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U.K. Sees Spike in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases; Question is ‘Why?’

November 16, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The U.K. finds itself in the same pickle as we do in the U.S (The Independent, 11/9/18).

That pickle is the one in which authorities charged with protecting children have far too little money with which to do the job.  There are too many cases and too few caseworkers to handle them.  And the number of cases is increasing, pointing to a potential crisis in the years to come.

 

NPO’s Linda Wright Leads on Michigan SB 4691

November 15, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

The fight for shared parenting in Michigan will be heating up again  in the coming months and this article by NPO’s Linda Wright reprinted in a blog is the opening salvo (KiddieMom, 11/13/18).  Actually, that may have come on Tuesday, November 6, i.e. Election Day, when Jim Runestad won his bid for a state senate seat.  Runestad of course was the force responsible for SB 4691 that would establish a presumption of equal parenting following divorce or separation.

Needless to say, Wright’s piece is, shall we say, right on.

 

Has CNN Been Sleeping for Forty Years?

November 14, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

It’s hard to know how to feel about this CNN piece on fathers and the family court system (CNN, 11/7/18).  On one hand, the writer seems to be sincere about advising men, so he consults family court experts – a lawyer, a judge and a mental health expert – for their tips.  On the other hand, it’s a piece that could have been written 40 years ago, entirely lacking in the long-established realities fathers face.  It’s like writer Thom Patterson is a latter-day Rip Van Winkle, newly awakened from a long, long sleep.

So he seems to want us to believe that fathers haven’t been complaining about their treatment in family courts for those four decades.

 

Carolyn Hax Supports Single Motherhood

November 12, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Usually, advice columnist Carolyn Hax is the very soul of good sense.  She rarely misinforms, misleads or misadvises a letter writer.  This, however, is an exception (Seattle Times, 11/7/18).  Hax’s inquirer signs herself “Wannabe Mom, Not Wannabe Wife,” a label that, strangely enough, is only tangentially related to her, her situation and her question.

WMNWW’s question – whether she should, without a partner, adopt a child - could be right out of the 1990s.  That was a time when the “Single Mothers by Choice” movement was in flower.  The women of that movement were intentionally giving birth to or adopting children without the involvement of a man.  It was all portrayed as terribly “courageous” on their part and few people raised their voices to challenge them.  One of course was Vice President Dan Quayle who famously questioned whether TV character Murphy Brown (Candace Bergen) should have been depicted as having a child without a father.  Quayle pointed out that doing so shouldn’t be considered “just another lifestyle choice.”

 

Judge Michael Schneider Scourges CPS - Again

November 11, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Houston Juvenile Court Judge Michael Schneider has once again unsheathed his judicial sword (Houston Chronicle, 11/9/18).  And once again, Child Protective Services must yield. 

I’ve written before about Schneider.  He shows every indication of being a judge who’s bent on educating CPS caseworkers and their supervisors about how to do their jobs within the confines of statutory and constitutional law.  Several years ago, when caseworkers demanded an emergency hearing because, according to them, a child was in such danger that regular notice couldn’t be given to its parents, Schneider acquiesced.  But, on learning that no such emergency had occurred, he took the unusual step of ordering the pair to write essays demonstrating that they understood parents’ constitutional rights.


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