Child Abuse and Custody Evaluation
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Date: 13 Sep 2002
Remote Name: 22.214.171.124
You are a special angel! We all could learn from someone like you! I don't have good news for you though. If child protective services have not done anything, it is because their neglect does not meet their criteria for imminent danger. That does not mean that these children's lives are not being ruined. Unless there is someone in your family that is willing to go to court and file for custody, your hands are tied. I know how hard this is for you. I just wrote a letter to the commentary of the news paper about some neglect cases here in Virginia. I will post it for you so you can see these children are not alone. Maybe there is something you can do to convince your family to file for custody, I hope so.
Subject: The Attack On Judge Woodrow Lewis is Misplaced
Does the judge have the right to find a parent guilty of child neglect if CPS rules the case unfounded?
May 6th, 2002 Child protective Services almost silently announced that they would be following new guidelines in child abuse and neglect cases. It was announced that "Virginia social workers are taking a less prosecutorial approach to minor cases of child abuse and neglect."
CPS is no longer investigating cases where the child is "not" in imminent danger. The child has to have serious injury for the case to be founded or even investigated. All other cases will not be investigated and the parents will be offered parenting classes. I was personally informed that CPS can not force the parents to take the parenting classes, only a judge can do that. But of course, the case has to make it to court.
In recent cases of felony child neglect that were tried in Judge Lewis's courtroom has caused some to attack Judge Lewis. He has been attacked for not punishing the parents for leaving their children alone. It has caused concern because anyone with any common sense knows that leaving small children alone is dangerous and damaging. Therefore, why have these parents been allowed to walk away with just slap on the wrist?
In a recent article dated 9/11/2002 titled "Charges dropped in unattended children case" sightís two cases and one not yet heard.
A navy man and his girlfriend leave children ages 4,2 and 1. The children were left in a hotel room while the mother went to work. The two older children were found in the hallway of the hotel and the younger one was found naked in the room. A clerk at the hotel called the police. September 9th, 2002 Judge Lewis dismissed 3 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Judge Lewis said the children did not face a "substantial risk of injury".
On August 8th, 2002 Judge Lewis reduced felony neglect charges against a navy couple who had left their infant up to 3 months for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week while they worked. Judge Lewis said that the 6 month old only suffered diaper rash and "was not seriously injured", therefore, only ordering parenting classes.
On August 21st, 2002 a navy mother was charged for felony child neglect because she is accused of leaving her 6-year-old alone while she worked. That case has not been heard.
Recently Betty Wade Coyle,a child advocate, criticized Judge Lewis for his ruling in the infant's case and suggested that having the Judges take child development classes would help them make better decisions in child neglect cases. I feel her criticism was extremely misplaced.
The police were called in all 3 cases, not CPS. Thank God for the police! Then CPS determined the cases did not meet the criteria of imminent danger, the cases were ruled "unfounded" by using their new guidelines. This, in their opinion is minor abuse.
When the case went to court, I'm sure Judge Lewis asked for a report from CPS.Since the case was ruled unfounded by their guidelines, Judge Lewis could not procecute as CPS are the experts. He had no choice but to reduce or drop the charges as CPS said the children were not in danger of serious injury according to their guidlines.
Why are we allowing CPS to make these decisions if they donít protect children from suffering? Are they to busy to care about the ruination of the children of our state? Is it all right to abuse and neglect children as long as we don't try to kill them?
Who protects the child from what CPS calls minor abuse if the parents donít? This kind of abuse still hurts a child!
Our laws are going backwards when it comes to the protection of children! From my personal experience it hurts to love a child who is neglected and abused by the parent while CPS continues to say the abuse is not enough! When is it enough? According to CPS it is when there is serious injury. Why do we have to wait for massive bruises, broken bones or sexual abuse to help a child? How could CPS have so much power over the destiny of so many precious children?
Judge Lewis is an intelligent man and does not need a child development class to understand leaving an infant alone for 10 hours a day hurts a child and causes damageing effects.
Cps,because of their guidlines,have become actual partners with the abusers and are responsible for sending children back to the parents that have abused or neglected them. CPS needs to change their guidlines so they can exercise their common sense and education. Shame on our law makers who accepts and allows this to continue!
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