In 2015, we covered the story of the Stanley family in Arkansas, reporting how the local sheriff department arrived at the home one night with local social workers and issued a warrant to search their property for a "dangerous" mineral supplement that was supposedly being forced upon the children and endangering their health. The Stanley family homeschool their children, and that night, despite the fact that no dangerous materials were found in the house, and that a local doctor who came in an ambulance and examined each of the 7 children cleared them as being healthy, the local sheriff deputy ordered all 7 children to be forcibly removed from their home. Prior to this time, they had never spent a night away from their parents. DHS workers reportedly remarked that there was no reason to take the children out of the home. When Mr. Stanley asked who actually made the decision to take their kids, Garland County Deputy Mike Wright allegedly replied, “I did, and I am proud of it.” It turned out that the mineral supplement was perfectly legal, and posed no health threat to the children. So in order to justify the removal of the children, the charges were changed to something that was not on the original warrant, including "educational neglect" due to the family's homeschooling practice. The children were forced to live with foster parents and start attending public school. None of the charges were ever substantiated, and it was determined later that one the older teenage children made up all the accusations because he did not like being homeschooled and the family's strict Christian values. 5 months later, all the children were returned home, but not before suffering tremendous emotional trauma from being separated from their parents. After 21 months, all charges were dropped against the Stanleys. But this was not the end of their ordeal, only the beginning. Working with local attorney Joe Churchwell, the Stanleys sued the Garland County Sheriff's Department for a violation of their civil rights - a case that has reached all the way up to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which last year upheld a U.S. District Court ruling depriving the lead investigator from "qualified immunity." So the civil rights case continues. The investigator, Kathy Finnegan, was recently deposed by Attorney Joe Churchwell, and the Sentinel-Record has published an account of the deposition. Finnegan allegedly revealed that there was no evidence for the Garland County Sheriff to take the children in the first place.
Caseworkers often claim they are “damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t.” But when it comes to taking away children, caseworkers are only damned if they don’t. It’s one of the reasons so many children are needlessly consigned to the chaos of foster care. Now, a leader of a union representing caseworkers has admitted as much. It happened last June when a committee of the Philadelphia City Council examined problems at the Department of Human Services, the agency that runs child welfare in the city. Among the issues: the fact that Philadelphia takes away children at one of the highest rates of any big city. Vanessa Fields, vice president of District Council 47 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, cut right through all that b.s. With commendable candor, she declared: "Workers are afraid that they're going to be disciplined if anything goes wrong on a case. So their thing is, Well, I'm just going to take the kid out of the home and put them in care. That way, I don't have to worry about being written up or disciplined because I left the children in the home and something happened to them. … You place that kid outside of that home, because you do not want to be in a situation where you left a child in a home and something happened to them." As interesting as what Fields said is what she did not say. She expressed no fear of discipline for taking away too many children. Nor should she. In 40 years of following child welfare I have never seen a caseworker fired, demoted, suspended or even slapped on the wrist for that. On the rare occasion when a family harmed this way brings a civil suit, caseworkers have “qualified immunity.” In layman’s terms that means they’re immune from damages unless they do something incredibly malicious or incredibly stupid. In one case, a worker actually claimed what amounted to a constitutional right to lie. Fortunately, that claim failed, but the worker in question wasn’t fired. She was promoted.
This isn't just about their family, Hal Stanley told Health Impact News in a recent interview. Since his children were unjustly taken from his home two years ago on a cold January night, the homeschool father of 10 has learned that what happened to his family happens all across his state of Arkansas and, indeed, all across the United States and beyond. Although his children have been returned home, they are not the same as they were before more than 30 different government officials invaded their home and took them away from their family. They have been traumatized. Hal and his wife Michelle Stanley hope that their lawsuit will help to bring accountability and help to keep other families from going through the nightmare they have experienced. Together with attorney Joe Churchwell, the couple filed a 65 page complaint in federal court on January 13, 2017 - 2 years and a day after DHS and armed law enforcement swooped into their home based on false allegations and took away their children. They hope no other parents will go through the nightmare they endured, and they need help in funding their federal lawsuit.
Arkansas Senator Writes to DHS “The Gloves are About to Come Off” as Cover-up in Stanley Case is Discovered
Local mainstream media in Arkansas is reporting that Arkansas Senator Alan Clark has obtained an email from Arkansas Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) regarding the Stanley Family case that was originally withheld from the legislative oversight committee he co-chairs. Clark calls the email the "smoking gun" in the departments attempt to conceal information during the investigation of the removal of the seven Stanley children last year. In the email, a social worker writes: "From reports, the search warrant did not find anything that would constitute the children being severely maltreated. It appears to me that the only thing this family has done is not conform to modern society and how certain government officials feel they should be living." Senator Clark issued a public statement on his Facebook Page where he stated: "The gloves are about to come off and EVERYONE that has stood in the way of getting to the truth and is currently impeding progress on this front can expect to be exposed."
Arkansas Father and Pastor Speaks Out on CPS Kidnapping His Children as All Charges are Dropped 21 Months Later
The haunting memory was so clear of the night before when a deputy sheriff had claimed the right to kidnap my children right in front of me. I knew that my yard was full of some 12 official vehicles including an ambulance, the Coroner's car, state police, and various health officials. I didn't realize, however, that there was a 31 man task force surrounding my house with snipers lying in the ditch. I did know that there was a nice man from the DHS sitting in my living room saying to me that everything was okay. I could hear him talking to his home office telling them that the kids were fine and all had been examined by the doctor in our yard, and that all were fine. Then suddenly a large group of armed officers rushed in the door saying they were taking the children for seventy-two hours. We were to get the children two days of clothing and to do it fast. We were overwhelmed to say the least. The children were crying, Michelle and me were crying. Our hearts were broken. Our whole lives were invested in those children. How could anyone think they were in danger in our wonderful home? How could this be happening. A few minutes later my wife and I had sat in the living room, all alone and wondering what had happened. Twenty one months later it is over legally. What did they find? Nothing. All that pain for nothing? We are innocent! WE ARE INNOCENT! ARE THEY????
“Terrorism Is An Inadequate Term To Describe What CPS Puts Families Through” – Arkansas Attorney Joe Churchwell
Arkansas attorney Joseph Churchwell was interviewed by Tammi Stefano this past week on the National Safe Child Show. Attorney Churchwell has seen first hand the corruption of "Child Protection Services" (CPS) in his state, the state of Arkansas, including the way they tried to destroy the homeschooling family of Hal and Michelle Stanley last year, which we covered here on MedicalKidnap.com. Attorney Churchwell, who represents families in his state in their fight against the corruption in child social services in Arkansas, agrees with the late Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer, who stated that CPS is too corrupt to be reformed, and needs to be abolished.
Families caught up in dealing with Child Protective Services nationwide are frustrated with a system which allows families to be terrorized and destroyed, often based on unproven allegations and even outright lies. Legislators in Arkansas will be hearing from families and attorneys on Thursday, October 1 at 1:00 pm in a Joint Performance Review Committee meeting, who will be explaining why there needs to be an overhaul or even elimination of the current child welfare system. Hal Stanley represents one of the families who will be present at the hearing. Their homeschooled children were taken away from them in January on the basis of a mineral supplement in their home that the FDA has warned against, but is not illegal. The children are home now, but the Stanleys are determined to have legislators understand the incredible damage done to innocent families, like theirs, when Child Protective Services separate children from their parents without evidence of wrong-doing.
A review hearing in Garland County Juvenile Court in Arkansas yesterday resulted in the case being closed for the four younger Stanley children. Their parents now have full custody back of these four children. The three older Stanley children, however, remain in State custody. They are allowed to live at home with 20 hours a week DHS supervision in the home. Hal Stanley, the father, expressed his disappointment that the State was to maintain custody of their 3 older children. "I am really disappointed. I was expecting all the children to be returned to our custody. There's still no charges against us, there's still no reason for the children to be in their custody. We feel as parents we can make decisions (about our children) better than DHS can." Nancy Emmons, a citizen from Arkansas who has been following the Stanley case, stated: "The people of Arkansas, we really need to wake up and listen to what has happened to the Stanleys. Never in our wildest dreams would we have figured that somebody could come in the night and take your children away from you. I want Arkansas to understand – everyone of you need to listen: It could happen to you."
Reporter Clay Herrmann of the Hot Springs Daily News in Hot Springs Arkansas has published copies of the Search Warrant, the Affidavit for the Search Warrant, and the Search Warrant Return form used to take the seven children out of the Stanley home on January 12, 2015 with the full force of a tactical SWAT-style team. As has previously been reported, the children were removed by Garland County Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Michael Wright, against the protests of social service workers and a medical team who were present at the scene and saw nothing warranting the children's removal. Until Mr. Herrmann's investigative report, the Affidavit for the Search Warrant could not be located, even after attempts to procure it were made by the family's attorney. Mr. Herrmann went directly to the judge who issued the warrant, Judge Lynn Williams, who forced Deputy Sheriff Mike Wright to finally hand over the documents. So far, no criminal charges have been filed against the father Hal Stanley, or any other family member. And yet, the State retains custody of their children. If you are a citizen of the United States living in Garland County Arkansas, maybe it is time to take action if you do not want to continue living in a police state where authorities can come and kidnap your children with no criminal charges filed. If Sgt. Wright does not believe he has to give an account of his actions because he can hide in Juvenile Court, maybe it is time for a "Citizens vs. Garland County Sheriff Department" complaint to be filed in Garland County, and specifically against Mike Wright.
It has been about 50 days now since a military-style SWAT team arrived at the home of the Stanley family in Arkansas, and removed all seven home-schooled children from the home. The parents have been charged with no crime, let alone been convicted of any wrong doing, and yet the children still remain separated from them, placed in foster care, as the State of Arkansas continues to collect federal funding for each child that has been placed into the foster care system. Hal Stanley, the father of the children and Baptist minister who has been required by the State to attend "parenting classes," shared this letter written by a 19 year old girl who prays every day for his children held in captivity: "Has anyone tried to imagine the Stanley’s story through the eyes of 4 year old Benjamin?"