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Steven Baker 
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Re: “Arkansas's child welfare system discriminates against relatives of neglectful or abusive parents

The system Arkansas has in place is terrible! I have a niece and nephew in DHS custody and the story in this article, how grandparents and relatives are left out of the process, and loving parents on hard times are tricked by an unclear program, is the same as ours. My brother has been met by half-explained expectations, case workers lying and loosing paperwork, and gross disrespect by the courts. My parents, who did home studies, foster pride classes, background checks, everything asked of them to be APPROVED FOSTER parents in the state of Arkansas cannot foster their own grandchildren. The judge thinks my parents enabled my brothers struggle with drugs. What they don't know (or care to look into) is the amazingly successful children they also raised, or the hundreds of children my mother cared for, taught and influenced during her 40 year career as a teacher. I am an Architect and my twin brother is a Naval Aviator.. both great successful careers but the courts don't know because they would never even hear that there were 2 loving uncles who could be considered for caring for the children. The article quotes a DCFS spokesperson as saying placement with family is the best option and is ideal, but isn't always possible. If a child's grandparents are approved foster parents in the state, how can a judge not grant them custody? The reality of Arkansas DCFS is that they view my parents as inept because one of their sons made wrong choices along the way and battled drug addiction for several years. My parents don't have custody because Judge Patricia James ignores what state and federal law tell her to do based on her personal bias! Something definitely needs to be done in our state!

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Steven Baker on 11/02/2015 at 8:28 AM


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