In Memory Of Nancy Schaefer June 28,1936 - March 26,2010
Nancy Schaefer - woman of beauty and faith
This is an absolute tragedy and a huge loss for the search for justice and truth. Nancy's grace, compassion and dedication touched so many. We have all lost a hero. Human rights work is intellectually and logistically challenging, sometimes confusing, and extremely tiring. Nancy never flagged. She was always supportive, always available to give advice.
Nancy was unwilling to allow that growing intolerance to go unnoticed - even when the result made it more difficult for her to do her job, she was never afraid to speak the truth about growing repression or threats to basic rights when she saw them.Her memory will inspire forever all the ones who knew her and the ones who know of her work.
I'll miss Nancy on many levels, and for many reasons. She is someone whom it is impossible to forget.
It was an honor and a privilege to work with and know Nancy.
She is gone but I will cherish and treasure forever her friendship and everything I learned from her.
"Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time" By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1838
A tribute to Nancy Schaefer by Ruby Harrold-Claesson
On behalf of the Board and members of the NCHR, I would like to express our deepest sympathy to the children and grandchildren of Nancy Schaefer & Bruce Schaefer for the untimely loss of your beloved parents and grandparents.
These condolences on the loss of Nancy Schaefer are equally addressed to the Eagle Forum and the other organizations that she founded and presided, to the people of the State of Georgia and to the United States of America. You have lost an activist who was a staunch believer in the American Constitution, the Rule of Law and the protection of the basic Human Rights of children and their families.
Nancy Schaefer's investigation of the "Child Protective Services" led her to write a scathing report on "The corrupt business of Child Protective Services" in November 2007. Her talk, Nancy Schaefer on CPS, at The Eagle Forum Congress in September 2008, has made her immortal.
Nancy Schaefer's death is not only a great loss for her family, her loved ones, the State of Georgia and the United States, but also for us here in the Nordic countries, where children and their families are suffering under the tyrannical rulings of the social services and the administrative court systems. Nancy Schaefer has been a personal friend of mine and of the NCHR since 2008. We often spoke on the phone or sent e-mails of encouragement to each other. Nancy Schaefer and I met for the first time in August 2009 at the World Congress of Families V at Amsterdam in The Netherlands, and we were inseparable during the four days we were there. Nancy Schaefer delivered a speech during the "Law-makers session" that shocked the parliamentarians and the ministers of the different governments that participated in WCF V.
Nancy Schaefer gathered information about the children, their parents and families who are being traumatized and destroyed and she published and shared the information. During the years we have known each other Nancy Schaefer has sent innumerable articles and other information to the NCHR about the US state agencies forcibly removing children from their parents' loving care and placing them in often unsuitable foster homes among total strangers, who take the children for money.
The NCHR recognizes these problems because the situation is the same for thousands of children and families here in the Nordic countries.
Nancy Schaefer was one of the speakers at the NCHR's Symposium on August 22, 2009. We were unable to raise enough money to transport her across the Atlantic, and besides she had been in Amsterdam two weeks earlier, so the NCHR's technician and her son, Edward Schaefer, joined forces and she delivered her speech and answered questions in Gothenburg, from her office in Georgia. It was a most uplifting experience that those of us who attended the NCHR's Symposium on August 22, 2009 will remember for a long time and Nancy Schaefer was pleased to receive the NCHR's Diploma of Appreciation.
My most recent contact with Nancy Schaefer was her e-mail on March 16, 2010, in which she informed me:
"Ruby, I have resigned my position as President of Eagle Forum of Georgia. I will continue to be the National Chairman for Parents' Rights. We are filming parents, grandparents, single moms and single dads who are all victims of the system for a documentary this weekend. I will keep you posted. Stay strong. We must not give up. I believe with all my heart Creator God wants this exposed and brought down. May He bless you and your work! Pressing on, NS".
On Saturday night, March 27, 2010, I received an e-mail announcing "Nancy Schaefer's murder". Information on the Internet claimed that she had been murdered by her husband and that he had committed suicide in keeping with a death-pact, and that the investigations were concentrated on that scenario. I reacted to the biased investigations, because I knew immediately that Nancy & Bruce Schaefer would never hurt their five children and 13 grand children in such a way.
Dear Nancy, your voice for the children of Georgia, the USA and the Nordic countries is now silent, but your example of standing up for the protection of children's basic Human Rights to their parents and families and freedom from confiscation by state agencies will remain in our individual and collective memory.
Rest in peace Nancy & Bruce. You are sadly missed. Those who murdered you both will eventually be brought to justice.
April 1, 2010
President of the NCHR
"She wasn't driven by the culture, but by her conviction. There were many times that Nancy Schaefer's voice was a lone voice. She was willing to speak the truth when the truth was uncomfortable." By Rev. Andy Childs
"Nancy was a great woman who was a pioneer in the pro-family movement. Her impact was felt far beyond the borders of Georgia." By Ralph Reed
Nancy was remembered as a tireless advocate and pioneer for families and children.
Friday, March 26th,2010 Former State Senator Nancy Schaefer and her husband, Bruce were found dead in their home. Investigators concluded that Bruce Schaefer, 74, shot her once in the back in the bedroom and then shot himself in the chest. Authorities believe Nancy Schaefer was asleep when she was shot. The media claims that this was a Murder-Suicide pact.
In her last days, she was actively exposing the system of corruption and making the public aware of CPS (Child Protective Services). A government organization that she believes kidnaps children for money. CPS does not have over-sight Schaefer claims; she also claimed that young parents with no money were being targeted.
Were Former Senator Nancy Schaefer and her husband murdered because she revealed possible child trafficking by the Child Protection Services?
First of all, I am deeply saddened by the terrible news about Former State Sen. Nancy Schaefer's death. What surprises me are the reports that it was a murder suicide, especially when Nancy was pursuing possible authority corruption involving child trafficking. Like Nancy I am against pedofiles and sexual child abuse activities, therefore I appreciated her dedication and detailed investigation that I am now committed to look into further. My question is now whether this was really a murder suicide or a murder carried out by hired professionals.
Obviously in severe cases the Child Protection Services (CPS) has an obligation to protect children and therefore should investigate reports of abuse and neglect of children. However, when a person like ex Senator Nancy Schaefer reveals that CPS in some counties and some States are engaged in possible trafficking of children and there are money making opportunities then we must demand a full investigation. If elected in Congress I will be asking many questions regarding child trafficking activities and reveal any findings on my blog. Also, I will expose any pedofile activities undertaken by politicians and officials. I do not belong to any secret societies, so I am not obligated to protect or warn those who break the law regarding child sexual abuse crimes.
I have not personally engaged into any research myself about this matter at this time, but I think that it is an area that I will research at a later date whether I am elected or not. However, in my own experience talking to a few adults that have been in foster care during their childhood, everyone have stated that they were sexually and physically abused sometime under care. I hasten to add that not all foster parents have engaged in this activity, and in one case a foster parent reported child abuse done by a previous foster parent from another home. To learn more about Nancy's cause, please watch the following interview with Alex Jones. By Lance Aguiar for the 24th Congressional District in California states.
Eulogy for Nancy Schaefer
To hear the news of former Senator Nancy Schaefer and her husband's death has devastated me beyond words. She became a dear friend to me after I contacted her when my daughter Jennifer was abducted and trafficked by Child Protective Services. Nancy was there for me during my 2 year long ordeal. She shared my pain and my grief, and made many calls on my behalf. When I finally got my daughter back last September she called and was just thrilled. I received a lovely card from her that I will always cherish.
Nancy was undoubtedly a very brave, courageous and wonderful "gem" of a lady who had such a great love for children and families. After she lost her Congressional seat she gave a speech that said "There are some causes that are worth losing for - and this is one of those times". She never gave up. Afterwards she ran for US Congress so she could block the Federal Funds that was causing the corruption. She had an undying devotion and dedication to fight for abused children and their families who were so cruelly being victimized by ruthless court criminals. She was fearless. In the process of exposing the criminals she gave many speeches and wrote many articles of the unfathomable crimes and injustices that were occurring in our family courts and with CPS agencies across our nation. She tried to respond to the many letters and emails she received from victimized parents begging for help with their children. Nancy had such a compassionate heart and soul and it was heartbreaking for her to read such letters crying out in desperation..I still have the letter that she wrote to me that included the letter she wrote which caused her to lose her congressional seat.
I spoke with Nancy many times through the years, and we emailed each other often. We stayed in touch after I left the United States and moved to Europe with her warning and advice. She was concerned about my safety, not once fearing for her own life. I cannot express how much I love, admire, respect I have for this woman who I will deeply miss. She gave it her all. she had to fight so that OUR children could be saved and set free from the criminals who are racketeering and profiting off innocent families and children. She did everything in her power to expose these criminals and people who are involved. She never gave up and this is something many of us tremendously appreciate and admire. Unfortunately it cost her the Congressional seat and now her tragic death, her husband's as well.
Many of you family members are here today and together we grieve. We all know that this was no "murder-suicide pact" as being reported by the media, and Nancy did NOT kill herself. Bruce was not dying. I just spoke with Nancy last week when her and Bruce were on their way out to dinner. They were laughing. They were joking. They were HAPPY! They were NOT planning their own deaths, or this funeral today! She was scheduled to give a speech this week and had an interview planned with my colleague and friend William Wagener with On Second Thought TV who sits here beside me. During her last days Nancy was afraid. She was scared for her life - but that didn't stop her. She used 'safe' phones to relay 'sensitive' information, but someone didn't want this information getting out. Instead they murdered both her and her husband - to keep them quiet. I know that Nancy didn't die in vain, and I am committed to carrying on her fight to ensure that they catch the people who were responsible for their deaths.
"I love you Nancy and my peace comes from knowing you are now in heaven - wearing that crown that you so greatly deserve for your hard work and endless dedication for the sake of human rights...We the people, and our future generation- our precious children..they deserve love, life, liberty, respect, and a voice...after all.. they too are important. Thank you and God Bless You Nancy, my very dear friend - you are an absolute jewel and you will never be forgotten. I will hold the memories of you very close to my heart - always" Kathleen ~
What really happened? Friends, strangers wonder about Schaefer deaths
It is a mystery that may never get a satisfactory answer.
It will be discussed a while longer at kitchen tables, in chat rooms and other places where people ask questions. The names of the dead will resurface when cops discuss cases that stick with them. The funeral programs will be tucked away for someone else to find.
And when they turn up, so will the old questions. What happened? Why did he kill his wife of 52 years? What did the notes say?
Here's what police say:
On March 26, Bruce Schaefer, 74, a longtime Atlanta stockbroker who'd retired to his boyhood mountain haunts, shot his sleeping wife, Nancy Schaefer, 73, a former state senator and a conservative political activist. Then he turned the .38-caliber handgun on himself.
The Schaefers were dead when their daughter found them in the bedroom of their Habersham County home. Investigators discovered a suicide note, as well as notes to each of the couple's five children.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the case, is emphatic.
"This is as clear-cut a case of murder-suicide as you'll see," said spokesman John Bankhead. The state agency will close out its investigation after doing a few more interviews and running some toxicology tests ? standard procedure in death cases, said Bankhead.
So case closed ? or nearly.
And yet, people talk. They talk about a twosome that was rarely apart, about a woman who achieved renown for her unapologetic stands against abortion and overzealous child protective services. They talk about her husband, who tried, but never managed, to ignore his wife's critics as effectively as she.
People talk, and they wonder.
A conservative voice
Nancy Schaefer was a multi-tasker before the term was coined. Married and living in Buckhead, she was busy with five children. But activism tugged.
In 1985, she organized an Atlanta rally for constitutional liberties. A year later, she created the nonprofit Family Concerns Inc., a foundation that champions display of the Ten Commandments, fights abortion and opposes what it considers overly aggressive child-custody agencies.
In 1988, she worked for Jack Kemp's failed bid for the GOP presidential nomination. In subsequent years, she ran, unsuccessfully, for mayor of Atlanta and lieutenant governor and governor of Georgia.
Those campaigns raised her profile as a conservative capable of an elegant reply. In 2002, she was a regular in "Woman to Woman," a weekly feature representing views from the left and right in the Sunday Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Bruce retired in 1996. Like so many other well-heeled Atlantans, he and his wife left Georgia's capital for the mountains. There, her political tenacity paid off.
In 2004, Nancy Schaefer won the first of two elections to the state Senate. In 2008, she lost to Jim Butterworth, who holds that seat now. In-between, she remained active in other causes. She represented the Southern Baptist Convention at United Nations conferences. She started more nonprofit organizations and became a trustee at Toccoa Falls College. She sang in the choir at Ebenezer Baptist Church. She made devoted friends, and some bitter enemies.
Bruce? He was her amiable shadow. Photos depict a tall man with an athlete's build -- he played football at Clemson, then served in the Army -- with a smile nearly as big as he.
"You hardly ever saw one without the other," said Robert "Buster" Smith, whom Bruce often visited when Nancy came to town from their Clarkesville home to get her hair done.
A Toccoa native, Smith saw Bruce Schaefer on the last Tuesday of his life when he stopped by Smith's furniture store. "He seemed like his old self," said Smith. "I have a hard time believing it happened like it happened."
The Schaefers lived in The Orchard, a gated country club community about 15 miles northwest of Toccoa in Habersham County. It's located off a twisty road where ancient wooden barns silver in the sun.
Their home served as headquarters for some of Nancy's activities. There she wrote frequent online articles on topics as diverse as the Obama administration's health-care program to the possible biblical significance of solar eclipses. Her last, decrying implanting microchips in humans, appeared Feb. 17.
Cleaning out the house won't be easy for the Schaefers' children, said Habersham Sheriff Joey Terrell, whose officers were first on the scene after the shootings. "There's a house that's full of stuff to take care of," he said.
Full of memories, too.
"They were a part of life," said Terrell, "and life happened to them."
Ushers counted more than 800 people at the couple's funeral service Wednesday afternoon. Mourners filled Ebenezer Baptist's sanctuary, two choir rooms and an adjacent building. Thirty state senators came on a chartered bus from Atlanta.
They watched a slide show of family photos that highlighted happy times: Bruce in his Army uniform; Bruce and Nancy swirling across a dance floor; children; grandchildren. The images bestowed on her a calm dignity that comes from decades of living; he got a little wider, his hair a little whiter, but the smile remained the same.
The Rev. Andy Childs urged people to focus on how the Schaefers lived, not how they died.
"The tragedy of the last several days ... does not erase the testimony of their lives," he said.
Charlie Wysong, a family friend, drove three hours from Chattanooga to attend the 70-minute service. "When I heard about it, I couldn't believe it at first," he said. "I said, ?How out of character.'"
The news also brought the business of state lawmaking to a temporary stop.
"It's just a terrible tragedy," said Rep. Rick Austin, a Republican from Demorest. "I don't think anybody will ever really understand what happened."
Not what it seems?
That doesn't stop people from trying. Rev. Childs, speaking during the funeral service, mentioned Bruce taking medication. Others talk about possible financial misfortune.
Conspiracy-mongers have been busy, too. The Schaefers, they suggest, paid the price for their conservative convictions and were silenced by shadowy forces. Whoever shot Nancy, they maintain, also shot Bruce.
Web sites buzz with comments about a reputed cover-up. A Facebook page, "We Demand An Extensive Investigation On The Death of Senator Nancy Schaefer," had 988 fans Thursday afternoon. Friday morning, it had 1,116.
The people who may have the best idea of what happened, the couple's children, are remaining quiet. Police won't say much, either.
So people wonder, and talk. Mysteries with no satisfactory answers, like empty rooms, attract odd things.
Nancy Shaefer, conservative activist, killed
Nancy Schaefer, 73, a conservative activist and former officer of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and her husband Bruce, 74, died March 26 of gunshot wounds in their north Georgia home.
A daughter discovered the bodies in the bedroom of their home in Habersham County.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had ruled the deaths a murder-suicide in which Bruce Schaefer allegedly killed his wife, then himself.
However, at least one friend of the Schaefers has questioned the murder-suicide theory. Garland Favorito, founder of Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia (VoterGA), circulated an 11-point, two-page bulletin via the Internet stating it is "more obvious" that the case is a "murder made to look like suicide."
Favorito cited the Christian faith and pro-life beliefs of the Schaeffers and the fact that Nancy Schaeffer had been delving into alleged corruption in family & child services agencies.
The Schaefers were members of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Toccoa, where funeral services will be held March 31.
Schaefer served as first vice president of the GBC in 1991 and, on the national level, for eight years as a trustee of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. She has also served as president of the Georgia chapter of the Eagle Forum.
Schaefer lost her Senate seat in 2009 after representing Georgia's 50th district for two terms. She previously had been a candidate for Georgia governor, lieutenant governor and mayor of Atlanta.
In 1986 she founded Schaefer Family Concerns, Inc., a nonprofit foundation dedicated to issues such as display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings and opposition to abortion, according to the Atlanta newspaper. Sadie Fields, who chairs the Georgia Christian Alliance, described Shaefer as "a stalwart of conservative causes in Georgia."
Reported by the staff of Baptist Press and The Christian Index, newsjournal of the Georgia Baptist Convention.
CPS Warrior Nancy Schaefer Gunned Down
State investigators say the husband of former state Senator Nancy Schaefer shot his wife before turning the gun on himself. The couple's bodies were found in their north Georgia home Friday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation conducted autopsies on the Schaefer's Saturday--investigators say all evidence points to the deaths as a murder-suicide. The bodies of Nancy and Bruce Schaefer, 73 and 74 years old respectively, were found by their daughter at the couple's home in Clarkesville. Nancy Schaefer was a two-term state Senator representing Georgia's 50th district. She lost her seat in 2008. Schaefer was also a candidate for mayor of Atlanta, Georgia lieutenant governor and governor of the state.
The corporate media does not bother to mention that Schaefer exposed the abuses of CPS and the international child sex slavery ring.
"Investigators told the Associated Press they believe Bruce Schaefer, 74, shot his wife once in the back while she slept in the bedroom early Friday morning and then shot himself in the head. Police found a handgun near his body and several letters written to family members, including a suicide note," reports the Associated Baptist Press.
Other reports indicate Bruce Schaefer shot himself in the chest. People who commit suicide usually shoot themselves in the head.
"Contrary to early reports that Bruce Schaefer had cancer, the Gainesville Times reported March 27 that the couple's daughter, who discovered the bodies, told the local sheriff her father was not suffering from any serious illness at the time of the shootings. Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell said some of the letters mentioned serious financial problems and speculated that might have been a motive," Associated Baptist Press also reported.
Appearing on the Alex Jones Show last May, Schaefer detailed how CPS is involved in child trafficking rings.
Nancy Schaefer Found Dead: Suicide Conspiracy Murder?
Former State Senator Nancy Schaefer and her husband were found shot dead in their Georgia home. Police reported that the couple was both found at what looks like a murder-suicide.
Schaefer, 73, was a powerful Republican that represented North Georgia district twice in her life. Her husband was struggling against cancer at the time and was nearing his end of days. Authorities think it's possible that the couple decided to end their lives together to rid themselves of their daily pains, but the facts aren't adding up.
Authorities say they are investigating the scene as if it were a "murder-suicide" and are not sure what exact action led to their deaths. Police are conducting an investigation to find the exact cause of death. Police did not report any break-ins at the home.
In her last days, she was actively exposing the system of corruption and making the public aware of CPS (Child Protective Services). A government organization that she believes kidnaps children for money. CPS does not have over-sight Schaefer claims; she also claimed that young parents with no money were being targeted. There have been rumors that Schaefer was being targeted and murdered by CPS.- By Jack Ryan
Family rights advocates mourn death of Nancy Schaefer
Family rights advocates across the country are mourning the death of former Senator Nancy Schaefer. The bodies of Schaefer and her husband Bruce were found by their daughter Friday. They were both in the bedroom of their home in Georgia, and each had been shot once.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that The Georgia Bureau of Investigation found a suicide note written by Bruce, who was alledgedly suffering from cancer. Nancy had been shot in the back and Bruce was shot in the chest. People who knew Nancy balked at the idea that she committed a murder-suicide, as had been reported earlier, claiming a devout Christian wouldn't do such a thing.
Several people have posted on facebook that they had just spoken with Nancy, some saying they'd recently been with the couple. Each one saying that everything seemed fine. Mary Cadei Johnson wrote that she and Nancy had discussed, "the excitement of being able to meet each other in DC this July," adding, "she wanted to help me with a speech for my oldest daughter to give at the [Family Preservation] festival regarding Sibling Alienation."
Conservative Nancy Schaefer gained respect from both conservative and liberal family rights advocates for her bold and brave work exposing the corruption in Child Protection Services (CPS) and the US family courts. She gave a speech at the World Congress on Families in the Netherlands last year where she described how the US govt. was involved in human trafficking.
Rumors abound that the couple were murdered for her work exposing this corruption, and that it was made to look like a murder-suicide.
Funeral arrangements announced for Schaefers
Former Georgia state Sen. Nancy Smith Schaefer and her husband Bruce Schaefer of Turnerville will be remembered in funeral services at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Toccoa. A private family burial will follow.
The family will receive friends in the Ebenezer Family Life Center from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, according to the obituary posted by Acree-Davis Funeral Home of Toccoa, which is handling the arrangements.
8-16-2009 Nancy Schaefer Speaks at the World Congress on Families
THE CORRUPT BUSINESS OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
My introduction into Child Protective Service cases was due to a grandmother in an adjoining state who called me with her tragic story. Her two granddaughters had been taken from her daughter who lived in my district. Her daughter was told wrongly that if she wanted to see her children again she should sign a paper and give up her children. Frightened and young, the daughter did. I have since discovered that parents are often threatened into cooperation of permanent separation of their children.
The children were taken to another county and placed in foster care. The foster parents were told wrongly that they could adopt the children. The grandmother then jumped through every hoop known to man in order to get her granddaughters. When the case finally came to court it was made evident by one of the foster parent's children that the foster parents had, at any given time, 18 foster children and that the foster mother had an inappropriate relationship with a caseworker.
In the courtroom, the juvenile judge, acted as though she was shocked and said the two girls would be removed quickly. They were not removed. Finally, after much pressure being applied to the Department of Family and Children Services of Georgia (DFCS), the children were driven to South Georgia to meet their grandmother who gladly drove to meet them.
After being with their grandmother two or three days, the judge, quite out of the blue, wrote up a new order to send the girls to their father, who previously had no interest in the case and who lived on the West Coast. The father was in "adult entertainment". His girlfriend worked as an "escort" and his brother, who also worked in the business, had a sexual charge brought against him.
Within a couple of days the father was knocking on the grandmother's door and took the girls kicking and screaming to California.
The father developed an unusual relationship with the former foster parents and soon moved to the southeast. The foster parents began driving to the father's residence and picking up the little girls for visits. The oldest child had told her mother and grandmother on two different occasions that the foster father molested her.
To this day after five years, this loving, caring blood relative grandmother does not even have visitation privileges with the children. The little girls are, in my opinion, permanently traumatized and the young mother of the girls was so traumatized with shock when the girls were first removed from her that she has never completely recovered. The mother has rights but the father still has custody of the children.
Throughout this case and through the process of dealing with multiple other mismanaged cases of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), I have worked with other desperate parents across the state of Georgia and in many other States because their children were taken for no cause and they have no one with whom to turn. I have witnessed ruthless behavior from many caseworkers, social workers, investigators, lawyers, judges, therapists, and others such as those who "pick up" the children. I have been stunned by what I have seen and heard from victims all across this land.
In this report, I have focused mainly on the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). However, I believe Child Protective Services nationwide has become corrupt and that the entire system is broken beyond repair. I am convinced parents and families should be warned of the dangers.
The Department of Child Protective Services, known as the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) in Georgia and other titles in other states, has become a "protected empire" built on taking children and separating families. This is not to say that there are not those children who do need to be removed from wretched situations and need protection. However, this report is concerned with the children and parents caught up in "legal kidnapping," ineffective policies, and an agency that on certain occasions would not remove a child (or children) when the child was enduring torment and abuse.
In one county in my District, I arranged a meeting for thirty-seven families to speak freely and without fear. These poor parents and grandparents spoke of their painful, heart wrenching encounters with DFCS. Their suffering was overwhelming. They wept and cried. Some did not know where their children were and had not seen them in years. I had witnessed the "Gestapo" at work and I witnessed the deceitful conditions under which children were taken in the middle of the night, out of hospitals, off of school buses, and out of homes. In one county a private drug testing business was operating within the agency's department that required many, many drug tests from parents and individuals for profit. It has already made over $100,000.
Due to being exposed, several employees in this particular office were fired. However, they have now been rehired either in neighboring counties or in the same county again. According to the calls I am now receiving, the conditions in that county are returning to the same practices that they had before the light was shown on their evil deeds.
Having worked with probably 300 cases statewide, and now hundreds and hundreds across this nation and in nearly every state, I am convinced there is no responsibility and no accountability in Child Protective Services system.
I have come to the conclusion:
- that poor parents very often are targeted to lose their children because they do not have the where-with-all to hire lawyers and fight the system. Being poor does not mean you are not a good parent or that you do not love your child, or that your child should be removed and placed with strangers;
- that all parents are capable of making mistakes and that making a mistake does not mean your children are to be removed from the home. Even if the home is not perfect, it is home; and that's where a child is the safest and where he or she wants to be, with family;
- that parenting classes, anger management classes, counseling referrals, therapy classes and on and on are demanded of parents with no compassion by the system even while the parents are at work and while their children are separated from them. (some times parents are required to pay for the programs) This can take months or even years and it emotionally devastates both children and parents. Parents are victimized by "the system" that makes a profit for holding children longer and "bonuses" for not returning children to their parents;
- that caseworkers and social workers are very often guilty of fraud. They withhold and destroy evidence. They fabricate evidence and they seek to terminate parental rights unnecessarily. However, when charges are made against Child Protective Services, the charges are ignored;
- that the separation of families and the "snatching of children" is growing as a business because local governments have grown accustomed to having these taxpayer dollars to balance their ever-expanding budgets;
- that Child Protective Services and Juvenile Court can always hide behind a confidentiality clause in order to protect their decisions and keep the funds flowing. There should be open records and "court watches"! Look who is being paid! There are state employees, lawyers, court investigators, guardian ad litems, court personnel, and judges. There are psychologists, and psychiatrists, counselors, caseworkers, therapists, foster parents, adoptive parents, and on and on. All are looking to the children in state custody to provide job security. Parents do not realize that the social workers are the glue that hold "the system" together that funds the court, funds the court appointed attorneys, and the multiple other jobs including the "system's" psychiatrists, therapists, their own attorneys and others.
- that The Adoption and the Safe Families Act, set in motion first in 1974 by Walter Mondale and later in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, offered cash "bonuses" to the states for every child they adopted out of foster care. In order to receive the "adoption incentive bonuses" local child protective services need more children. They must have merchandise (children) that sells and you must have plenty so the buyer can choose. Some counties are known to give a $4,000 to $6,000 bonus for each child adopted out to strangers and an additional $2,000 for a "special needs" child. Employees work to keep the federal dollars flowing;
- State Departments of Human Resources (DHR) and affiliates are given a baseline number of expected adoptions based on population. For every child DHR and CPS can get adopted, there is the bonus of $4,000 or maybe $6,000. But that is only the beginning figure in the formula in which each bonus is multiplied by the percentage that the State has managed to exceed its baseline adoption number. Therefore States and local communities work hard to reach their goals for increased numbers of adoptions for children in foster care.
- that there is double dipping. The funding continues as long as the child is out of the home. There is funding for foster care then when a child is placed with a new family, then "adoption bonus funds" are available. When a child is placed in a mental health facility and is on 16 drugs per day, like two children of a constituent of mine, more funds are involved and so is Medicaid;
- As you can see this program is ordered from the very top and run by Health and Human Resources. This is why victims of CPS get no help from their legislators. It explains why my bill, SB 415 suffered such defeat in the Judicial Committee, why I was cut off at every juncture.
- that there are no financial resources and no real drive to unite a family and help keep them together or provide effective care;
- that the incentive for social workers to return children to their parents quickly after taking them has disappeared and who in protective services will step up to the plate and say, "This must end! No one, because they are all in the system together and a system with no leader and no clear policies will always fail the children. Just look at the waste in government that is forced upon the tax payer;
- that the "Policy Manuel" is considered "the last word" for CPS/DFCS. However, it is too long, too confusing, poorly written and does not take the law into consideration;
- that if the lives of children were improved by removing them from their homes, there might be a greater need for protective services, but today children are not safer. Children, of whom I am aware, have been raped and impregnated in foster care;
- It is a known fact that children are in much more danger in foster care than they are in their own home even though home may not be perfect.
- that some parents are even told if they want to see their children or grandchildren, they must divorce their spouse. Many, who are under privileged, feeling they have no option, will divorce and then just continue to live together. This is an anti-family policy, but parents will do anything to get their children home with them. However, when the parents cooperate with Child Protective Services, their behavior is interpreted as guilt when nothing could be further from the truth.
- Fathers, (non-custodial parents) I must add, are oftentimes treated as criminals without access to visit or even see their own children and have child support payments strangling the very life out of them;
- that the Foster Parents Bill of Rights does not stress that a foster parent is there temporarily to care for a child until the child can be returned home. Many foster parents today use the Foster Parent Bill of Rights as a means to hire a lawyer and seek to adopt the child placed in their care from the real parents, who are desperately trying to get their child home and out of the system. Recently in Atlanta, a young couple learning to be new parents and loving it, were told that because of an anonymous complaint, their daughter would be taken into custody by the State DFCS. The couple was devastated and then was required by DFCS to take parenting classes, alcohol counseling and psychological evaluations if they wanted to get their child back. All of the courses cost money for which most parents are required to pay. While in their anxiety and turmoil to get their child home, the baby was left for hours in a car to die in the heat in her car seat by a foster parent who forgot about the child. This should never have happened. It is tragic. In many cases after the parents have jumped through all the hoops, they still do not get their child. As long as the child is not returned, there is money for the agency, for foster parents, for adoptive parents, and for the State.
- that tax dollars are being used to keep this gigantic system afloat, yet the victims, parents, grandparents, guardians and especially the children, are charged for the system's services.
- that grandparents have called from all over the State of Georgia and from other states trying to get custody of their grandchildren. CPS claims relatives are contacted, but there are many many cases that prove differently. Grandparents who lose their grandchildren to strangers have lost their own flesh and blood. The children lose their family heritage and grandparents, and parents too, lose all connections to their heirs.
- that The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1998 reported that six times as many children died in foster care than in the general public and that once removed to official "safety", these children are far more likely to suffer abuse, including sexual molestation than in the general population. Think what that number is today ten years later!
- That according to the California Little Hoover Commission Report in 2003, 30% to 70% of the children in California group homes do not belong there and should not have been removed from their homes.
- Call for an independent audit of all State Child Protective Services (CPS) and for a Federal Congressional hearing on Child Protective Services nationwide.
- Activate immediate change. Every day that passes means more families and children are subject to being held hostage and their lives destroyed.
- Abolish the Federal and State financial incentives that have turned Child Protective Services into a business that separates families for money.
- Grant to parents their rights verbally and in writing.
- Mandate a search for family members to be given the opportunity to adopt their own relatives if children need to be removed permanently.
- Mandate a jury trial where every piece of evidence is presented before permanently removing a child from his or her parents. Open family court. Remove the secrecy. Allow the press and family members access. Give parents the opportunity in court to speak and be a part of their children's future.
- Require a warrant or a positive emergency circumstance before removing children from their parents. (Judge Arthur G. Christean, Utah Bar Journal, January, 1997 reported that "except in emergency circumstances, including the need for immediate medical care, require warrants upon affidavits of probable cause before entry upon private property is permitted for the forcible removal of children from their parents.")
- Uphold the laws when someone fabricates or presents false evidence. If a parent alleges fraud, hold a hearing with the right to discovery of all evidence made available to parents.
On my desk are scores of cases of exhausted families and terrified children. It has been beyond me to turn my back on these suffering, crying, and beaten down individuals.
We are mistreating the most innocent. Child Protective Services have become an adult centered business to the detriment of children. No longer is judgment based on what the child needs or who the child wants to be with, or what is really best for the whole family; it is some adult or bureaucrat who makes the decisions, based often on just hearsay, without ever consulting a family member, or just what is convenient, profitable, or less troublesome for the social workers.
I have witnessed such injustice and harm brought to so many families that I am not sure if I even believe reform of the system is possible! The system cannot be trusted. It does not serve the people. It obliterates families and children simply because it has the power to do so.
Children deserve better. Families deserve better. It's time to pull back the curtain and set our children and families free.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy" Proverbs 31:8-9
BY: Nancy Schaefer
Senator, 50th District
She was such a wonderful person and a dear friend of mine. She was an inspiration to me. I will miss her terriably. May she rest in peace.