Report: #561322

Complaint Review: California Child Protective Services CPS .

  • Submitted: Thu, January 28, 2010
  • Updated: Sun, August 08, 2010
  • Reported By: MamaLinda — San Diego California United States of America
  • California Child Protective Services CPS .
    6950 Levant Street
    San Diego, California
    United States of America

California Child Protective Services CPS . San Diego County Courts Children Stolen From Involved Loving Mom, Awarded to Abusive Father, Kids Terrified San Diego, California

*General Comment: A system for failure

*Consumer Comment: Another Mother, another custody battle

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I want to report the San Diego Court system to authorities for Child Endangerment and Neglect.

After many years being abused by my ex-husband, I finally got out. He generally would beat me up, destroy the house, or beat himself up (literally, punching himself in the face). He was arrested three times for Domestic Violence and once for assaulting a police officer. He also was investigated for hitting his students (He is an elementary school teacher). He got away with all of these incidents.

The last attack he threw my [then] 3 year old daughter down the stairs and proceeded to beat me while I held my [then] 1 and 3 year old children. There were other incidents involving the children prior to this as well. He wanted nothing to do with the children and I was their sole caretaker. I left town and did not report these incidents... my mistake... but I was still a victim.

About 2 years ago, in 2008, my daughter came to me saying he had hurt her. I called CPS, he denied it and it was deemed, "Inconclusive." He had just filed for partial custody, so they assumed I must have made the allegations up. A couple weeks later, he grabbed her by her neck and threw her. He left marks. He also left a mark on my son's back.

I went to the doctor, they took pictures of the marks and reported it. CPS, again, did nothing. I went to CPS to find out why they were not protecting my children. They told me to go to Family Courts. I went to Family Courts. They told me to go to CPS. My ex-husband denied all of it, of course. He would lose his job and serve time if he admitted it.

My ex-husband had a high-powered attorney and family money. I had taken off to be a stay-at-home mom in 2002 (I was a teacher for 12 years). I had no money and was directed to the Volunteer Lawyer Program. The attorney I was assigned to left the Volunteer Lawyer Program, and I was passed around to several attorneys, none of whom represented me in court, or even knew my case. After a long court battle, the courts awarded 50% custody to the abuser. My children were devastated and terrified, and cried every time they had to go there.

In September 2009, my daughter wrote in a school journal that he had covered her mouth and whacked her head on the ground until she fell asleep. She also wrote that he hurts her often. Soon afterward, he filed court papers to seek full custody.

I had no knowledge of this journal or of the recent abuse. CPS contacted me in mid-October to investigate. Once again, he denied any of it and CPS protected the abuser, not my child. This report was deemed, "Inconclusive."

Again, CPS did nothing to protect my children. They left them in harm's way.

His attorney brought nothing to court but his allegations that I must have put her up to writing this. According to legal experts, everything entered was hearsay. But, not knowing how to argue in court, it was admitted. CPS nor the classroom teacher ever stated that I even knew of the journal prior to it being reported. The Family Courts Facilitator recommended 50/50 again.

I have never harmed my children, nor have I been accused of harming my children. I have always lived in a nice community and everyone around us knows me to be a wonderful mom. I am a dedicated PTA mom. I don't drink, have never used drugs or smoked. I don't even go out. I am now employed full-time as a teacher at home, leaving me flexible to take care of my children. He gets babysitters for the children regularly because he cannot care for them. The children want to be with me more than anything.

On January 13, 2010, the San Diego Court System awarded full custody to the abuser. I have been told that money was exchanged and favors granted at the expense of my children's safety and emotional stability.

My children are now crying themselves to sleep every night, and sobbing uncontrollably each time I hear their voices. My 7 year old daughter is now so depressed that she can't even go to school. She is walking on eggshells because she is so afraid to say anything... look where it's gotten her.  Her appearance and demeanor has changed so much that people are concerned.

Something needs to be done. I want to report the San Diego Court system to authorities for Child Endangerment and Neglect. My children are not safe. They need protection. They need their mommy.

If anyone knows of a way to hold the courts and CPS accountable for these heinous actions, please respond to this report. My children and I are desperate and have nowhere to turn.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/28/2010 12:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 General Comment

A system for failure

AUTHOR: Annonymous - (USA)

 Hi, im So sorry to hear that you went through this. I am currently in a very similar situation to yours with 2 young children who are crying and complaining of abuse while CPS and others seem to not hear the voices of a small child cries. If you have any updates or suggestions please share as I am extremely desperate and will do anything to help save my children.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Another Mother, another custody battle

AUTHOR: MomFromSD - (United States of America)

I would like to start off by saying that, I work for an Agency where I am knowledgeable in this area. I know this is frustrating because you care for your children, but I assure you, accountability would not fall with CPS. There are many situations where even the hands of CPS are tied behind their backs. What many people do not know is that Family Court and CPS ARE NOT THE SAME. CPS, when investigating, is looking to make sure that the child (or children) are receiving "minimum sufficient level of care". Contrary to what most believe, especially on a complaint board. CPS does NOT like removing children and know the best place is with their parents. Now, when family court is involved, things get messy. CPS looks for "minimum sufficient level of care" while Family Court looks for (or THINKS they do) "best interests of the child". Well, when one had a high-powered attorney, the "best interests" are often mis-represented.

While a family court case is pending, a mediator cannot finish a report if there is a pending CPS investigation. HOWEVER, they will ONLY consider the conclusion of the investigation if it is SUBSTANTIATED. Well, it is not always easy for CPS to conclude as such without certain things. If investigating physical abuse, there HAS to be visible marks or bruises that can be documented (photographed). This sounds pretty bad, but because the perpetrator will be reported to the Department of Justice if substantiated, this proof/evidence needs to be recorded. Now, there are many times (not every time), that the investigating worker truly believes the physical abuse has happened. Without the visible marks or bruises, the worker can only conclude as INCONCLUSIVE. This conclusion does NOT mean it did not happen, that would be UNFOUNDED (which still doesn't always mean it didn't happen either). So, the worker may believe the abuse occurred, but Family Court Services will not consider it in their report unless it is SUBSTANTIATED. Believe me, I work for an Agency where I know this information AND I am going through a custody battle. I can appreciate how you muct be feeling.

So, when the well-being of your child falls through the cracks because of clashing Agency protocols, YOU have to do the best you can to fight for your child. Here are some suggestions:

- Document EVERYTHING. Even though it seems like it might not be useful information, it may be later. Have a calendar and a notebook, soley for this purpose. Document who calls who, what time, and the subject of the conversation if need be. Times, the child is in your care, times they are in their father's.

- RESEARCH! Know your rights to public records. There are several databases online that can help you do this. You can walk right into the courthouse and request to see your ex's file and make copies. Sometimes there are things in there, that are not on his criminal history. Although he is your ex-husband, you still may be surprised about things you find.

- Call CPS, and ask to set a time to view all the documentation from the past investigations. They will redact information that you cannot view (such as medical information and things like that to abide by HIPAA) and you will be able to go in to view them. Bring money to make copies. You can only do it this way if it is for "personal reasons". If you plan on quoting it, or submitting it in court, you have to file an 827 petition to notify the other parent that you are doing this. DO NOT include information from these records in court if you did not file an 827 petition, ESPECIALLY if he has a high-powered attorney. You can get into some trouble.

- Get to know the penal codes regarding the types of child abuse (neglect, sexual, emotional). You can find this online by googling CA penal codes, the child abuse one are referenced in PC 11165. You could look up Welfare and Institution Codes if you want, but the court usually only refer to these when children are taken into protective custody.

- If you truly have concerns about CPS and their investigations, you need to call the OMBUDSMAN and they WILL get to the bottom of it. That number is found on the civil rights pamphlet provided by the investigating worker.

I hope this helped you. From research and experience, I have actually found San Diego CPS to be one of the best in the US. I have heard very bad things about Riverside and Orange (although I do not know concrete stats). Florida just got in big trouble for posting confidential information about their clients online! Also, if you DO have concerns about an Agency, such as CPS, the only way to address it is with them directly. If you have a problem with the worker, talk to the supervisor, then the manager, then go from there. Also, like I said before, the Ombudsman.

If you have concerns about the IMMEDIATE safety of your child, file an emergency ex-parte with the court as soon as possible. All the forms are available on the court website, and you can even go to the family law facilitator for free. Then, a CPS report IF needed. Do not call CPS all the time for various reasons. Mostly, there are VERY SERIOUS cases that could use that resource. Also, each time a report is made, your child needs to be interviewed. This isn't exactly the best childhood memory to have. Also, CPS will consider patterns in reports and who reported. For instance, if a report is made by the same parent every time, a few days prior to a Family Court hearing, a red flag will pop up for them.

Get your child into therapy. Therapists are also mandated reporters and will report to CPS if they suspect abuse. Sometimes, they will even provide letters for family court. Try not to involve your child in the family court/custody battle conversations. Try the best you can to allow them to be a child. They spend time with family, friends, go to school, eat some junk food, watch tv. They are not a mediator, ammunition against a parents, etc. Don't take them with you to get court records on the other parent. Things like that.

Times like these are rough for a mother, but remember, you are not doing this for YOU. This is about "the best interests" of your child. Whatever happened between you and your ex, is all water under the bridge unless you can prove that it harms your child.

Good luck to you, and stay strong.

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