After being the victim of 5 different false accusations with the Department of Children and Family (DCF), I have come to the conclusion that just providing more money and/or education to the hard-working DCF employees is not enough. The problem is that just pouring money into the system is like trying to pour water into a bucket with a huge hole underneath. Before we put more water (money) into the leaking bucket, we need to identify from where the bucket is leaking, fix the leak, and then pour water. Otherwise, we will be just wasting valuable resources. Based on my personal experience here are some of the leaks I have identified:
1. DCF investigators are overwhelmed with the great number of false cases. Some unscrupulous people use DCF as a form of harassment tool. For instance, after being the victim of 5 different false DCF reports, in the last occasion, the new woman in my life was 2-months pregnant, and lost our baby in great part as a consequence of the stress caused by these repeated false accusations. Solution: Start cracking down on false DCF calls. I have some ideas on how to do this.
2. DCF workers are pressured from every side to please a number of people who work with them (Family court attorneys, judges, etc..). What DCF does or does not do creates jobs for these individuals, so DCF workers have to please them in order to keep their jobs. Solution: Create an independent committee of citizens to help overlook DCF’s work (no attorneys or any other “professionals” with possible conflicts of interest accepted, however). I would gladly volunteer to be part of this committee.
3. Most DCF investigators/workers are frustrated with what is going on and do not want to see any more children suffering, however, they do not have a way to voice their concerns without running the risk of losing their jobs. Solution: Create an internal DCF whistle-blowing (improvement) hot line to allow DCF investigators/workers an anonymous way to point anomalies they may have encountered. These calls should be fully investigated and presented to the independent committee of citizens overlooking DCF’s work.
4. Some unscrupulous attorneys and “professional” are abusing the children’s suffering to enrich themselves. These attorneys believe that it is not what you know or what the truth is, but who they know, and how they can twist the truth that determines the outcomes in Family court cases. They are making millions off of the suffering of children and their parents. Solution: Crack down on attorneys and other “professionals” who may be abusing the Family Court system. The DCF whistle-blowing hot line will help identify some of these individuals.
5. Some Judges put the interest of their friends over the interest of the children when coming with decisions in the Family court system. They are not accountable to the public, but to their attorney friends, so as long as they give the impression of doing things “lawfully”, and play according to the unspoken rule of “keep the money flowing,” they make sure no one runs against them in elections, and they keep getting re-elected term after term. They are not accountable to the people or the best interest of the children, but to a small minority of individuals that helped them to be in office, and as long as they don not pissed them off, they feel that they can get away with all forms of abuse of authority and power in court. For all intends and purposes, these Judges become judicial tyrants, bullying and abusing their power (see Judge Echarte Example). Solution: First, we can not just allow any judge in Family Court. Judges are usually rotated from one division to another in the court system. Some judges, unfortunately, do not have the experience or the training to deal with the delicate issues in Family Court. Only those judges with proven records to work for the best interest of the children should be allowed to rotate there. Also, we as Citizens should be more careful with the judges we elect, and that these judges are accountable to us. To make sure Judges are accountable to the people, at the very least, they should appear for a confidence vote when their time for re-election comes up. Or perhaps, we should be putting term limits on them.
These are just some of the leaks in the bucket that I have identified so far. I am sure that there could be more. Nonetheless, before we go putting more money (water) into the system (bucket), we need to first patch these leaks.
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