Skip to comments.Teen Sues L.A. After Decade in Foster Care
Posted on 07/17/2006 8:00:34 PM PDT by dread78645
LOS ANGELES Jul 17, 2006 (AP) A teenage girl reunited with her father last year after a decade in foster care is suing Los Angeles County for taking so long to bring them together.
County supervisors had said in September that the reunion of Melinda Smith, now 17, and father Thomas Marion Smith was the result of a "groundbreaking effort," and congratulated county agencies for locating the father.
But the lawsuit alleges that the Department of Children and Family Services failed to use "due diligence" to locate Thomas Smith. It claims the agency never notified Smith, who had continued making child support payments, that his daughter was in foster care and never gave him a chance to claim her.
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
I hope she wins.
I hope the girl wins. It is too bad the real incompetents responsible won't end up paying the tab.
So where is the money that Dad has been paying the state the last 13 years?
Go ahead blame it on the father, for what ever reasons... Herd it before, till ya have lived it, it don't mean a thing... : ) <<< me
I hope she wins.
I don't. I hope the incompetent boob who fumbled the ball, and their immediate supervisor, gets fired and publicly reprimanded. I am in favor of accountability, not punishing taxpayers.
Seems to me that the kid was used as a revenue generator for the state of Kalifornia.
It does seem that as she approached 18 and was a placement issue they got busy looking for Dad.
Clinton-Reno would've reunited her with her dad if he had moved to Castro's Cuba.
Hey, how about her family? They'll take her.
I don't know -- the dad had NO connection with her for 13 years. Whose problem is that? The county's? It's HIS KID, for crimony sake. He's so far out of her life that he doesn't even know she's in foster care, and suddenly it's the County's fault? I think that's bogus.
Let's see, mom disappears with kid without leaving a forwarding address.
Even if the dad had asked Child Support Services where she was, they wouldn't have told him short of a court order.
He's paying his support and assumes the child wants no contact or she would have contacted him. How is he supposed to know she has been in foster care since before she could read and has no idea who or where he is.
Why was HE not contacted within days of his child being placed into state custody. The state knew his name and whereabouts. In fact they were the only player with all the information and access to it.
Frankly, he should be suing them for a refund of support monies obtained fraudulently by retaining custody of his child without his knowledge or consent.
Some caseworker and supervisor should be fired for cause over this.
Smith's whereabouts were listed as unknown in court documents on the case, although records show that Melinda's caseworker knew Smith was paying child support and his address was on file with the agency that collected the payments.
The state knew exactly where the father was, but chose to keep the child in order to bleed money from him.
There's simply no other reasonable explination.
Yup, I bet they did know exactly where he was. And all that child support. I'd be hopping mad too. Too bad he wasn't around to protect her, all the same. It's quite fragmented before the county ever got involved.
Why are you assuming the misandrists are incompetent? They probably knew exactly what they were doing.
If she spent a decade in foster care, the child support received from the father probably didn't cover payments made to the foster parents.
There's some incompetence involved to be sure, maybe even some malice on the part of those responsible but I doubt that the state profited from it.
The foster care system was getting paid twice. The father pays and I bet the payment went to the foster care system. I am sure the state and federal government sent money to the foster care system to pay for this child.
Its always about the money. If we get all the kids out of foster care, people would lose jobs.
The father paid the state, the state paid foster parents.
Did his support payments equal the states payments to the foster parents? The article doesn't state how much he paid.
The state pays faster families for taking in children, so it's possible that at least some of the money went to the foster faily for the support of the girl.
Foster Care can be expensive. Without knowing what he paid each month, you can't tell if they actually made any money on it. I doubt it. I just don't think Family Services are competent enough to take advantage of it, even if he did pay alot. I spent 13 years in foster care, and have kept foster kids in my home as well. I have nothing good to say about Family Services. Incompetence should be their middle name.
My wife and I spent about 10 years keeping kids for the Illinois Child and Family Services, I doubt that they are any better than any other state.
Ok, there is some information missing from the article that would be interesting to know. For instance, why was this girl infoster care for so long? In Missouri if a child is in foster care for over a year and the parent(s) have not made any of the changes recommended by the court, then the process of getting their parental rights terminated begins.
Also, the article doesn't mention the father trying too hard to find the girl.
Probably not, but the ~$180,000 California got under title IV-E from the Federal HHS sure would have.
Will you cite a source for those numbers?
Did you read this too?
"Some have argued that because foster care is an entitlement for eligible children while service funds are limited, title IV-E encourages foster care placement. However, it seems unlikely that caseworkers make placement decisions on the basis of children's title IV-E eligibility, nor is it likely that judges use title IV-E status as a significant factor in their placement rulings. Indeed, caseworkers and judges are often unaware of children's eligibility status. A lack of available family services, however, could plausibly tip caseworkers' decisions toward placement or delay a child's discharge. Quantifying such effects is difficult, however".
"I don't. I hope the incompetent boob who fumbled the ball, and their immediate supervisor, gets fired and publicly reprimanded."
As long as you're dreaming, I'd like next week's winning Powerball ticket.
Yes I did. And I also read:
The Current Funding Structure is Inflexible, Emphasizing Foster Care"Title IV-E has long been criticized because it funds foster care on an unlimited basis without providing for services that would either prevent the child's removal from the home or speed permanency (see, for example, The Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, 2004 and McDonald, Salyers and Shaver 2004). Funding sources for preventive and reunification services, primarily the Child Welfare Services Program and the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program funded under title IV-B of the Social Security Act, are quite small in comparison with those dedicated to foster care and adoption."
"... Indeed, caseworkers and judges are often unaware of children's eligibility status. A lack of available family services, however, could plausibly tip caseworkers' decisions toward placement or delay a child's discharge."
So, the average CPS worker doesn't understand budgets & bureaucracy? Gotit.
"Quantifying such effects is difficult, however".
Yeah they probably did know what they were doing but I've worked side by side with government bureaucracy and I know from that experience that most of the time it is chronic incompetence and indifference not malice that produces things like this.
The states make money from the federal government for each child they have in "state" care. Indiana does the same damn thing. My brother's son was taken from his mother because of her drug use. My brother had to fight the state for 3 months to get his kid! HIS KID!
Follow the money. It's all about the money.
Another "sneaky" trick these agencies like to pull is to take your kid from you on a Friday afternoon so that you can't do anything through the legal system for 3 days. That's 3 days the state gets money from the feds.
It really is a sick racket CPS has going on.
My advice to anyone and everyone is NEVER let those f*****s in your home without a WRITTEN warrant. EVER.
The taxpayers elected degenerate leftist miscreants who created this filthy mess, maybe they should be on the hook.
Taxpayers frequently need to be punished. They vote for legislators who make laws and policies encouraging the hiring and retention of such incompetent boobs.
I agree with you 100%!
GOOD! I hope she cleans their clock in court.
Those "incompetents responsible" are usually lesbians and gays working in CPS who have never had kids and know nothing about raising kids.
That may be a little harsh but for some reason there are a lot of fruits in government.
I think the tax payers do deserve punishment for the pain that results from their actions and inactions. This girl doesn't deserve millions but she does deserve to be repaid for the real damage of leaving her in the foster care system.