THE ONLY THING GREATER THAN MY LOVE FOR MY SON IS THE PAIN OF LOSING HIM.
I was wrong!
When a child goes missing
~ for allison & ryan ~
© April 2006 J.M.Murphy all rights reserved
A fictional reenactment based on true events within the Texas Department of Family Protective Services foster care system , using the child's exact words when possible
"It's almost Tuesday…" is what I tell myself; even though it's only Wednesday; but in foster care, Wednesday is no different from any other day – except for Tuesday. It's the only hope I can find because Tuesday is the day I get to see my Mommy. Tuesdays are the best … but it seems like a lifetime waiting from Tuesday to Tuesday to get to Visit Day when I can be with My Mommy again…that is if Mom or Dad takes me…
Sometimes they don't.
I'm supposed to see MY Mommy for one whole hour, but the caseworker says my Mommy was a bad Mommy, so I think my caseworker runs late on purpose to make Mommy madder… but what did I do wrong? I'm the one away from home. The caseworker told me foster care was to punish bad parents, but it really punishes the kids. I'm only 8 and I know that, the caseworker has to be at least 30, can't she figure that much out?
Sometimes we only get to see each other for a few minutes but we're supposed to get a WHOLE hour! No matter what's going on, it's worth everything when Mommy hugs me and tells me it'll be okay. How does she know it'll be okay? They won't let me tell her what happens at home. When I say I'm going to tell my Mommy something, then they won't take me to visit her. So I don't dare tell Mommy and miss a Tuesday Visit.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
CONTACT: Louise Uccio
PHONE: (917) 806-8301
FAX: (914) 965-3823
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
SUES ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN’S SERVICES
FOR MALICIOUS PROSECUTION, AND NEGLIGENT MISREPRESENTATION
September 28, 2007
New York, Ms. Louise Uccio via her civil rights attorney has filed a lawsuit in The Supreme Court in the State of New York after the devastating affect of a false 2001 “Substantiated” Child Protective Services case against her. Defendants named in the lawsuit include: The case-worker, Noreen Boffa and various “John and Jane Does” unknown officers in the Administration for Child Protective Services, as well as the City of New York.
Ms. Uccio, a loving and devoted mother, and her children’s lives have been irreversibly destroyed over the last six years. She was accused and falsely found guilty of being a drug addict who attempted suicide. Ms. Uccio is alleging that her estranged abusive husband’s relentless pursuit to destroy her for leaving the marriage was the basis of four investigations by The Administration for Children’s Services in N.Y. and Division of Youth and Family Services in N.J. In 2001; leading to this lawsuit.
Ms. Uccio has been kept from her children for years with no visitation, no phone contact, and no access to medical or school records. Her estranged husband has successfully managed to alienate the children from her and erase her from their lives. This loving mother who diligently took care of her children according to her daughters pediatric cardiologist [Dr Putman] has lost six precious years from her children’s lives, during which time two of her children have aged out of the system.
Ms. Uccio has no history of drug abuse, as proven in the original documentation that was used to over turn this case, which was available and should have cleared her from the beginning had this case ever been properly investigated.
She was falsely accused, and maliciously prosecuted while she was able to prove her innocence from the start. She feels the case was able to be substantiated as a combined result of her civility, and respect for "authority", as well as her naive innocence and not knowing her constitutional rights.
Although the false “substantiated” case was over turned on July 12, 2006, Not only have Ms. Uccio and her children not been reunited there has been no visitation to date.
# # #
If you would like more information about this lawsuit or to schedule an interview with Louise Uccio please call (917) 806-8301 or contact her @ HaveUmistakenMe@aol.com
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Named in memory of Jessica Lunsford, who was abducted and sexually assaulted before being brutally murdered, "Jessica's Law" refers to the Jessica Lunsford Act passed in Florida which mandates a minimum sentence of 25 years and a maximum of life in prison for first-time child sex offenders.
BillOReilly.com: Jessica's Law
Friday, May 4, 2007
As a youth in foster care, you have the right:*
- To know your rights in foster care, to receive a list of those rights in written form and to know how to file a complaint if your rights are being violated.
- To be told why you came into foster care and why you are still in foster care.
- To live in a safe and healthy home where treated with respect, with your own place to store your things and where you receive healthy food, adequate clothing, and appropriate personal hygiene products.
- To have personal belongings secure and transported with you.
- To have caring foster parents or caretakers who are properly trained, have received background checks and screenings, and who receive adequate support form the Agency to help ensure stability in the placement.
- To be placed in a home with your brothers and sisters when possible, and to maintain regular and unrestricted contact with siblings when separated (including help with transportation), unless ordered by the court.
- To attend school and participate in extracurricular, cultural, and personal enrichment activities.
- To have your privacy protected. You can expect confidentiality from the adults involved in your case.
- To be protected from physical, sexual, emotional or other abuse, including corporal punishment (hitting or spanking as a punishment) and being locked in a room (unless you are in a treatment facility).
- To receive medical, dental, vision and mental health services.
- To refuse to take medications, vitamins or herbs, unless prescribed by a doctor.
- To have an immediate visit after placement and have regular visits ongoing with biological parents and other relatives unless prohibited by court or unless you don't want to.
- To make and receive confidential telephone calls and send and receive unopened mail, unless prohibited by court order.
- To have regular contact from and unrestricted access to social workers, attorneys, and advocates and to be allowed to have confidential conversations with such individuals.
- To be told by your social worker and your attorney about any changes in your case plan or placement and receive honest information about the decisions the Agency is making that affect your life.
- To attend religious services and activities of your choice and to preserve your cultural heritage. If possible your placement should be with a family member or someone from your community with similar religion, culture and/or heritage.
- To be represented by an attorney at law in administrative or judicial proceedings with access to fair hearing and court review of decisions, so that your best interest are safeguarded.
- To be involved, where appropriate, in the development of your case plan and to object to any of the provisions of the case plan during case reviews, court hearings and case planning conferences.
- To attend court and speak to a judge (at a certain age, usually 12) about what you want to have happen in your case.
- To have a plan for your future, including an emancipation plan if appropriate (for leaving foster care when you become an adult), and to be provided services to help you prepare to become a successful adult.
*Unless restricted by law or otherwise restricted by the court. This post isnot intended to provide legal notice, it is advised that you consult with an attorney for direction concerning legal rights in your specific situation.
Arizona revised Statute, Relating to child welfare and placement, HB2105 – 441R – S Ver., Bill of Rights for Children in Foster Care, National Foster Parents Association
Florida Statute 39.4085 Legislative findings and declaration of intent for goals for dependent children.National Center for Youth Law, California Foster Youth— your rights. (November 2002)
Casey National Center, Bill of Rights for Children in Foster Care,(August 2002) Answers, Maine Youth Advisory Team. http://www.ylat.org/publications/answers.pdf New Jersey Revised Statute 9:6B-4, Rights for Children placed outside the home. Your Rights in Foster Care, Lawyers for Children, New York. South Carolina Foster Child's Bill of Rights, GOALL Youth Advisory Council.
The Real Deal, The National Youth in Care Network.Your Rights as a person placed with Growing Homes, Growing Home
Monday, April 23, 2007
It also requires enhanced training and reduced caseloads for child protective services caseworkers. The children's protective services reforms in the bill include provisions relating to tuition and fee exemptions for foster and adopted children, continuing education and other requirements for attorneys ad litem, medical assistance under the Medicaid program for children adopted out of DFPS conservatorship, criminal penalties for certain false reports of child abuse or neglect, response time requirements for certain reported cases based on immediacy and severity of harm to a child, a system for screening less serious cases of abuse or neglect without investigation, the exchange of information with other states, a Texas foster grandparent mentors initiative, funding for various community-based services and programs, facility and agency foster home inspection procedures, conditions under which an application for a license to operate a nonresidential child-care facility may be denied, a caseworker replacement program, requirements for providing certain informational materials, including the development of a child placement resources form, requirements relating to the family service plan, and requirements that the DFPS employ child safety specialists, colocate with local law enforcement agencies that investigate child abuse, and encourage the establishment of a children's advocacy center in certain counties.
Senate Bill 6 sets out requirements for medical care and educational services for children in foster care, including provisions relating to consent for medical care, parental notification of significant medical conditions, the provision of care in emergency situations, and the development of health and educational passports. The bill directs DFPS to develop and deliver cultural awareness competency training, expand court-appointed volunteer advocacy programs, develop a relative and other designated caregiver placement program, improve quality of investigations, eliminate delays, and establish a drug-endangered child initiative.
The bill requires DFPS to license and register child-placing agency administrators and to enforce related regulations and includes several provisions relating to licensing procedures, requirements, and penalties for administrators and facilities. In addition, the executive director of HHSC is required to establish an investigations division to oversee and direct children's protective services investigations. The bill also includes several conditions and restrictions related to employment at certain residential facilities, requires a criminal history background check for a prospective employee, and requires facilities to establish a drug-testing policy for facility employees.
Among the provisions relating to the privatization of substitute care, Senate Bill 6 includes regional implementation requirements and a transition plan and goals to be achieved through privatization. The bill transfers certain duties from DFPS staff to independent administrators and requires hiring preference to be given to DFPS employees whose positions are eliminated as a result of the privatization of services. The bill authorizes the DFPS to continue to provide substitute care and case management services beyond the deadline for privatization in certain emergency cases.
The adult protective services reforms in the bill include provisions relating to coordination between DFPS and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board regarding the development of curriculum and degree programs in fields relating to adult protective services, a statewide public awareness campaign designed to educate the public about the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly and disabled persons, and the use of technology to improve the effectiveness of the adult protective services program. The bill requires DFPS to maintain an investigation unit for adult protective services, develop and implement a training program and continuing education program for newly hired or newly assigned adult protective services workers and a case management training program for supervisors, develop and implement a quality assurance program, and develop procedures for investigating complex cases.
Senate Bill 6 requires the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission to develop risk assessment criteria to determine whether an elderly or disabled person is in a state of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, to develop and implement, subject to the availability of funds, a caseload management reduction plan that provides specific annual reduction targets, and to create a pilot program for monitoring unlicensed and illegally operating long-term care facilities. In addition, the bill authorizes DFPS, subject to the availability of funds, to contract with protective services agencies for the provision of services particularly to elderly or disabled persons in certain rural or remote areas. It also includes provisions relating to the filing of a petition to a court for an emergency protective order based on certain physical and psychological health assessments performed at the direction of the department.
Senate Bill 6 amends the Government Code, Human Resources Code, and the Texas Probate Code to transfer the powers, duties, functions, programs, and funds of the Department of Family and Protective Services relating to guardianship services to the Department of Aging and Disability Services. The bill includes provisions relating to the specific conditions that must be met for an individual to be referred for guardianship, procedures relating to court-initiated guardianship, and the creation of the guardianship certification board to provide for the certification and regulation of guardians.
Finally, Senate Bill 6 amends the Family Code and Penal Code to clarify provisions of the law relating to the offense of bigamy and to increase the penalty for the offense from a Class A misdemeanor to a felony of the third, second, or first degree depending on the age of the person to whom an actor purports to marry or with whom the actor lives under the appearance of marriage.
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