This site has been designed to help parents or guardians who are seeking assistance due to governmental interaction.
Children First Advocacy is a family organization in your community that can give you support and information about the interaction with governmental agencies related to children in the state of Massachusetts.
Having a child advocate on your side who understands parenting and the difficulties that can be faced in today’s world has been extremely helpful for those who suddenly find themselves faced with allegation of neglect or abuse based on someone’s belief you have not been an appropriate parent.
Within this web site Children First Advocacy has prepared individualized categories to explain different parts of the process should you become involved with the Department of Children and Families.
One hundred thousand 51A’s are filed yearly, yet we know only about 100 cases are actually related to true child abuse.
Then you ask what are all the other child abuse filings?
The vast majority of “supported” case are for neglect and are subjected to DCF interpretation of events. Thousands of 51A’s are filed yearly due to conflict with either an x-spouse, neighborhood disagreements, dispute with school teachers or in cases of custody disputes.
The Department of Children and Families, regularly will support allegations on any family if they have never been involved with the system before simply because the “Department” operates under the assumption we need to know your family. In other words the more children placed into the system, the more reason for justification for funding.
People do not understand:
The Juvenile Justice system is broken, Juvenile Judges routine stamp ex pâté imotions by DCF to take custody of children with very little regard as to “probable cause” or the proof of allegations.
The two major reason why the Department of Children and Families has so much control in juvinel courts is due to the decision of the Supreme Judicial Court in Care and Protection of Jeremy which removed from Massachusetts judges the right to make decisions in the best interests of children in foster care. Aslo the ruling in the Care and Protection of Sharlene where even the power of life and death, is in the hands of DCF, who currently received zero over sight.
A Federal lawsuit Connor B. V Patrick was filed on April 15 , 2010 which states in part that children in the Massachusetts foster care system suffer abuse at nearly four times the national standardand. As of March 2011 U.S. District Judge Michael Ponsor ruled the case met the threshold for a class action. The suit is now filed on behalf of about 8,500 children in foster care.
Juvenile Judges need to be given back the ability to judicially overrule DCF to protect the children of Massachusetts.
In a DCF, 51A investigation, the investigation can result in criminal charges based on any disclosures you make without you having to have your Miranda rights read to you.
Only thirty hours of classroom training is required to be an investigator or case worker for DCF. (A bachelor degree is preferred in a relative subject under the new regulation passed 07/10/2008).
You are not allowed to know the actual reporter of a 51A report. You are not provided a copy of the actual 51A report filed against during the 51B investigation.
If you are supported, your family will be forced to participate in a forty- five day assessment (3 months). Your failure to participate will usually result in DCF filing for a care and protection petition for the Department to take custody of your children.
The determination of the 45 day assessment, which will be made by a supervisor who never meet you or your family will be the bases for the task (now sometimes called actions) assigned in the service plan written by DCF. The task or actions assigned may have nothing to do with the original allegations contained in the 51A.
According the 110 CMR Regulations 6.07 (1) a service plan shall be, to the maximum extent possible, jointly developed by the Department and those clients receiving services from the Department. Parents rountinely complain they had no input into the (services) which are in reality task assigned in a service plan by the Department.
Service Plans routinely do not include services, they demand task or actions be completed by parents.
If you do not complete all the assigned task assigned after a six month review, DCF may go forward and seek a care and protection order from the Juvinile court to take custody of your child.
Children in foster care are two thirds more likely to be abused than children who live with their biological families.
Children in foster care are chemically restrained and given adult doses of medication to control behavior of children who act out due to ther desire to want to return home to their loving families.
Obtaining an advocate immediately will protect your family from misleading information presented in a 51B investigation report, which once written will be used against you.
Mary T. Jean, Child Advocate has been successful in helping over 300 families protect their children from false accusations, misleading and inaccurate material presented in 51B reports that commonly results in unnecessary DCF interaction in to your family life.
By having an advocate with you while DCF is in your home, the ability for DCF to produce “misleading information” to “support” an allegation is severely diminished.
Mary T. Jean who has worked eight years as an independent advocate knows the 110 CMR regulations, DCF policy and procedures and understands how to protect your families rights.
A self help section is also available which will save hours of searching for answers.
The self help section contains Commonwealth of Massachusetts 110 Regulation, Chapter 119 of the Massachusetts General Laws, pre-written letters which site regulations to obtain case records, Fair Hearings, grievance filings and case closing request to name a few. The Self help section also contains definitions of language commonly used, answers to questions commonly asked and other valuable information This one stop location will save hours of reading and searching for material to help you assist yourself.
Learn more about the material that is avalaible in the self help section
Children First Advocacy also provides assistance with educational needs. Services are provided to assist with 504 modification plans and Individual Educational Plans (IEP). Obtaining educational services can be difficult due to the budge constraints many schools face today.