300 Illegal Children’s Homes Shut Down by the Social Welfare Department

We are Robert Raskin and Kathey Raskin, and we are committed to raising awareness of child protection issues not only here in this country, but also worldwide, because children everywhere deserve to be protected from government-sponsored corruption and abuse. In India, 300 of the 1,113 registered homes in Tamil Nadu are being shut down because they are not receiving sufficient funding under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme. This is over one-quarter of the homes that were available, leaving a huge number of children displaced by the system that is charged with their care.


What is the Integrated Child Protection Scheme

This proposal by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Women and Child Development was enacted to protect children while providing them with a safe environment in which they will be able to flourish and to develop. Many children in India are vulnerable to abuse and are thus at-risk through abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or separation from children. The scheme set out to institutionalize essential services, to create important databases, to strengthen protections at both the family and the government level, and to coordinate with institutions both governmental and private to ensure effective implementation.


How the Shutdowns Will Affect At-Risk Children

Prior to the recent shut-downs-the Tamil Nadu welfare department had already closed over 550 unregistered homes. The children who were rescued were sent to other homes that are registered, and many were returned to their parents, leaving their fates uncertain and potentially exposing them to the risk of further abuse. Many of the children who were in care did not have parents, or their parents cannot be located, which creates an extra level of difficulty where their next placements are concerned.


What Will Happen in the Future?

The commissioner of the welfare department wants to improve inspections and monitoring of these homes, including providing extra training for staff members. Educational and health facilities will also need extra supervision and monitoring to make sure the children are getting the tools they will need for improved future outcomes. Another task of the organization is to raise awareness of children’s rights, and she has suggested the government train organizations regarding these rights and legislation that will take place in 32 districts. Such an organized effort and a rapid response is admirable, and we, Robert Raskin and Kathey Raskin, wish our own government here at home would act this quickly to protect children here.

NC Gets Tough on Parental Reunification Laws

We, Kathleen Raskin and Robert Raskin, are sad to report that yet another child has died due to corruption within the organizations that are meant to protect them. On Oct.25, 2015, a woman named Samantha Nacole Bryant lost custody of her toddler son, Rylan Ott, after she and her boyfriend were in a drunken fist-fight in her Carthage-area home. This fight involved both alcohol and guns, so the system stepped in to protect the boy, but unfortunately for Rylan, they did not do nearly enough to ensure his continuing safety. Both Rylan and his sister were placed in temporary custody, only to eventually be returned to a mother who remained unfit to parent.


Rylan’s Story

In Moore County in April of 2016, a child who drowned after he was returned to his mother’s custody. Rylan, who was just 23 months old when he died, was able to slip out from his house and wander a half-mile to this pond. He was reunited with his mother without any prior observation by child protection agencies, so there was no attempt to make sure she was fit to parent or that her parenting skills had improved since he was initially removed from her care. He had only been in her care for four months when tragedy struck.


The DSS Response

A caseworker claimed in her report that Rylan’s mother visited the child while he was in care three times a week, but his guardians say this is not true. Rylan’s Guardian Ad Litem, Pam Reed, and the boy’s kinship parents, Shane and Amanda Mills, had attempted to argue in court that Samantha Bryant was still an unfit mother, and they were proven correct too late. His mother is now being charged with child abuse and involuntary manslaughter, but the caseworker who was involved has not been penalized or charged with any wrongdoing. His case has undergone a second investigation, but the results of this are not public. The Moore County DSS director resigned as a result of this case.


Rylan’s Law

As a response to Rylan’s senseless death, Rylan’s Law was enacted. This bill requires social workers to document and observe two successful visits between children who are in state care and the parents they were removed from before they can be reunited. Until this law was passed, this was considered to be a “best practice,” for obvious reasons, but why it was not a requirement is less clear. This law is intended to close this loophole in an effort to strengthen this broken system, and it will help other children to be spared from Rylan’s fate in the future. We are Kathleen Raskin and Robert Raskin, and we won’t stop fighting to protect families and children until this corruption has been stopped.

Custody Battle? What You Need to Know About DHR Abuse

When a couple decides to divorce, one of the most underhanded tactics that is sometimes employed is getting child protective agencies involved. Of course if a child is actually being abused the authorities need to be notified, but all too often the truth is the parent has committed no crime, the child is not in any danger, and the parent is simply using the system as a weapon. We are Robert Raskin and Kathleen Raskin, and we want you to know that if your soon-to-be-ex has called DHR to try to get revenge on you or to gain control of the children, these are the facts you’ll need to know. If you are thinking about putting your child through this yourself, consider the fact that you may be the one who is not a fit parent.


The Immediate Danger to Your Child

Outside of the perils of an uncertain foster care system, there are other horrors that your child could experience once these agencies are involved in a contentious divorce. They will be cross-examined by investigators and asked to answer traumatic questions about the parents they love. This can border on a full-blown interrogation, and it is not an experience your child will soon forget. In most cases, a physical examination by a doctor, or even a gynecologist in the case of false accusations of sexual abuse, will also be a part of this process.


Consider the Potential Outcome for the Child

If the parent who must win at all costs uses CPS or DHR and is successful, that leaves children in a terrible position. Separating a child from a loving parent is wrong and will leave long-lasting damage that they may very well carry over into adulthood and into their own future relationships. In the present, they will suffer depression, anxiety, fear, and anger, and once they are put into foster care or a group home they will also risk abuse. Children who are lost in the system often do not have good outcomes when they transition into adulthood, so you could be setting them up for a life of misery.


How This Tactic Can Backfire

There are many cases when child protection agencies were involved that resulted in the children being permanently removed from the family and placed up for adoption. Sure, your ex could end up out of the children’s lives, and thus also out of your own. However, there are consequences to making false reports, and you may also end up out of your children’s lives for good. The court could very well determine that neither of you are fit to parent once they see that you or your former partner are willing to use and abuse a child in this way. This is Robert Raskin and Kathey Raskin, reminding you that these agencies should only be called if you are certain beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are in danger.

Los Angeles Social Workers Face Trial

We are Kathleen Raskin and Robert Raskin, and we are dedicated to raising awareness of shortcomings and corruption in organizations that are responsible for protecting children. One case in Los Angeles has shocked us and many others to the core, and that is the tragic murder of little eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, who was savagely tortured to death by his mother and her boyfriend. When paramedics arrived at the scene, the boy’s mother claimed he had been roughhousing with siblings and had then fallen and struck his head, but the physical evidence painted a different picture—one of abject horror.


Red Flags Were Everywhere

Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Villar said, “red flags were everywhere,” because Gabriel’s injuries, his frequent absences from school, and the multiple calls his teacher made to child protective services made it clear that this child was in danger. The workers who stand accused of wrongdoing and their attorneys insist the case was closed before Gabriel was killed, but that is not much of a defense, as clearly there is no situation in which a case in which a child was being so viciously—and obviously—abused should have been closed in the first place.


The Charges

Four social workers who were responsible for protecting the child are now going to stand trial, and they are being charged with felony child abuse and falsifying documents. Gabriel’s mother and her boyfriend were indicted on murder charges in 2014, and they are currently awaiting trial, though the two have pleaded not guilty. Unlike the mother and boyfriend, however, there is a chance that the workers may not be punished for their complicity, as cases like these have been attempted before, but they typically are thrown out of court or there is a not guilty verdict.


Passing the Buck

Despite the fact that many officials failed this child, thus contributing to his death, no one seems willing to accept the blame. Social workers and sheriff’s deputies were all informed about Gabriel’s injuries on multiple occasions, and despite many visits to the home and investigations, no one stepped in to help this child, who had specifically asked his teacher if she could call workers on his behalf. She did, but no one came to the child’s rescue, and for that they need to be held responsible. We are Kathleen Raskin and Robert Raskin, and we are eager to see justice done.

DCF Worker Charged with Falsifying Reports

This month Vanessa Arias, 33, a former employee of the nonprofit Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, which is a subcontractor of the Florida DCF, was arrested after an investigation determined that she documented a welfare check that never happened. According to DCF records, she was fired in January. We are Kathey Raskin and Robert Raskin, and we are committed to bringing these cases to light so families and other concerned citizens can be made aware of the shortcomings within the systems that are set up to protect children.


A Tragic Case of Neglect

There were five children living in the household in question, and one girl reported to the police that her mother had been staying in the house sporadically, leaving the children to fend for themselves when she was not there. The girl told the police that she had been caring for her younger siblings and getting them ready for school every day on schedule, but the children had been using a single wax candle as their only source of light or heat. Between 2005 and 2014, 140 people died from fires in the state of Florida alone, making this a very risky situation for children.


What Arias’s Report Said

At the time of her false report, the disgraced DCF worker reported that the children were free from any visible signs of abuse or neglect, and all of their basic needs were being met. Within a week the Kissimmee Police Department visited the home in response to yet another report of neglect. It was during this visit that they determined Arias had not only not visited the home at all, she had not returned more than a dozen calls from the children who were depending on her for help.


The Case Against Arias

After her arrest, Arias was booked into Osceola County Jail, and her bond was set at $2,000, which she has since posted. Her trial is still pending as of this report, but the Office of the State Attorney, 9th Circuit, has said that they will prosecute.  In response to the charge that the worker knowingly stated erroneous information, DCF released a statement that said, “The department has no tolerance for any individual compromising their integrity and, thereby, potentially jeopardizing the safety of a child.” In this case law enforcement was called in, but how often does this same thing happen when the case goes unreported? We are Robert Raskin and Kathey Raskin, and we, like many others, demand answers.

Medical Kidnapping: What You Need to Know

Parents beware: If you disagree with your physician over what your children eat and what medical care they receive, you run the risk of having your kids kidnapped by the state. Most loving parents believe that having a sick child is their worst nightmare, but once child protection organizations become involved, an illness can quickly become exponentially more nightmarish. These tragic cases have resulted in death, and they have robbed parents of the right to research alternative treatments that they believe are in the best interests of their child. We are Robert Raskin and Kathleen Raskin, and before you become another statistic, we’d like to help you learn how to protect your family from this very real and devastating threat.


How the Healthcare System Works

In medical school physicians are taught to view healthcare in a very rigid way, with a heavy emphasis on pharmaceuticals and a lack of willingness to explore or even consider alternative therapies. Today the healthcare system operates much like a franchise, and patients are often forced to try ineffective and even dangerous therapies that are based on their diagnosis and the doctor’s finances and insurance more than they are based on the individual patient’s needs. When you are dealing with serious and time-sensitive issues in which you need a physician’s cooperation to get necessary treatment, but you want to have some input before you consent, this could be a recipe for disaster.


How Physicians Help to Kidnap Kids

If you as a parent disagree with a diagnosis or prognosis your child has received, your physician could report you to DHR, CPS, or other organizations, resulting in your child being removed from your home when they may need you more than ever. Other issues a doctor may report you for include choosing to seek out a second opinion, not following their recommendation, wanting to use an alternative vaccination schedule, or modifying your child’s diet. It is hard to believe that feeding your child in the manner that you have deemed healthy might be considered abuse, but the definition of abuse is so broad today that it is hard to define, meaning it is easier to act on unsubstantiated claims.


What Parents Can Do

One of the most important steps parents can take to prevent this from occurring in their family is to interview physicians before there is any immediate medical need so you can make sure their philosophies are in agreement with your own. If you wait until there is pressing medical need before you seek out a doctor, you may just end up randomly paired with a medical professional who is not the right choice for your family, and they can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. We have all been told that we should share everything with our doctors, but unfortunately this can be dangerous in today’s healthcare system. Know your rights, and it will help you to do what is right for your child.

Who Makes False Allegations of Child Abuse?

There are myriad reasons someone may make allegations of child abuse against another individual or a family, and all too often these claims were completely fabricated. What families go through in the face of false allegations of abuse is well-documented, but when these claims are proven to be false, what happens to the accuser? We are Robert Raskin and Kathey Raskin, and like many others, we want to see major changes made in this system to protect children and families in the future. According to the National Conference of State Legislature, in 2012 there were 105 bills introduced that dealt with reporting abuse in 30 different states and in the District of Columbia. Every one of them included a penalty for failing to report suspected abuse, but not nearly enough included harsher punishments for those who make false allegations.


A Worst-Case Scenario

Imagine being woke up by a child welfare worker in the middle of the night and accused of a horrible crime against your own precious son or daughter when you have done nothing wrong at all. It sounds like something out of a nightmare, but the difficult truth of the matter is that this happens to people across the country, and we are all at risk. Anyone can make a false allegation of child abuse, and indeed many people do for a variety of reasons that may include custody battles, family and neighbor disputes, personal grudges, and overzealous workers, to name just a handful of countless examples.


The Aftermath of a False Accusation

If an individual makes an accusation against you, no matter how baseless it is and how obvious the motivation, it will be taken seriously and investigated by the state’s social services, who are bound by law to look into every claim. This kind of claim can result in the removal of your child from your home, which will expose them to the dangers of the foster care system, and a court battle to clear yourself and regain custody can decimate your family’s finances. Your family, reputation, and financial future can all be destroyed in the blink of an eye by someone who has used one of these organizations as a weapon.


Are States Doing Enough to Stop This?

One example of a state that has taken steps to deter those who would use child protection organizations to control or get revenge on another person is Oregon, where new legislation has been enacted that makes a knowingly false report of child abuse to a private or public official a Class A violation, and subsequent false reports are Class D felonies, which are serious crimes that may involve heavy fines and even jail time. More such legislation is necessary, however, because the accused family may never be able to undo the damage the accuser has caused, and it’s only right that the person who caused such anguish should bear the brunt of carrying it, as well.

At Risk: Aging Out of the Foster Care System

Today in the US there are approximately 428,000 minors in the foster care system, and nearly 112,000 are waiting for adoption. For many of these children an adoptive family will never materialize, especially if the child is older, is a teenager, or has health issues that may make placement especially difficult due to a lack of qualified or willing foster parents. At the age of 18, and in some states 21, these children will no longer be wards of the state, and they will be cast out to fend for themselves despite the fact that they often have no life skills and no support system that can catch them if they fall.


Sobering Data Regarding Teens and Adoption

Each year the system fails over 20,000 children who will not find homes and will be left without a support system and often without anyone who cares about them or any skills with which to make it on their own. Older children and teens aged 15 to 18 have been statistically shown to have lower adoption rates and to have longer waits before they are adopted than younger children. Recent data has shown that the number of children in foster care is increasing, and as this number grows so does the need for adoptive homes and caring foster families who will truly care about their welfare and their future outcomes.


Projected Outcomes for Former Foster Children

When it comes to the future of former foster children who have aged out of the system, the numbers are grim. These youths are less likely to graduate from high school or to attend college, and even the rates of GED certificates are significantly lower in this demographic. Another problem is medical care. It can be difficult for these former foster children to navigate the healthcare system, and many of these individuals suffer from trauma from abuse in their homes of origin as well as their foster homes that they are desperately in need of treatment for, often leaving them with issues that will make it even harder for them to transition into adulthood.


What You Can Do to Help

There are many ways you can help children from aging out of foster care. Studies show that approximately 50% of Americans believe that children are in the foster care system because there is something wrong with them or because they have done something wrong. This is simply not true, and in fact the vast majority of these children have ended up in care through no fault of their own. You can also challenge the policies of organizations that are failing to find homes for these children, demand accountability from those who make policies, and contact your state and local government representatives to demand to know what is being done. And, of course, you can always consider becoming a foster parent and taking in an at-risk child yourself.

CPS and Child Trafficking

Human trafficking in the United States brings in more money than illegal guns and drugs combined, and it is a business that is growing every day, sometimes with the help of so-called child protective services. To date over 1,000 convicted sex offenders in LA County alone have been approved to become foster parents, and that is just one city out of hundreds where this is a problem. There was a specific sex trafficking case in which it was discovered that an unbelievable half of all of the sexually abused children who were involved were in the system and under the state’s control during the time of their abuse. Of those children, most were never reported missing.

What You Need to Know

It has been rumored that children are being kidnapped by child protected services and then sold to wealthy pedophiles all over the world, and a big part of the reason not enough is being done to stop it is because there are many incredibly powerful and influential people involved and a great deal of money at stake. In the state of California, a prisoner will bring in approximately $48,000 per year in revenue, but each child who is brought into the foster care system will generate up to $1 million. There is more political motivation than anyone is willing to risk admitting, and that is just one of many reasons this atrocity is happening right under our noses in this country today.

Raids Turn up Victims

Although the states’ child protective service organizations are ostensibly there to protect kids from harm, the reality of the matter is that there have been many trafficking raids that have turned up victims who were wards of the state and had been removed from their homes by CPS, DHR, and other similar entities. Even when the state itself is not involved, pimps and other people who prey upon children find easy access to victims among those who are being neglected and abused in foster care. Because these kids have been removed from their homes, there may be nothing their parents can do to protect them, and in fact there parents may not even know where they are because the system has stripped them of their rights.

Can the System be Fixed?

There are many dedicated individuals and organizations who are working hard to fighting corruption and to put systems of checks and balances in place within these organizations that will reign in the corrupt social workers who have been recklessly allowed to wield their power over so many helpless families. There is legislature in place right now in many different states trying to achieve this very thing, and while you may be limited in how much effect you can directly have against these blatant abuses of power, researching these issues and voting accordingly is a great place to start. You can write letters to your governor and to others in power letting them know that this is important to you and you demand that something be done about it.

What Can You Do?

The best way you can protect your family from CPS is to know what to do if they show up at your door so that you can limit your interactions with them and lower your risk. The best way to deal with DHR and related organizations is to educate yourself ahead of time and to know your rights, because once they get their foot in the door it may be too late. In today’s litigious society, where so many people are just waiting to use government agencies and the courts for revenge, there have been too many cases where false reports have been filed for petty reasons that have nothing to do with the health and welfare of children. Don’t let your child become a statistic. Take steps to research the laws in your state today, and contact a lawyer if you fear that you may be at risk.

The Tragic Case of Logan Marr

In 2001 5-year-old Logan Marr died of asphyxiation after being bound with duct tape and strapped to a high chair in her foster mother’s basement. One quick online search will tell you that this is nothing new. Foster care givers are arrested in the United States on a regular basis, their crimes ranging from child molestation to abuse to murder. While Logan’s story is not unique in the current system, her murderer was: Sally Schofield was a highly respected former caseworker for Maine’s Department of Human Services. If a case worker cannot be trusted to not physically murder a child herself, then how can she be trusted to make life or death decisions regarding the placement of children?

Christy’s Story

Christy Darling was just a teenager when her daughter Logan was born. Christy did not have much support outside of her mother, with whom she had a turbulent relationship that included frequent calls that were placed by the mother to DHS claiming that her daughter was too immature to raise Logan. Whether or not the complaints were legitimate or they were just a way for Christy’s troubled mother to control her is not clear, but DHS ultimately determined that Logan was not being abused. They did put conditions on the young mother, one of which included moving out of the house she shared with her mother and the mother’s boyfriend, who DHS wrongly believed was a sex offender based on hearsay alone without any evidence.

Logan’s Death

After an attempt at staying away from her mother, Christy returned to the only source of support she had ever known, however erratic it was. And this is when the events turned tragic. Although Christy was deemed to not be abusive, Logan was removed from the home anyway and handed over to foster parent Sally Schofield. This mistake would prove to be fatal when Logan was found dead in the basement on that January day. Although Schofield claimed the child must have fallen and hit her head, an autopsy determined that the child died of asphyxiation. At trial Schofield was found guilty, and she is currently serving a sentence of 20 years with all but 17 years suspended.

Where is Schofield Today?

Although her release date is set for May 2, 2017, Lynn Schofield has already tried to have the terms of her probation changed so that she can have contact with children. Originally the terms stated that she could have no contact, so her lawyers lobbied to have that changed to no unsupervised contact with children under 12 citing her fear of “accidental” or “unintentional” contact, but a judge denied her request. In prison she has won the right to count her charitable efforts toward her 500 hours of community service, but none of this will ever bring Logan back to her loving mother, who was never accused of abusing the child.

Has Anything Changed Today?

Has anything really changed in the foster care system since Logan Marr died? It is obvious that serious reforms need to be made in the foster care system, particularly with regard to whether or not children should be removed from their homes at all. All too often children are removed from loving homes in which there is no evidence of abuse. Whether or not Christy Darling was actually too immature to parent will never be known, at least not in Logan’s case, because Christy’s daughter is dead. How many more times will this happen before the system takes steps to stop it?