Friday, January 16, 2009

Stuth Granddaughter Returned Home

A piece of good news today: Following up on a recent post...

The granddaughter of the AnnMarie and Dout Stuth, who was removed from their house for reasons that remain fuzzy--some social worker decided they were too controlling regarding the girl's mother, their daughter--is back home with them. In an amazing video, the little girl runs into their arms and tells them she missed them. Watch and weep for joy.

The mother of the child's problems haven't been made clear, but it seems like a drug problem, as the child was not in prime health when she was living with her. That's when the little girl was turned over to a foster care, and placed with a woman who eventually wanted to adopt her, and for a while, social workers were pushing that resolution--while the grand parents were fighting to get her back.

Anyway, the girl has been returned to her grandparents home, and according to station KING in Seattle: "Investigators also found misinformation was presented to the court about the Stuths by a social worker and a court appointed child advocate, which helped lead to the separation. After fighting the system for nearly two years, this complete turnaround is unreal to them."

The court-appointed child advocate...that is the guardian ad litum that was so helpful in the DeBoer case. It seems that their pervasive attitude is: Oh, the child has been with the foster/adoptive wannabe for so long, she will be upset if she is returned to her biological family, what can she know of them? But in this case at least, the judge saw through the fog.

To add to our glee over this turn of events,
a new report released Wednesday says time and again, Washington state unfairly puts children in foster care instead of with their relatives. The Office of the Family and Children's Ombudsman report identifies the number one issue is that the child welfare system needs to do a better job of following the law when it comes to placing children with relatives.

The Director Ombudsman Mary Meinig writes “… the system needs to better support and maintain placement of dependent children with relatives.”

Meinig also says in the report: “Sometimes, the agency has removed children from long term (2 or more years) placements without sufficient cause. This has been devastating to relatives and children alike and many of these decisions have appeared arbitrary and capricious.”

Amen is all we have to add. Maybe now the social workers will not be so eager to take kids away form stable, blood-related homes.

Although in the story about the Deboers in the last post I blasted the biased way the media treated the story, this is one case with the media saw through the injustice of taking a child from a good home where she was kin. The whole report can be read at this link.

Gotta go now, but later today I will track down the letters (and add it to this post) that appeared after my story of the DeBoers ran. The magazine got more than 75 letters on it, which was a deluge for any particular story in the magazine. Adoptive parents were mad. To put it mildly. It's freezing here on Long Island but I'm about to do battle with the cold--but the sun is shining.--lorraine



7 comments :

  1. The guardian ad litem provided misinformation?

    That is interesting...in my area, pretty much anyone can volunteer to be a guardian ad litem, I checked into it at one point. They do screen and train etc., but there is no formal educational requirements, and it's only a voluneer job. I can see how these folks could offer very wrong information based on their own biased views and lack of education.

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  2. This is great news, not only for the little girl and her grandparents but for all dependent children who have relatives wanting to care for them and for their relatives.

    Unfortunately too many social workers have followed what I called the "Washing Machine theory" of child welfare when I practiced family law years ago. SWs claimed that putting a child in a completely new environment would cleanse him from his sordid background and he would start life anew. Of course this never worked. The track record on kids raised in stranger foster care is horrible. Few even graduate from high school.

    Placing dependent children with relatives is not only good policy,it saves states money because payments to stranger foster parents are typically much higher than payments to relatives. Stranger foster parents are often in it for the money and hold out for "bonus" payments claiming the children have "special needs". Relatives take kids as they are and don't demand extra money.

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  3. This is very good news! Thanks for following up on this story. The kid and her family are the real winners, and the screwed-up child welfare system loses one for a change.

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  4. That's great :-)
    Have to add that, from what I've read, I should bloody well think so, too.

    (Your 'washing machine' theory reminds me of "Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." – Psa 51:7)

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  5. Washington State social services thought they were going to make a quick buck off of adopting this little girl out, in lieu of our federal government who gives out
    monies to the states for tearing
    families apart.

    They thought they could do it to
    this family BUT the family fought
    back, and won.

    I am thinking if this little girl was still with the mother, would the child still be in their family?
    I seriously, doubt she would, thankfully this loving family fought and won it doesn't happen enough.

    thanks for reporting the happy news.

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  6. Lorraine, here is info about CASA/GAL volunteer program in Ohio:

    http://www.ohiocasa.org/default.aspx

    ReplyDelete

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