Father fights for the right to raise his child

December 10, 2014

baby-money1_0Editor’s Note: Because of privacy concerns, the parent’s names have been changed in the story.

By KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo County Child Welfare Services is recommending the father of a 23-month-old daughter lose his parental rights, even though there have never been any allegations of abuse or neglect against the father.

Jay is what CWS refers to as a non-offending parent. Nevertheless, once a child is placed in the foster care system, CWS workers often require non-offending parents to follow the same requirements child abusers are given.

In 2011, Jay, 26, and Sue, 25, met at the Starbucks in Atascadero. They dated for about six months when Jay ended the relationship.

Shortly before she gave birth to their daughter, Sue told Jay she was pregnant.

On the day she was born, Jay went to the hospital to meet his daughter. Even so, during the early months Sue would not always allow Jay visitation.

When the baby was six months old, Sue was arrested and the child was placed into foster care with one of Sue’s cousins.

Because Jay’s name was not on the birth certificate, his lawyer suggested he take a paternity test. The test verified Jay, who was living in a large home with six other young men, was the child’s father.

However, because the child was already in state custody, the CWS worker assigned to the case said the baby would need to remain in foster care while social services handled reunification, Jay said.

As part of the reunification process, CWS required Jay to take parenting classes because he had never been a parent before. In addition, his case worker wanted Jay to find a new home. Jay agreed to follow the worker’s suggestions.

“I agreed because I thought it would only take about three months to get my daughter,” Jay said.

Even though Jay has no history of drug or alcohol abuse, CWS worker Denise Waters placed him in a parenting class geared to parents with drug issues.

During this time, Jay said he was only permitted to see his daughter one hour a week during visits supervised by the foster parent.

Jay said he began to get frustrated with Waters after she informed him he had taken the wrong parenting class. Waters then sent Jay to a parenting class focused on disciplining older children.

While Jay was taking classes, the foster parent informed CWS of her desire to adopt the baby. During this time, the foster mother was responsible for evaluating Jay for CWS. In her reports, she said that Jay appeared not to have developed a significant bond with his daughter.

The foster parent’s statements would then be used as a reason not to increase court ordered visitation.

Jay said Waters then suggested he agree to terminate his parental rights and allow the foster mother to adopt his child.

Waters also determined the second set of parenting classes was not appropriate. Jay then enrolled in a parenting class on his own through an adult school.

Jay said Waters continued refusing to increase visitation claiming she needed him to undergo a psychological exam. Jay responded by asking for a new case worker.

The county assigned a new social worker who quickly increased Jay’s visitation to three times a week for two hours each, the minimum ordered by the court.

In addition, the new social worker recommended Jay take parenting classes through CAPSLO, the fourth set of parenting classes Jay completed.

Jay also agreed to undergo a psychological evaluation which determined he did not suffer from mental illness.

Nevertheless, CWS is continuing to say it is in the best interest of the child, now almost 2-years-old, to be adopted by the foster family.

On Thursday, Jay will be back in court for a hearing to determine if his time for reunification can be extended.

Nevertheless, time is running out as federal laws require that if reunification is not completed in 18-months, younger children needs to be put up for adoption.

While more and more children are permanently removed from non-offending parents or non-traditional families, nationwide child advocates are questioning if the practice is financially motivated.

Every time CWS places a child in foster care, they receive federal funds. And if the child is adopted through CWS, bonuses that range from $1,000 to $6,000 are paid to the county for certain classes of children. The county then continues to receive monthly checks until the child reaches 18-years-of-age for both adopted and foster children.

During the past fiscal year, San Luis Obispo County received almost $20 million dollars in federal funding for children removed from their parents.

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achillesheal

The least talented and least ambitious of Americans seek government jobs. Their mediocrity as individuals is rewarded with absolute power and discretion in situations like this.


Disgusting.


achillesheal

…and their utter incompetence is often rewarded with promotion.


bobfromsanluis

Nice blanket statement there; generalize much?


One can find instances of abuses by government workers almost anywhere you care to look; does that mean that all who work for any government agency are corrupt, or inept or power hungry?


marcusaurelius

monopolies on force are not good.


achillesheal

I hav worked for 2 government agencies. The average taxpayer would vomit if he knew about the abuses.


TaxMeAgain

No big surprise here, but CCN, thanks for publishing. I’d love to see another series on the Supreme Court’s Family Court Services. Lot’s of horrible stories there too. Fathers get a bad rap no matter what.


Zuma7

Birth-control.

Learn it, use it, love it.

How hard is that to understand?


MaryMalone

“No glove, no love.” A motto to live by.


achillesheal

The last line of the story tells it all. Government grants are “needs” based. If they give up children it costs them money.


This is the government people want running heir health care. It’s unbelievable.


bobfromsanluis

“This is the government people want running their health care.”


Nice non-sequitar there. You like giving so much of your money to health care insurance companies?


Rich in MB

Oh…and where in the HELL is the Mainstream Local Media on this issue?

Once again…without CalCoastNews…the Power that Be have no Watch Dog.


whatdouno

If I’m reading this correctly the foster mother is the actual blood relative aunt of the little girl. Sounds like she’s been milking the fostering system for the financial support and only now that the father is insisting on his rights to his child is willing to adopt her. Ridiculous that this is even a question that needs to be addressed. It’s his daughter, he’s made every effort possible to be her father, while others have used her for income. For petes sake think about the human being(s) whose lives are being destroyed and let him have his daughter.


taxpayer

She wouldn’t be the aunt. She would be the second cousin.


Rich in MB

Folks….the Government Industrial Complex is out of Control!

Kids and Parents be damned…all they care about is the $$ from the Feds!

Where is the outrage?


Rambunctious

Government Industrial Complex


Perfectly named…..big thumbs up Rich.


mb_BeachBum

This story made absolutely no sense until the end:


“Every time CWS places a child in foster care, they receive federal funds. And if the child is adopted through CWS, bonuses that range from $1,000 to $6,000 are paid to the county for certain classes of children. The county then continues to receive monthly checks until the child reaches 18-years-of-age for both adopted and foster children.


During the past fiscal year, San Luis Obispo County received almost $20 million dollars in federal funding for children removed from their parents.”


Once again money grabbing by an over reaching governmental agency gone wild and the heck with what is right.


MaryMalone

Children’s Services has become like a nest of vampires.


fat chance

What the hell is happening to this country….sounds like the guy is just trying to be a good father. I’m I missing something?


slomike

Very probably. Have you ever gotten both sides of a story here?


MajorityFan

Never!


mkaney

CCN has never tried to silence the other side of the story, and if people have a legitimate response, I think we would all welcome them to provide it. When, instead, the response doesn’t contain any facts or presents straw man arguments or is just an attempt to gloss over the issues with bureaucratic doublespeak, then there’s a pretty good chance it’s because there is something questionable going on. People who are honest are usually very direct, while people who are not find any way possible to buffer themselves from the public or avoid directly responding to questions.


OnTheOtherHand

CCN may never have tried to silence the other side of a story but once they present their side a lot of readers take it as substantially correct and ignore those who do contest their version. I have also yet to see a CCN retraction on a major issue despite knowing that the made errors in at least 2 cases. Another problem comes because agencies dealing with children or other “clients” they serve have legal obligations to protect privacy and often can’t defend against false or distorted claims except in a court.


Even if they can, there is a strong basis to avoid doing so in a forum that has already taken a position against them. I would never bother to call in to someone like Rush Limbaugh to dispute his views because it is obvious how he manipulates the few intelligent calls that do get through to bash the caller, sidetrack the point or misinterpret the message in a way that allows him a rebuttal. I can see someone targeted by CCN feeling the same way.


This is unfortunate because much of what CCN reports is reasonably accurate and valuable to the community because of that.


OnTheOtherHand

While I wouldn’t be surprised if CCN was reasonably accurate in presenting this case, the article was totally one-sided and therefore subject to a good deal of skepticism. I don’t know if they other side can legally be presented at all but it is doubtful that it would be found here if it can.


LAH

There is no reason this father should not have his daughter. No Other side to consider. He passed the tests. He proved he is her father. What other hoops do you suggest?

If $$ had nothing to do with it, guaranteed he would already have her. This is his Blood, his kin. He should sue for being denied what is rightfully his!


OnTheOtherHand

If the article is substantially accurate and not missing any major information that may contradict the story as presented, I would agree that CWS is being unreasonable.


However, I don’t entirely trust CCN’s objectivity here — especially as Karen Velie had her own major personal issues with CWS a year or so ago. These situations do happen and they are wrong when they do. Is this the case here? I don’t know.


bobfromsanluis

What is the “other side” of this story you are going on about? The birth mother’s side, or the foster family’s side? Do you have information that maybe CCN has gotten their facts about this story wrong? What is your point?


OnTheOtherHand

The other side of the story is the one that CWS would tell you if they could. Would it be the truth? I don’t know. However, given Karen Velie’ personal history with CWS, I am not sure that she is presenting the whole truth either.


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