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Michigan Parental Rights Fight CPS United States

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Lukes Dad's picture
on Mon, 03/19/2012 - 16:25
Michigan Parental Rights Group

Michigan Parental Rights Fight CPS United States

This is a Michigan based Fight CPS group. You can become a member of the group to find out more CPS information and network with other families envolved with CPS in the Michigan Area.

They believe the family is the basic cell structure of society. A nation founded on a healthy family environment creates a moral society. They also insist children have a right equal parenting without interference by government.

They also campaign for grandparents and next of kin to parent without government interference.


They also have a Michigan Parental Rights Group on facebook.

Poverty is an inadequate reason to take children from families

A loving father sees a judge place his children in foster care because his Walmart job doesn't pay enough, and he and his child live with his sister.

Another father can't get his two boys out of foster care because he can't afford to buy them separate beds.

And a baby is removed from her parents' custody and placed with strangers simply because the family is homeless -- despite the parents' attempt to place the baby with family friends, instead.

All three Michigan families share a common denominator: poverty.

The foster care system exists to protect children from being abused by their parents. Yet, every day, children are separated from their families and placed in the system for no better reason than their parents' low income.

A short conversation with lawyers, caseworkers and judges bears this truth out. And in a state like Michigan, where the child poverty rate has increased by more than 60% in the last 10 years, recent cuts in public assistance and a staggering economy have only made things worse.

The Legislature, courts and the Department of Human Services must take immediate actions to address this growing problem. Here are steps they should consider taking:

• First, Michigan's Legislature should join other states around the country and revise current laws to clarify that a child cannot be placed in foster care -- nor can a parent's rights be terminated -- solely because of poverty. As noted by the California Court of Appeals, "Indigency, by itself, does not make one an unfit parent."

• Second, courts must enforce federal laws that require the Department of Human Service to make "reasonable efforts" to prevent a child's removal from his or her home. When dealing with poor families, this must include providing services such as emergency cash and housing services, day care or assistance in paying utilities, which may be the only barriers preventing the family from being able to take care of itself. Making these types of efforts is far cheaper than paying for children to live in the homes of licensed foster parents.

• Finally, the DHS must offer comprehensive training and enact policies to help its caseworkers, hundreds of whom are brand new, understand the difference between poverty and neglect. Too many caseworkers seem to be confusing the two and, as a direct result, Michigan children face a risk of being unnecessarily separated from their families.

The unfortunate reality in our state is that some families will continue to struggle for as long as the economy does.

But we need to remember: Society's failure to eradicate the evil of poverty can never justify taking children from their loving parents.

Vivek Sankaran is a clinical assistant professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School and the founder of the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy.