Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quixotic Kansas

Every so often, I come across an inspirational story that strengthens my dedication to ending fraud in child welfare.

I was not inspired by the story of Cecillia Arnold, her fortitude to take her fight to Kansas State Legislature to get her children back.

I was neither inspired by the Kansas Watchdog with its professional approach to reforming the child welfare system on accountability and transparency.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been inspired by the sheer and utter idiocy of the buffoons out of Sedwig County.  

A warrant was issued for her arrest after testifying at a public hearing in the Kansas State Capitol in front of the Legislature.

The grounds for the warrant, Sedwig claims, it was for a serendipitous encounter of seeing her children.

What this means now, I shall assume, is the Child Propaganda Machine is revving up:

Termination of Parental Rights Orders:  Stipulations that, if a parent crosses the path of his/her child, that parent shall immediately turn themselves in to local law enforcement authorities.  Any chance encounter of a parent with his/her children on the internet is grounds for 30 days in jail and/or $500 fine, for each occurrence.

Wait, I got a better one the Child Abuse Propaganda Machines will crank out:

A Proposed Bill:  Any parent, relative within fifth degree of consanguinity or affinity, who has had parental rights terminated, may not submit formal testimony to any elected official and may not vote for any candidate whose political platform addresses anything related to child welfare.  Any parent, relative within fifth degree of consanguinity or affinity found guilty of first offense in the state of Kansas shall be immediately tarred and feathered.  Any parent, relative within fifth degree of consanguinity or affinity found guilty of second offense in the state of Kansas shall be drawn and quartered by Secretary Don Jordan.

Warrant out for mom who testified at hearing about losing custody of children
- Kansas Watchdog - -
Posted By Earl Glynn On February 28, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

A warrant is out in Wichita for the arrest of a mom who testified about her case at a legislative hearing last year.  The charges?   That she saw one of her children accidentally for 30 minutes, and tried to see the child a second time.

Last year we reported stories from parents and grandparents who had problems with placement and removal of children by the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS).  Those parents travelled to Topeka to testify at a hearing of the Joint Committee on Children’s Issues.
Cecillia Arnold lost her parental rights.  Wants her kids back. 
Cecellia Arnold lost her parental rights. Wants her kids back.

One of  those testifying was an abused mom, Cecellia Arnold, who had her parental rights severed even though the state never found wrong doing.

Here is part of the exchange between Arnold and State Rep Bill Otto at that hearing:
State Rep Bill Otto (R-LeRoy): “Your rights are severed?”
Arnold: “My rights have been terminated … I have no rights to my children. I have not seen them since March. I filed an appeal that didn’t go anywhere. I’m here today because I want my children back.” …
Otto: “Where was your lawyer?” …
Arnold: “I had court-appointed attorneys … I feel I could have done a better job representing myself” ..
Otto: “This should not happen to anybody … I’m so sorry.” …
Arnold now lives in another state to avoid direct Kansas SRS authority over her.

In a telephone interview on Sunday Arnold said that the State of Kansas  garnishes her wages for child support even though her children are in foster care and she cannot visit them.  She does not mind the payments since she feels an obligation to her children, but really wants her children back.

Arnold said that after the Nov. 30, 2009 legislative hearing she spent a few days in Wichita with her family before returning home.

While visiting a school with a relative, Arnold had a chance encounter with one of her own children.  Before that, Arnold had no idea what school her children attended since they were in foster care and she lived in another state.

She said she was happy to see her child and took 30 minutes to be  a mom during that chance encounter.

Arnold said she tried intentionally the next day to see her child again but she was not allowed to.  She said it is her understanding there are now two warrants out because of the chance visit with her child.   The Sedgwick County Sheriff  issued an arrest warrant for her, Arnold said.

Police were looking to arrest her at a relative’s funeral earlier this month, Arnold said.  In a telephone interview, Arnold’s mom, Monica McGill, said she knows the police have been watching their house in case her daughter visits.

This week in Topeka child welfare issues will be part of House Federal and State Affairs Committee hearings.  Monica McGill said she and her husband will try to attend those hearings and speak on behalf of their daughter.

Arnold said that limited leave from work, and fear of being arrested on the warrant, would keep her from the hearings, but she would like to attend to explain her case.

Last week Arnold’s picture and case were one of the “Featured Felons for this month” of the Sedgwick County Sheriff:
From Sedgwick County Sheriff's "Featured Felons for this Month"

Cecellia, if you are reading this, and I am quite sure you will be,
I would like to now inspire you.

Go and attend that Legislative hearing at the capitol but make
sure you have in place all the television, radio and print media,
including all the internet bloggers and community action groups.

Make sure you write out your testimony so it can be formally
entered into record and posted up all over the internet.

Send a formal invitation to the White House and
Department of Justice to witness you being arrested
for giving public testimony.

As the Sedwig County Sheriff lead you out of the
State Building, you will make it to international
levels of sensation.

I am quite sure you will be contacted by an attorney
who will immediately be filing your Civil Rights suit
against Sedwig County.

Homer Plessy did it, Ghandi did it, Martin Luther King, Jr. did it,
now it is your turn. 

What do you have to loose, most certainly not your children.

Go make history and get paid doing it.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise therof;
or abridging the freedom of speech,
or the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Bill of Rights: First Amendment

One final question.  If her parental rights were terminated, then why are they
garnishing for child support?

I thought the state was receiving federal funding...
oh wait, I forgot, double billing.

I smell Medicaid Fraud. 

Baby LK Report February 28, 2010

 Baby LK recaps the news for the week in the child welfare industry.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Why Children Are Removed for Being Poor

Is home where the heart is?
Should poverty and inability to find & keep appropriate housing tear mother from child?

Philadelphia Daily News 215-854-5934

SPARKLE Ballard had her baby home just a year when city social workers swooped in and snatched the infant away to foster care, deeming Ballard an unfit mom.

Her offense: She didn't have permanent housing.

Desperate for her daughter, Ballard did what she was told in a bid to get her back: She quit hopscotching houses and settled in a Mount Airy apartment, took parenting and GED classes and applied for jobs with more family-friendly hours.

But it wasn't enough. One year later, Ballard has seen her daughter, Christianna, only in weekly, supervised visits on the foster agency's turf.

"I think it's outrageous," said Ballard, now 19. "There are other people out there who can use their help and services, people that actually are abusing and neglecting their kids. I'm not one of those people."

Like Ballard, thousands of parents nationally have lost their children to foster care for little reason other than inadequate housing.

One fifth of foster children nationally landed in county custody - or languished there, as housing issues delayed family reunification - because of inappropriate housing, according to the Child Welfare League of America. A third of the nation's foster children have at least one homeless or "unstably housed" parent, according to the league.

Desensitized bureaucrats too often equate poverty with neglect and seize children away from biological parents whose only "offense" is hardship, critics charge.

And once kids are in the system, it can prove insurmountably difficult to get them out.

Parents petitioning to get their children back in Philadelphia typically wait five months between hearings, local parent-advocates say.

Because federal law requires social-service agencies to place foster children in permanent homes - biological or adoptive - after 15 months in county custody, biological parents might have just two or three chances to get their children back.

"There is not endless time to resolve some pretty serious problems," said Kathy Gomez, managing attorney of the Family Advocacy Unit of Community Legal Services, who represents hundreds of parents in custody cases.

"Housing is among the single biggest factors in the use and misuse of foster care," said Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform. "Not only is it doing enormous harm to the children, who face abuse [in foster care] and possible permanent separation from their parents. It's doing enormous harm to the taxpayers, because foster care costs more than a rent subsidy.

"It is never an excuse to take away a child because the child's family can't afford a decent place to live," Wexler added. "It is incredibly cruel to the child and it's stupid financially."

Poverty a problem

Under the Pennsylvania Juvenile Act, the list of reasons why children can be placed in county care is vast and varied: Physical or sexual abuse; delinquency under age 10; the death of or abandonment by parents; parental behavior such as drug abuse that endangers the child; the child's habitual disobedience or truancy; and so on.

Poverty is not on the list.

But poverty is a common denominator in many of the families whose children end up in foster care. It invites authorities' scrutiny, and snowballs into other issues that could prompt removal or delay reunification, child advocates say.

"It's easy to come under child-protection observation when you're poor," Gomez said. "And there's no room for error when you're poor: Once something goes wrong, things just tend to spiral."

Housing problems frequently result.

Parents struggling to pay rent might not have money to cover utilities or maintenance and repairs, creating living conditions that social workers might deem unsafe for children, Gomez said. Others who can't afford child care and transportation costs might miss so much work that they get fired - and without a paycheck to pay rent or a mortgage, they lose their housing, she said.

"Lack of housing is not legal grounds for removal, but homelessness, housing problems and residence in low-income neighborhoods all result in a greater likelihood of CPS [child-protective services] being involved," said Corey Shdaimah, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Maryland who has studied the correlation between poverty, housing and child welfare issues.

Ruth White, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, agreed: "Child welfare won't say that they have actually separated a family because of housing. But it totally happens."

The remedy seems obvious: Help these families get housing.

But agencies that offer subsidized housing are overwhelmed by demand.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority, for example, has a waiting list of 43,000, spokesman David Tillman said.

Still, PHA participates in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Family Unification Program, which covers subsidized housing costs for 16,000 families nationally whose housing troubles threaten child-welfare involvement.

Since 2000, HUD has given PHA 300 vouchers under the program; 224 families in Philadelphia have benefitted, Tillman said. While 76 vouchers remain up for grabs, not everyone can use those vouchers, even if no one disputes a family's needs. HUD and PHA disqualify applicants with a history of violent crime or drug convictions.

DHS also partners with the city's Office of Supportive Housing to get 50 federally funded housing vouchers for families facing separation due to housing problems, DHS Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose said.

Ambrose said that her agency doesn't track how many DHS-involved families have inadequate housing, nor how many children were removed from families living in poverty.

She insisted that her agency does not remove children solely for housing reasons. But among the more than 3,000 children in Philadelphia foster care, inadequate housing is a frequent concern, she acknowledged.

"I believe that children should, first and foremost, be with their families," Ambrose said. "We remove kids only if there is an identified safety threat. When there is a safety threat, we have a legal mandate to remove those children."

But family preservation is paramount, she added.

The agency has a $1.35 million emergency fund it uses to fix broken windows, buy beds, repair faulty plumbing, pay utility bills and solve other housing headaches that could endanger children, she said.

Because those funds are so sorely needed, DHS workers strive to ensure "housing sustainability," Ambrose added. That means that instead of passing out checks for security deposits willy-nilly, the agency wants to make sure that the families it helps can continue paying their monthly rent - and that requires a steady paycheck.

Further, the agency last July launched an "alternative response services" program, in which it identifies cases where no safety threat exists and hook up those families with in-home services to avert removal, Ambrose said.

DHS spends an average of $50 a day to provide a family in-home services under the new program, and up to $80 a day for those struggling with cognitive impairment, medical issues or sexual abuse, she said. In contrast, they pay foster parents about $24 a day per child.

"We pay double to triple to keep kids in their homes," Ambrose said. "We don't believe that children and families should be destabilized because of a housing issue."

Still, Shdaimah and others ask, why bother giving any money to foster parents? Why not just give it directly to the biological parents to fix whatever ails them and to preserve the family?

Wexler thinks that he knows the answer to those questions.

"The only reason we don't do this is it's not politically popular," he said. "It's not popular to provide help to 'bad parents.' The child-welfare system is really a parent-punishment system. But the problem is: When we take a swing at those parents, the blow almost always lands on the children."

But Ambrose disagreed.

"We're very clear about when we should remove children: It's when we can't keep them safe in their homes," Ambrose said. "I'm not sure that throwing money at them is what's going to keep them safe."

Hope for the future

Anyone with any experience in the child-welfare system knows that most cases are murkier than the waters of the Schuylkill.

In the decision to remove Ballard's daughter, Christianna, housing was an issue, Ambrose acknowledged.

But Ballard, who worked late nights as an IHOP waitress, occasionally left her daughter with a relative who was a sex offender, Ambrose said. Ballard and her baby also lived in one home where other residents had domestic-violence issues, Ambrose added. Ambrose listed other lesser problems she says delayed reunification, but Ballard denied any problems or noncompliance.

Ballard hasn't lost faith. She has a hearing scheduled for June, and she hopes that she'll get Christianna back then.

Until then, she'll visit her daughter, trying to coax the quiet girl into opening up more to mama.

"She doesn't talk - she just whispers," Ballard said. "They think she needs speech therapy. They think there's something wrong with her. But she's only 2; she doesn't understand what's happening to her. You [DHS] took her away from her mom. I wouldn't want to talk to you either."

Now, there are two major errors in this story.

ERROR ONE: The article is slanted to discredit the statement of DHS Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose says housing is not the sole reason for children's removal.

I am here to support the statement of the DHS Commissioner Ambrose when she says "housing is not the sole reason for children's removal."

The sole reason for the children's removal is federal funding. The State of Pennsylvania, even more so, the City of Philadelphia has been found through federal audits, state investigations, grand juries, that the lack of administrative prowess has allowed fraud, waste and abuse to rifle through the system.

Child welfare is an industry and industries were designed to be efficient and sustainable, meaning it must continue the flow of federal dollars.

Social resources have been eliminated to the point where the only place to find assistance or any form of help is through the child welfare system. The more excuses the child placing agencies can create, the longer the length of stay for the child. The business objective of the child placing agencies is to continue the flow of financial resources to maintain jobs, at the expense of its vulnerable citizens.

Pennsylvania fraudulently does it again and again.

There is another classic example of child welfare fraud in Pennsylvania.

Everyone may know the "Cash for Kids" scandal, but how many will never forgethow everyone benefited in Pennsylvania?

ERROR TWO:  Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform formulated a false policy position when he spoke of the "enormous harm to the children, who face abuse [in foster care] and possible permanent separation from their parents. It's doing enormous harm to the taxpayers, because foster care costs more than a rent subsidy."

It is not doing a harm to taxpayer as child welfare is an industry.

Even though Mr. Wexler acknowledges his deficiencies in policymaking and rulemaking, he has improperly assumed that, "The only reason we don't do this (provide greater financial assistance to families) is it's not politically popular."  Actually, the "political popularity" is not very popular.  The reason the States do not provide financial assistance to those in need is because of the moritoria on Medicaid Fraud regulation, co-sponsored by Pennsylvania's finest.

Back by popular demand, is an introductory video on why poverty is considered as abuse and neglect.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Feds Bust Maine for Medicaid Fraud

State sues to defend federal Medicaid claims

By Meg Haskell
BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services has asked a federal court to overturn a decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that disallows close to $30 million in federal case management funds for children in Maine’s Medicaid program, called MaineCare.

If the state should lose its case, Maine DHHS could be required to repay the money, which dates to services delivered in 2002 and 2003.

State Health and Human Services Commissioner Brenda Harvey said Tuesday that she was unable to comment on the specifics of the case, but that it would have “no short-term impact” on the current budget-paring process under way in Augusta.

In the longer term, she said, the state expects to win its case and has not made plans for repayment of the money.

A 2007 audit performed by the federal DHHS Office of Inspector General found that Maine DHHS had overstated expenditures associated with delivering case management services for children in the MaineCare program, including many in state custody. The OIG also found that the state had failed to ensure that Medicaid costs for those services were “reasonable, allowable, and allocable, in accordance with Federal requirements.”

Specifically, the OIG audit found that the cost of delivering the case management services in question was overstated by nearly $10 million; that the state had illegally included administrative and support costs in its charges; and that unallowable services considered “direct services” for children in the foster care system had been improperly billed to the federal Medicaid program.

The conclusions were based on a review of more than 600 case management services delivered in 2002 and 2003 to 99 children, most of whom were in state custody at the time.

Federal Medicaid policy defines allowable case management services as those services that help people “gain access to needed medical, educational and social services.”

The direct provision of such services themselves is not an allowable case management expense.

In a decision based on the findings of the audit, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services determined that Maine DHHS should repay $27.9 million to the federal Medicaid program. The state in 2008 appealed the decision to the federal DHHS appeals board, arguing that all services in question had been delivered and billed under Medicaid guidelines and definitions in effect at the time.

In its decision dated Dec. 24, 2009, the appeals board found that the state had failed to demonstrate that the disallowed expenditures were, in fact, allowable and upheld the CMS ruling.

In its complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor, Maine DHHS, represented by the state Attorney General’s Office, asked for judicial review of the federal decision and requested a reversal of that decision. The state also seeks a declaration that the actions of the federal DHHS are “contrary to federal law, arbitrary and an abuse of discretion.”

No court date has been set.

Actually, Maine DHHS is getting off quite easily with the determination of the federal DHHS. The documented history of child welfare fraud waste and abuse goes well beyond this audit, as it must be kept in mind, that only a sample of cases (99) were examined in a short period of time.

Maine Targeted Case Management Audit 2007

Here is my prediction: Maine will loose, miserably, but will not go down without a fight. I have all intentions of keeping this in the media because it looks like there will be a federal take over exactly what happened to Nebraska.

Then, DOJ and DHHS OIG will have a template to go state to state to stop Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, General Holder and Secretary Sebelius, thank you for listening to me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Michigan Gives

The Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH) has initiated Medicaid policy proposal that will impact the way the state deals with the need for services.

What makes this policy proposal so progressive is that it will expand the role of Medicaid funding to provide proactive services to new mothers.

The focus is on home visits by physicians prior to the birth and immediately after to "prescribe" needed services to new mothers. This will include transportation to medical appointments and housing assistance.

In the event further assistance is necessary, the physicians will work with Child Protective Services to provide further services.

Instead of relying upon the current state policies of taking children into the child welfare system in order to create eligibility of services, this policy will eliminate that criterion.

My only concerns would be in the area of Receipient Rights. DCH has in place, a formal grievance policy, but I would like to see this new policy proposal to reflect the mandatory informing of each client.

This would also demand further policy changes within the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Attorney General for uniform implementation to address potential fraud, waste and abuse. An example would be the mandatory reporting of all violations of law to the Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The policy will even empower the people to provide the transparency and accountability by encouraging program oversight and report fraud, waste and abuse.

What excites me the most is that these new policies expand the potential usage of Targeted Case Management and may be viewed as job creation. By this I mean Michigan, being a service-orientated state, will evolve a new future industry by investing in its people. Jobs in the areas of education, health care, home repair and transportation would not be through the traditional corporate structure, but may be the beginning of an entrepreneurial trend of allowing home businesses to contract with the state. This will be the new privatization.

Since Ingenix has the contract with DHS to maintain a database for services, it must cooperate with DCH, the Auditor General and the Attorney General for the DCH policy to have maximum effect.

Who knows, if Michigan can execute this and establish health information technology, the state may just be able to adjust its Federal Funding Participation rate.

Now, dismantle Michigan Children's Institute (MCI) as it is contradictory to this policy initiative. 

MCI Superintendent Bill Johnson bases his decisions to grant or withhold grant to adoption, including the power to make or change the placement of a child, based on the needs this policy addresses.  Even though this only affects a small portion of the state population, it is still an antiquated belief that poverty is considered as abuse and neglect. 

This policy allows, the state to give to the child, not to take the child.

Michigan Medicaid Policy Proposal 2010

Public comments are encouraged. Comments on this proposed policy are due March 26, 2010.

Comments may be forwarded to Judith Tubbs at or to the address noted on the attached transmittal sheet.

Damage Control Cornell Style

State Court Dismisses Fraud Accusations

Cornell Daily Sun

February 24, 2010 - 1:38am
By Yi-Ke Peng

A lawsuit that claimed Cornell University and New York State committed fraud against the U.S. Government was dismissed on February 16, ending a series of complaints filed in 2004 by Bruce Chapman, president of Handle With Care Behavior Management System, Inc.

Handle With Care is a company that provides training programs for various organizations across the country to teach individuals safe techniques for physically restraining others in crisis situations. Since 1998, HWC has faced competition from a new restraint method developed jointly by the University and New York State called the Therapeutic Crisis Intervention method, according to the United States Court of Appeals Decision on Oct. 14, 2008.

In 2004, Chapman sued Cornell and New York State under the federal False Claims Act, claiming that “Cornell and the State conspired to overcharge for services provided by Cornell to the State and funded in part by federal funds [i.e. TCI training],” Nelson Roth, Deputy University Counsel, stated in an e-mail.

The False Claims Act permits people not affiliated with the U.S. Government to file a lawsuit claiming fraud against the Government. The plaintiff stands to receive a portion of the recovery if the action is successful.

“Chapman’s claims were without merit and Cornell is pleased with the outcome of each case. The courts that reviewed and dismissed these cases reached the right result in each case,” Roth stated in an e-mail...more

As I am quite sure my comment will not be posted, I have created a technique to ensure my comments are always made public.  Here it is:

This is a very well written damage control piece, unfortunately, there are very important issues that were omitted from this posting.

This type of revenue-maximization-scheme is very new to the Department of Justice as it begins to realize the pervasiveness of the fraud in child welfare.

Child Welfare fraud is an emerging field of law as this has been found to be the only recourse to address the lack of accountability and transparency.

Chapman's claims have been verified and documented by multiple agencies within the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.

This is not the first case under the False Claims Act against New York and Cornell, nor will it be the last.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cornell Files False Claims

It seems that my fan base is growing. So, in honor of this momentous occasion, I would like to present another piece of evidence to my supposition that Cornell University has no honor in the laurels of academia.

This is a False Claims Act Suit Filed Against Cornell University Medical College for knowingly producing false research, and conspiring to present this research as truthful to the scientific community at large. These false statements were contained in grant applications and/or updates, and progress reports. The false statements resulting from the false research were material to the decision of the United States to make payments to Defendant Holloman and Defendant Cornell.

ex rel. Relator v. Cornell                                                            

Cornell knowing and willingly publishes and presents false research to policymakers and the United States for the sole purposes of makin' dat dolla.

Ivy League University's operations.

Cornell National Data Archive Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) with Money to Blow, has taken "Cash for Kids" to a whole other level.

President Skorton, children have died because of your research.

Stop it, or I will.

Cornell University Publishes Biased Research

One of my fans sent me this fun little site, Blowing the Whistle on Fraud.  The post was about Cornell University publishing false research to keep getting federal grants. 

Generating false data with public dollars to make public policy is not a crime.  Neither is there malicious intent when publishing false research to further a compelling government interest.  It is just standard operations in the realm of child welfare.

Cornell maintains the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect which, through an exclusion process, will only select research favorable to its funders.  Any organization that receives federal grants for research in child welfare must submit its data to Cornell.  If the data are not favorable to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children's Bureau, then the data will not be accepted and all future funding to that particular organization will be terminated.

Some examples of data that Cornell and the Children's Bureau will not accept:

Children who have been abused and neglected in foster care;

Children who have died in foster care;

Children who have been sexually abused in foster care;

Children who have been improperly placed in foster care.

Cornell publishes and maintains false and biased research to further the compelling governmental interest of covering up the fact that they do not know what the hell they are doing.

And Cornell gets paid for it.



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Initiating Empirical Research in Children's Health Care

Sebelius Awards $100 Million to 10 States to Test Innovations in Children's Health Care

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $100 million in federal grant funds to 10 states to improve health care quality and delivery systems for children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The grants, which will be awarded over a five year period, were funded by the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA). The money will help states implement and evaluate provider performance measures and utilize health information technologies such as pediatric electronic health records and other quality improvement initiatives.

“We all have a stake in the health of our nation’s children,” said Sebelius. “Exploring new technologies and initiatives will help ensure our kids get the high quality care they need and deserve.”
The grants are totally federally funded and are designed help establish a national quality system for children’s health care through Medicaid and CHIP.

“These grants will test the most current theories of how to improve the quality of care delivered to children,” said Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations within CMS.  “These awards will help create the foundation for a more responsive and effective national system of high quality health care for children.”

Awardees represent both single-state projects and multi-state collaborations.  Grantees working in multi-state partnerships will share award funds with those partners with funding ultimately distributed among 18 states in total. The awards were granted to:
Lead StatePartner(s)First-Year AwardFive-Year Total Award
OregonAlaska, West Virginia$2,231,890$11,277,361
North Carolina $2,210,712$9,277,361
ColoradoNew Mexico$1,722,161$7,784,030
South Carolina$2,214,263$9,277,361
MarylandGeorgia, Wyoming$2,401,467$10,993,171
Eight of the 10 grantees will test a new set of child health quality measures, and seven of the ten states will use the funds to implement health information technology (HIT) strategies with two states specifically planning to develop a new pediatric electronic health record format.

More information about CHIP can be found at

More information about health information technology initiatives and experimental methodologies on state levels can be found at

Every state is participating in this initiative.  The ones that received nothing are the observed.  There are more than 18 states that are to receive treatments, and the treatments vary.

Looks like I owe Cindy Mann an apology...but we shall wait and see.  I'm watching you, girl.  This is absolutely brilliant.


Monday, February 22, 2010

State Bar of Michigan Works With Citizens

The State Bar of Michigan is so dazed and confused, but I am working with them.

Of course, I am quite sure everyone is asking themselves, "Why is this so?"  Well, sit back and allow me to cut and paste direct email communications from the State Bar of Michigan (SBM).

The thread begins with my query as to why the refused to take a policy position on adoption matters.

SBM Response: Thank you for inquiring about the State Bar's position on SB 891-893. The State Bar of Michigan is a mandatory bar, which makes us subject to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding the type of ideological activity we may engage in. Upon initial review, SB 891-893 are outside of the scope of legislation the State Bar may take a position. 

My Response: Thank you for your response, but I find your reply to be of concern when the Family Law Section has previously found this subject matter to be within the scope of legislation which the State Bar has taken policy positions. 

SBM Response:  I was able to touch base with the Family Law Section yesterday. Their legislative chair responded that the Section did not have a position on these bills and he does not recall having a position on similar bills from past legislative sessions. The Family Law Section does not frequently deal with legislation on adoption issues. 

My Response:

Page 1 of 1
Report on Public Policy Position
Name of section: Family Law Section
Contact person: Kent Weichmann

Bill Number: HB 4131 (Smith) Children; adoption; second parent adoption; provide for. Amends secs. 24 & 51 of 1939 PA 288 (MCL 710.24 & 710.51).

Date position was adopted: April 4, 2009

Process used to take the ideological position:
Position adopted after discussion and vote at a scheduled meeting.

Number of members in the decision-making body: 21

Number who voted in favor and opposed to the position:
13 Voted for position
2 Voted against position
0 Abstained from vote
6 Did not vote

Explanation of the position, including any recommended amendments:

HB 4131 is a reintroduction of the second parent adoption bill that the Family Law Section supported last term. It allows two unmarried persons to petition to adopt a child. The bill would increase the number of potential adoptive homes for children and provide children with stable families. The Family Law Section reaffirms its support for this bill.
The text of any legislation, court rule, or administrative regulation that is the subject of or referenced in this report.

Page 1 of 1
Report on Public Policy Position
Name of section: Family Law Section
Contact person: Kent Weichmann

Bill Number: SB 0227 (Clark-Coleman) Children; guardians; guardianship assistance act; clarify. Amends title & secs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 9 of 2008 PA 260 (MCL 722.871 et seq.); adds secs. 5a & 5b & repeals secs. 7 & 10 of 2008 PA 260 (MCL 722.877 & 722.880).

Date position was adopted: April 4, 2009

Process used to take the ideological position:
Position adopted after discussion and vote at a scheduled meeting.

Number of members in the decision-making body: 21

Number who voted in favor and opposed to the position:
15 Voted for position
0 Voted against position
0 Abstained from vote
6 Did not vote

Explanation of the position, including any recommended amendments:

SB 227 is a reintroduction of a bill the Family Law Section supported last term. It allows guardians who are related to the child placed in their care to obtain assistance payments if they are otherwise qualified. The Family Law Section renews its support for this bill.

The text of any legislation, court rule, or administrative regulation that is the subject of or referenced in this report.

 Now, the SBM is taking a Public Policy Position on matters of adoption.

Report on Public Policy Position

Name of section: Family Law Section
Contact person: Kent Weichmann

Bill Number: HB 5643 (Calley) Children; adoption; placement of child in homes with other blood siblings; require to consider as best interest of child. Amends 1939 PA 288 (MCL 710.21 - 712A.32) by adding sec. 23g to ch. X.

Date position was adopted: February 6, 2010

Process used to take the ideological position:
Position adopted after discussion and vote at a scheduled meeting.

Number of members in the decision-making body: 21

Number who voted in favor and opposed to the position:
19 Voted for position
0 Voted against position
0 Abstained from vote
2 Did not vote

Explanation of the position, including any recommended amendments:

HB 5643 would amend the probate code for adoption proceedings to require DHS to “consider and evaluate” placing a child who is being removed from a home in the same placement as a sibling who was previously removed. The bill attempts to join two disparate proceedings: removals under the Juvenile Code and adoption proceedings. DHS already has a duty to try to keep family together under state law (MCL 722.954a(2)) and their own policy manual. This bill is unnecessary, and its reference to two disparate proceedings would distort the current process.

The Family Law Section opposes this bill.

The text of any legislation, court rule, or administrative regulation that is the subject of or referenced in this report.

I concur with the Family Law Section of the SBM.

See, Kent, huney bunny, it really wasn't that difficult to work with me, now was it.  Take my hand, SBM, and let's work together to clean up the mess in Michigan's Child Welfare.  We can begin with Michigan Children's Institute.

Always remember, we are working with unsagacious legislature.

Thank you, SBM for working with the citizens of the state.

Cornell Consortia

On February 17, 2010, after 5 years in the United States District Court Northern District of New York, the Honorable David N. Hurd dismissed the actions filed under the False Claims Act.

To give summation of the case, the action raised serious allegations of child welfare fraud schemes. Cornell University took over all state training of child welfare workers contracts and set its own pricing by eliminating the competition, contrary to federal mandates. Children have suffered and died. Millions of dollars have been defrauded from the taxpayer. But why?


Well, back in 1994, New York and its public University entered into settlement agreement of a qui tam for $26.97 million dollars to pay back the United States government for fraudulently billing for no-bid contracts in child welfare training, and other relevant administrative activities.

Then, U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder, Jr. was counsel on the case for the relator. This means the current administration has first hand knowledge of child welfare fraud and is prepared to take action.

Exhibit U-V in U.S., ex rel., CHAPMAN v. CORNELL UNIVERSITY

Now, the settlement* was entered in 1994 and the seal to the case was lifted to monitor that New York and its public universities (The State University College at Buffalo, the Research Foundation of State University of New York, and the City University of New York) so it would not defraud the U.S. government in this manner, again. And it has not.

That is because, New York, entered into contract with a "private" university, a new fraud scheme.

So, in 1996, that "private" university, Cornell University came up with a way to justly enrich itself with the no-bid contract by generating one of the biggest propaganda machines known to the child welfare industry, called National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN).

The mission of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) is to facilitate the secondary analysis of research data relevant to the study of child abuse and neglect. By making data available to increasing numbers of researchers, NDACAN seeks to provide an accessible and scientifically productive means for researchers to explore important issues in the child maltreatment field.

TRANSLATION: NDACAN covers up the false claims and horrific treatment of children by the State of New York with bogus data because, as a privatized institution, nobody can can audit or question them, as they are funded by the U.S. DHHS Children's Bureau.

This takes us back to the dismissal by the Honorable David N. Hurd. Why would he not allow the qui tam case to proceed against Cornell. Well it should be quite obvious, he is a graduate of Cornell and former chair of the College Council of the State of New York Institute of Technology!

David N. Hurd is a United States District Judge for the Northern District of New York. At the time of his appointment in 1999, he was a United States Magistrate Judge in that District.

Judge Hurd earned his B.S. degree from Cornell University in 1959 and his J.D. degree cum laude from Syracuse University in 1963.

From 1963 until 1966 he was an associate with the firms of Coughlin, Dermody, Ingalls & Guy; Abelove & Myers; and Ferris, Kehoe, Tenney & Murnane. He served as a part-time Oneida County Assistant District Attorney from 1966 until 1967, when he joined the law firm of O’Shea, Griffin, Jones & McLaughlin as an associate, becoming a partner in the firm of O’Shea, Griffin, McDonald, Hurd & Stevens in Rome, N.Y. in 1970 and remaining as such until becoming a United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York in 1991.

Judge Hurd was a member of the College Council of the State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome from 1977 until 1994, serving as its Chair from 1979 until 1994.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the Rome Bar Association, Oneida County Bar Association, Albany County Bar Association, and New York State Bar Association.

Talk about school pride.  Talk about a Cornell Consortia.

"I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study ...even child welfare fraud."

*New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and California were reviewed for training contract practices.

LK Report: February 21, 2010

Recap for the week of February 21, 2010 of all the latest news on the child welfare industry.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Industry Jobs Available Now

I found this cool blog on qui tam.  

What's even cooler is that blogs have taken "ambulance chasing" to a whole other level and I love it.

Do you need a job or just want to make a few hundred thousand, or perhaps a few million dollars?

Become a whistleblower, today! 

Here's how!

New York State and New York City recently entered into a record-breaking settlement with the federal government to resolve claims that they submitted false claims for reimbursement for school-based health care services and transportation for Medicaid-eligible kids between 1990 and 2001. In July 2009, the city and state agreed to pay $540 million to settle the fraud allegations. All you New Yorkers out there already being skewered by New York’s relentless tax impalements, get ready to help out with the settlement!
Since the 1990s, the federal government has paid billions in reimbursements to New York State and City through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a component of the Department of Health and Human Services. New York received these matching funds for services provided to the poor and disabled in the state. According to the allegations, New York State failed to provide proper guidance to the agencies receiving the funds, and later passed on claims for services that the state knew were not covered or properly documented. New York City allegedly submitted false claims to the state for speech therapy reimbursement, which the state submitted to the federal government along with the rest of the mess. The qui tam relator in this case was an astute speech therapist in upstate New York, who will walk away with $10 million as her share of the settlement.
In May 2009, the Maine Department of Education agreed to pay the U.S. $1.5 million to settle allegations that the department submitted false information to the U.S. Department of Education regarding the Maine Department of Education’s eligibility to receive federal funds under the Migrant Education Fund. The Migrant Education Fund provides federal financial assistance for the special educational needs of migrant children, but states must follow specific criteria in identifying these children. The Maine Department of Education and other defendants allegedly falsely represented the number of eligible migrant children living in the state over a three year period, thereby defrauding the government.
Finally in March 2009, San Mateo, California, jumped on the Medicare/Medicaid fraud bandwagon when it paid the government $6.8 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations. The allegations were originally filed by a qui tam whistleblower who was also a county employee. According to the government’s suit, the San Mateo Medical Center inflated its bed count in order to fraudulently receive higher Medicare payments. In addition, San Mateo County allegedly improperly obtained federal funds under Medicaid for services that were actually ineligible and were supposed to be reported to the California Department of Mental Health as such.
The child welfare industry has been unregulated since its beginning.  The qui tam is regulatory tool, specifically made for the citizen, complete with special rewards called "bounties" for stopping people steal from the tax payers.
Health care fraud needs to be stopped and the feds cannot do everything. Your help is needed, become a whistleblower.
I will be making an announcement on this emerging market in the coming months.

Florida Falsifies Files For Federal Funds

Oh really...

Now, really, does anyone in their right minds believe that the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office would turn over federal documents, verifying evidence of False Claims to the local rag?  Perhaps there are actually persons who are walking around believing that the Sheriff's Office would incriminate itself by publicizing that children were kidnapped and placed in foster care, parents suffered emotional and psychological pain, fraudulent conversion of Social Security numbers, I could go on and on but I believe I have made my point.

The best part about this, all these data were sent up through SACWIS to chart the rate of child abuse and neglect, further supporting my position that the national datawarehouses contain data that are suspect and flat out bogus.

Of course, Florida never corrected data nor amended the reports of the courts or the state.

So, this worker, Heather Stokes, resigns and goes on to perform 200 hours of community service after committing federal fraud, and everything is now okie dokie.

How about the taxpayers, who have children and families?  Does this fraud endanger the nation's economic treasure of Social Security?

How about the families and children who would have benefitted from these dollars Heather Stokes defrauded the taxpayer.

The article goes on to say "more than 70 child welfare workers in Florida were caught lying about their efforts to protect children."  That looks like a pattern of practice because those were only the workers who were "caught".

Sheriff spokesperson Larry McKinnon goes on to say, "We're imperfect." They are not imperfect; they are pathetic.  Statements like this shows me that there are no state internal controls of regulation and definitely no intradepartmental policy for oversight or training.

I see fraud.

H.E.A.T. is in Florida as we speak investigating and filing charges to end Medicare and Medicaid Fraud.

There are lots of attorneys in Florida, and if not a pro hac vice only costs a few bucks.

Let's see who files the first lawsuit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

DOJ $24 Million Child Welfare Fraud Settlement

The Department of Justice press release January 20, 2010 announced a False Claims Act settlement against FOBRA Holdings, LLC a dental management company that provides business management and administrative services to 69 clinics nationwide known as “Small Smiles Centers.” Under the agreement, FORBA will pay the United States and participating states $24 million, plus interest, to resolve allegations that it caused bills to be submitted to state Medicaid programs for medically unnecessary dental services performed on children insured by Medicaid, which is funded jointly by the federal and state governments. FORBA has further agreed to put in place various remedial measures designed to prevent similar unlawful conduct from occurring in the future. The government’s investigation of individual dentists is ongoing, and FORBA is cooperating with that investigation by providing information about dentists who may have violated professional standards.

The United States alleged that FORBA was liable for causing the submission of claims for reimbursement for a wide range of dental services provided to low-income children that were either medically unnecessary or performed in a manner that failed to meet professionally-recognized standards of care. These services included performing pulpotomies (baby root canals), placing crowns, administering anesthesia (including nitrous oxide), performing extractions, and providing fillings and/or sealants.

“We have zero tolerance for those who break the law to exploit needy children,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “Illegal conduct like this endangers a child’s well-being, distorts the judgments of health care professionals, and puts corporate profits ahead of patient safety.”

“We will not tolerate Medicaid providers who prey on vulnerable children and seek unjust enrichment at taxpayers’ expense,” said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “This settlement reaffirms our commitment to protect the health and well-being of Medicaid beneficiaries and to ensure the integrity of this essential health care program.”

Now, let's examine what was not covered in the settlement, and that is foster care fraud scheme. The DOJ describes the following fraud scheme:

In foster care, parents/guardians are typically not involved in the medical procedures of the children, even though it is provided for by States statutes. When a child is under the auspices of the state, the state is the legal authority for decision-making for the child.

The responsibility of making sure the child's medical passport (medical records during time in foster care) is maintained, typically, is contracted to private child placing agencies (CPA). CPAs are mitigatory regulated with little to no penalties, and training for billing compliance or basic internal controls for fraud prevention in CPAs is a concept far too complex and would tarnish the perfect reputation of infallibility in decisions to remove children and recommend termination of parental rights.

The "conversions" automatically come into play in the foster care fraud scenario because there is nobody to challenge as the files are sealed from the public eye.

In essence, foster children can be billed, continuously for services never rendered, even after they have been adopted out because they are issued new Social Security numbers, meaning a secondary fraudulent conversion begins simultaneously with the previous fraudulent billing.

Medicaid investigations of other individual dentists have cropped up over the years:

In the most recent case, a Kentucky dentist was sentenced to five years in prison on Jan. 4 for Medicaid fraud and drug trafficking. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $4,900 in restitution to Kentucky Medicaid. The state alleges that from March 1988 to September 2004, he billed for dental extractions that either were not performed or weren’t necessary.

A Missouri dentist was charged with 13 counts of Medicaid fraud in November 2008. The state said he submitted false Medicaid claims from November 2005 to June 2006 for services not performed on pediatric patients, including X-rays, root canals, resin-based composite restorations and amalgam restorations.

A New Mexico dentist received a deferred sentence in May 2009 after she pleaded guilty to three counts of Medicaid fraud. She allegedly submitted fraudulent billings from 2003 through 2005. As part of her sentence, she was ordered to reimburse Medicaid $17,522 and was banned from participating in Medicaid for five years. Her practice was permanently excluded from the program.

So, the $24 million dollar settlement was negotiated, with no idea of what the foster care levels of fraudulent conversion were.

What should be taken away from this is if you detect fraud in child welfare, report just might make a few millions during the process.

The government’s investigation was initiated by three lawsuits filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private citizens to sue on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery. These actions are pending in the U.S. District Courts for the District of Maryland, the Western District of Virginia, and the District of South Carolina. As part of today’s resolution, the three whistleblowers will receive payments totaling more than $2.4 million from the federal share of the settlement. “In this case, FORBA put greed and profits before the well-being of children,” said Timothy J. Heaphy, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. “It endangered the health and safety of innocent children and defrauded the taxpayer of millions of dollars. Today’s settlement addresses these egregious acts and sends a clear message that Medicaid fraud will be expeditiously addressed by this Department.”

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Baby LK Report February 14, 2010

This week on Legally Kidnapped...

For all the latest dirt on the child protection industry, visit:

Furthering a Compelling Governmental Interest

Taken from the State of Alaska Division of Finance Checkbook Online, is an excellent compilation of the areas of States government that are excluded from public scrutiny.

The State of Alaska is publishing information from the statewide accounting system on the web. This is part of a national trend for governments to develop websites that allow constituents to view financial information in searchable formats. Such websites are widely considered to improve transparency into the financial operations of government.

Governor Palin supported this trend, and as a result, this website was created. Governor Parnell has demonstrated his strong support by ensuring the website stays highly visible. It includes:

  • All vendors and grantees who received at least one payment of $1,000 or more in the current fiscal year through the end of January 2010. Individual payments of less than $1,000 are not included.
  • Information presented includes the name and location of the vendor or grantee, the purpose of the payment, and the department that requested it.
  • Payment information is aggregated. All payments of $1,000 or more are included, but amounts presented may be lower when payments are issued for more than one purpose.

Payments from certain payment systems PDF format have been excluded based on a confidentiality analysis performed by the Department of Law.

Alaska Payment Excluded Based on Condidentiality Analysis 2009                                                            

These "certain" exceptions are centered on programs which receive federal funding. A quick look at this list will show that all accounting in child welfare is excluded. That's right, there is no possible way for anyone, not even the State Auditor Generals, to look at the billing practices in child welfare.

Now, how's that for transparency?

Of course, there are those who will aver that state honor systems are part and parcel of a federalistic system, and that states exclude child welfare from public scrutiny to "further a compelling governmental interest."

If I am not mistaken, "furthering a compelling governmental interest" seems to mirror the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993. In the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling by Chief Justice Roberts (546 U.S. 418, 2006) the Court emphasized that Congress had constructed "a workable test for striking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing prior governmental interests" (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.)

Multiple prong tests for strict scrutiny have been legally constructed to determine whether an interest is a compelling governmental interest, the defenses, as well as the remedies throughout the states, in respect to RFRA. The same may be applied to public exceptions, or Freedom of Information Act exclusions and exemptions, that only State Attorneys General are granted with the power to strictly scrutinize what is and what furthers a compelling governmental interest.

It is the duty of the State Attorney General to protect the State and its citizens. Exposing fraud in the child welfare industry would devastate state general funds and cut off federal funding streams for lack of compliance.

Nine Exemptions

Exemption One: Classified national defense and foreign relations information.
Exemption Two: Internal agency personnel rules and practices.
Exemption Three: Information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law.
Exemption Four: Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that is privileged or confidential.
Exemption Five: Inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters that are protected by legal privileges.
Exemption Six: Personnel, medical, financial, and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Exemption Seven: Certain types of information compiled for law enforcement purposes.
Exemption Eight: Records that are contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of any agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions.
Exemption Nine: Geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.

Three Exclusions

(c)(1) Exclusion: Subject of a criminal investigation or proceeding is unaware of the existence of records concerning the pending investigation or proceeding and disclosure of such records would interfere with the investigation or proceeding.
(c)(2) Exclusion: Informant records maintained by a criminal law enforcement agency and the individual's status as an informant is not known.
(c)(3) Exclusion: Existence of FBI foreign intelligence, counterintelligence or international terrorism records are classified fact.

Child Welfare qualifies for each and every exemption and exclusion, which I have previously published.  Fraud, in whatever form it is recognized, has gone through an intellectual metamorphosis to become an established constitutional right as a religious freedom. Simply put, fraud is now a First Amendment Right of privatized, contractual corporate individuals in child welfare and it is the obligation of the States, and every elected official who has signed on in support the "so-called parental rights" amendment, to further the compelling governmental interest of hiding all evidence of child welfare fraud.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Uncomprehensive Rulemaking

The child welfare reform has never included the concept of comprehensive.  I only say this because "reform" as seen in this Michigan bill, getting ready to become a law, is not comprehensive, meaning it is not universal.  

For example, one area of law will be reformed, but another will go untouched, making all this rulemaking for naught.  This is a classic example, which I shall be including in my text book, of what is considered "Uncomprehensive Rulemaking: the law was made, but nothing changed."


House Bill 4535 (Substitute H-1)

House Bill 4820 as introduced

Sponsor: Rep. Pam Byrnes

Committee: Judiciary

First Analysis (4-27-09)

BRIEF SUMMARY: The bills would amend the juvenile code (within the Probate Code) to narrow those instances in which a court could terminate a parent’s parental rights, and the Child Protection Law to narrow those instances in which the Department of Human Services must petition a court to have a parent’s parental rights terminated, in cases where that parent had previously voluntarily given up parental rights to another child.

FISCAL IMPACT: The bills would have an indeterminate, but likely negligible, fiscal impact on the judiciary. House Bill 4820 could reduce the number of cases for which the Department of Human Services must file for a termination of parental rights, and thus could also reduce the number of resulting out-of-home placements. This could reduce costs to the Department of Human Services. The amount of any cost reduction is indeterminate.


According to child advocates, there are unintended consequences attached to current laws that put a parent in jeopardy of losing parental rights to a present child because rights to a sibling had previously been given up voluntarily in the face of abuse and neglect charges. Currently, the family division of circuit court may terminate a parent’s parental rights to a present child if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that previously, the parent or parents had voluntarily given up a child after neglect and abuse charges had been filed. In addition, child protective services workers are required to file a petition to terminate a parent’s parental rights if the worker determines a child is at risk of harm and the child’s parent or parents had previously voluntarily relinquished their rights to another child after abuse and neglect charges had been filed.

Child advocates maintain that the law, as it is practiced, discourages parents from agreeing to voluntarily give up their rights to a child and so forces more cases into contested case hearings, which can be inefficient, lengthy, and difficult. A parent who realizes he or she may be too immature or presently incapable of caring well for a child is less likely to voluntarily agree to give up the child if by so doing, the state would have grounds to terminate rights to future children and, should there be substantiation of abuse of a future child, it would lead automatically to the Department of Human Services petitioning for termination of parental rights.

For instance, a teenager may be investigated for abuse and neglect and a petition filed to terminate the parent’s parental rights because the teen is too immature to care properly for a young child or has little means of supporting the child and so may, in the child’s best interest, voluntarily relinquish the child to another relative or to the DHS. If that person had more children in the future, the DHS would be required to petition to terminate the parental rights to those children if any type of abuse or neglect could be substantiated – even if it were something like a cold apartment because of being unable to pay the gas bill or if an adult in the home or the other parent committed an abusive act.

Advocates have requested the law be changed to apply only in situations in which the voluntary termination involved abuse that was more serious, such as physical injury, murder, sexual assault, or abandonment. In this way, the focus could be on the conduct of the parent in the previous situation, and not on situations that may have since resolved, such as substance abuse, immaturity, or underemployment...more

This is wonderful. Only one small problem: ABANDONMENT

See, a law can be interpreted due to the ambiguity of rulemaking, an intentional process. Let us now examine the Michigan codified definition ABANDONMENT.

The current termination of parental rights statute assigns a time period for "dessertion" under the following two conditions:

712A.19b 2(a)(ii) The child's parent has deserted the child for 91 or more days and has not sought custody of the child during that period.

712A.19b(3)(a)(i) The child's parent is unidentifiable, has deserted the child for 28 or more days, and has not sought custody of the child during that period. For the purposes of this section, a parent is unidentifiable if the parent's identity cannot be ascertained after reasonable efforts have been made to locate and identify the parent.

In Michigan, there are numerous instances where parents do not receive court notification of dates and times or if they do, it is after the court date. Not showing for court is considered as abandonment and grounds for termination of parental rights.

712A.19b(3)(k) The parent abused the child or a sibling of the child and the abuse included 1 or more of the following:

(i) Abandonment of a young child.

Nowhere contained in this termination of parental rights statute is there a defined time period for abandonment.

Since there is no temporal codificaiton for "abandonmnet", the typical method utilized by child placing agencies is to assert the assignment of the penal code of abandonment as, not only making the situation felonious, but automatically guaranteeing termination of parental rights.

Even though abandonment is under the penal code, it is not grounds for termination of parental rights. The statute has provisions to correct the event of abandonment.

Until there is an effective regulatory structure over the ethics and operations of child placing agencies, nothing will ever change. The following statute becomes the nexus between termination of parental rights and poverty.

750.161 Desertion, abandonment, or refusal or neglect to provide shelter, food, care, and clothing;
felony; penalty; bond; probation; failure to comply with conditions in bond; forfeiture of bond; disposition of sums received; continuing offense; proof.

Sec. 161.

(1) A person who deserts and abandons his or her spouse or deserts and abandons his or her children under 17 years of age, without providing necessary and proper shelter, food, care, and clothing for
them, and a person who being of sufficient ability fails, neglects, or refuses to provide necessary and proper shelter, food, care, and clothing for his or her spouse or his or her children under 17 years of
age, is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than 1 year and not more than 3 years, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 3 months
and not more than 1 year.

(2) If at any time before sentence the defendant enters into bond to the people of the state of Michigan in such penal sum for such term and with such surety or sureties as may be fixed by the court, conditioned that he or she will furnish his or her spouse and children with necessary and proper shelter, food, care, and clothing, or will pay to the clerk of the court, or other designated person, such sums of money at such times as the court shall order to be used to provide food, shelter, and clothing for his or her spouse and children, or either of them, then the court may make an order placing the defendant in charge of a probation officer. The court may require that the defendant shall from time to time report to the probation officer as provided by law. The court may extend the period of probation from time to time or the court may defer sentence in the cause, but no term of any bond or any probation period shall exceed the maximum term of imprisonment as provided for in this section.

(3) Upon failure of the defendant to comply with any of the conditions contained in the bond, the defendant may be ordered to appear before the court and show cause why sentence should not be
imposed, whereupon the court may pass sentence, or for good cause shown may modify the order and further defer sentence as may be just and proper. Whenever the whereabouts of the defendant is unknown, the court may summarily issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant.

(4) The court, upon default by the defendant to comply with the conditions of the bond and the orders of the court, shall notify the prosecuting attorney, who shall immediately file a petition in the
court in which the cause is pending to declare the bond forfeited. A copy of the petition and a notice of hearing on the petition shall be served upon the surety or sureties, if any, named in the bond at least
4 days before the hearing of the petition. Upon holding a hearing on the petition, the court may declare the bond forfeited. When so ordered, the prosecuting attorney shall immediately institute the
necessary action to collect the principal sum of the bond. If a cash bond has been filed, the cash bond shall be declared forfeited by the court.

(5) All sums received from bonds being forfeited shall be paid to the clerk of the court, who shall hold and disburse the money for the use of those entitled to the money in accordance with the orders of the
court for their necessary food, care, shelter, and clothing.

(6) Desertion, abandonment, or refusal or neglect to provide necessary and proper shelter, food,
care, and clothing as provided in this section shall be considered to be a continuing offense and may be so set out in any complaint or information. Proof of the offense charged at any time during the period
alleged in the complaint or information shall be considered proof of a violation of this section.

Poverty is still codified as the crime of abuse and neglect.  According to this, lack of medical resources is abandonment, providing grounds for cases to be brought forth in family court in order to access medical assistance for the child.  This is normally seen in psychological services.  Community based mental health services are poorly design because they rely upon the "pill model".

Another aspect to the vagueness of the term "abandonment" is whether it is a legal or illegal abandonment. Legal abandonment legislation can be found in the Born Alive Infant Prevention Act and the Safe Delivery Program.

Perversely, Illegal Abandonment has been always interpreted as unauthorized kinship or affinity placements. Under these conditions, parental rights have been terminated by the courts, and the practice shall continue until there is put in place a system of regulation for the birth families to be able to exercise their rights to petition the government for redress of grievance.

As it currently stands, the grievance procedures in the state are only built of straw.

This concludes the lesson on "Uncomprehensive Rulemaking".