Friday, December 7, 2012

Sample: Statement of Objections and Corrections to the Report of the Social Worker

This is a SAMPLE of a DECLARATION to be used in objecting to the exaggerations, misstatements and multiple errors often put into CPS court documents by CPS caseworkers. It can be adjusted to use to object to psychologist reports, in which case it would be called “Objections and Corrections to the Report of the Psychologist”. (If there’s more than one psychologist, go ahead and name him or her.)

Attach as much documentary evidence as you can to prove your side of the case. Evidence could be letters from professionals or legal declarations from friends/family, tape recordings, etc. – but be sure to label them clearly “Exhibit A”, “Exhibit B”, etc.

NOTES:

Everything in brackets [ ] will need to be deleted and/or replaced with your information.

Number each page at bottom center: “Page 2 of 5″ for example.

Put a header on each page stating “Objections and Corrections to the Report of the Child Welfare Caseworker” and underline that plus leave a few spaces to separate the header from the body of the document.

— document starts here —

[Parent's Name]
[Street Address]
[City, State Zip Code]
[Phone #]

[Change this next part to match the header information for your court case. You should be able to get this information from other paperwork already filed in your case. Try to make the header match what they have already done.]

[Center the next four lines and type in all caps:]

IN THE [SUPERIOR] COURT OF THE STATE OF [CALIFORNIA]
IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF [LOS ANGELES]

SITTING IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS JURISDICTION
AS THE JUVENILE COURT

IN THE MATTER OF:

JOHNNY DOE, JR (DOB 4-5-1992)
JANIE DOE (DOB 2-3-1996)

Persons alleged to come
within the provision of
the Juvenile Court Law.
______________________________

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OBJECTIONS AND CORRECTIONS
TO THE REPORT OF THE
CHILD WELFARE CASEWORKER

(get numbers from YOUR paperwork)
Clerk No. [33637, 33637]
Detention Date: March 21, 2000
Disposition Date: June 2, 2000
Review Date: December 15, 2001

To the Honorable INSERT JUDGE’S NAME HERE IN CAPS, Judge of the [Superior] Court of the State of [California], in and for the County of [Los Angeles]:

[Double space the rest of the text. Indent paragraphs ten spaces.]

The Honorable Court above-named is hereby advised that the REPORT OF THE CHILD WELFARE CASEWORKER herein, as prepared and typed is ERRONEOUS AND INCORRECT in the following particulars, to wit:

[Here's where you get to be creative. Go through your caseworker's court paperwork and find every error, no matter how trivial. Even trivial errors show how incompetent the person is. You will list each error separately with corrections as in the sample. This sample is derived from an actual case I worked on in 1991. The names, dates, and some details were changed. The case I worked on was dismissed after similar paperwork was given to the judge. Remember to double space everything below.]

1. Page One: JOHNNY DOE is not 8 years old. He was 10 as of April 5, 2002.

2. Page One: Mother’s name is ELIZABETH SMITH, not Doe. Address given by caseworker is incorrect.

3. Page Two: COUNT 1: “On or about March 21, 2000, minors were found to be dirty.” Minors were out playing in the yard, climbing trees to get fruit, and doing what most kids do when playing outside, getting dirty. There was nothing abnormal about their being dirty.

4. Page Two: COUNT 2: The caseworker erroneously stated, “Mother has recurrent mental problems that periodically render her unable to care for children.” Mother’s mental problem was temporary due to stress from her husband’s deportation, her father’s death, and the detention of her children by CPS. The problem is not recurrent and does not “periodically render her unable to care for the children” as suggested by the caseworker.

5. Page Three: “November 15, 2000″ court date given by the caseworker is incorrect. The correct date is November 12, 2000.

6. Page Three: The Doe children were not taken after the mother was admitted to Bellview Mental Hospital. A caseworker arrived to detain the children from their grandmother’s house and then advised the mother to allow herself to be admitted to Bellview because she was grieving and upset.

7. Page Three: On March 21, 2000 when Janie and Johnny were detained from their grandmother’s home they were not injured, neglected, or abused in any way.

8. Page Three: Problems with police officer on November 1, 1999 occurred when police arrived to arrest Mr. John Doe, Sr. for deportation and the mother was cuffed and beaten by the arresting officer. This arrest does not affect or reflect on the stability of her current home life with her new husband, Mr. Thomas Smith.

9. Page Three: Mother quit her job on June 20, 2001, not “shortly after her marriage” as stated by the caseworker. The job is no longer needed for support of the family as her new husband is earning enough to support them and is willing to do so. Mother is needed at home to care for the children.

10. Page Three: Date of marriage to Thomas Smith is incorrect. The correct date is November 29, 2000.

11. Page Three: “Mrs.”, not “Ms.” – The caseworker knows that Mrs. Smith is not separated from her husband, but throughout the report she implies that Mr. and Mrs. Smith are not together.

12. Page Three: While her husband was visiting family in Nevada, Mrs. Smith called Dr. Hoar only twice for advice during a two week period, not “frequently” as stated by the caseworker, and those calls were only about Johnny’s behavior, not about both children.

13. Page Three: Mrs. Smith has not only “largely complied” with the Reunification Plan, she has completely complied with all aspects of the plan.

14. Page Three: Mrs. Smith never told Dr. Hoar that she “couldn’t handle Johnny anymore and wanted to give him up,” as stated by the caseworker. What actually happened is that Dr. Hoar tried to talk Mrs. Smith into giving him up and putting him in a mental hospital. Mrs. Smith did not want to do that. During the session Mrs. Smith did not state that she had been upset.

15. Page Four: Janie does not have “sporadic behavior problems” in her home or at school as suggested by the caseworker. At home the mother has never seen indications of such problems and has received no such reports from Headstart. Attached please find “Exhibit A” – a letter from Headstart stating they have not observed or complained of any “sporadic behavior problems” from Janie.

16. Page Four: Johnny’s behavior problems are only occasional and not a “continuous problem” as stated by the caseworker in her report. Attached please find “Exhibit B” – an evaluation of Johnny’s behavior by Dr. Goodman in San Francisco, dated November 3, 2001.

17. Page Four: The improvement in Mrs. Smith’s parenting has been going on for years, not just for the last few months. Attached please find “Exhibit C” and “Exhibit D” – certificates of completion provided by parenting class instructors in January 1997 and November 2000.

18. Page Four: There has been no “substantial, recent regression” due to a separation from Mr. Smith. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are still living together; he simply took a two week vacation to Nevada to visit his sick mother. Therefore this should not be used as a basis for the caseworker’s request for another six months of services at taxpayers’ expense.

19. Page Four: Dr. Hoar wants the case prolonged for another six months because once the case is dismissed the mother will find a different therapist, and Dr. Hoar will no longer be receiving CPS money for seeing her and her children. Therefore, Dr. Hoar’s report should not be considered by the court. Mrs. Smith intends to find another therapist for the children when the case is dismissed as the children do not like seeing Dr. Hoar as therapist, and are even afraid to tell this to him. Under these circumstances, it is unlikely the children will progress adequately in therapy. For these reasons, Mrs. Smith’s request to have Dr. Hoar removed from the case can hardly be called “an indication of poor judgement” as stated by the caseworker. She did so solely for the benefit of the children and with concerned regard for their psychological functioning.

20. Page Four: Recommendation that the minors be readjudged dependents of the Juvenile Court is inappropriate as the family has been functioning well during the last six months that they have been together. The case should be closed at this time.

21. Pages Four and Five: Recommendations 2, 4, and 5 are also inappropriate as the case should be closed.

22. Pages Six and Seven: Service Plan for mother and caseworker is inappropriate as the case should be closed.

Executed 10 December 2001 at Los Angeles, California.
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

(Signature) Elizabeth Smith

Sample form created by: Linda J. Martin, http://www.fightcps.com

The “Statement of Objections and Corrections to the Report of the Social Worker” (or Child Welfare Caseworker, or Psychologist) should be typed, edited for spelling and grammar, and when perfect, given to your attorney.

If you have a court appointed attorney who refuses to meet with you, I suggest you type a very brief cover letter, then take two copies to the attorney’s office. Ask the front-desk clerk to datestamp YOUR copy so you’ll have verification that you submitted this to your attorney. You should include your phone number on your cover letter and request that the attorney contact you about using the document in court.

If you are too late to get this to your attorney before court, take four copies to court with you – one for your records, one for the judge, one for your attorney, and one for the county counsel. Everyone must have a copy. Your attorney may decide to request a continuance so he/she can study the document before giving it to the judge and county counsel. A continuance is difficult (waiting to be with your child again is sheer hell, I know) but it might be the wisest way to handle the fact that you’re now bringing in your own documentation to help prove your side of the case.

Good luck with this! If you need more feedback about this “Statement of Objections and Corrections to the Report of the Social Worker” you’re welcome to register at the FightCPS Message Board and discuss it with other victims of child welfare services.

http://fightcps.com/2011/05/09/sample-statement-of-objections-and-corrections-to-the-report-of-the-social-worker/