Yesterday a report was released by Prevent Child Abuse America. It calls for more federal money to be made available for “Federal” foster care support and prevention services. Sounds good. Unfortunately, the CEO of the organization is none other than James Hmurovich. Those who have been around the “welfare” system long enough remember he was in charge of a former incarnation of Family and Children’s Services, where he attempted to do the same thing. What happened when he was in Indiana is prevention services went up, BUT they were used INSTEAD of foster care services. The reason? It is much more cost effective to keep children in their homes than in foster care. This led to many dangerous situations and the calls for welfare reforms implemented by Governor Daniels. Looks like Mr. Hmurovich wants to screw up the whole country. Under his current proposal, he wants to “reward” states for decreasing the number of children in foster care. Doesn’t look like he learned his lesson from screwing up Indiana. Here is a summary of what the Indianapolis Star had to say:
January 30, 2008
January 24, 2008
January 21, 2008
January 20, 2008
January 15, 2008
January 12, 2008
According to today’s Indianapolis Star, Marion County Juvenile Court officials released the recording of the last hearing in the Tajanay Bailey case. A complete overview of the recording is provided by the Star. However, of most importance is this part;
[Magistrate Scott] Stowers’ questions focused mostly on the process of the case. At the end, he approved the DCS plan to initiate unsupervised visits with approval from the counselor and the advocate.
Read that closely… “he approved the DCS plan to initiate unsupervised visits with the approval from the counselor and the advocate.” In the Blogmeister’s experience, it is not unusual for a Judge, or Magistrate in this case, to approve certain things, pending approval of counselors and advocates. The reason for this is these people often know the case the best, have a great deal of contact with the family, and, in the counselor’s case, have more training and expertise on family issues than anyone else involved. So, no problem there (except, again in my experience, DCS hates this because they feel their paying for the case, so they should get to say). However, his order was to initiate unsupervised visits pending approval, not initiate reunification.
At the core of this case, and yet to be determined, if ever, is who made the decision to go beyond the Court’s mandate and reunify this family. The Blogmeister’s guess…someone at DCS. Why you ask? They had the most to gain by reunifying the family. They would save foster-care and treatment money and it would fit with their internal provisions to reunify the family within eighteen months. It is also interesting the advocate and the counselor, remember the two people who the Judge pended his order for their approval, were seeking court intervention to get her back into foster care. That hearing was scheduled for the day she died.
Now maybe DCS didn’t take it upon themselves to reunify this family. Maybe it was a “team” decision, maybe aliens came and did it. The fact is we don’t know. Until we know who made this decision, can we expect any real changes at DCS? Further, doesn’t the court now have standing to, on it’s own motion, conduct a hearing to find out how this family was reunified despite it’s own order to the contrary. I’m no lawyer, but that sounds a lot like contempt of court to me.