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December 2nd, 2011 by Glenn Sacks
The Washington Department of Social and Health Services has issued a public statement in response to Fathers and Families’ Campaign to Reunite Solomon Metalwala with His Daughter Maile, and they have asked us to post it for our members. We have done so–it is below.

Predictably, the statement gives few specifics, but, to DSHS’ credit, it does address our core concerns here:

If the court gives Children’s Administration temporary custody of a child, because of concerns regarding one of the child’s parents, we look to the other parent as the first and best placement for the child…Children’s Administration is working cooperatively with the child’s father, the court, law enforcement and others involved in this complex family situation. The Department agrees with the many writers’ recommendations for the child welfare agency and the court to resolve this situation as soon as possible.

Solomon Metalwala will have a hearing this Monday (December 5) in his effort to get placement of his daughter Maile. We’re optimistic about the hearing, and commend Clay Terry, Esq., Solomon’s attorney, for his efforts on behalf of Maile and Solomon.

Washington Department of Social and Health Services’ Public Statement in Response to Fathers and Families’ Protest

DECEMBER 2, 2011

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sherry Hill, 360-902-7892, [email protected]
Thomas Shapley, 360-902-8007, [email protected]

DSHS responds to numerous messages about Metalwala case

This statement is in response to hundreds of e-mails and faxes received by staff at the Department of Social and Health Services this week regarding the Metalwala case. It involves the four-year-old child who was taken into protective custody when her young brother was first reported missing.

Because child welfare records are confidential under both federal and state laws, the Department is not able to share specific information about the case. However, the public can be assured that while a child’s safety is the highest priority, Children’s Administration also recognizes and values the importance of maintaining family connections between children and their birth families.

If the court gives Children’s Administration temporary custody of a child, because of concerns regarding one of the child’s parents, we look to the other parent as the first and best placement for the child. If that other parent is not available or is not a safe placement, we then try to place the child with relatives when possible. We also work with the court to determine appropriate visitation with family. We are acting under these same standards in this case.

Children’s Administration is working cooperatively with the child’s father, the court, law enforcement and others involved in this complex family situation. The Department agrees with the many writers’ recommendations for the child welfare agency and the court to resolve this situation as soon as possible.

Again, thank you for your concern.

Jennifer M. Gau
Department of Social and Health Services
Public Affairs
(360) 902-7829
[email protected]

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