For the last decade, I have watched the erosion within the judicial system concerning Children and Family Services’ child protection department. With few options, low budgets and stringent timeline laws, more single mothers and families are being required to sign over custody of their children or suffer the consequences. The purpose of child protection was initially meant to protect at-risk children, removing them in only the worst-case scenario, offering services to rectify whatever problems and address challenges needed to be met, with reunification being the end result.
In the last 10 years, new laws were enacted to limit time for reunification to six months for newborns and toddlers, and one year for all other children under the age of 18. This would seem a considerable amount of time for anyone who has not experienced the wrath of the child protection system, with its sometimes unrelenting hold over one’s life with guardians ad litem, who speak for the children and are unpaid volunteers. In fact, more and more women are being required to turn their children over as a ward of the state if there is no family to take the children. Continue Reading →