Child Separations Services & the Family InJustice Court

Tiny - Posted on 30 May 2021

CPS- APS- all the Ssses’ 

That lead to our babies stolen, arrested & even death

Mamas , papas Don’t show yo real feelings 

Of sorrow or distress 


No mandated reporters here

Rooted in racist classist Krapitalist principles of fear 

The Lie of ghettoization 

And separation Nation - 

Each seizure of our babies is blood-stained dollaz for the 

Colonial Domination 


“I couldn’t breathe ,whispered fierce Black warrior mama Lyvesha Franklin through tears into the mic about the unspeakable pain of dealing with the endless number of false accusations from Child Separation Services (aka Child Protective Services )  Lyvesha was one of over 30 mamas and grandmamas, fathers and supporters gathered in front of Santa kkklara County InJustice Center on May 19th, from all four corners, Black, white, Asian, Raza, with this one shared nightmare of a court sanctioned system filled with so much corruption its almost hard to name. 


A powerFULL action for mamas and daddies and babies who have struggled with that Injustice kort system held intentionally on Malcolm X’s BornDay was organized by a new collaboration between California Families Rise and POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE’s CourtWatch project


“We must unite as parents, put aside our differences and rise up together,” Michelle Chan, told her families story of CPS abuse and encouraged us all to come together, because together we are strong. When mama and warrior for justice  Michelle approached POOR Magazine about forging a collaboration, although overwhelmed with all of the other struggles we hold as poor peoples, had no choice but to say yes. 

POOR Magazine’s CourtWatch Project was launched by my fierce ghetto fabulous, disabled  Afro-Boriken  poverty skola Mama Dee in 1998 as a response to the PTSD , severe trauma caused to families struggling with the CPS system. My mama and I had multiple  personal experiences with this trauma. Over and over again.


As an orphan,  my mama, a mixed race, unwanted child was called “a ward of the kkkort”, subject to the extractive racist, unsafe “foster care system. In that case her own, teen, domestic violence survivor mama “gave her up” to the system because of her guilt of having a child out of “wedlock” a half-breed, a “N.. child” as she was called by foster parents. My broken grandmother gave up her parental rights when she was “on the run” from a severely abusive husband who she thought she killed. 


My mama was trafficked in the Foster & juvenile dependency kkkort system, to over 35 foster homes, every single one physically and sexually abusing my mama, starving her and hating her, until she ended up in an orphanage, where they enslaved, berated, bullied and hid her into indentured servitude, hid her, as the orphanage was only funded  to “accept”  poor wite girls. 


Mama made it out of that somehow, like all of us poor folks do, by any means necessary. But not unscathed. Later in life when I was 11, she could no longer fight as she called it after she was laid off from her last job and ended up disabled and unable to work. We ended up on the street and 1 year later after a violent “sweep” of our belongings, I ended up in a group foster home after being taken from my mama, cuz she was seen as unfit cause we were houseless.


Fast forward another 10 years and my foster sister was taken from the home, because my mama told her not to wear make-up and the school said, she wasn’t being allowed to be a “teenager”. I cant describe to you the levels of all of this pain compounding on more pain, but I will tell you that it breaks the heart of the parents and guardians in ways that are almost unspeakable. 

“I had never laid a hand on my sun,I was a strict mama, but nothing out of the ordinary, they discriminated against me because I was strong and Black.” Lyvesha concluded. 


And she was right, there is a series of code words, they have to describe parents in distress. They shut down normal grief and the CPS and Juvenile Dependency Kort system is one of the most racist, classist and corrupt of any system. 


All of the different players, from the public pretenders “appointed to the parent” to the judge and anti-social workers ( as I call them) assigned to your case, all conspire together against the parent. Its mind-numbing. Its crazy-making because there is no way out. If you don’t jump through ALL of their hoops no matter how wrong, you most likely will not get your babies back. And it is the only court system that allows here-say into the case, and completely sanctions it. 


“Document everything and don’t give up,”  Robert Powell, a powerful advocate and attorney for parents and children for over 28 years, that has successfully brought lawsuits against the Juvenile injustice system. “You got to open the courts, there are over 20 states that have opened up the juvenile dependency courts, this has to happen in this state, because of the abuse of power.”  Powell went on to explain that the draconian system is a blatant example of abuse of judicial power.


“This is MalcolmX and Yuri Kochiyama’s birthday, we honor them today as they fought this racist system and still do,” Brother Buffalo, long-time POOR Magazine/Self-Help Hunger Program extended family and Fierce Black Panther Poverty Skola showed up, spoke up and stood up for the families along with Momi Palapaz, Jeremy Miller, Israel Munoz and Jonathan Gomez who spoke one of his beautiful poems on the mic. So many of us po mamas and daddies have had nightmares in this system, many of us have just given up.

In POOR Magazine’s liberation school Deecolonize Academy and Homefulness - a homeless, landless peoples movement for liberation for all poor, indigenous and houseless peoples, we never engage with the poLice and we arent Mandated reporters. This does not mean we look the other way from abuse, in fact what it means is we draw people closer and given them more support. Something my mama was doing in her job in a group home, which is shy a wite psychologist fired her. Family restoration isn’t lifted up or honored in this society, separation of ages and generations is, because there is more money to be made on our separate-ness.


“I never saw my grand-baby again,” A Grandmother clutched her little dog close to her chest as she held back tears and told her story with that system. “Never”


POOR Magazine and California Families Rise will be doing more work as California Families in Resistance. Stay tuned. Get involved by emailing


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