As chairman of House Human Services Committee, I realize that there is a need for a good system of protection for our children in Montana. As many news sources opine, and as we know, there are children who need to be removed from their homes, at least for a time and sometimes permanently.

We also know that due process is not being met at times for some families.

  1. Well under half (38.5%) of the children and young people who died were living in intact biological families at the time of their deaths.
  2. Just over one-quarter (26.2%) of the children and young people who died had been clients of the Department of Community Services at some stage during their lives.
  3. Of those, one-third had active Department of Community Services’ involvement at the time of their deaths.
  4. Thirty-two (48.5%) out of the 66 children and young people who died from risk-taking had been clients of the Department of Community Services.
  5. Of the 39 (20.9%) children and young people who had been seen by mental health professionals, 25 (64.1%) died by suicide.
  6. With regard to available human service agencies, the children and young people who accessed mental health and school counselling services were typically those who died by suicide.
  7. Three males were living in de facto relationships, one of them with his 39 year old partner (who had formerly been his school teacher). Two young people who were wards of the state were living in supported accommodation with youth workers. Two young people were in an institutional residence when they died. One had been living in the mental health ward of a hospital and was on weekend release when she died, and one young person had been detained in a Juvenile Justice facility and had absconded at the time of his death.

Conduct of child protection workers in the care courts:

  • Only 25% of cases reported that caseworkers that were subpoenaed for cross-examination actually showed up to comply with the court order.
  • 48% reported that caseworkers lied under oath committing perjury.
  • Only 2% of cases reported that the caseworkers evidence was based on fact, while 69% reported the caseworkers evidence was based on hearsay.
  • 48% reported that caseworkers omitted relevant facts that would have portrayed parents in a more positive light.  
  • 62% stated the court material contained uncorroborated stories about them.
  • Only 11% reported that the court material was objective, while 63% reported it was subjective in order to demean and belittle them as parents.
  • Only 5 cases reported that caseworkers told the truth and wrote truthful affidavits.

The overall death rate in ministry care is 266 per 100 thousand child-years, 9.5 times that of parental care.


How bad is child abuse in foster care? This simple question has no easy answer. Two difficulties impede assessment of relative levels of abuse in parental and foster care. One is getting accurate information. Parents are rarely candid about the level of abuse inflicted on their children, and the foster care system has even less candor. The other is the vague definition of many forms of abuse. Small differences in perception can drastically change the measured level of verbal abuse or emotional abuse.

There are more than half a million children and youth in the U.S. foster care system today. Studies reveal that children are 11 times more likely to be abused in state care than they are in their ...own homes, and 7 times more likely to die as a result of abuse in the foster care system."-- John Walsh Show April 16, 2003



"As many as 75 percent of all children in foster care, upon leaving the system, will have experienced sexual abuse. One study by Johns Hopkins University found that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population; in group homes, the rate of sexual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population." -- Sexual Abuse: An Epidemic in Foster Care Settings? By Orlow, Orlow & Orlow July 17, 2009

The latest statistics on child deaths in New South Wales make for some sobering reading.

The Family and Community Services Child Deaths report has revealed that 79 children died in 2014, despite being known to the state's child protection agencies.

Of the 79, 60 were the subject of a so-called "risk of significant harm report".

Ben Hills is a freelance journalist who conducted an investigation into the death of seven-year-old Levai earlier this year and he analysed 10 years' worth of departmental reports on child deaths.

He argues secrecy and a lack of accountability are at the heart of the problems of the state's child protection problems.

Source : http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4577393.htm

A federal class action lawsuit filed out of Southern California states that the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services has kidnapped “thousands” of children without warrant or reason.

According to the suit, which makes mention of several social workers and investigators, Riverside’s operation “makes a habit” of kidnapping young children.

Speaking with the Courthouse News Service, the Plaintiffs’ attorney, Shawn McMillan, said that he “uncovered an alarming trend” when investigating similar cases in the area the year prior.

“County child welfare agencies regularly subvert the constitutional rights of parents and children by seizing children from their parents when there is no danger to the child, and in fact no need to seize the child at all,” McMillan told Courthouse News. “The class action is designed to address a procedural problem. They [Riverside County social workers] as a matter of course don’t get warrants before seizing kids.”

At June 2010, there were 1.36 million children under 15 years of age in NSW 1

Nationally there were 35,895 children in out-of-home care on 30 June 2010 2

As at 30 March, 2011, Labor left NSW with 17,931 children and young people in out-of-home care 3

122 children (88%) of deaths of children were residing with their families at the time of death 4

11 children (8%) were under the Parental Responsibility of the Minister for Family and Community Services & six children were in other care arrangements, such as a disability residential service, or with extended family members 5

Therefore the rate of children dying whilst with family is 1 per 11,147 and the rate of children dying is out of home care is 1 child per 996 foster carers / residential facilities, and proves, without a doubt that children are safer at home.

Once again the governments own statistics prove children are at a risk of 8.4 times higher of dying when placed into foster care.

In 2014, 79 children died in NSW.  11 of those children were in out of home care. [1] This means that 7 % of the children who died were removed from parents [alive] and were protected to death by the department [FACS].

There were 1,400,000 children under the age of 15 years in NSW in 2014, [2] leaving a total of 1,373,576 children not in OOHC.  And of those children, 68 died. There were 26,424 in out of home care NSW in 2014. [3]  And of those children [in care] 11 of them died.

This means that:

  1. The rate of children dying in foster care is 1 child death per 2,402 children.
  2. And the rate of children dying not in foster care is 1 child death per 20,199 children.

[1] http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4577393.htm
[2] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Previousproducts/3235.0Main%20Features152014?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=3235.0&issue=2014&num=&view=
[3] https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/child-abuse-and-neglect-statistics

Dossier indicates drive to increase adoptions is punitive for low-income families and alternatives exist

The research found a 65% rise in the number of children that are separated from their parents since 2001.

The push to increase adoption in England is punishing low-income women, who are increasingly losing their children due to poverty, according to research by Legal Action for Women.

A report to be presented at the House of Commons on Wednesday contains new research from the legal service and campaign group, which suggests the policy of increasing adoption has not reduced the number of children in care – as it was intended to – but has increased the number of those separated from their parents.

Page: 13827

Ms CARMEL TEBBUTT: My question is directed to the Minister for Family and Community Services. In light of the Minister's commitment to immediately and publicly report the deaths of any children known to the Department of Family and Community Services, how many children known to the department have died in 2012 and where has this been publicly reported?

Mr Chris Hartcher: You should ask that after what happened under your administration.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Terrigal will come to order. The member for Keira will come to order.

Ms PRU GOWARD: Indeed, what a disgrace following a government that lied and hid its work in child protection for 16 years. Given the efforts we have made to make the work of this department as public as possible, that is an incredible hide.

Ms Linda Burney: You made a promise.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Canterbury will come to order.

Ms PRU GOWARD: I made a promise to ensure that the public was made aware of the deaths of children.  That is why we publish an annual deaths report, in which we closely examine the practices of the department and look for opportunities to improve. That is also why, whenever a child's death is reported—and remember there are often very important legal reasons and privacy reasons involved, and not wanting to compromise police investigations—we can only comment in a small amount of detail. That is why, whenever we are asked to comment on a child's death, we have done exactly that. I undertook never to hide from a child's death. It is true that in 2010, as the annual report made clear, there were 139 deaths of children known to the Department of Community Services.  At the end of 2011 there were 110 deaths of children known to Community Services. This year, and unfortunately the shadow Minister does not appreciate that we have not got to the end of 2012—

Ms Linda Burney: You promised you would report to the Parliament.

Abermere 10
Argyle St 2
Binnowee 1
Casablanca 7
Cornwell 3
Eastville 4
Gilburn 1
Glynhyfryd 1
Kanangra 2
Lismore 1
Kiah 2
Malmesbury 5
Mardon 1
Miroma 3
Monomeeth 1

Still being constructed.  Assistance Offers Accepted.


Did your caseworker act lawfully?
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