Paulette Brown and the brutality of the Foster care System
Paulette Brown and the brutality of the Foster care System
by Marlon Crump/PNN
"Are there any other parents that are in a similar situation like you are?" Paulette Brown was asked during a recent radio broadcast interview.
"Yes there are." Paulette replied. "But too many of them are too scared to fight the system because it is such a big entity. We are just one person, or a group of mothers and fathers who are out here saying that our children are being abused."
Unfortunately, the system is a mammoth with divisions, subdivisions, and counterparts aimed specifically towards "certain issues." No matter what injustice one may experience as a result of the system’s action, fear is immediately imminent when they fight back, by simply speaking out.
"Fostercare" is defined as "a system by which a certified, "stand-in parent(s)" cares for minor children or young people who have been "removed" (or displaced) from their birth parents or other custodial adults by state authority."
Throughout U.S history (and most likely in other countries) the foster care system, homes and agency affiliates have presented a destructive ticket for children, physically and psychologically. No matter the overwhelming number of complaints that discover the desks of an administrative supervisor, an oversight agency, and a public official for fostercare reform.............the destination for the complaints seems to arrive into wastebaskets at the side of their desks.
Former U.S President Bill Clinton signed a fostercare law, the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) in 1997, written by Dr. Cassie Statuto Bevan, which reduced the time children are allowed to remain in fostercare before being available for adoption. This law required state child welfare agencies to identify cases where "aggravated circumstances" make permanent separation of a child from the birth family the "best option" for the safety and well-being of the child.
One of the main components of ASFA is the imposition of stricter time limits on "reunification efforts."
Proponents of ASFA claimed that before the law was passed, the lack of this legislation was the reason it was common for children to be weakened in care for years with no permanent living situation identified. The children were often moved from placement to placement with no real plan for a permanent home.
Opponents of ASFA argued that the real reason children were weakened in foster care was that too many were "taken needlessly from their parents in the first place." Since ASFA did not address this, opponents said, it would not accomplish its goals, and would only delay a decline in the foster care population that should have occurred anyway "because of no reports on child abuse."
Ten years after ASFA became law, the reported number of children in foster care on any given day is ONLY about 7,000 fewer than when ASFA was passed. Children continue to be vulnerable and weakend in care, and to be moved from place to place.
Paulette Brown, an in home care provider a single mom of two daughters, (lost a son to violence in 2006) is desperately seeking justice against the inhumane treatments that the foster care system has/is subjecting towards children who are taken away, particularly one of its primary affiliates being the Child Protective Services agency.(C.P.S)
Paulette appeared at POOR Magazine’s very first POOR Community Newsroom, on February 3rd since its forced relocation/gentrified move from the S.F Grant Building, in December of 2008. Unfortunately, inhumane treatments, tortures, rapes, abuses, etc, etc are not uncommon to us.
Paulette's niece, while she was still an infant, has been tortured, tormented, and traumatized into the fostercare system until her release into her aunt's custody, at three years old. Paulette's half-sister's drug use was the motivation for her niece to be taken by the fostercare system. However, their job was not to traumatize her.......... by failing to protect her.
More and more children aren't treated much differently than the children forced into illegal sex slave operations that law enforcements soundly swears to shut down, and the "terrorist detainees" held in the prisons of U.S Guatanomo Bay. Like so, President Obama has recently ordered the closing of Guatanomo Bay, but not before these detainess will have extreme difficulty adjusting to life, as a result of "interrogation techniques" given to them during their imprisonments.
Such stories of the fostercare system and C.P.S have motivated "Tiny" Lisa Gray-Garcia, and her mom, co-founder, the late great "Mama" Dee Gray to establish the CourtWatch division of POOR from the very beginning of POOR. The late great "Mama" Dee Gray, herself, was tortured for many years in the fostercare system.
On February 9th, 2009 there were several issues that were raised on the radio broadcast, 89.1 KPOO before Miss Brown was interviewed, such as the D.T.V transition (Digital Television transition was delayed until June 12th, by the urging of new U.S President Barack Obama to Congress.) and the ongoing "budget crisis" that continues to infest the lives of poor working families, and people in poverty, today.
Paulette’s purpose was to inform the world of the treatments that her niece had experienced (from the time she was an infant until three), and the hassles from San Francisco city agencies of the fostercare system she's been corruptively channeled through, for every action she took to prevent these acts from continuing.
It was reported on 89.1 KPOO that more hassles will increase with the San Francisco Department of Social Services, and other S.F city agencies due to the" budget crisis" here in the State of California. When I listened, I asked my own self, "Does it really take more or less money and/or an economic stimulus package for an overseer and or a governmental authority official to take these ongoing complaints more seriously?"
Exactly who is going to provide a "Bailout Plan" to innocent children who are faultlessly funneled into the fostercare system, into a world existing of disgusting, sickening, and inhumane treatments from foster parents, resulting in children growing up having difficulty adjusting to life? Are children going to continue being subjected to the fostercare sytem as political prostitutes?
"They never wrote a report, they just gave her back to me with all the issues she has had to deal with. I’m supposed to be the mother, the father, the police officer, the therapist, lawyer, and I can’t do it all." Paulette explained.
"They need to go ahead and report this child abuse, but they are passing the buck onto me and telling ME to report it when she’s a ward of court. She’s still under the foster care system. THEY are supposed to protect her, THEY are supposed to report this, not me."
Paulette has presented numerous reports and complaints to her niece’s therapist, her social worker, and her attorney regarding the wicked treatments her niece was receiving, while she was in the fostercare system. Her niece has given them letters telling them what happened to her, but no action has been taken.
Paulette presented her concerns of the aftermath mental well-being of her niece. "Here I am dealing with all these issues that she is having. She's doing more things now, than when she left me, like fighting with people, depression, and self-medication. I need help and the fostercare system is not helping."
Though Paulette presented, and voiced her concerns, only one can ponder the thought of how can the fostercare system help when they're practically contributing to the problem from its inability of intervention(s) from prevention(s) by not even reporting it?
Paulette's niece has been in three fostercare homes, one where she was molested, the other where she was raped, and the other where she was physically and verbally abused. In 1996 when her niece was three, she stayed with her foster mother who's son stayed there as well..............while he was on parole for rape! Upon learning this, Paulette acted quickly to have her niece removed from that household.
(Placing children into fostercare homes where the parents have a criminal history is, or the parent is not given a background check, is not uncommon. It as if they are thrown into a jail cell with a dangerous inmate.)
After an estimated wait time of one year, her niece was finally given to her. She then took her niece to San Francisco General Hospital to be examined. When her niece was examined, it was revealed that her niece's vaginal area was severely penetrated.
When Paulette asked the doctors what was wrong with her vaginal area, she was told by by two doctors that her niece was raped. Her area was bleeding alot.
Paulette confronted the foster mother regarding this, and the foster mother responded "Oh that's just a rash." Paulette knew this was a lie, given the fact that she has two children of her own, and knows what a real rash lookes like. A second incident occurred when Paulette visited her niece and changed her diaper, only to discover that her vaginal area was bleeding out of control.
After Paulette expressed her outrage of this horrible act being done to her niece, the foster mother stopped Paulette from having any more visits.
In 2001, Paulette's niece was violently attacked by her own therapist when she was at the Edgewood Center for Families and Children. A civil action was filed by Paulette, where she prevailed on the action with a settlement. Then-San Francisco City Attorney Robert Evans informed a San Francisco judge that the S.F Department of Social Services neglected Paulette's niece's needs.
Paulette called the ombudsman of San Francisco to fire the therapist, the social worker, and the attorney of her niece, James Donnelly, due to the fact that they wasn't doing their jobs. However, Paulette explained during her radio broadcast interview that NO action was really taken by the ombudsman.
At one point, there was a critical service called Family Mosaic, that was threatened to be cut. Paulette relentlessly fought to prevent this service from being cut, especially since she was already having the world on her shoulders, and cutting a vital service for her niece was just doing WAY too much. Fortunately, this service remained intact.
There was some discussion during the radio broadcast that current S.F Mayor Gavin Newsom hires people at the S.F Department of Social Services, which means that complaints of these abuses fall directly under his jurisdiction.
On numerous occassions, Paulette has appealed and urged Newsom to launch an investigation into these incidents. Unfortunately, she has received the same hassles, runarounds, and disconcerns his aides have given her, just like the fostercare system.
Paulette was saddened by this attitude and inaction by Newsom, given the fact that she supported him during his first 2003 mayoral run against his opponent, Matt Gonzalez, whom he successfully defeated. She even has a huge picture portrait of him featured with her and her children after his victory, as the new S.F Mayor.
Before Newsom, Paulette appealed to former S.F Mayor, Willie Brown and his aides for help, but recieved the same treatments.
"I supported him and I just wanted him (Newsom) to look into these incidents of children being abused in the fostercare system." Paulette said, softly and sadly. She's also appealed to the S.F Board of Supervisors, and other prominent city officals to put an end to the violence in the communities of color, following the death of her son who was killed on August 14th, 2006. His killers are yet to be caught, or even sought.
Just three years ago, Paulette's niece was sexually molested by staff members of the Boys and Girl's Club.
Despite the disregard of documents that validate all of Paulette's complaints, the lack of interventions by oversight agenicies, refusals of representations from disconcerned lawyers due to intimidations, the overwhelming fear of retaliation from parents (especially ones previously involved with the penal system),and the financial security jeapordization of their jobs; Paulette continues to organize her efforts to bring awareness and a movement against the savagery of the fostercare system.
"You're doing too much" are the discouraging remarks Paulette's received. She's been asked why is she fighting so hard. "She's my niece, I love her and we have the same blood, so don't ASK me why I am fighting so hard!" Paulette's fiery response to such a foolish question.
Paulette is currently her niece's relative care giver, where she only has partial custody, since her niece is still a ward of court. Paulette has been denied adoption of her niece due to her niece needing "more therapy" which is alleged by the Department of Human Services. Paulette contends that it is a lame excuse to conceal the possibilty of their retaliation towards her for exposing their corruption.
Paulette swears that her niece has never even gotten effective therapy services for her niece's needs. Every time Paulette tried to place her niece in a therapy service that could've effectively treated her niece's needs, she was always removed from that service by the S.F Department of Human Services.
Nine months before Paulette received partial custody of her niece, she was informed by her niece that her foster parents were physicallly and verbally abusing her. Her niece was choked, beaten, and had her glasses broken. Paulette reported these incidents to the social worker, the therapist, and the lawyer, but just like the other times, these three did nothing to stop it.
Her niece was so frightend that she slept at night with a razor blade her side.
On December 21st, 2008, her niece was violently choked, and dragged down the stairs. The mother did the dragging, while the father watched. This was the absolute final straw for Paulette. On December 22nd, 2008, Paulette's niece was partially placed back into her custody by the court.
Unfortunately, her niece was not out of the woods. Her niece's social worker of approximately seven years, Aunca Bujes, breached confidentiality by revealing to the foster parents that Paulette had reported the abuse. Both Paulette and her niece immediately started receiving threats as a result. Her niece received so many of them on her cell phone, that Paulette had to change her number.
"They put her in the same room WITH THE ABUSERS, asking her what happend. You don't put a CHILD in the SAME room with the abusers and try to get information out of that child. She is not going to tell you any and everything!" What they told Paulette was that her niece only said that "they grabbed just her arm." There was more to it than that, but they have not made a report."
Before the murder of her seventeen year old son on August 14th, 2006, Paulette was even been threatend by C.P.S regarding her OWN two children, in addition with her niece; should she continue with her fight against the fostercare system.
"It'll be a cold day in HELL before I let that happen!" Paulette responded, furiously.
Paulette Brown is seeking the help of other parents who've had similar experiences like she's had with the fostercare system to organize a massive movement to hold it accountable for its lack of interventions and its failures to protect children. She can be reached by her email: email@example.com
Like Paulette, every parent and sympathizer must organize to hold the entire fostercare system accountable for its lack of prevention to protect the lives of children.
To C.P.S (Child Profit Service) your kids will soon become their kids and somebody else's kids too.
And once they get your kids in their hands and out of yours
They meaning C.P.S and the court system will make it hard for you to get them back anytime soon.
When C.P.S (Child Profit Service) need money they have their own therapist at the family service agency 1010 gough.
That they use to help kidnap the children through lies that they coach the child to tell on their parents. ...