Natia Sampson volunteered to become the legal guardian of her niece after the girl’s parents were incarcerated. And the social worker on the case took a liking to Natia.
At first she politely rejected his advances, fearing that reporting these instances would be met with retaliation. But soon it turned into sexual harassment, and she was forced to contact his superiors. But nothing changed. Until one day, the social worker exploded at Natia, saying, “I don’t know where you get off sending all these complaint emails and making all these calls, but you are going to find out that we at [Child Services] stick together, and cover for each other.”
Soon after, he lodged claims of child neglect against Natia. She eventually fought off the completely unsubstantiated charges.
Natia then sued the social worker and the Department of Children and Family Services for so obviously violating her rights. But the case was dismissed last month. The Judge’s decision reads:
“the right of private individuals to be free from sexual harassment at the hands of social workers was not clearly established at the time of defendants’ conduct in this case.”
What this means:
Clearly if the parents are in prison, this family has some problems. It is easy to dismiss these cases as the stuff of broken homes. But we have also highlighted a case in the past where children were kidnapped by a SWAT team after the parents disagreed with a doctor over the seriousness of a fever.
Then there was the child taken away because a father wouldn’t cooperate with a civil asset forfeiture proceeding– when the cops steal your money without a conviction, or even a criminal charge.
A town in Alabama removed countless children from innocent parents because a lab owner falsified drug test results for years.
One judge removed a child from the home in an attempt to force a confession from her parents. The courts found no evidence of abuse, but didn’t return the child to her parents for two years.
This same judge removed a child from a home because the court hearing was running too late into the evening. In another case, she arbitrarily denied placing a child with his grandparents, instead placing him in a stranger’s foster home where he was sexually abused.
While hopefully these cases are rare, you can’t deny that foster care horror stories exist. It’s terrible enough to be separated from your child. But to imagine what could be happening to your child in a stranger’s care is even more terrifying.
Earlier this year, the US Marshal Service launched a national effort to rescue trafficked children. They recently confirmed that the majority of sexually trafficked children they rescued came from foster care.
In the Ohio operation, “25 of the 31 children recovered were in DCFS [foster] care in either a group homes or foster case… in Georgia: 28 of the 39 recovered were in the care of DFACS [Department of Family and Children’s Services].”
What you can do about it:
There has recently been a massive increase in homeschooling because of COVID. In the past, you could reasonably worry that homeschooling would make you a target of the state, just for being outside the mainstream. But these days, homeschooling is more likely to shield you from any incidents in the first place.
Just this past Friday we talked about a case where a social worker was brought in because a teacher saw a BB gun in a child’s bedroom during virtual learning.
Teachers peering into your home through the child’s computer screen is already ensnaring innocent kids and parents in the social services system. So it’s reasonable to assume that states with the highest homeschool freedom are some of the safest from social services overreach as well.
The following states do not require any notice that you are homeschooling: Alaska, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Texas. (Usually in these states you do have to formally withdraw your child from public school if they were previously enrolled.)
Also, joining the Home School Legal Defense Association (or a similar group) gives you legal protection, resources, and a network with strength in numbers if Child Protective Services does ever unjustly target you.
But when it comes to something as important as having agency over your own children, you may want to look outside the US entirely.
In a Sovereign Man Confidential Alert from August, we profiled a man who we referred to as David. As a child, he witnessed the government kidnap his five-year-old nephew. David’s parents had been raising the little boy– their grandson– because the boy’s parents were unable to do so. But the boy’s father (David’s sister’s ex) didn’t like the arrangement. He convinced his girlfriend, a Child Protective Services official, to remove the child from the home. The little boy was never returned.
“I saw first-hand that child welfare in the US is a Soviet-style system,” he says. “They got away with it. I vowed at that moment never to have a child in the US.”
David and his wife opted to have their first baby in Brazil, where they have been living for most of this year. And for their next child, they are considering Argentina or Chile. In the meantime, the family plans to live in Spain.
Of course, this is only anecdotal information. But as someone who witnessed the abuses of the US child services system first- hand, David feels better about his parental rights in these countries. And even when a country’s official child services laws look similar to laws in the US, in practice, it may be much more rare for a child to be removed without actual serious cause.
In that sense, you may want to look at a country’s culture regarding parental rights, rather than just its laws.