50 signatures reached
To: Governor Bill Lee and Commissioner Margie Quin
Stop State Sanctioned Kidnapping!
Governor Bill Lee,
Families are unnecessarily being torn apart under the guise of child protection. However the data has proven that children are NOT protected once they are removed from their homes, in fact the data proves the opposite - that children are safer at home! Black and Brown babies are removed from their homes at 3 times greater rates than their white counterparts although their is no evidence to support them being abused and or neglected at the same elevated rate. Making up only 14% of the nations population, children of color are disproportionately removed and more likely to be placed in foster care instead of with available family also known as kinship placement. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 671, states must “consider giving preference to an adult relative over a non-related caregiver when determining placement for a child, provided that the relative caregiver meets all relevant state child protection standards. Although this federal policy is in place there's still a greater incentive for children to be placed outside of their biological families and placed in stranger care better known as the foster care to prison pipeline. State sanctioned kidnapping is a very lucrative business for the states and the child abuse hospitals that are responsible for deeming children to be "allegedly" abused and for other mandated reporters who "possibly suspect neglect" both triggering CPS investigations, both with subjective causes. We are demanding that the state of Tennessee require much more before removing a child from their homes. Imminent danger needs to be more than speculation from an angry social worker. Accountability to the administrative code and the Tennessee annotated code should be taken seriously by all state actors and families should be allowed to sue when it isn't. Quality representative should be afforded to all families fighting the draconian system of DCS. Attorneys who lack experience with family law should NOT be representing parents who are in danger of loosing their children. This is a major problem in Clarksville as my family went through 9 attorneys, 4 judges and 2 GAL"s. Families should be allowed to have advocates support them on their cases, DCS filed a motion to have me removed from my daughters case along with other advocates and as a punishment for advocating on her behalf the judge ordered that I not be allowed to see my granddaughter. That motion still stands today. My grandbaby was used as a pawn by the state of Tennessee, relationship bonds in my family of 5 generations of strong women have been destroyed. We all have been changed forever over a false allegation of child abuse and no account from the state of Tennessee. This needs to stop now!
Children deserve to be with their parents and when that is absolutely not possible, they should be placed with relatives without state interference and that family should be provided the same supports given to stranger foster caretakers. Historically black and brown children have been denied the right to stay within their own heritages as if who they are is of no importance. Kinship placement allows for children to remain culturally in tact to their customs, religion, heritage and languages and other identity specifics that would otherwise be lost if they were forced to leave their families.
Why is this important?
People should join in this effort across the nation because state sanctioned kidnapping in NOT exclusive to Tennessee! It's happening across the nation and families are being destroyed because of it not to mention how costly it is to fight back when you are faced with a false charge.of abuse and or neglect. It is also important because families aren't afforded the same protections that are guaranteed to those accused of criminal violations. This means it is easier and you are more likely to loose your child tha to go to jail for stealing a .35 cent pack of gum!!!
Another gross compent of this cash for kids scheme is the money that is attached to removing children from their homes. There is a 15 month clock given to parents to get their children back before termination of parental rights proceeding begin to adopt a families child out. The cumbersome things asked of DCS and the many continuance they create can and do easily exhaust this time and you can be in jeopardy of loosing your child just because DCS hasn't prepared themselves and keeps stalling parents out on unnecessary programs and other requirements that they provide ZERO support for. The states bill over $2.8 million dollars a year in fist care cost, none of that goes to support families! If we are to continue to pay these cost we should have a say in how that money is spent and based on the data the money should be spent on providing support of families to reunify other than tear apart family bonds.