Tammi Stefano of The National Safe Child show interviews California civil rights Attorney Shawn McMillan who talks about how even he was at risk of having his children grabbed by CPS because he was litigating these cases. His children are grown now so he has much less to worry about.
McMillan says that CPS “violate parents’ and children’s Constitutional rights by misrepresenting facts to the court, either when they remove the children from the home, or afterwards.”
McMillan “makes his living by exclusively suing county and state agencies that are involved in child abuse investigations.” He is definitely one of the good guys. He is aware of how difficult it is for parents to be believed. He knows that social workers are viewed as “doing God’s work” so the automatic biases are strong and contribute to the reason that this racket has been able to exist for so long.
He warns parents to not trust social workers, police, or anyone really in the government claiming to be protecting children. He says, “you don’t talk to government. The government is not here to help you and a lot of people don’t understand that…They will take something from you and it is usually some measure of your liberty. They are going to take something from you. You are going to lose your rights as a parent.” I believe that parents in divorce and child custody battles should have the same policy when in divorce. Attorney McMillan says ask yourself “What am I going to give up in exchange for whatever the government is promising and it’s usually not worth it.” He says that you are going to give up some form of your liberty, you are going to lose your parental rights.
McMillan goes on to say that “If I can make a business out of it, it’s a bad thing. People like me should not be able to exist in a free society.” He says that many times even the social workers (line workers) are in the dark about what is happening. He has had some of them break down on the witness stand and cry once they see more of the picture. One of them even quit her job after the trial.
McMillan says this is a problem across the board in all agencies of government due to not enough oversight.
“They’re Stealing Kids” – Corrupt Social Workers the Norm – Good Social Workers Don’t Last”
You might think that this is a new breakthrough, but attorneys like McMillan have been doing this for years, and still nothing has changed. McMillan has been suing Since CPS since 2005, and his associates Bob Powell since 2002, and Donnie Cox since 1995. Together they have disrupted over 40 million dollars over the last 20 years but these agencies are still doing the same stuff. McMillan says “We should all be out of business with the first big win.” But they are not. He says that’s because “They are getting enough money out of the system. Whatever we are doing is a drop in the bucket….just a cost of doing for business for them.”
All of these agencies are funded by federal funding schemes. Title IV-E of the Social Security act is incentivizing this behavior. There is a specific funding scheme for every finding that is made. “That creates two incentives. They have to get as many kids in as they had last year or else they have to make up the shortfall from the general fund,” says McMillan. McMillan will have more about this funding scheme up on his website.
Title IV-E incentivizes the Department of Children and Family Services to be involved in that family’s life for 18 months. The funding ends after the 18 months.
The County of Los Angeles has a written document on the funding issues. They train the supervisors that oversee typically 6 to 8 line workers. McMillan says that Julian Dominguez can tell you more about that information. The supervisors come in and re-write reports so that they can get findings at each stage from the juvenile court or else they don’t get the money.
McMillan also explains that there are many hearings that take place over this 18 months. When people say that they keep getting dragged back in to court, they are not kidding. Between the time of seizure and the time of disposition. There are at least 7 or 8 funding steps. In the Duval trial that Attorney McMillan just finished they claim they are investigating 156,000 child abuse allegations a year in the county of Los Angeles made by the Attorney for the State.
Money comes from federal government to the states and then the state disburses it to the counties. The state could not even give an exact amount when McMillan inquired, that’s how bad it is. It was somewhere between 700 and 900 million dollars for 2009. If they do not take enough children there is not enough funding for the overhead they have right now.
One of McMillan’s most recent big case wins, Lena Duvall’s litigation was 5 years. Her case took 5 years and even though she won, she did not get her children back. That would take a separate lawsuit in family court to do that.
Lena’s case almost got thrown out because they were up against the 5-year statute. If the judge had continued the trial one more time the judge would have lost jurisdiction over the case. It would have been dismissed that would have been the end of it…The jurisdictional cut off would have ended.” Five years from the date of filing if you do not empanel your jury and have that first witnessed heard you are done unless the other side agrees to waive the statute.
The problem is they are not changing their behavior even after they have lost time and time again in these cases. I can attest personally that they were like this even when I was a child. If law suits are not fixing this, what will?
As Divorce Corp says…Follow The Money. If you haven’t seen their film, it is free on Netflix. That film is just the tip of the iceberg.
Michael Riley deposition is available online here