Tag Archives: CPS Crimes

KY CPS Files CA On Wrong Father

.jpg photo of family that cps filed a false illegal document of child abuse against in court
Brandon Humphries plays with his three-year-old daughter in their home in Rineyville on a recent Wednesday.

How a stressed out Kentucky social
worker accused the wrong father
of Child Abuse

THESE MISTREATED, OVERWORKED, UNDERPAID WORKERS…. I’m almost in tears….  NOT!!!!  This Dear couple, the Humphries, was most pobably being  setup so these poor mistreated kidnappers could have their Children by now.

Who knows how many Children’s lives have been lost or ruined, and how many Families have been broken up or innocent lives lost because of these people’s above-the law crimes.
Robert StrongBow

On a Sunday morning in late August, while Karin Humphries was still in her nightgown, a sheriff’s deputy knocked at her door.

Karin, 31, was home with two of her four children, including her second youngest — a three-year-old daughter.  Her husband, Brandon, 31, had just left to get a haircut.

Stunned at the unexpected visit, Karin worried something had happened to her two oldest boys, and her stomach dropped.

But the Hardin County sheriff’s deputy was there for a different reason.  Carrying a summons, he asked to speak to Brandon, who had been ordered to appear before a Fayette County judge the following week for alleged abuse and neglect of their three-year-old.

“YOU COULD LOSE YOUR CHILDREN.  YOU SHOULD HAVE A LAWYER,” was printed in bold on the page.

Horrified, never having seen her husband abuse their daughter or noticing any signs of neglect, Karin told the deputy he’d made a mistake.  He countered by referencing the detailed statement their Fayette County social worker, Brittany Philpot, had attached to the petition.

“But we don’t have a social worker, and I don’t even know where Fayette County is,” Karin remembers telling him.  Other than a visit from a child protective services worker several years ago over an issue with Karin’s ex-husband, Karin said they’ve never had any involvement with the state Department for Community Based Services, which handles child welfare matters.

A frantic Brandon, who arrived at their Rineyville home within minutes of Karin calling to say he’d been summoned, began thumbing through the paperwork with the deputy.  His and Karin’s birth dates and Social Security numbers were correct, but he noticed his daughter’s information was correct on some pages but not others. And the legal name of the three-year-old’s listed biological mother was the name of a woman who lived in Lexington that neither he nor Karin knew.  The Lexington woman and Brandon were listed as legal guardians.

“Within 10 seconds of reading it, I knew this wasn’t about us, that there had been a mistake,” Brandon said in his living room two weeks later.

Included in the summons were intimate details about the Lexington woman, a 21-year-old mother with two children, including a three-year-old daughter who shares an almost identical name to Brandon and Karin’s daughter.  The woman later spoke to the Herald-Leader.  Her identity is being withheld, along with her daughter’s name, because they are possible victims of abuse.

The paperwork given to the Humphrieses included the Lexington mother’s address, both her and her daughter’s Social Security numbers, which daycare the children attend, and details of their case, including results of drug tests the mother has taken, recent medical history, currently prescribed medications, instances of potential domestic violence, and details explaining why Philpot, 28, believes the three-year-old is “at risk of harm” in her mother’s home.

“We’re panicking, thinking, you’ve got the wrong kid, and is there a child in need somewhere and you don’t know where she is?” Karin recalled.

Around this time, more than 90 miles away, law enforcement knocked on the Lexington mother’s door with a copy of the same paperwork in tow, where the child the summons was issued to protect lives.  Her copy, like theirs, included the address, birth dates and Social Security numbers of Karin and Brandon Humphries and their daughter.

For the Humphrieses, there was little they could do on a Sunday afternoon.  They made several calls anyway, including to Philpot, whose number was on the summons. She didn’t pick up, so Brandon left a message.

Not knowing how quickly the issue would get resolved and being unfamiliar with the process, the couple was afraid their daughter might be mistakenly taken by child protective services, so they hastily found a lawyer for $250 an hour to appear for them in court the following Wednesday.

That night, Karin and Brandon couldn’t sleep.

“It was terrifying, literally, for two days,” Karin said, “to be sitting, watching your driveway, thinking at any moment someone might show up and take my three-year-old.”

Paranoid when their older children went to school Monday morning, Karin and Brandon asked their teachers to please call them first if anyone showed up asking questions about their kids.

Later that day, Karin phoned the Lexington mother for the first time, and found out the packets they both received were virtually identical.

When Karin shared with the Lexington mother they’d been given the specifics of her and her children’s case, “I was humiliated,” the mother said.

“I still am humiliated.  I just don’t think anyone has the right to know those personal details about me and my children,” she said, adding that in the three weeks since, the state still hasn’t told her of the mix up.  Earlier this week, a state employee called to say her case had been given to a different social worker without explaining why, she said.

At the Humphrieses’ that evening, state officials had begun returning phone messages, including Philpot, who wrongly assured the couple no one else had received their personal information, they said.

Two days later, the Humphrieses’ attorney returned from the hearing saying officials said all paperwork with their information had been collected and digital copies destroyed.  He then handed over what he’d been given in court, which included bits and pieces of summons from other cases, they said.  One of those papers included personal information about the Lexington mother’s son, who has a different father than her daughter.  This led the Humphrieses to wonder, again, whether their personal information had been shared with someone else, perhaps this boy’s father, who lives in Eastern Kentucky.

Philpot and her bosses would later apologize in an interview with the Herald-Leader for her error as an “honest mistake,” but acknowledged it’s a symptom of a broader issue facing Kentucky’s child welfare system: caseworkers continue to struggle with untenable caseload volumes, increasing the likelihood for mistakes and unintended consequences.

In Kentucky right now, the average social worker manages at least double the number of recommended cases — each of which involves the welfare of a child. When Philpot pulled a wrong file that led to the mix up, she was managing nearly five times that amount.

Her slip up led to the spread of personal information, invoking fear and stoking two families’ distrust in the state’s largest branch of government.  And for the Humphrieses, eventually to an ameliorating offer of $5,000 from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to cover at least five years’ worth of credit monitoring and repayment of the Humphrieses’ attorney fees, they said.  Cabinet officials would not confirm the specifics of the proposed settlement.

The offer, though, was extended on the condition that the couple agree not to sue the state, return the mixed documentation and that Karin take down a Facebook post she made about the incident, even though it didn’t include names.

They said no.

“The ability to tell our story is worth more,” Brandon said.

.jpg photo of family that cps filed a false illegal document of child abuse against in court
Brandon Humphries, of Rineyville, helps his stepson, Anders Davenport, 7, with his homework at their home.

‘She made a mistake’

Philpot is a veteran in her profession, despite her young age.  With more than six years as a state social worker under her belt, her tenure more than doubles that of many of her colleagues in Fayette County, one of the most case-heavy regions in the state, where most who leave the job do so after fewer than two years.  That’s in part why she’s chief on her investigatory team, holding the highest position under her supervisor.

Her work history is also sparkling, one of her supervisors, Alicia Miller, said.

“I never have worried about a case that Brittany has investigated, or any of the information she brings back from an investigation,” Miller said.

Philpot took the job immediately after college, earnest and passionate about protecting children.  In the nearly seven years since, she’s seen colleagues buried under hefty caseloads, inadequate pay and high stress spurred by long work hours flee to other professions.  But it hasn’t shaken her resolve, even as she’s seen her own caseload grow to an unmanageable size.  In one recent pay period, Philpot logged 48 hours of overtime, she said.

“I can attest to the caseloads in Fayette County — almost every worker I have has a high caseload and it’s due to staff turnover,” Miller said.

A year-long study completed by a state legislative committee in 2017 found Kentucky to have some of the highest caseloads in the nation, and the annual turnover rate in the profession was 24 percent.  In a report issued this summer, the state average was still about 31 cases per worker — twice as high as the federal recommended standard of 15 to 17.

Raises were given to social workers across the state three years ago for the first time since 2008 as a way to stave off high turnover rates, boost morale, and create an avenue by which employees could work their way up to higher-paying positions. Starting salaries are now around $34,000. Philpot earns $43,090, according to state records.

In 2018, Gov. Matt Bevin’s biennial budget included $22.2 million to fund more pay increases for about 10 percent of social workers, and another $28 million to hire new social workers and replace outdated technology.

But progress is slow going.

Currently, the average caseload size in Fayette County is 33, according to state data. And the number of social workers hired in the area in 2019 compared with how many have quit is virtually break even: between Jan. 1 and Sept. 15, 19 social workers were hired and 16 left.  In the 10 central Kentucky counties that make up the Southern Bluegrass region, including Fayette, 27 social workers have been hired this year, while 30 have quit.

Today, Philpot manages 60 cases — almost five times the federally recommended amount.  Each case represents a family of varying size, meaning she manages well over 100 children, all of whom are in vulnerable and potentially dangerous positions. It’s a workload she admitted “is not doable.”

When she mistakenly swapped the Humphrieses’ three-year-old with the Lexington mothers’, she was managing 56 cases, according to her personnel records.

Philpot erred when she pulled the wrong name from Kentucky’s birth index, a statewide registry with personal information for every person born in Kentucky. That day, she also pulled information for about 10 other children, in order to issue similar juvenile dependency, abuse and neglect petitions to their parents.

Complicating matters, the Lexington three-year-old’s name was spelled incorrectly in the system, “so when I searched her in the birth index, the other child is the one that came up,” and, always tight for time, she didn’t double check her Social Security number and birth date, Philpot said in an interview Monday alongside Miller, Department for Community Based Services Commissioner Eric Clark, Cabinet for Health and Family Services Chief of Staff Tresa Straw, and DCBS Chief of Staff Lesa Dennis.  They all defended Philpot’s work performance and said no reprimand was necessary.

“I made an honest mistake.  I was very overwhelmed,” Philpot said.  “I would never intentionally put stress on a family like this.”

Clark said he and others chose to speak publicly about the incident to admit a mistake was made, and to rebuff the Humphrieses’ notion that accountability means “publicly shaming” Philpot for a simple error.

Workforce retention is a constant struggle for the department, the officials agreed, and it’s likely to be exacerbated now that the Humphrieses are using “this as a platform to ruin a good worker’s career and publicly humiliate her,” Clark said.

“Let’s talk about mistakes.  Let’s talk about outcomes due to high caseloads,” he said. “There are much more egregious things that can happen due to high caseloads outside of mailing something to the wrong address.”

Miller said it’s hard for people outside the industry to understand the toll it takes.

“For someone who doesn’t understand what the agency does and just wants to have an outlet for their own benefit when we’re here trying to protect kids, trying to make sure families have what they need, it puts a bad taste in your mouth.  That there are people out there who have no clue what we do but want to drag us through the mud when we have really good workers who are trying to do their jobs.”

‘Not going to correct what happened’

In the weeks since the incident, Karin and the Lexington mother have been communicating regularly.  She’s due in court for her daughter’s case in early October, and Karin, who said she feels obligated “not to turn our back on her and her kids,” plans to go.

Though Clark wouldn’t provide specifics, he said the state has tried “everything we can” to remediate the issue with the Humphrieses, but to no avail, because what they want is “more precious taxpayer dollars to pay them out for this mistake.”

The Humphrieses, though, said they’re not interested in money, especially if it comes with strings attached, and they don’t understand why they’re being portrayed as exploitative.

What they want is accountability and assurance that this won’t happen again.

“How big of a mistake are they allowed to make before something changes?” Brandon said.  “They still can’t tell us who all has our information.  We understand that mistakes get made, but we didn’t ask to be brought into this.”

But instead of getting bogged down scrutinizing isolated mistakes, Clark said, the department must focus on retaining more of its employees.

A big part of that means standing behind overworked staff by transparently owning minor mistakes and publicly defending them — what he called “a new way of operating.”

“We have got to stop workers from leaving our agency in two years or less,” he said, and figuring out, “how can we create an environment where workers feel supported in spite of high caseloads?”

As for what should happen as a result of Philpot’s mix up, Clark was unequivocal: “There does not need to be a change in how we operate in the Department for Community Based Services,” he said.

Accountability is necessary, he said, but this isn’t what it looks like.

“A new policy, a new procedure, disciplinary action is not going to prevent this from happening again, and it’s not going to correct what happened,” he said.

“It’s important for us to demonstrate to Brittany and our entire workforce that we care about them, because we need them.  We’re not going to let bad outcomes define who we are.”

Obamas Legacy 90,000 “Lost” Immigrant Children

Obama administration delivered illegal immigrant children to predators,
lawmakers say

“Worse yet, the administration acknowledged that it can’t account for each of the 90,000 children it processed and released since the surge peaked in 2014.”

The Washington Times – Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Obama administration sent illegal immigrant children into “modern-day slavery” by turning them over to sponsors who forced them into child labor or subjected them to sexual abuse, members of Congress said Thursday as they demanded that top child protection officials explain how it could have happened.

“I do hope all you President Trump haters can read better than you remember history, because here is just one sick part of Obama’s Legacy, and also I hope everyone pays attention to the lies HHS/CPS tells to Our Law Makers.”
Robert StrongBow

CPS Still Pimping Children To Sex Traffickers

Where Are The 90,000+ Latino Children CPS

Social workers don’t verify all sponsors’ identities, don’t make site visits to see the conditions they’re sending the children to, don’t insist on follow-up visits to see how the kids are doing and don’t consider serious criminal records — including child sex charges — automatic disqualification for hosting a child, congressional investigators said.

As a result, the government delivered children into the hands of what amounted to sexual predators or abusers or placed them into abject poverty, investigators detailed in a report about malfeasance at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.

One girl was sent to live with a man who claimed he was her cousin and who had paid to smuggle her into the U.S. It turned out he wasn’t related at all, but instead had paid to bring the girl — with her mother’s encouragement — on the understanding that she would become his wife.  She became uncomfortable with their sexual relationship, came forward to report the real story and was taken into child protective services.

In another case, a boy was turned over to a man who posed as a relative, but was in fact connected to smugglers who forced the child to work almost 12 hours a day to pay off the $6,500 his mother gave to smuggle him into the U.S., congressional investigators said.  That situation is so prevalent it has earned a name: debt labor.

Worse yet, the administration acknowledged that it can’t account for each of the 90,000 children it processed and released since the surge peaked in 2014.

“It sounds like everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” said Sen. Rob Portman, chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which conducted a six-month investigation into the government’s handling of the tens of thousands of children who have poured across the border in the past few years.

Mark Greenberg, acting assistant secretary at the Administration for Children and Families, the HHS agency that oversees the handling of the children, stumbled for answers during a two-hour grilling, but said his officers were only following their policies.

He insisted that if there was a fault, it lay with Congress, who needed to rewrite the laws if it wanted his social workers to do more to keep children safe.

“What we’re talking about today is our understanding under the law,” he said.

The Obama administration admits it was overwhelmed when unaccompanied children — those sent on the treacherous journey north without a parent or guardian in tow — streamed across the border at the rate of more than 10,000 a month during the peak in the summer of 2014.

Local communities waged “not in my backyard” campaigns to keep the children from being housed at facilities near them, so the administration looked to quickly process and release the kids.  Part of that meant relaxing the checks that were performed.

The Washington Times reported in July 2014, at the height of the surge, that advocates predicted children would be sent to unsafe homes, with one group estimating that as many as 10 percent of the children were being sent to live in unacceptable or dangerous conditions.

But 18 months on, the Obama administration has yet to revoke a single sponsor’s custody agreement, with the administration saying once it has placed a child in the hands of a sponsor — either a relative, family friend or someone else — they no longer have control.

If a sponsor refuses to answer questions and shuts the door in the face of a social worker, there’s nothing the administration can do, Mr. Greenberg told the Senate panel.

“Our view that we don’t have continuing custody after we release a child is a long-standing view,” he said.

“If this is an area where Congress wants the law to be different, Congress should change the law.”

HHS did not disqualify families even if the sponsor was an illegal immigrant in danger of being deported himself.

Home visits are made in just 4 percent of the tens of thousands of cases, and it wasn’t until earlier this week — years into the unaccompanied minor crisis — that HHS adopted a new policy preventing children from being shipped to homes where someone has been convicted of a sex crime.

“We’re talking about felony convictions for child abuse. Hello?” said a frustrated Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat.

About 90 percent of the children were sent to live with parents or close relatives, but that left thousands who were placed with other sponsors — often people claiming to be family friends.

The subcommittee investigation found some sponsors tried to claim multiple children, and some addresses were repeatedly listed on sponsorship forms, suggesting that government officials should have spotted something wrong.

In the worst public case so far, investigators said human traffickers used the government’s placement program to sneak kids from Guatemala to the U.S., where HHS processed them at the border, then delivered them to supposed family friends. But the friends turned out to be sponsors-for-hire who, as soon as they collected the kids from HHS, turned them over to the traffickers who were running an egg farm in Marion County, Ohio, and needed the children for cheap labor.

The children were forced to work 12-hour days, six or seven days a week, and lived together in a dilapidated trailer.  The traffickers withheld paychecks and threatened their families back home in Guatemala to intimidate the children, Mr. Portman said.

“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard.  But what makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers,” he said.

Justice For Gabriel, CPS Next

Mother, her boyfriend sentenced in boy’s “beyond animalistic” Child Abuse death

LOS ANGELES, CA  –  A judge sentenced a California mother to life in prison Thursday and gave her boyfriend the death penalty in the “beyond animalistic” killing of the woman’s 8-year-old son, who prosecutors say was punished because the couple believed he was gay.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli told the couple that he hopes they wake up in the middle of the night and think of the injuries they inflicted on 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez of Palmdale.

Lying Is Part Of What Needs Total Realignment

Four Social Workers Charged

LA Judge Walking Tall Against 4 CPS Employees
Prosecutor Says CPS Covering Up Own Misbehavior

“I can only wish … that it tortures you,” the judge said.

Gabriel was repeatedly beaten, starved, tied up, locked in a cabinet, shot with a BB gun and once had his teeth knocked out with a bat, the judge said.  Court records also detailed that Gabriel had been doused with pepper spray, forced to eat his own vomit and locked in a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth to muffle his screams, according to CBS Los Angeles.

“It is unimaginable the pain that this boy probably endured,” Lomeli said.

The boy also had a fractured skull, broken ribs and burns across his body.

“It goes without saying that the conduct was horrendous and inhumane and nothing short of evil,” Lomeli said.  “It’s beyond animalistic because animals know how to take care of their young.”

Gabriel’s mother, 34-year-old Pearl Fernandez, pleaded guilty to murder in February in the death of her son in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, reports CBS Los Angeles.  A jury found her boyfriend, 37-year-old Isauro Aguirre, guilty of murder last year and found that he intentionally tortured the boy.

Fernandez called 911 on May 22, 2013, to report that her son wasn’t breathing.  She told responding deputies that he had fallen and hit his head on a dresser.

When paramedics arrived, they found Gabriel naked in a bedroom, not breathing, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin.

He died two days later of blunt-force trauma and neglect, the coroner’s office found.

Gabriel’s siblings testified that Fernandez and Aguirre would call the boy gay, punish him if he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls’ clothes to school.

Gabriel’s first-grade teacher, Jennifer Garcia, tearfully addressed the court ahead of Thursday’s sentencing, saying she thinks of him every day and how he just wanted to be loved.

“I find comfort in believing he is now at peace,” Garcia said.  “And I know that unlike him, his abusers will never have peace.  They will have a lifetime of suffering to endure, and I know I’m not alone in hoping they experience the same abuse in their lifetime and worse.  They are evil people for what they did.”

Gabriel’s biological father, who is serving time for robbery, was also present at the sentencing hearing, but declined to speak.  He watched the sentencing from his cell, reports CBS Los Angeles.

An expressionless Fernandez spoke briefly during the court hearing, saying she was sorry and wished Gabriel was alive.  She also criticized family members who have spoken of their grief over Gabriel, saying they just want fame.

A jail chaplain who has met with Fernandez told the court that she loved her son and is a different woman today than when she walked into jail.

Several agencies investigated abuse allegations leading up to Gabriel’s death. Garcia, the teacher, had called authorities to report that the boy had asked her if it was normal for a mother to hit her children with a belt, reports CBS Los Angeles.

On several occasions, investigators concluded there was no evidence of abuse.

Prosecutors have since filed charges of child abuse and falsifying records against four county social workers in Gabriel’s death.

I Let Leiliana Wright Down

.jpg photo of report of failing to protect Children from abuse
Shame on U.S., a report by the Children’s Advocacy Institute

When It Mattered Most, I Failed

I remember saying many times, “If we have made a difference in at least one Child’s life, then all of this will have been worth it”, just how many times I have no idea.

 On January 28, 2015, I posted an article that I just knew would make a really big difference.

Child Abuse And Neglect Laws Aren’t Being Enforced

Why did I believe this post would make such a big difference????

For the simple, yet almost unbelievable fact that NOT EVEN ONE STATE CPS PROGRAM IN OUR COUNTRY HAD COMPLIED WITH  MINIMUM FEDERAL CHILD WELFARE REQUIREMENTS.

The post got the attention of more than a few caring individuals.

But it wasn’t all the story.

NOT EVEN ONE STATE CPS PROGRAM IN OUR COUNTRY HAS COMPLIED WITH MINIMUM FEDERAL CHILD WELFARE REQUIREMENTS AS FAR AS I CAN TELL SINCE 2001 OR 2002.

Now, I have a story to post, of a Child Protection Agency that is over-worked, underpaid, and have been known as “The Untouchables” due to the slap on the hands by the court system for crimes such as manufacturing evidence that resulted in illegal seizures.

Lying Is Part Of What Needs Total Realignment

.jpg photo of Child murdered because of CPS inaction
Gabriel Fernandez, another victim of CPS

Social workers charged with Child Abuse in
death of boy

Please pay particular attention to the next-to-last paragraph where the CPS Director shows  that these evil people with an agenda could care less about Our Children, when he disrespects the death of this young Child by lying!!!!
~Robert StrongBow~

PALMDALE, CA  –  Four social workers were charged with child abuse and falsifying public records in the death of an 8-year-old Palmdale, California boy in 2013.

Gabriel Fernandez died two years ago in May.  Prosecutors said he was the victim of repeated abuse.

“Social workers play a vital role in society.  We entrust them to protect our children from harm,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement.  “When their negligence is so great as to become criminal, young lives are put at risk.”

A complaint for an arrest warrant filed on March 28 charges social workers Stefanie Rodriguez, 30, and Patricia Clement, 65, and their respective supervisors, Kevin Bom, 36, and Gregory Merritt, 60, each with one felony count of child abuse and one felony count of falsifying public records, according to the district attorney’s office.

The young boy suffered a fractured skull, several broken ribs and had been shot with a BB gun.  He was later declared brain dead.

The boy’s mother, 31-year-old Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, and her former boyfriend, 35-year-old Isauro Aguirre, have both been charged with capital murder in Gabriel’s death.

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) opened a case on the boy in October 2012.  Following an investigation into Gabriel’s death, the four social workers were fired.

The district attorney’s office said that Rodriguez and Clement are accused of falsifying reports that should have documented signs of Gabriel’s escalating physical abuse, and Bom and Merritt knew or should have known that they were approving false reports that conflicted with the evidence of Gabriel’s deteriorating physical well-being.

“We believe these social workers were criminally negligent and performed their legal duties with willful disregard for Gabriel’s well-being,” Lacey said.  “They should be held responsible for their actions.”

DCFS Director Philip Browning said in a statement, “I want to make it unambiguously clear that the defendants do not represent the daily work, standards or commitment of our dedicated social workers, who, like me, will not tolerate conduct that jeopardizes the well-being of children.  For the vast majority of those who choose this demanding career, it is nothing short of a calling.”

The four are slated to be arraigned on Thursday.  If convicted, each defendant faces up to 10 years in state prison.