Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kansas Attorney General Confirms Anatomy of Child Welfare Ill Will

I promised it in this post, when I asked, "Are these professionals [child welfare caseworkers] really that petty and vindictive?", and here it is. . . Kansas Attorney General's findings on a case involving the death of a child after multiple reports of child abuse. This kind of government admission is a rare circumstance, and very welcome since it supports my contentions about child welfare workers putting their own agenda over and above the best interests of the child.

I have interviewed many caseworkers in the past twenty years. They have been very forthcoming about certain issues that I find relevant to their practice. One is that they almost all profess to having been abused themselves as children. When I ask for details of their abuse, it seems that some were abused, and some have interpreted parental discipline or other parental prerogatives as being abuse. . .in other words, they didn't like having their parents holding them accountable for their wrongdoing or for forestalling their childhood rebellion. In either event, they cite this abuse as their reason for saving other children from the abuse they endured.

State child welfare workers are represented by a disproportionately large percentage of self-professed damaged people on a mission to protect children whether they need it or not. Human nature being what it is, their perspective is going to be skewed toward viewing parents as perpetrators.

I've also observed that many of them are arrogant, to the point of professing that they don't make mistakes. I believe the fact that they are statutorily immune for their conduct contributes to this delusion of infallibility.

Finally, these damaged, grandiose bureaucrats are given an inordinate degree of power over people. They have learned that no matter what lies they tell, what strings they pull, what abuses they perpetrate, what they say is gospel truth to judges.

This dynamic tends to go to their heads. This case investigated by Kansas AG illustrates exactly how caseworkers do act vindictively and unprofessionally when challenged by a mere layman. (Aside - do you ever wonder why respondent parent attorneys always advise their clients not to piss off the caseworker? This is why.)

The caseworker who was the subject of this investigation is Linda Gillen. She is described with glowing credential and years of experience. So she can't plead incompetence for her failure to protect a child from death given the fact she had been notified multiple times by mandated reporters who had concerns for this child's welfare.

Ms. Gillen didn't like the grandparents of the child, who were pushing for her to protect the child from the father's live-in, drug addicted girlfriend. She had known the drug-addicted girlfriend since she supervised her in foster care.

Multiple mandated reporters made reports that this little girl was being abused. Ms. Gillen refused to investigate, because she didn't like the grandparents. It's all in the report, but I was kept abreast of the events as they happened. The report is an accurate portrayal of Gillen's professional conduct.

This is not a unique case. It happens all the time, all over the country. A caseworker takes sides because she dislikes someone, or someone pissed her off, or she simply hates all men/women/grandparents, etc. She makes her recommendations, conducts her investigations and reports to the court based on her bias, with the intent to use her nearly unlimited power to show them who's boss. She is a control freak. She manipulates the case so that the parents look bad. Invariably, she will push the right button and the parent will pull a nutty, which was what she wanted, "See, your Honor, I told you so." Sometimes, though, she can't manipulate them, which causes her to escalate.

Then when something goes wrong, as in this case where the child died at the hands of an known abuser, she pleads immunity from civil liability.

We all know the saying, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." To this I add, "Absolute immunity is absolute power." The practices I have observed over two decades graphically illustrate the effects of absolute power upon petty and vindictive mortals whose moral compass was not necessarily pointed at true north to begin with. We really should be putting our best and most compassionate into these positions, yet we are stuck with the bottom of the rotten apple barrel. Is it any wonder they run amok?

Child welfare agencies are enamored of psychological evaluations for parents and children, they rely on them heavily to make the case they need made. See my previous post on this subject. Why shouldn't caseworkers be required to have an annual psychological evaluation to determine their fitness to wield such power over parents, often using the children as pawns to control the parents upon pain of losing their children forever?

If these agencies and the courts trust in these evaluations so much, they shouldn't object to being required to prove their own fitness, don't you think? And these evaluations should be made available to the parents whose cases they are administering. What's good for the parent is good for the caseworker. . .and would tend to weed out those whose petty vindictiveness is more important to them than the best interests of the child.
Kansas Attorney General Report in case no. 6:10-cv-01017-MLB-KGG                                                                                                   

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