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  • A Teacher Instructs Teachers About CPS

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    July 30, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors

    When it comes to suspected child abuse, teachers are among the many “mandated reporters.”  That is, if they have reason to believe a child is being abused or neglected, they’re required by law to report their suspicions to the nearest child welfare agency.  Failure to do so can result in the loss of a mandated reporter’s job.  As I’ve said before, that none-too-subtle threat is one of the major reasons for the vast over-reporting to CPS agencies.

    So it’s interesting to read this article (We Are Teachers, 11/18/19).  It’s written by one Brette Sember, a teacher who’s instructing other teachers on what to do when they suspect abuse or neglect of a child.  Most of it is fairly sensible.  So, for example, readers are urged to not take the lead in investigating the case, but to simply report their suspicions to CPS or the CPS liaison at the school.

    But then there’s the not-so-sensible about the piece.  For example,

    “More than three million children in the US are abused each year.”

    Read More ...

  • Why Don’t More Fathers Seek Child Support Orders?

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    July 29, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors

    This piece comes to us from the Sacramento County Department of Child Support Services (Spotlight, 7/2/20).  As such, its chirpy, “all is well” tone is only to be expected.  The countless problems of the child support system won’t get an airing on that site or any like it. 

    Still, the article does offer an important tidbit.

    For many years, I’ve wondered why so few custodial fathers have a child support order in effect.  The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest compilation of data says that just 41.4% of those fathers have such an order.  That’s compared with 51.4% of custodial mothers who do.  More telling is the fact that it’s the highest rate recorded by the Bureau in 26 years.  The low, 28.8% came in 2011.

    So why do dads tend so strongly to not have a support order?

    Read More ...

  • Vancouver Dad Takes on Child Welfare Authority and Wins

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    July 23, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors

    Thanks to the ever-excellent Lenore Skenazy for this article (Magic Valley, 7/19/20).  Skenazy has long been one of the most effective advocates for parents in their conflicts with child-protective authorities.  Her article is one example.

    Vancouver resident, Adrian Crook had custody of his four children who, at the time in question were aged 7 – 11.  Crook seems to have been an excellent and responsible father, because his kids were themselves responsible kids.  So he allowed them to ride public transportation to and from school.  Everything went off without a hitch.  Indeed, one bus patron once emailed Crook to tell him what well-behaved children he had.

    Read More ...

  • Another Failed Attack on the Concept of Parental Alienation

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    July 23, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors

    On one hand, this article is more of the same (The Marshall Project, 7/8/20).  It’s intended as a hatchet job on the idea of parental alienation.  We’ve seen the sort many times before and all run to type.  They take one or two cases the author hopes will cast the notion of PA in a bad light, quote Joan Meier, refer to her recent study, cast aspersions on Richard Gardner, state that the DSM-V doesn’t mention PA and portray fathers as abusive and mothers as protective.  Any nod they give to the extensive literature on PA is extremely limited, pejoratively phrased and, often as not absent altogether.  Their point is invariably that the idea of parental alienation is dubious and used only by fathers to illegitimately wrest custody from mothers.

    The linked-to piece has all of that, but is a bit more scrupulous and balanced than the rest.  It even avoids quoting or referring to Joyanna Silberg, which alone must count as a major accomplishment.

    Read More ...


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