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September 12, 2009 permalink
In child protection cases that get to litigation, often an advocate represents the interest of the child in the courtroom. Ontario appoints a lawyer through the Office of the Children's Lawyer. In the state of Washington (and many other states), there is an advocate known as CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate. A story by a CASA below shows how useless the position is. It comes from senator Pam Roach, who knows the name of the author but withheld it from publication.
September 11, 2009
CASA Volunteer Reports Bias In The System
I was a CASA several years ago. I only worked on one case, but that was enough for me to see very clearly that the CASA's job has nothing to do with protecting the child's best interests. When I disagreed with the actions being taken by CPS which were jeopardizing the children's safety I was viciously attacked. Even though I had cleared a background check and attended and passed all the training, I was talked down to and raked over the coals when I gave my testimony in court. My case involved two young children who were taken from their parents at the ER when the mother tested positive for amphetamines. It very likely was a false positive, because a couple weeks later, she was in the ER again and when she was told she tested positive she insisted she had done no drugs and asked for a second test, which came back negative. She was accused of being a "frequent flyer" at the ER obviously hooked an pain meds, but when an ER doc finally took her complaints seriously and ran some tests, she was found to have undiagnosed MS. her complaints had been very real. Nevertheless, the state took her children away and they were never returned, the state now saying she was incapable of caring for them because she had MS! It's a long and shocking story! Once I realized what my "real" function was - to support CPS's decisions, regardless of the facts, - I quit the program entirely.
Source: Pam Roach blog for September 11, 2009