January 22, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
The tide of public opinion has long been turning toward recognition of the terrible toll fatherlessness takes on children, adults, society generally and the public purse. The social science and the data supporting it give an imprimatur to what the great majority of people already know – that kids do better with two biological parents than with just one. Or one biological parent and a stepparent, or two adoptive parents, or kinship care, or foster parents, etc. And when kids do better, they grow into adults who are more likely to be employed, out of prison, off drugs, etc. That means they’re less of a burden on the criminal justice system, the public health system, etc.
January 20, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
It’s always an education to read about “responsible fatherhood” programs. They’re part of the Office of Child Support Enforcement’s effort to deal more realistically with parents who are behind on their child support payments. We hear about the OCSE’s allowing states to be more “flexible” in their approach to those parents. Stated another way, we’ve finally figured out that draconian measures like incarceration, loss of a license to drive or other occupational licenses don’t exactly make sense given that they make paying harder not easier.
January 19, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
The Texas Legislature convened last week and that means reforms to the state’s child protective system will be on the agenda. Here’s a good article on what to expect (Texas Tribune, 1/14/17).
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the impending reforms is how long it took for lawmakers to acknowledge the need for them and how many people had to suffer in the process. After all, we’ve known for years that Child Protective Services was as dysfunctional as an organization can be, with stratospheric levels of employee turnover from the lowliest caseworker all the way up to directors and top management. And the press has chronicled the count of injured and deceased kids, jailed parents and foster parents, and incompetent measures supposedly aimed at reform. Finally, a federal lawsuit that resulted in the most scathing opinion by Corpus Christi Judge Janis Jack pointing out, among other things that kids typically exit the Texas foster system in worse shape than they went in.
January 18, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
My next-to-last piece was about the State of Oklahoma’s enthusiasm for paternity fraud. There, a man identified only as “Thomas” is being forced to pay child support for a child who’s not his. Why? Because the state only allows men two years from the date of the child’s birth to contest paternity. Stated another way, a mother need only convince a man he’s her child’s father for a couple of years and, regardless of everything else, he’s on the hook.
January 16, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Here’s a bit of information on the power of child protective agencies that’s new to me (Buffalo News, 1/15/17).
New Yorker John M. Mylett is divorced and has a daughter. Needless to say, he’s not the parent with primary custody. Mylett calls himself a protective parent and I’m sure he is, but, from reading the article, I’d also call him a professional pain in the butt. Mylett’s M.O. is to ring up the Child Abuse Hotline every time he suspects his daughter may be in a situation that’s less than ideal. He’s done so 15 times in 36 months. That of course involves the Erie County Child Protective Services department.