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San Diego County Grand Jury Cites Further CPS

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San Diego County Grand Jury Cites Further CPS
Misconduct

Despite more than two decades of repeated
investigations by the San Diego County Grand Jury of misconduct by the County of
San Diego Child Welfare Services (aka San Diego CPS) agency, the abusive agency
and its illegal and harmful actions continue unabated.

Safeguards to fix
errors and abuses have been perverted into meaningless mechanisms to cover up
wrong-doing and insulate the County of San Diego and individual social workers
from criminal prosecution and civil litigation.

The agency is
unrelenting in its refusals to correct its own problems, and continues to run
roughshod over the law, civil rights, and best interests of children. The County
of San Diego and its derelict Board of Supervisors also avoid taking necessary
actions to correct the problems.

Two reports have been released in 2008
and 2009 that indicate how San Diego CPS frequently:

Removes children
from homes without revealing the reasons

Fails to document reasons for
CPS actions in writing

Fails to provide written communications and
instructions to parents

Claims to courts and others to have communicated
in writing to parents, but no such evidence of this alleged written
communication could be found by the Grand Jury. This implies that CPS social
workers lied and/or perjured. This is consistent with past findings in previous
Grand Jury investigations that CPS social workers routinely lie and perjure to
the detriment of children and parents.

Fails to objectively and
competently investigate complaints regarding CPS and its social workers after
children are removed from homes.

Uses the removal of children from homes
on inadequately investigated allegations as an excuse to stop further
investigation.

CPS Refuses to Communicate Effectively with Parents

CPS social workers avoid using written communications with parents. It
appears part of the purpose for this is to leave parents uncertain of what is
happening and stymied in their responses because they lack critical information
that should have been provided to them.

(from San Diego County Grand Jury 2008 Report: NOTIFICATION AND
TRAINING IN CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
, page 2)

The
complainants were a small group of individuals from all areas of the County and
from different ethnic and economic groups. Their common ground was that they all
had been accused of child neglect or abuse resulting in children having been
temporarily removed from their custody. A common complaint was, at the time the
children were removed, that they did not receive verbal or written notification
specifying the reasons for removal. There was also an indication that the
parents or custodians experienced ongoing difficulties in communicating with the
social workers assigned to their cases and more difficulty in receiving written
notices updating the status of those cases.

Fact: Four of the six
complainants were not told why their children were being removed nor were they
notified in writing.

Finding: Of the cases we examined, the Grand Jury
found no record of written notification at the time of removal.

CPS Refuses to Record Interviews and Use Written
Communications


It is unlikely that the
following behavioral patterns apply to all CPS workers. In a system of hundreds
of employees it seems likely there must be a few “good apples”. Yet they appear
to be rare. If a citizen of San Diego believes the stereotype of CPS social
workers as duplicitous abusive liars who will harm children and parents and do
so without reasonable care for facts and without available means of recourse, it
is with good reason.

CPS social workers do not record interviews and
refuse to allow recordings of interviews when people request to make such
recordings. Based upon these Grand Jury reports, statements from parents who
have been abused by CPS, and documents in CPS case files, it appears that this
conduct occurs for the following reasons:

Social workers do not want to
be held accountable for getting facts straight, so they are intent on covering
up original physical evidence except for that evidence that they can control and
manipulate as they see fit.

Social workers want to be able to bias
reports and findings in any way they see fit, the facts be damned. They do this
via biased choice of words, false implications and statements that would leave
an objective reader of a report believing things that are not true, intentional
or seriously negligent false statements, and distortions and fabrications of
statements of others. They omit mention of their own lying and manipulations and
abusive conduct. Once they have “documented” a case with inaccurate, biased, and
defamatory misinformation in their self-serving and biased manner, then there is
no original source material upon which abused families can rely upon to correct
the systematic misinformation promulgated by CPS. This then functions as an
excuse for why they will not reopen a biased and seriously flawed investigation.

Social workers do not want recordings of their verbal statements because
they frequently lie, make inflammatory remarks, exhibit blatant disregard for
the law and safety of children, show evident sexism and bias particularly
against fathers and men, and commit psychological abuses and use unwarranted
threats against parents to manipulate and control them.

Social workers
want to be able to manipulate 3rd parties contacted during the course of
investigations to produce false “evidence” to be used against parents whom they
have already decided with prejudice to target for deprivation of civil rights,
suspension or termination of custody, or other unjustifiable actions.

Social workers and the County of San Diego want to avoid prosecution and
civil litigation for violation of the US Constitution and Federal Civil Rights
legislation. If proper documentation of their actions and words and those of
others were kept, it would significantly assist families abused by CPS in
criminal prosecutions and law suits against individual social workers and the
County of San Diego.

CPS Has No Effective Oversight

There is no effective oversight of San Diego CPS and its social workers.
Instead, there is refusal to perform objective and competent investigations of
their abuses and errors. The agency’s supposed complaint investigation system,
the “CPS Ombudsman” office, simply functions as a rubber stamp and biased
self-defense mechanism covering up abuses and errors by CPS and abusive social
workers.

As the Grand Jury stated:

(from San Diego County Grand Jury 2009 Report: ENHANCING OMBUDSMAN’S
RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN CHILD WELFARE SERVICES
, page 2)

When errors are made in CWS operations they are often highly visible and
can have a devastating impact on the children and families involved. In
addition, they have a negative impact on the overall credibility of the
department. Where independent review exists it gives people confidence that no
cover-ups are occurring. When there is no investigation, objectivity can be
called into question. Objective investigations give the public confidence no
cover-up exists.

Based on recent newspaper articles and citizen
complaints, there is a public perception that CWS’s internal investigations are
biased in favor of the agency. Interviews with CWS managers revealed that
internal investigations are limited to a review of the case file and no
additional field investigation occurs. When specifically asked if they sought
out the truth, managers indicated that once a child was no longer in the home,
active investigation of the initial circumstances of a case ceases.

San Diego CPS: 20+ Years of Abusive and Illegal Conduct

The 2008 and 2009 reports are rehashes in many ways. Citizens continue
to file the same types of complaints against this agency year after year because
the County of San Diego refuses to fix the problems.

(from San Diego County Grand Jury 2009 Report: ENHANCING OMBUDSMAN’S
RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN CHILD WELFARE SERVICES
, pages 1-2)

In response to concerns regarding CWS processes in the removal of
children that developed while reviewing previous Grand Jury investigations, the
2008/2009 Grand Jury undertook a study of the history of Grand Jury
investigations as they related to CWS for the past 20 years. It has been noted
that Grand Jury reports during this period discussed similar complaints and made
recommendations to CWS about its initial contacts with families. Parents
complain that these meetings are fraught with difficulties. They think that
initial reports are not always accurate. To many parents, both the initial
determination and the process leading to it are a source of confusion and
misunderstanding. The initial determination is important because it serves as
the foundation for Court proceedings, including placement of the child. In
general, parents are not aware of any means to challenge the initial
determination until a Court hearing.

The Grand Jury undertook this
investigation after Jurors noted that CWS is the current recipient of complaints
of a similar nature to those covered in previous Grand Jury reports. The current
Grand Jury investigation indicates that decisions made by CWS personnel are not
subjected to significant oversight although they are subject to limited internal
review of the case file. Additionally, employees of CWS testified that they
“have the ability to consciously manipulate the Risk Assessment tool(1) for the
purpose of supporting any decision [they] …. make.”

1. Risk Assessment
is a form that is used by CWS workers to assess the level of risk and may
support the removal of the child.

Complicit Involvement of Rady
Children’s Hospital and Chadwick Center


The
staff of Rady Children’s Hospital and Chadwick Center have been involved in many
abuses against families and children. The staff of these organizations appear to
lack objectivity and allow themselves to be entangled in CPS misconduct for
their own financial gain.

Instead of helping children, they aim to help
CPS. These are two very different goals. The first is to help children recover
from any trauma that may have occurred, the second is often to traumatize
children and brainwash them to assist CPS is generating evidence falsely to be
used against CPS’s chosen targets, even if their targets did nothing illegal.

CPS and law enforcement feed incomplete and biased information to
therapists who are supposed to be helping children. Often truly abusive parents
have engaged in brainwashing tactics on their children, also, hoping to help
build false accusations against the other parent. These behaviors all result in
the focus of the therapy being on building a CPS or criminal case often against
a parent who did not do anything illegal, not discovering what really happened
or did not happen and helping the children deal with it. Accused parents are not
provided the opportunity to talk with these therapists or to find out what is
being discussed, even though it may be substantially inaccurate.

Beyond
the ability of accusing parents to brainwash their children directly, accusing
parents or other accusers often have their words and statements fed to the
therapists via CPS and law enforcement. The result is that these therapists lack
objectivity and full information about a case. They are taught to regard the
accused parent as a criminal and to speak about him or her in front of the
children as such. They will consequently cause more damage to the children
involved. They push children to make false statements and develop unfounded
fears, causing what may turn into a lifetime of trauma for these children. The
trauma may not be from anything done by the accused parent or caregiver, but
rather from the psychological assault on the children committed by the
therapists at the behest of CPS and law enforcement.

(from San Diego County Grand Jury Report of 1993-1994: Dale Akiki
Case and Prosecutorial Misconduct
)

The Grand Jury was able
to determine that therapy frequently is not used to its fullest treatment
benefit, but is an adjunct to develop evidence for the prosecution of child
molestation cases. The many issues involving conflict of interest, hidden
agendas and misguided treatment by therapists are addressed in this report as
well as the dispelling of the myth that satanic ritual abuse is prevalent in
child molestation cases in San Diego County.

The Grand Jury’s
investigation of the prosecution procedures started with the role of the
investigators who respond to the first report of molestation, and the relation
to the social worker who participated in the first response. The Jury then went
on to review the operation at Children’s Hospital with regard to the initial
evidentiary interview and physical examination.

The Grand Jury spent a
considerable amount of time investigating the role of therapists in dealing with
children, and a review of the beliefs in ritual abuse and satanic ritual abuse.
Many mental health workers were interviewed and testified before the Grand Jury.
These included Marriage, Family and Child Counselors (MFCC), Licensed Clinical
Social Workers (LCSW), clinical psychologists and psychiatrists.

Therapists are utilized by the court and the District Attorney’s office
to provide healing and treatment for young children who are victims of sexual
molestation. In some cases these therapists have been used to encourage
disclosures by children of events or perceived events relating to sexual
molestation cases. The Grand Jury finds that “The San Diego Model” needs
improvement when compared with the Orange County CAST model.

The
question of whether the prosecuting deputy district attorney had produced enough
evidence to initiate proceedings against Dale Akiki is one that concerned this
Grand Jury. This was especially true since there was almost no physical
evidence, and in most instances disclosure by the children came only after
intense therapy.

The Grand Jury has learned that the original prosecutor
in the case had concerns about the believability, credibility and reliability of
the children’s testimony. She lacked confidence in proceeding with the case
because she believed that the children’s testimony was neither accurate nor
consistent.

Rady, Chadwick, CPS, Police, and DA Dishonestly Tow
Government Line

Many of the mental health professionals working
with allegedly abused children in San Diego County are employees of Rady
Children’s Hospital and its affiliate Chadwick Center. These so-called
professionals are not objective parties. They have a vested interest in serving
the goals of CPS and the government before the goals of helping children.
Children do not pay for their services, the government does. They know who their
customers are, and if their customers want them to harm children then they will
gladly do it for a fee.

CPS social workers are often in frequent contact
with these therapists. As the Grand Jury found, when a therapist does not agree
with the assessment of a CPS social worker, the therapist stands to lose
business from this disagreement. Consequently, these therapists align with CPS
because it is in their financial interests to do so. This is yet another
problematic practice that results in wrongful accusations, abusive child custody
changes, wrongful prosecutions, and indeed in some case in the covering up of
actual child abuse by the actual abusive parent because the CPS social worker in
charge of the case refuses to act in an objective and responsible fashion.

When therapists and doctors from Chadwick and Rady are not sure what is
going on in a family, they will allow police and CPS to influence them with
intentional misinformation. As mandatory child abuse reporters, if these
therapists and doctors are informed of something that could be abuse or neglect
and fail to report it, they could be disciplined or prosecuted. Often they are
not sure what is happening because they have incomplete information, so it is
understandable that they may fail to file a report.

But when they realize they may have failed to follow the mandatory child abuse reporting laws and there are signs of real abuse and neglect that had been pointed out to them, they will turn on the party that may push for disciplinary action against them. It is a game of kill the messenger intended to cover-up to protect themselves and their government handlers. When enough of these dishonest doctors and therapists stick together with their distortions, fabrications, and attacks on a parent who has legitimate concerns backed by real evidence of child abuse or neglect, they can turn that parent into an accused target for the government to persecute. They are happy to do it to protect themselves and line their pockets with government money. They will write letters and reports which intentionally omit evidence which shows legitimate concerns of the target parent, and instead portray the target parent as crazy and abusive.

San Diego parents would
be well-advised to never trust anybody at Rady Children’s Hospital or Chadwick
Center or any other doctor or therapist who is involved in child abuse or
neglect reporting. Even if a parent thinks they have good evidence of abuse or
neglect and have shared it with these so-called professionals, it can and will
be ignored and evidence fabricated or spun to portray them as the problem if the
government handlers such as CPS social workers wish the doctors or therapists to
do this.

Rady, Chadwick, CPS, police, the District Attorney, and others
get together on Wednesdays at Rady Children’s Hospital for “seminars” on child
abuse topics. Too often these are used as gab-fests for these corrupt and
dishonest parties to influence each other inappropriately and to set the
government position on particular families and cases to which all the parties
must adhere at risk of discipline or loss of income.

As a parent who
risks contact with these corrupt groups, you run the very real risk of being
turned into a falsely accused child abuser. Every contact you have with these
people can be spun to portray you inaccurately, and they will do it willingly so
that even outside objective parties doubt what you say and believe the lies and
distortions of Rady, Chadwick, CPS, and police staff. It may sound alarmist, but
it is a real phenomenon that occurs because there are plentiful incentives for
dishonesty and spin-jobs and inadequate mechanisms for punishing or removing
those who engage in them.

Therapists Become Child
Abusers

Therapists who are used by CPS and law enforcement
agencies as described above may function as government-paid child abusers and
brainwashers. In such cases, they force psychological trauma on target children
until the children break and do what is demanded of them, even if they know they
are lying. This includes repeating false allegations against the chosen targets
of CPS and the police.

(from San Diego County Grand Jury Report of 1993-1994: Dale Akiki
Case and Prosecutorial Misconduct
)

CONTAMINATION

Contamination is the act
of introducing outside influences into a person’s subjective experience so that
either his memory of an event or his description of the event is altered.

Kenneth V. Lanning is the Supervisory Special Agent assigned to the
Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI at their academy in Quantico, Virginia. In
his list of possible sources of contamination he includes “overzealous
intervenors.” He points out how interested parties such as parents, other family
members, doctors, therapists, social workers, law enforcement and prosecutors
can create “intervenor contagion.”

Lanning describes how
contamination occurs:

“Victims have been subtly as well as
overtly rewarded and bribed by usually well meaning intervenors for furnishing
details. In addition, some of what appears to have happened may have originated
as a result of intervenors making assumptions about or misinterpreting what the
victims are saying. The intervenors then repeat, and possibly embellish, these
assumptions and misinterpretations and eventually the victims are ‘forced’ to
agree or come to accept this “official” version of what happened.”

In
the Akiki case it appears that contamination occurred at many levels. First, the
parents had several meetings where the accusations against Dale Akiki were
discussed. Although the parents were cautioned not to talk about these events
with the children, the fact is that at least some of the parents did. One father
even supplied an audiotape of his session with his child.

The therapists
were also a source of contamination. Therapy is not only a possible source of
contamination, it is by its very nature a form of contamination. Therapy is an
active effort to provide the client a new framework to understand the events in
their lives. Therapeutic change on the part of the client is based on
suggestibility. In order for a person to benefit from therapy, some degree of
suggestibility must exist within the client. Unless people were suggestible,
therapy would not work. Contamination in therapy can occur through overt and
covert methods.
Therapists can also contaminate each other, and this is then
passed on to the client. When one therapist deals with more than one client
connected with a particular case, it is possible that information “extracted”
from one client interview can consciously or subconsciously be transferred to a
second client. In addition, when several therapists dealing with different
clients in the same case get together, the possibility of the transfer of
misinformation or misinterpretations exists. The possibility becomes even
greater when all the therapists have a common bias, such as accepting ritual
abuse allegations as established fact.

The best example of contamination
in the Akiki case was the fact that the therapists were not only trying to treat
the children but they were also attempting to be criminal investigators. The
prosecutor asked the therapists to provide more disclosures of abuse. One
therapist reported that she encouraged parents to use the “empty chair”
technique with their child at home so that the child could accuse Dale Akiki,
and act out her anger toward him in effigy. The parents were urging the children
to provide more and more allegations that could be used for trial. The pressures
on the children were enormous.

SUGGESTIBILITY

According to Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the
University of Washington and author of several books and articles on memory,
“There is enormous variability in the age of earliest memory from two years to
eight years and occasionally later.” Young people go through a period of
development when their vocabulary has not been fully formed and where they do
not really understand how the world works, so they make up explanations for what
they observe, which may not be very logical.

Psychological studies do
not show a simple relation between age and suggestibility. A person’s
perception, memory and verbal report of an event can be influenced by numerous
factors unrelated to the truth of the incident. Pre-event and post-event
information, interviewer bias, repeated yes-no questioning and the wording of a
question can influence the recall and reporting of an event. Research shows that
young children are generally more suggestible

than older children, and
that children can be made to distort information based on what they believe the
interviewer wants to hear, and this can occur consciously or unconsciously.

The dilemma faced by the prosecution is how to extract believable
testimony from very young children. To aid them in this effort the prosecution
often turns to therapists.

WHAT IS A THERAPIST?

The term “therapist” represents a function, not a title. Persons of
several backgrounds and training are considered capable of treating a child
victim as a therapist. These include social workers holding the credentials of
Marriage, Family, Child Counselor (MFCC) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker
(LCSW), either of whom need to have a Master of Social Work degree. A therapist
may also be a psychologist with a Ph.D., or Psy.D. or a psychiatrist (MD).

San Diego County therapist, Michael Yapko, in his book, states there are
essential key points that therapists need to remember. Some of his findings
include the statements that, “Therapists often hold erroneous views on the
workings of memory, repression and hypnosis; most therapists surveyed admitted
they do nothing to differentiate truth from fiction in their clients’
narratives; Therapists and researchers have no reliable means to distinguish
authentic from false memories and clients’ need for acceptance is a powerful
factor that leads them to conform with therapists’ perceptions.”

The
author stressed that, “Therapy typically involves more art than science, and how
it is practiced is largely a product of a therapist’s subjective beliefs.”

Families of child victims may privately hire a therapist of their own
choosing; however if the therapist is to be paid through the Child/Victim
Witness Fund they must select from a list of therapists who are approved by the
Juvenile Court. In order to receive court approval, the applicant must complete
an extensive and thorough application showing his/her educational training,
existence of a State license, specialties and experience. They must also affirm
that they have viewed a three-hour videotape and the accompanying syllabus of a
training seminar for therapists. The Jury found that an inexperienced intern
could be covered by this Court approval under the blanket of a licensed
therapist simply by filling out a short two-page application. There is no
screening of the amount of supervision the intern receives.

In fact,
there is no evidence that the applications of the licensed therapists receive
more than a cursory screening or that there is any periodic peer review of the
therapist’s performance. The only peer review protocol that the Grand Jury found
was developed to assist the presiding judge of the Juvenile Court to communicate
with the mental health community on issues relating to the writing of reports,
the format and guidelines adopted for that purpose, and to educate them
concerning the interaction between the work of the court and that of the
therapists. There was no provision for judging the work of the therapist as a
therapist unless a complaint was received, and then the matter was referred to
the presiding judge for action that he/she might feel was appropriate.

Therapists Fail to Adequately Document Their Work

Government-paid therapists and those paid by accusing parties, often
malicious parents in a divorce, often fail to adequately document any of their
work. They do not audio record or video record sessions, and they may take few
if any notes. The result of this sloppiness is that the “evidence” which exists
comes down to hearsay perceptions of the therapist who can spin and distort
statements to be whatever is necessary to endear themselves to CPS. A “good
therapist” from CPS’s perspective is one who documents whatever CPS wants them
to say and hides whatever disagrees with CPS.

Even therapists who do not
believe there is any abuse happening are forced to report abuse by mandatory
child abuse reporting laws. This is what happened in the Dale Akiki case, one of
the most egregious wrongful prosecution cases involving child abuse allegations
in the history of the United States.

MISGUIDED THERAPY


In the Akiki case, when suspicion of molestation first
surfaced, the pastor of the church called in a therapist who was a consultant to
the church to interview the children. After interviewing them, he turned in a
report of suspected molestation, as required by law, to the authorities and
referred the children to another therapist who saw each child one time. He later
told the prosecuting deputy district attorney that he did not feel that Dale
Akiki had been involved in any molest. Many of the children underwent a
videotaped evidentiary interview at the CCP at Children’s Hospital.

After that the children were placed in treatment with the various
therapists mentioned above. The Child Victim-Witness Protocol, supposedly
followed by the District Attorney’s office, calls for therapists to assume that
they may be called as witnesses in a trial and that they, therefore, should
maintain “concise, clear and factual records.” In the Akiki case, there was
little or no documentation of any of these sessions which went on for an
extended period some of them twice weekly for years. There were no videotapes or
audiotapes, and notes were either illegible or non-existent.

In addition
to trying to provide healing therapy, some therapists were also engaging in
investigative techniques, trying to extract disclosures of molestation from the
children. Therapists can get children to say just about anything. When children
initially say that nothing happened to them, a misguided therapist labels them
as being in denial. Then “therapy” is sometimes continued for months or
sometimes years until the children disclosed answers the therapists want to
hear.

In the case of Alicia W., which was studied by a previous Grand
Jury, the child was kept from her parents and “treated” by a therapist who told
her that she would not be allowed to return to her parents until she admitted
that her father had raped her. The child originally disclosed that a stranger
had entered her bedroom window, but no one believed her until conclusive
physical evidence proved that her statements were true.

Records show
that most of the therapists involved in the Akiki case attended the seminar
where the training video for therapists was filmed. The Jury found that the
training video was excellent, but concluded that there was a blatant disregard
of its contents when it came to working with the children.

Tactics such
as the brainwashing and threats used on Alicia Wade are emotional and verbal
abuse against a child. They are paid for with San Diego County taxpayer dollars.
As a result, all taxpaying citizens of San Diego are forced to contribute to the
child abuse epidemic in the county because they help fund child abuse by the
government.

Therapists who engage in these forms of child abuse refuse
to document them in any way. The result is that they help protect themselves
from prosecution and lawsuits to hold them responsible for the child abuse they
have committed under government direction. Usually this cover-up succeeds very
well. The exceptions are few and far between, but include cases such as the Wade
family lawsuit that resulted in CPS-hired therapist Kathleen Goodfriend losing
her license and being held liable for a judgement of $1 million for her abusive
treatment of Alicia Wade.

CPS agencies across the state are on record as
opposing liability for misconduct of social workers and the people they hire to
abuse children under the guise of “therapy” as is shown by the record for
California Assembly Bill 1355 in 1995:

(from California AB 1355)

DIGEST: This bill
specifies that immunity from prosecution does not include specified acts on the
part of a juvenile social worker, child protection worker or other public
employees.
Senate Floor Amendments of 9/8/95 recast provisions that are not
covered by immunity.

ANALYSIS: Existing law confers an absolute immunity
on various persons who are required by law to file reports under the Child Abuse
and Neglect Reporting Act. Other persons who file reports under the Act, but who
are not required to do so, are liable only if the report is false, and the
person knew the report was false, or recklessly disregarded the truth of falsity
of the report.[Penal Code Section 11172.]

Existing law also immunizes
various persons who, in good faith, file reports under the Child Welfare
Services Act. It also immunizes the same persons for “participation in any
judicial proceeding resulting from” such a report. [Welfare and Institutions
Code Section 165113.]

This bill provides that, notwithstanding any other
provision of the law, the civil immunity of juvenile court social workers, child
protection workers, and other public employees authorized to initiate or conduct
investigations or proceedings shall not extend to any of the following:

1. Perjury.

2. Fabrication of evidence.

3. Failure to
disclose known exculpatory evidence.

4. Obtaining testimony by duress.

As used in this section, omaliceo means conduct that is intended by the
person described in subdivision (a) to cause injury to the plaintiff or
despicable conduct that is carried on by the person described in subdivision (a)
with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.

Note: This bill has been amended in the Senate Judiciary Committee. As
it was voted on in the Assembly, the immunization was the same as the civil
immunity provided to peace officers.

Background


In Superior Court v. Goodfriend (1993) 169 Cal.App.4th 169, the
Fourth District held that the Act (specifically Penal Code Section 11172) “… is
a reporting statute and its protection runs to reporting: it does not apply to
activities that continue more than two years after the initial report of abuse
by parties who are not acting as reporters.” [p. 174.]

The Goodfriend
case arose from the Wade family’s experience with the dependency system and has
become infamous as an example of how much emotional and financial harm the
current system can cause to a child and her family. The following account is
taken from the Fourth District’s opinion:

On the morning of May 9, 1989,
eight-year-old Alicia Wade complained of pain when she went to the bathroom. Her
parents brought her to the Navy medical unit by 8:30 a.m. The family was then
escorted to Children’s Hospital where staff determined that Alicia had been
raped and sodomized, and filed a report under the Act. Alicia stated that a man
had come through her bedroom window and hurt her.

Late that afternoon, a
hospital worker and detective accused Alicia’s father of the molest. In an
attempt to prove the father’s innocence, the parents agreed to have their home
searched and talk with the police, and the father submitted to a rape test, a
DNA test and three polygraph tests.

By May 11, the Department of Social
Services (DSS) filed a dependency action and the following day had Alicia placed
in temporary foster care. Meanwhile, DSS investigative employee Diane Anderson
interviewed the parents and referred them to a private family counselor,
Kathleen Goodfriend. At her first session with the family on May 11, Goodfriend
accused the father of the assault.

In July 1989, the family’s attorney
advised them to plead nolo contendere to a charge of neglect and assured them
all other charges would be dropped. The attorney added that, assuming the
parents passed a psychological evaluation and found a 24-hour caretaker, Alicia
would be home within a week. The parents reluctantly accepted the plea bargain
in order to get their daughter home and put the experience behind them.
Notwithstanding that the psychological exam was favorable and the family had
provided the names of three 24-hour caretakers, counselor Goodfriend refused to
cooperate and DSS later backed out of the agreement.

For over a year
after her attack, Alicia stood firm in her insistence that her father was not
the assailant. Further, the same month that Alicia was attacked, a man entered
the bedroom window of a four-year-old girl living across the street from the
Wades, abducting the girl and attempting to rape her. The man, Carder, a
registered sex offender, was arrested in June, 1989 and by August was charged
with four criminal cases involving minors, but not with the Wade case.
Goodfriend, the District Attorney and DSS were all aware of the Carder cases.

Goodfriend and the foster-parents put continuing pressure on Alicia to
“confess” that her father was the one who assaulted her. Directing Alicia to say
her father was guilty, Goodfriend repeatedly told the child: (1) she knew
Alicia’s father had molested her; (2) Alicia would feel a lot better if she
admitted it; (3) the “story” Alicia had been telling was not believable; (4)
Alicia’s mother had been assaulted by Alicia’s grandfather; and (5) if she
wanted to go home, Alicia would have to say her father was the perpetrator. At
Goodfriend’s direction, every night when she was put to bed, the foster-mother
told Alicia “over and over again” that Alicia’s father had raped her.

During all this time, Alicia was completely cut off from her family. Her
mother did not see her for a full year and her father did not see her for two
years.

Finally, Alicia yielded in June 1990, finally stating that her
father was guilty. She testified against her father in July. In September,
Alicia, her mother and brother entered “conjoint” therapy with Goodfriend. By
November, the mother was so overwhelmed that she attempted suicide and was
placed in a locked ward until January, 1991. Alicia’s father was arrested in
December, 1990.

New counsel for father had Alicia’s nightgown, worn the
night she was raped, tested and the DNA test proved that her father could not
have committed the rape and, instead, Carder was among the nine percent of the
population whose DNA would have matched that found on Alicia’s nightgown.

The Wade family sued and the trial court sustained the demurrers of the
defendants based upon the various immunities provided in law. In their petition
for writ of mandate, the family argued that, “the courts have moved beyond the
Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, Penal Code sections 11164 et seq., to
come full circle so those who abuse children in the name of preventing abuse are
immunized by the very law meant to protect children.” [p. 173.]

In
finding liability on the part of Goodfriend and the foster-parents, the Fourth
District noted that they came onto the scene after the initial reporting of
abuse and “voluntarily assumed roles of those who, having received the report
and determined the identity of the perpetrator, search for corroboration and/or
attempt to pressure a witness to get a conviction.” [p.176.]

The
demurrers to all causes of action against the social worker and DSS were
sustained because of the statutory immunity.

FISCAL EFFECT:
Appropriation: No Fiscal Com.: No Local: No

SUPPORT: (Verified 9/8/95)

Child and Family Protection Association
Coalition of Parent Support

Fathers’ Rights and Equality Exchange
Committee on Moral Concerns

Grandparents as Parents

OPPOSITION: (Verified 9/8/95)
County
Welfare Directors
National Association of Social Workers
California
State Association of Counties
California Independent Public Employees
Legislative Council, Inc.
Service Employees International Union, Calif.
State Council
County of Sacramento

ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT: The
author’s office believes that the absolute immunity of social workers, when
coupled with their power and influence in a dependency case, has created a lack
of checks that is needed to maintain an appropriate balance between these two
types of harm. The author states it is his intent in this bill to provide that
needed balance.

Supporters argue that judges simply “rubber stamp” the
report and recommendations of the social workers in these cases.

ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION: The concern raised by opponents, and noted by
the courts prior to Goodfriend, is that any limitation on their immunity would
make social workers too fearful of lawsuits to appropriately intervene to
protect an endangered child.

Opponents state that the decision to remove
a child from his or her home, in the first instance, is made with little that is
immediately verifiable in the way of information and the possibility of harm to
the child may be such that a social worker would generally err on the side of
caution and remove the child.

How is psychologically torturing a child
for more than a year into making false accusations against a parent “in the best
interests of the child”? The answer is that it is not, it is in the best
interests of the social workers and government. They don’t care about hurting
children if they can profit from it.

Although AB 1355 was signed into
law in 1995 by Governor Pete Wilson, it has not had the effect of holding social
workers liable for misconduct. This is because now social workers and the
government keep cases out of juvenile and criminal court when they know they
have lied and manipulated witnesses and evidence. By doing so, they can keep
children from families for years and escape prosecution and civil litigation for
their misconduct.

Prosectorial Misconduct by District
Attorney


When an alleged child abuse case is passed
along from CPS to the police for continued investigation, it seems that might
eliminate some of the lack of objectivity and gender bias from the situation.
But the reality is that it does not. The San Diego Police Department and related
law enforcement agencies are in close contact with CPS, Rady Children’s
Hospital, Chadwick Center, and the Child Abuse Unit in the District Attorney’s
office. All of these groups frequently interact with each other and do so in a
fashion that spreads bias and lack of objectivity.

This can and does
lead to severe prosecutorial misconduct going so far as prosecuting people for
child abuse crimes that it is unlikely they committed and which in fact may
never have occurred at all. Often such wrongful prosecutions are done by
intentionally hiding evidence from the accused with intent to win a case at the
expense of justice.

(from San Diego County Grand Jury Report of 1993-1994: Dale Akiki
Case and Prosecutorial Misconduct
)

The Grand Jury notes
that Brady v. Maryland indicates that it is the duty of the prosecution to
disclose evidence favorable to the defense exists in constitutional due process,
both in state and Federal jurisdictions. In California, such disclosure must be
made voluntarily. It is held in People v. Wright, “We have imposed a stricter
duty on prosecutors in this state, by requiring them to disclose material
evidence favorable to the accused without request.”

The Grand
Jury notes that the U. S. Supreme Court has stated, “The United States Attorney
is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a
sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its
obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal
prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As
such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the
twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may
prosecute with earnestness and vigor indeed, he should do so. But, while he may
strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his
duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful
conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.”

The philosophy expressed applies equally to all public prosecutors.

The extent and consistency of disclosure by deputy district attorneys to
the defense of material evidence, or information which might lead to material
evidence, favorable to the accused has been considered by the Grand Jury. In the
Akiki case, the prosecuting deputy district attorney failed to disclose in a
timely manner the fact and result of a surveillance of the accused conducted
prior to charging. Such disclosure ultimately was made under imposition of court
order. Further, the fact of the investigation of alleged child sexual abuse by a
known prior offender, involving a victim related to and occurring near the time
of the alleged incidents in the Akiki case, was not disclosed to the defense.
Moreover, the investigation of that reported occurrence was not pursued. These
circumstances were learned by the defense through an anonymous tip.

Moreover, in an unrelated matter, the Grand Jury has taken notice of
reversal by the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District of a conviction
because of failure of the District Attorney’s office to reveal information
bearing on the credibility and professional competence of a principal
prosecution witness. And, in the civil aftermath of an ill-fated sexual abuse
prosecution, notice is taken of allegations of failure to disclose and lack of
truthfulness on the part of a deputy district attorney as reported in the
opinion of the Court of Appeal.

Yet, the Grand Jury has found that
prosecutors both in this and other jurisdictions, as well as jurists, were of
the opinion that those items of potential evidence which were withheld or
ignored by the District Attorney’s office should have been disclosed promptly
and voluntarily to the defense. As to the yet unproved allegations of
suppression and lack of truthfulness, the Grand Jury can only express its grave
concern.

Although the Grand Jury has observed some excellent lawyers in
the District Attorney’s office, certain members of that office have become
obsessed with the idea of “winning cases.” The fact that “It is their duty to
see to it that those accused of crime are afforded a fair trial” has been
forgotten or overlooked. Because the District Attorney’s office is charged not
only with pursuing and prosecuting criminals, but also with doing justice, the
fine balance that must be struck is easily outweighed by overzealous
prosecution. An atmosphere of conviction, and conviction only, can be expected
to produce inadequate investigation, incomplete disclosure to the defense and
sharp practices. The District Attorney must provide leadership to change any
such attitudes in his office at the earliest possible time.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors is Negligent and
Knowingly Enables Abusive Tactics Including Civil Rights Abuses and
Government-Sponsored Child Abuse

The failures and
shortcomings in the CPS agency in the county have been brought to the attention
of the Board of Supervisors repeatedly. Yet they do effective nothing to fix the
problems, leaving CPS and its abusive staff free to continue to abuse the
county’s children and parents.

There is no realistic doubt that the
current San Diego County Board of Supervisors is substantially at fault for the
abuses in the current system. Grand Jury reports have exposed the problems to
them over and over again with substantial evidence of the misconduct of CPS and
its sister child-abusing agencies. But little to no action is taken to correct
the serious deficiencies.
The current Board of Supervisors consists of Greg
Cox, Dianne Jacob, Pam Slater-Price, Ron Roberts, and Bill Horn. All five of the
supervisors have been in office since 1995 or earlier, a period of time during
which Grand Jury investigations have consistently shown that serious problems
exist with CPS and that the agency blows off the recommendations to fix them on
a routine basis.

The county supervisors have no incentive to clean up
problems in the system because to do so, those problems must be discussed
further. This is political risk-taking intolerable to them. They know they were
in charge during this whole period of time and should have done something about
the problems. Doing it now is effectively an admission that they were negligent
in the past. Instead, they do all they can to bury these problems behind the
scenes so that they are not politically damaged by their harmful and negligent
conduct.

(from No Term Limits for San Diego County Supervisors)

Three of San Diego County’s five member Board of Supervisors were sworn
in again today. There are no term limits for County Supervisors, and all of them
have been on the board for more than 12 years. KPBS reporter Alison St John has
more.

The Board of Supervisors uses county executives and county counsel
such as Walter Ekard and John Sansone to cover up for themselves. These people
year after year write “responses” to Grand Jury investigations that whitewash
the wrongdoings, hide the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors, make
excuses for the agencies not fixing problems, and enable the abuses and
misconduct to continue. They also participate in cover-ups and enablement of
wrongdoing by individual supervisors, too.

The San Diego County Board of
Supervisors must be recalled or voted out of office if there is to be any
meaningful reform of the abusive County of San Diego Child Welfare Services
agency and its related government perpetrators of civil rights, family, and
child abuse.

Secondly, the executive staff of the County of San Diego
must have its head chopped off. The figurative guillotine should surgically
excise Walter Ekard, John Sansone, and people in positions like them out of the
top two or three levels of county government. They should be replaced with
government officials who understand that they are responsible for ensuring
County of San Diego agencies comply with laws, do not abuse the civil rights of
families, and do not engage in child abuse and other illegal actions. The
replacements for these corrupt executives should not come from within the County
of San Diego as the county government is corrupt to its core and the culture of
corruption and dishonesty is spread by the executives down the line to social
workers as a matter of policy and “de facto” behaviors.

The Board of
Supervisors and county executive staff replacements should come from groups that
have exercised significant resistance to the wrongdoings of the County. Groups
that have argued against civil rights violations, wasteful government spending,
and police and law enforcement abuses are prime sources for candidates for these
elected and hired positions.

There must also be much more transparency
of government implemented in San Diego County. Law enforcement and CPS routinely
use the law to hide their misconduct from the public. They cite “privacy
concerns” as reasons to fail to release evidence that damns their conduct as
corrupt and lawless. Even citizens who have been egregiously wronged have
trouble getting to any of this evidence. Further, if they dare oppose the
government, they risk retaliation. CPS and the police retaliate against
“troublemaking parents” by taking away their children with no good cause and
then turning what should be routine investigations that take a few weeks into
many months or years of refusal to comply with the law, refusal to comply with
judicial directions, and working relentlessly to build a cast of co-conspirators
who will help defend each other from their misconduct and pin the blame for it
all on the target parent.

San Diego’s children and their parents are not
safe from government abuse at the hands of CPS and its allies until the agencies
and people who engage in these unlawful and abusive activities are removed from
their positions and punished or prosecuted for their misconduct.

Written
by:
RodneyUse of Our Content (Reposting and Quoting)

July 19th, 2009
Goto commentsLeave a comment

Thank you for
this article goes to-


Rev. G. Allen Smart Sr.

Co-Founder
No more Family In Justice
Phone:
(707) 8GSMART

847- 6278
Email: cpsvictim@gmail.com
Email: NomoreFamilyInJustice@googlegroups.com
Join
us on:
http://my.nolimits.org/group/nomorefamilyinjustice

Join us on: http://groups.google.com/group/NomoreFamilyInJustice

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Written by dawneworswick

July 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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