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Expose - DHS Children`s Protective Services Division
April 7, 2008 permalink
A columnist writes that psychiatric evaluations for Oregon DHS are taxpayer funded quackery. This is a four-part series running until May 3, all included here.
Expose` - DHS Children`s Protective Services Division
Incompetent and falsified psychiatric evaluations by DHS-CPD employed psychiatrists.
(SALEM, Ore.) - DHS often requests that clients bring in, or sign releases for their clients’ medical records. If the existing medical records do not support the allegations made by DHS, they routinely bring in their own psychiatrists.
These psychiatrists are paid an average of $2,000.00 by DHS (aka Oregon tax payers) for each psychiatric evaluation (psych eval). These evaluations do not include reviewing any of the existing medical documentation that the client has already paid for.
The DHS employed psychiatrists routinely return an assessment that is excessively negative, and often in direct conflict with all other existing client medical records. Worse, DHS requested psych evals are often fabricated to better support DHS allegations or agendas.
As incredible as this may seem, it is a documented fact, and a heinous offense by a State agency entrusted with enormous, life altering, life and death responsibilities. Of course, DHS will respond to this, citing "serious allegations", which is certainly intentional on my part, but their denials will not mean much in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Evidence printed on DHS letterhead, with case names and numbers belonging to DHS clients who are willing to make their private affairs public, in an effort to right what is so obviously wrong.
I will use my own personal experience as an example; A few years ago, I had a psych eval by a DHS hired psychiatrist. DHS had previously requested, and received, my medical records, for which I have paid thousands of dollars. This included a current assessment by my primary physician, specifically addressing allegations DHS had made against me. These documents were completely ignored by DHS. They wanted "their own guy" to do my assessment, so I complied with their demands at my daughter’s request (she had been told all charges would be dropped and the case closed if I complied with the eval, which was a deliberate and blatant lie.
Months later, when I received my copy of the completed DHS assessment, my first thought was that the doctor must have confused me with another client he had seen that same day. As I read on, I realized that was not the case. In his professional opinion, I have a pot smoking problem, a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and a few other personality disorders that were not familiar (or accurate). Perplexed, I decided to do some research regarding "Narcissistic Personality Disorder". Here are some excerpts from my findings:
- "NPD is a rare disorder, beginning in childhood. The cause is not understood, and there is some disagreement regarding environmental vs. biological causation.
- "99% of subjects clinically diagnosed with NPD are men, it is largely unknown in women"
- NNPD is often characterized by grandiose behavior, due to the subject’s belief that they are "special", or "favored by God". They lack empathy for others in general, creating difficult social interactions and the inability to bond appropriately in personal relationships. Treatment is difficult, and outcome statistics are poor, as subjects do not see themselves as having a problem."
- I have been "evaluated" by a number of very expensive doctors, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals who unanimously agree on my diagnosis: Major Depressive Disorder with Anxiety, and ADHD. All of these issues are hereditary, as in "it runs in my family". I passed the ADHD on to 2 of my children; one also has same diagnosis as I do. It is completely treatable, and we don’t think much about it. What I have described here is vastly different from a "personality disorder", which I have never been diagnosed as having.
- Unlike the description of NPD, I am absolutely certain that I have issues that I need help with from time to time, and I don’t hesitate to seek medical attention when I need it (mainly because I don’t want to become so narcissistic and grandiose that it interferes with my feelings of guilt and worthlessness).
- Another strange allegation in my DHS evaluation is that I have "a pot smoking problem". I have NEVER been a pot smoker, common knowledge in my circle. Why on earth would I tell the evaluator that I use an illegal drug, when in fact, I do not?
- When I brought this information to the attention of my DHS worker, she completely disregarded my concerns.
My own DHS evaluation is just one example of such glaring incompetence. I have several other documented DHS evaluations that are even more unbelievable. Read on for a few more samples: One woman brought me her DHS evaluation, wherein the evaluator wrote that she is "mentally retarded". Since I know this woman, I was just dumbfounded. In truth, she is severely ADHD, but does just fine when she takes her medication. However, she was afraid to take her medication, because it would show up as "amphetamine" in her mandatory urinalysis tests. My questions would be; what purpose was served here? Was the client helped by the $2,000.00 the tax payers paid out for the appalling lack of competency this nut job displayed?
Another woman needs medication for her ongoing depression (DHS has put this poor gal through absolute Hell!), but she is afraid to get medication because she says DHS will use her depression against her in their decision to return her child. I am familiar with her case, and she is right. They would use it against her. Her entire case will be reviewed and made available to the public in a few weeks. This one is really special.
Recently, a young man who has had a catastrophic onset of Multiple Sclerosis has been forced to move out of his home, where he lives with his family. DHS says his illness makes him "unsafe" to be around his own children, even though he has no history whatsoever to support such a claim…so he had to move out.
I wonder who will be taking care of him. I wonder how he must feel…to be seriously ill, and be thrown out like trash because DHS issued an ultimatum that he had to leave, or his wife would loose custody of their 2 and 3 year old daughters. I wonder if it is a good idea to teach our children that sick people are dangerous and undesirable. I wonder how long it will be until all parents who have ever been ill, in crisis, or have made any kind of serious mistake, will be required to turn over custody of their children to DHS.
Sound unbelievable? You bet! But I can back up every word I’ve written here…absolutely, positively.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. I put out some requests for personal experiences from people who would be willing to allow their case files to be reviewed, and possibly used in a public manner. When I got home later that night, my email had crashed and my internet service provider had flagged my account as "possible attack of service" due to the huge number of messages I received.
DHS has clearly inspired a deep, enduring passion in a lot of people. That kind of passion is exactly what is needed to clean up this "public service, family advocacy, child protection agency-gone-completely-berserk."
For years, I have been an enthusiastic participant in many heated discussions regarding the wrong doings by DHS. These discussions have always concluded with the unanimous agreement that "something has to be done" then shelved until the next impassioned bitch session.
But recently, I am hearing words and phrases like; "grassroots", "coalition", "fact gathering committees", "violations of civil rights", "public awareness raising", "lobbying", and so on…but the most encouraging new things I’m hearing…are whining, moaning, groaning, and heavy sighs.
Sounds that signify the weary acceptance of a rotten job that no body wants to do. Sounds made by women who comprehend the enormity of trying to change a system as mired in pomposity and arrogance as DHS, and that attracts employees with personality issues like a pedophile to Catholicism.
A commitment to this cause will require too much time and effort; and it will be funded solely by people who eat nothing but ramen for the last week of every month. Any expectations of compensation, courtesy, or respect are out of the question, but regular character assassinations are included in the package.
Lastly, and most importantly, we need a small group of good, strong, imperfect women. Card carrying members of the I-HAVE-NO-CREDIBILITY-CLUB. Previous experience marching into Hell preferred.
Source: Salem News
DHS-CSD Expose Part II
Considering the shining public reputation of DHS as “THE CHILD PROTECTION AGENCY”, and the portrayal of every client as a “monster”, the answers are not hard to predict.
(SALEM., Ore.) - Due to the large response I received to my guest opinion regarding wrongdoing by DHS-CSD, (see: Expose` - DHS Children`s Protective Services Division) and many requests that I write more on the subject, I have agreed to do follow up pieces as time allows.
Before I go any further, let me be very clear about my opinion regarding DHS-CSD.
I DO NOT support the presumption that DHS is all bad, or has no place in our society. If you are a child abuser, you deserve to have your children removed from your custody. If you are a parent that needs education to improve your parenting skills, I want you to get that education. If you are so ill that you can not adequately parent, I want you to get the help you need and deserve (which does not include punishment by DHS, but help).
DHS has saved countless children from the debilitating effects of abuse imposed by the very people children look to for nurturing and guidance. This is the DHS at its best, and I both support and applaud them for the children they have saved.
It is their much too frequent failure to perform adequate investigations of the allegations bringing a family to their attention that I want to address. Their willingness to believe reports of abuse by parties with an axe to grind, a spouse wanting custody as a form of revenge, or even a teacher who leans toward being fanatical over every small incident (it happens…I’ve seen it) is a huge problem.
Blatant violations of civil rights begin with the parent(s) being charged with some crime, but never having the right to know where the allegations came from, let alone face their accusers in court.
Then there are the caseworkers who lie to both the client and the judge, and who too often side with family members or former friends of the client who seek permanent custody of the child. They commit further violations and are sometimes willing do or say anything toward that end.
The pool of court appointed DHS-CSD lawyers most often seem disinterested in defending their clients. In the majority of cases, these appointed legal representatives are, in reality, in support of DHS.
One male attorney was overheard to say, “Don’t make waves. They’re vindictive”. In my own case, when faced with completely false allegations, my attorney suggested that I “plead to numbers 2 and 4”. I replied that I had no intention of pleading to anything, as the all of the allegations were completely false. Her reply to me was, “Well, you have to plead to something!” I will never forget that statement as long as I live. Since then, I carry a voice activated recorder to all important meetings.
The Citizens Review Board, a panel essentially appointed as DHS “watchdogs”, to oversee the actions of DHS in each clients’ case, appears to have “jumped the fence”, and are now barking in the wrong direction. I have been told repeatedly “they were useless”. That they “cross examine” and “criticize” clients as if they were prosecutors for the State.
One might wonder how any of this could be true, and rightly so, because it certainly is unbelievable.
Unbelievable... unless one takes into account the existence of certain circumstances that are neither new, nor unfamiliar, if you remember your history and sociology.
Here is the patent formula:
Start with a group of people who have been through trauma. Be it military invasion, threats of harm, anything that instills fear will do. If you can, add a good dose of guilt, all the better. Then you bind them by taking what matters most to them, then sooth them with false promises that “all will be well if you do as you are told.” These tactics are known to result in the “Stockholm Syndrome”, not only guaranteeing docile, compliant hostages, but willing hostages. I have always thought of this as “grooming”.
In fact, I have heard many DHS clients say that DHS “has different laws”. They are so convinced of the truth of this, that they will argue the fact, against themselves!
Too many DHS clients are groomed to the point that guilt, shame, remorse, and fear, reinforced by client attorneys and the citizens review board, remove their "fighting chance" as a human being to rise up and demand fairness for themselves. These tactics are so effective that DHS has come to see themselves as “untouchable”. So much so, that they regularly include their violations in their own written reports.
Add to all this, the shining public reputation of DHS as “THE CHILD PROTECTION AGENCY”, and the portrayal of every client as a “monster”, and what do you get? CARTE BLANCHE.
An ever growing number of angry, embittered citizens does not bode well for any part of any government, and it seems implausible that DHS could be unaware of their growing number of detractors, but unaware and unconcerned is what they seem to be.
This cannot continue indefinitely, if we remember our history.
I have spent the last 12 years of my life preparing to do something that I did not believe I had in me, that I do not possess the ability to do, requiring I express feelings that I am reported to not have,
The goal is to inform people who are predisposed not to believe me, to help people who don’t deserve it, for reasons beyond my documented ability to reason.
Source: Salem News
Expose DHS-CPD, Part III
What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?
(SALEM., Ore.) - My ever increasing email has come to include the names of women who have actually died (Pamela Gaston) in the effort to effect a change in the broken, abusive practices of DHS-CPD.
I am humbled by the experience and efforts made by those who have gone before me; those who have given years of broken hearted effort for their children and their sisters. The strong, battle weary, women who are still without justice, in spite of their strength and courage.
The email messages from these wonderful woman are full of encouragement, hope, and offers to "do what I can to help".
These good women fought alone, but this is not the fight of an individual. It is the fight of every American citizen. The fight to maintain our American civil liberties. The time has come for tears to dry, for hearts to harden, and for demanding justice.
Yes, this IS a call to battle, a battle fought not with the guns of men, but the words of men. With the powerful and just words of the First Amendment of our Constitution.
It is only through unity that we can gain the attention we need to redress our grievances, and only with the documented evidence that we possess that we can prove what we know to be true.
In my last newsletter, I mentioned the need for voice activated recorders. Now I am saying, publicly, that any DHS client attending a meeting without one, is doing so, not only at their own risk, but at the continued risk of every family that is a client of DHS-CPD.
How much more damage can we endure? Would 50 years from now be a better time?
We are not a "special interest group". We are not looking for a tax break, new boating laws, land zoning, or seat belt requirements. We are fighting for our families! Our children!
"When your ship comes in, don’t go the airport to meet it."
Source: Salem News
Expose: DHS-CPD, Part IV
Taking the state agency to task for shortfalls in management and a host of other problems that all too often never see the light of day.
(SALEM., Ore.) - In my last three guest pieces, I touched on several ways in which DHS-CPD, and their affiliates, have violated State and Federal laws. Following is a partial list of these violations:
- Failure to adequately investigate allegations that initially bring a family to the attention of DHS.
- Failure to divulge the identity of the person(s) making the allegations, or to look more closely at those who report issues of child neglect or endangerment to determine both motive and credibility or those doing the reporting (often anonymously).
- Requiring a parent who has come under CPS supervision to attend classes, counseling, submit to regular urinalysis, and jump through a series of senseless, unwarranted, hoops, not even related to the original allegations.
- Reporting to the judge that a client, with a perfect compliance record with all DHS demands, has missed meetings, or mandatory urinalysis. Blatant, arrogant lies…that, when caught in the act by the judge, are disguised as “mistake due to workload”.
- Postponing court hearings repeatedly, for months on end for no other reason than to keep the child in custody while gaining more time to "build" a case that does not currently exist.
- Ignoring existing client medical information, and bringing in their own "professionals", who are on the DHS payroll, so have a stake in supporting the DHS agenda 100% of the time.
- Mandating a client to counseling, then ignoring, or covering up the counselors positive reports (it gets lost, or somehow becomes immaterial).
This list goes on and on, and these are only a few of the more well-known practices of DHS-CPS workers.
However, it is one of DHS’s affiliate groups that I will further focus on here:
DHS-CPS COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEYS
In most cases, DHS-CPS will appoint an attorney for a new client. If the client is thinking of "outside representation", the agency procedure is to inform such independents that they, "shouldn’t waste their money, as the agency has 'Family Law Specialists' at their disposal, at no cost to the client".
Unfortunately, these DHS appointed attorneys rarely have any interest in actually helping the clients they were appointed to represent.
In fact, these "Family Law Specialists" routinely ignore their clients wishes regarding the handling of case specifics. They blow off reports of civil rights violations, allow excessive court delays without reason, and even allow judgments to be rendered when their client is not present. They lie and withhold legal information from their clients about;
Parental rights, court procedure, discovery (evidence the State intends to use against their clients in court). They fail to present positive evidence and character witnesses, and generally lull their clients into a false sense of security, then act surprised and blindsided when all goes as planned in court.
I find this most despicable. Lawyers are not well-known for their honesty or integrity, but these barristers are the epitome of the Biblical term, “Judas Goat”.
After carefully reviewing allegations of "inadequate representation" and "unethical legal practices" against three different DHS-CPS appointed attorneys (four, if I include my own), it is clear that all of these cases of "inadequate representation" meet the criteria for filing formal grievances with the Oregon State Bar Association.
The DHS "lawyer pool" is small enough that it would be quite possible for some of them to have multiple grievances with the Oregon State Bar Association (OSBA). Three of four of these filings against a DHS attorney, at the very least, would guarantee scrutiny by the OSBA.
Those of you already on my mailing list will receive copies of the OSBA Grievance Forms along with this month’s newsletter. If you are not on my mailing list, and would like to be, my email is included below. If you need anonymity, you can go to the OSBA website, and fill out the form they have there. If you just want to sit crying, and continue to do nothing, then we can not help each other…BUT, if you want understanding, support, and change…email me, because I need your help.
NUMBERS + SOLIDARITY + ACTION = CHANGE
Source: Salem News
Jenifer Saroian thinks that when we see something we believe to be dangerously toxic growing and flourishing in our society, it is our moral responsibility to try to do something. We wouldn't let a stranger step on a downed power line if we knew it was there...this isn't any different. It's about pointing out a problem, examining it, and finding a solution.
The issue with DHS has been of growing concern to Jenifer for years, but recently, shes says she has come to feel that it's her personal and social responsibility to speak for the people who can't speak for themselves on this issue.
Jenifer says "been there, done that" when it comes to her background. She has spent time working as a hairdresser, shop owner, landscaper, apartment manager, bar tender, state employee, and even has a little legal experience.
She says she is looking for an up and coming attorney, who has the brass to take on a State Agency on contingency. You can email Jenifer at email@example.com