offered to clear his case if he agreed to go on a date with her. David Cole said he started recording their conversation because he was worried he would lose his children if he didn't play along. Officials said the social worker is no longer on the case after the recordings revealed conversations that had nothing to do with child welfare. "Have this relationship with her or lose my kids,” Cole said. “It's hard to deal with. I lost a lot of sleep behind that." "It’s very inappropriate, you know,” Cole said. “I’m scared for my life, scared for my children’s welfare, my welfare."
Local media in Massachusetts is reporting that four former foster children have filed a $40 million lawsuit against foster parents Susan and Raymond Blouin in Oxford Massachusetts. The Telegram & Gazette report: "Four former foster children who say they were sexually and physically abused inside the Oxford foster home of Susan and Raymond Blouin are suing the couple and the state for millions. In a 73-page lawsuit that lists damages in excess of $40 million, the former children say the Blouin home at 7 Pleasant Court was a 'house of horrors' for more than a decade." WCVB ABC 5 and reporter Kathy Curran out of Boston has been investigating the Blouins for the past two years, and they have interviewed several of the former foster and adoptive children who lived in the Blouin's "house of horrors." Curran reports that Susan Blouin, a registered nurse, and her husband Raymond, took in more than 40 foster children, adopting six of them. "The state didn't believe these children," said attorney Erica Brody, who is representing the children who filed the suit. "They didn't look through the home to see if people were being kept in dog cages. They didn't protect these children." Child advocate Maureen Flatley was also interviewed by ABC 5, and stated: "One of the most troubling things today is that some of the caseworkers that worked on this case still work for DCF. So any suggestion that this could never happen again is absolutely laughable," she said.
Earlier this month (December 2019) The Nazareth Magistrate’s Court in Israel lifted a gag order on a two-year investigation into a suspected baby trafficking ring. In February 2019 Israeli police arrested five people, including an American rabbi who heads a yeshiva, for allegedly running an international baby trafficking ring that targeted mentally disabled mothers. The Times of Israel reports: "Rabbi Shmuel Puretz 44, a businessman who divides his time between New York and Jerusalem, is suspected of brokering a deal under which a heavily pregnant Israeli woman was flown to New York and her baby removed from her allegedly against her will, then given for adoption to a childless ultra-Orthodox couple who live in Israel." The Jewish Journal further reports: "Puretz, who denies the allegations, is accused of sending Israeli expectant mothers in need or suffering from a mental disability from within haredi Orthodox communities to the United States so they would give birth there. The babies would be given to childless foster parents who allegedly paid Puretz and others for the babies. Many details about the affair, including how much money the handlers allegedly charged, are still subject to a gag order. Yediot Aharanot reported in a 2017 expose about the affair that they charged a $100,000 to $150,000 'handling fee' per child." Marianne Azizi, writing for the publication Byline, has profiled the case of one of the alleged victims of this baby trafficking operation, Adi Gnio. "She has come forward to give her story in English to the NGO CFI - Children and Families International, of how her twin girls were taken from her several years ago. Currently raising her 3 sons, she has found the courage to tell the story of the network who coerced her into taking her twin girls and then selling them. She goes into details as to how she was manipulated by an experienced ring of traffickers. Here is the inside exclusive story of how she was pressured by a sophisticated ring of people to sell her children against her will. Her own country Israel – were waiting to take her babies at the moment of birth, and in the USA, an unscrupulous ring capitalised on her dilemma."
NBC News along with the Houston Chronicle is continuing their series in exposing medical kidnapping. Mike Hixenbaugh and Keri Blakinger recently published an article featuring Dr. Michael Laposata, chief of pathology at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, who has a history of helping parents wrongly convicted of child abuse by Child Abuse Pediatricians. Dr. Laposata, along with other Texas doctors and Texas lawmakers, want to see the law changed so that courts do not rely solely on the opinion of a single "Child Abuse" doctor as an expert. They want to require that courts always listen to testimony from other doctors as well.
Arizona Foster Father Who Adopted 18 Kids with His Husband Will not Face Charges in Death of 4-Month-Old Baby Left in Hot Car
This past August we covered the tragic story of 4-month-old Samora Lesley Cousin who died when one of her foster dads allegedly left her in a hot car for hours. Roger Ham, the foster parent who left the 4-month-old baby in his car, was not arrested at the time. ABC 12 News in Phoenix is reporting that the Maricopa County District Attorney's Office will not move forward with criminal charges against Mr. Ham. The current, newly appointed Maricopa County DA is Allister Adel, the former general counsel for the Arizona Department of Child Safety (CPS), the agency responsible for putting children into foster care. The Arizona Republic has published multiple articles about foster dads Steve and Roger Ham over the past several years, portraying them as wonderful parents who have adopted 18 kids. Reporter Karina Bland even published an article just after 4-month-old Samora Lesley Cousin died, casting the foster parents in a positive light. The baby was taken away from her mother Jennifer Haley due to her mother allegedly testing positive for drugs, something that Jennifer Haley denies. “They take our kids because they say we’re unfit, and when they take our kids a lot of bad things happen,” Haley said. “I want CPS to look at this, remember my daughter, and realize nobody is perfect and bad things happen.” So while baby Samora's mother and father had to mourn the loss of their baby girl twice, once when the State of Arizona took her away from them, and then again when she died a few months later, the Hams are allowed to continue as foster parents.
Brian Shilhavy, editor of Health Impact News, has just published a new book: "The New Child Abuse Pediatrician: Doctors become Prosecutors" The book is a compilation of over 5 years of research and publishing on MedicalKidnap.com, part of the Health Impact News network, covering the topic of Child Abuse Pediatricians, and their role in medical kidnapping.
1 of 4 American Inmates Product of the Foster Care System According to Kansas City Star Investigation
The Kansas City Star published a 6-part investigative report on the U.S. Foster Care system this week. Part One of the series is called: THROWAWAY KIDS: ‘We are sending more foster kids to prison than college.’ They surveyed nearly 6,000 inmates in 12 states, and one of out four responded that they were products of the Foster Care system in the U.S. “We are sending more foster kids to prison than college,” said Brent Kent, who spent the past 3½ years helping Indiana foster children transition into adulthood. “And what do we lose as a result? Generations of young people." One of the many stories highlighted in the series is the story of Michelle Voorhees, who is currently an inmate in the Topeka Correctional Facility. Sitting inside the Topeka Correctional Facility in her prison-issued navy blue shirt and olive pants, Voorhees said the state could have done more to keep her with her mother. She believes many former foster kids end up in worse condition than if they had been allowed to stay in their homes. “I was placed in 11 different state placements by the time I was 17,” she said. “I had two children during this time, developed a drug addiction, and sex trafficked. I spent a lot of my time in custody as a runaway. I did not graduate high school." She often thinks of how life could have been different if she were able to stay with her mother for all of her childhood. To know that she was always safe and loved. “Had my mom just had a little bit of help, had she had enough money to buy her own vehicle, had she had enough money to relocate herself from an abusive situation, had she not had to have been dependent on men in the first place for any kind of financial stability, I don’t believe that she would have made some of the decisions that she made,” Voorhees says. “I don’t believe that she would have struggled as a mother, because my mom is a good mom.”
Earlier this month (December, 2019), Kaufman County Family Court Judge Tracy Gray signed a "dismissal agreement" between CPS and the Pardo family, after their case had reached the Texas Supreme Court. This was the culmination of a 5-month high-profile battle between the Pardo family and CPS, who removed four-year-old Drake Pardo due to allegations of "medical child abuse" because the parents sought a second opinion from a different doctor for the medical needs of their young son. The Pardo case received national attention, as the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) and their attorney got involved in the case, bringing wide-spread public awareness. One of the Pardo's state representatives, State Senator Bob Hall, also got involved, and has written some very powerful criticisms of Texas CPS. The Pardo case was appealed by filing a petition for a writ of mandamus, which was denied by the appellate court, and was waiting to be heard by the Texas Supreme Court. But the family settled with CPS before the Supreme Court ruled. Senator Bob Hall lamented: “The bad news, if there is any, is that the agreement of CPS to end this case means that the Texas Supreme Court will not likely issue a final ruling in the case pending before them,” Hall said. “This means that CPS will continue to be able to use the same underhanded and misguided tactics against other families without restraint or direction from the state’s highest court.”
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced an agreement with the state of Oregon to develop a system to ensure the state’s child welfare agency does not discriminate against parents with disabilities, a move that could benefit one in ten parents in the United States. The agreement stems from a case involving Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler. Fabbrini and Ziegler endured a five-year battle with the state of Oregon to regain custody of their two sons, who were both taken into foster care after their respective births. No abuse was alleged against Fabbrini and Ziegler, who say their below-average scores on state-sanctioned IQ tests are why Oregon held the children in foster care until their court-ordered releases in late 2017 and early 2018. Fabbrini and Ziegler’s case is not unique. At least 40 percent to 80 percent of parents in the United States with intellectual disabilities will lose custody of their children, according to a 2012 report from the National Council on Disability, on which I was the primary author. This discrimination is not only harmful to families—it is also unlawful. Indeed, both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit child welfare agencies and courts from discriminating against disabled parents. These federal laws also require child welfare agencies and courts to provide reasonable modifications in policies, programs, and procedures to ensure disabled parents are offered an equal opportunity. For example, Deaf parents must be provided sign language interpreters, and parents with intellectual disabilities should receive individualized services based on the family’s needs. Yet, nearly 50 years since the Rehabilitation Act was passed and 30 years since the ADA became law, discrimination continues to persist. As a result, families are being torn apart. Such discrimination is a long-standing issue in U.S. history, rooted in eugenics practices.
The Washington Post recently featured a judge out of Louisiana, Judge Ernestine S. Gray, who has reportedly "reduced foster care numbers to levels unmatched anywhere in the country" in Orleans Parish. Richard A. Webster, writing for the Post, reports: Between 2011 and 2017, the number of children in foster care here fell by 89 percent compared with an 8 percent increase nationally. New Orleans children who do enter the system don’t stay long. Seventy percent are discharged within a month; nationally, it’s only 5 percent. Gray has effectively all but eliminated foster care except in extreme situations, quickly returning children flagged by social workers to their families or other relatives. “We shouldn’t be taking kids away from their parents because they don’t have food or a refrigerator,” she said in explaining her philosophy. “I grew up in a poor family in South Carolina, and we didn’t have a lot. But what I had was people who cared about me.” The greatest threat of harm for most of the children who appear before her, she stresses, is being unnecessarily removed from their families. “Foster care is put up as this thing that is going to save kids, but kids die in foster care, kids get sick in foster care,” she said. “So we ought to be trying to figure out how to use that as little as possible. People have a right to raise their children.”