Your source for news and information on the broken Family Court System in Connecticut. I am NOT an attorney. This blog does not constitute legal advice. Blog spirit: In the words of Emiliano Zapata,"I would rather die standing than live on my knees!"
PLEASE NOTE: This blog is a bigotry free zone open to all persons, regardless of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, political affiliations, marital status, physical or mental disability, age, or sexual orientation. Further, this blog is open to the broad variety of opinions out there and will not delete any comments based upon point of view. However, comments will be deleted if they are worded in an abusive manner and show disrespect for the intellectual process.
"I have been battling the Great American Custody Wars ever since the mid-1970s. I could not believe what was happening to mothers then—and when I broke the news, in the 1980s, few people believed me.
The prevailing myths were that women had an unfair advantage in custody battles and that men were discriminated against. This was not true then and it is not true today.
People also believed that only unfit mothers lost custody and that only very fit fathers obtained it. Mainly, the opposite is true.
No one believed that courts actually enabled or legalized incest or removed children from very competent mothers and gave them to exceptionally violent fathers—and then savagely restricted a mother's access to them.
Today, even I have a hard time accepting the fact that things have gotten worse..."
What happens when a mother divorces her abusive husband? "Motherless America: Confronting Welfare's Fatherhood Custody Program" six memoir chapters answer the question in a raw tale of corruption and cover-up. Three protagonists, a lawyer, a psychologist and a judge, collude to eliminate mother from the children's lives by calling her mentally ill, jailing, depriving her of financial resources and the ability to educate and improve herself. Under dire circumstances, Doreen plows forward, learns the law, only to discover and investigate the government program that funds father's abuse. Six memoir chapters humanize by using real life to demonstrate problems, showing how policy affects lives.
It is not common knowledge that our government finances a family court industry that mandates abusive fathers over protecting women and children. Motherless America shines a light on a government program designed to give fathers control of children by way of family court. Six memoir chapters with four research chapters that inform readers of the nature of abuse and how it is processed by the family court industry; who invented the government program to make sure men control the family even after divorce; occupations that administer the program; and government funding and program design. The book concludes with a chapter that lists problems and offers solutions.
To purchase the book, please click on the link below:
(This blog draws parallels between society's delayed response to Bill Cosby's crimes and society's current indifference towards the ongoing abuse of protective mothers in family court as a result of massive fatherhood funding.) It is quite striking. The July 27-August 9, 2015 New York Magazine cover with candid, black and white pictures of 35 women who came forward to report that Bill Cosby raped them. There are also many more women Bill Cosby raped who chose not to come forward. The headline to the article by Noreen Malone states, "One by one, they came forward with stories of being drugged and raped or assaulted by Bill Cosby, finding safety in their staggering number and a culture that was finally ready to believe."
Why the staggering numbers?
Because for years we have lived in a rape culture that has had a primary response of "Boys will be boys" to the act of rape. We have individual after individual who knew about the situation with Bill Cosby and chose to stand by and do nothing about it. As Jennifer Lee Pryor the wife of the late Richard Pryor stated, "It was a well kept secret that Bill Cosby fucked anything that moved."
Journalist Noreen Malone tries to spin the Bill Cosby story by stating that our culture has changed and that the stories these women have can now be heard, when they couldn't be previously, because we no longer tolerate rape. I would question this conclusion. In my view, after decades of neglect and intentional indifference, this story has now garnered attention because the sheer numbers of women Cosby abused has become so great it can now longer be ignored.
People like me, who recognize this truth, are completely disgusted with this widespread tolerance of the abuse of women in all ranges of life, particularly family court. For instance, when the New York Magazine article came out, a friend of mine asked, "Where is OUR cover?" Where is the cover of the many thousands and thousands of women, formerly the primary caretakers of their children, who have been denied custody and or even access to their children as a result of the father friendly policies nationwide of our country's family court system? These policies have been bolstered through fatherhood initiative funding that has spent billions of dollars to promote the interests of fathers over that of women.
I have not spoken about this issue very much on this blog because it is such an overwhelming topic. I have ordinarily left the subject to highly qualified journalists such as Anne Stevenson or Doreen Ludwig. However, the recent death of Baby Aaden has galvanized me to the point where I feel I need to speak out about the issue. Because make no mistake about it. The death of Baby Aaden was the direct result of the father friendly policies that have permeated the State of Connecticut since these massive fatherhood funds began to pour into the state in the 1990s.
Let me pause here and ask the question which is probably foremost on your mind at this point. Am I against fathers somehow? Am I seeking to turn the clock back to the 1950s when fathers didn't have any rights at all to their kids, even very good fathers? No. What I am critical of are policies and strategies that have clearly been put into place to promote the interests of fathers over that of mothers and restore a 19th century status quo where women are firmly under the control of the men in their lives and have no right to a say in regard to their children. For an example of that, we don't have to look further than Charles Dickens who, when he left his wife for a younger woman, took 9 of their children along with him and refused to allow their mother to see them. This is what I am objecting to.
We have federal and state policies that prohibit gender bias and discrimination against individuals in the work place, in education, in government services, and many other areas based upon gender. Yet, other than gender bias, what can you call a federal and state government policy which for the last two decades has invested millions and millions of dollars annually into promoting the interests of fathers over that of mothers.
Just take a look at the John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiative of Connecticut. Is there an equivalent Motherhood Initiative anywhere in Connecticut receiving the same level of funding?
The concept that we as a democracy could actively engage in massively benefiting one gender over another, and that this financial windfall could be distributed in the interests of men for the last two decades, and that few mainstream intellectuals, scholars, journalists, activists, or social commentators has picked up on this and criticized this situation is truly remarkable.
Of course, we see the outcome of these policies daily in terms of mothers falsely accused of PAS and losing all access to their children, mothers falsely represented as incapable mothers and placed on supervised visitation, and others tragically mired in lengthy and highly expensive custody battles. They talk about how 80% of self represented parties in Family Court are self represented. The number we don't get are how many of those unrepresented parties are women.
This is the cover we need. The cover with pictures of the women who have been the victims of these fatherhood initiative policies which have led them to lose their children, or have so little access to their children, they might as well not see them at all.
How are these father promoting policies put into place?
Here in the State of Connecticut they have been put into place by the establishment of a consortium of Connecticut state agencies entitled the "Fatherhood Advisory Council". The primary purpose of the Fatherhood Advisory Council is to promote the interests of men over that of women.
Those who have signed onto this mandate pretty much include every significant agency in the State of Connecticut including The Connecticut Judicial Branch.
This explains why Adrianne Oyola was unable to obtain a restraining order to protect herself and Aaden. Because the personnel in the Family Relations Department and the Judges themselves were on alert to give the father in that case all sorts of breaks as well as a very broad benefit of the doubt because of his status as a male. This is the Department's overriding policy which lip service to decidedly unfunded domestic violence mandates cannot overcome. After all, when Adrianne came into the Hartford Courthouse to fill out her protective order, there were no civil advocates to assist her in doing so. Why? Because while the CT Judicial Branch accepts millions of dollars to support fathers like Tony Moreno, to heck with domestic violence victims like Adrianne.
Let me just share with you the lengthy list of agencies who have signed on to help fathers out:
Department of Social Services
DSS Bureau of Child Support Enforcement
DSS Children's Trust Fund
Department of Children & Families
State Department of Education
Department of Correction
Department of labor
Department of Public Health
Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services
And the list continues.
I don't want to bore everyone with the full list, but if you interested to know more, just check out the website for the John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiative of Connecticut.
What is even more interesting is that there are women's agencies that are also listed as joining in the agreement to support the interests of fathers, and which, as a result, receive funding from the fatherhood initiative in order to promote the interests of fathers. If they are getting money from men's funding, how can they possibly maintain unalloyed their mandate to support women.
Women's groups getting fatherhood funding include the CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence which, I understand, receives 60% of its budget from fatherhood funding. It also includes the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women as well as the CT Women's Education & Legal Fund. If these agencies are required to promote the interests of fathers over that of women because they receive funding from fatherhood initiative funding, how are they supposed to do the work of assisting women?
In the end, these organizations end up having to weaken their programs that serve women, and from the reports that I have received, this is exactly what has happened. When women attempt to approach these agencies that are ostensibly there to support them, all they are likely to receive is a pat on the the head and a sympathetic but condescending ear. Clearly, if you look at the situation with Adrianne Oyola and her child, women need a lot more than that. They need legal advocacy and they need protection from abuse.
While women are getting beaten and their children tossed off bridges to their death, you will find the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence celebrating their "first 100 plus" men "who are boldly stepping forward to advance policy and practice around serving victims of domestic violence." Ok, so that was the agenda for 100 Plus leading up to 2014, but this year in 2015, probably in response to the public scrutiny the agency will very likely receive after the death of Baby Aaden, it now includes women as well. Still, its primary fundraising involves selling purple ties to men so that men can express their support of victims of domestic violence.
Of course, no one wants to go on the record for supporting domestic violence, but a $5 million budget for the CCADV versus hundreds of millions of dollars for fatherhood initiatives tells a story in and of itself.
I don't have too much more to say here, but I would urge all of you to go to the CT John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiative 2015 Family Services Directory which lists all the organizations in place to support the interests of fathers. It was too thick for me to staple at 45 pages worth.
In 2007. Legal Momentum, then the legal branch of the National Organization of Women (NOW) sent complaints to the Department of Health and Human Services about this situation. Their complaint was denied, and while I have not personally seen the response, I have heard that what they were told is that women who attempt to access fatherhood funded services will not be turned down.
However, this is the thing, how many women considering obtaining help from the John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiative of Connecticut are going to know it is intended to support motherhood as well--if it is, of course. When a water fountain has a sign above it saying "whites only", most people are likely to think it is intended for whites.
Further, even if women approach fatherhood funded agencies for assistance, are they going to be well served by agencies that have officially signed a document that obligates them to do a considerably better job for the men it services rather than the women? I think the considerable number of women who have lost their children based on false charges of PAS, or based upon the presumption that any woman who says she has been abused is lying, or based upon the presumption that its OK for a man to lie repeatedly to the Court without consequences, would have a problem with it.
Right now, in the same way that the women on the cover of NewYork Magazine lived in a time that found sexual abuse and rape of women acceptable, we live in a time where men stalking women through the Court system is considered acceptable, where men using children to terrorize and destroy the lives of mothers in the family court system is acceptable. We look forward to the day when this holocaust of mothers losing their children passes by, when our culture is restored to sanity, and family court acknowledges the devastation it has wrought on the lives of mothers and children by giving custody to abusers. That's when we will get the cover shoot my friend was speaking of. And when we do there will be many thousands of women who participate, not just 35. RELATED ARTICLES:
"THIS LOST GENERATION OF MOTHERS AND THE RISE OF FATHERHOOD!"
The John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiative of Connecticut is on its twelfth year of operation. Thus, for twelve years this Initiative has overwhelmed the State of Connecticut with an onslaught of gender biased (against women), discriminatory ideologies and policies which have had a far reaching effect on every agency of State government in Connecticut, turning each one into a bastion of male privilege. This is most particularly true in Family Court.
What this adds up to an outright War on Women intended to deny them their constitutional rights, their due process rights, to deny them their economic rights, and most devastating to deny them the right to care for their children in custody switching schemes that transfer custody from fit mothers to fathers with criminal backgrounds or histories of domestic violence towards women. In the past decade, if you are a woman, you have been at risk of having your life and that of your children viciously destroyed and taken apart by the Family Court system here in Connecticut, and many of you have lived through that experience.
In a previous blog, I spoke about the broad range of state agencies involved in this Fatherhood Initiative scam. Specifically, I spoke about a Memorandum of Understanding which I'd just obtained indicating that
fatherhood funding provides millions of additional dollars for fatherhood
programs in Connecticut operated by not only the Department of Social Services,
but also by the Department of Children and Families, the Department of
Correction, the Department of Labor, the Department of Mental health and
Addiction Services, the Department of Public health, the State Department of
Education, the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division, and the Judicial
Branch Support Enforcement Services.
And what do they want to achieve with these extended relationships between state government agencies? They want to "[infuse] father-friendly principles and practices into existing systems." Well, you can't be more outright than that! Further, they wish "to support and promote the positive interaction of fathers with their children understanding that fathers are critical forces in their children's lives and that they must be acknowledged and assisted with the important role they play."
In general, I would agree that fathers are very important, so I am not arguing with that. What I am arguing with is the extremist position this Fatherhood Initiative takes. They don't just mean being supportive of fathers. They mean reducing and frequently eliminating mothers, and replacing them with fathers. In other words, this Initiative promotes the concept that fathers are so essential to the lives of children that we can afford to push mothers aside, concentrate all the financial and strategic resources of the federal and state government on fathers, and then use the Family Court to steal children from mothers and transfer custody to fathers.
And don't assume this is just happening solely with low income fathers, or with the 50% or so of men in this program who are coming from jails. The Fatherhood Initiative provides services to fathers in this program "regardless of their marital and financial status." The result is a policy of promoting and giving significant legal and strategic advantages to fathers throughout all State agencies, most particularly in the Judicial Branch.
This is outright discrimination against women.
Not only is it discrimination, it is the statewide institutionalization of a patriarchal attitude that will not tolerate or allow any woman, any mother, to conduct her family life with her children without a man in charge of her and dictating her every move. So if they can't undertake a custody switching deal outright, Family Court seeks to achieve these results by policies such as placing a mother under the supervision of a family therapist or parent manager who is essentially under orders to bow to the wishes of the noncustodial father.
Another way it does so is by placing the children in the care of the Mother, but putting all decision making responsibilities in the hands of the Father. Thus, the Mother is caring for all the children's emotional and physical needs, but is not allowed to make any determinations regarding the nature of those needs.
I am sure that people who look at the website for the Fatherhood Initiative will challenge these statements and point out that the Fatherhood Initiative supports Families. Sure they do, as long as a Father is in charge of it. And every once in a while the website throws in a reference to mothers such as in the final paragraph of the "Welcome" page, "We hope you find this website useful as you continue your commitment to Connecticut's children and their fathers and mothers."
But make no mistake regarding the fundamental message of the Fatherhood Initiative. Basically, they are saying that if children do not have their Fathers, they have no one. The Fatherhood Initiative essentially eliminates mothers entirely from the equation.
If you doubt what I am saying, just take a look at the two Fatherhood Initiative public service announcements which they have posted on their website. The first one entitled "Be A Driving Force" films a young boy sitting in the back seat of a car addressing his Dad with a broad range of questions about life. We see this child from different angles. At the end of the clip, the camera finally focuses on the wheel of the car. The big surprise is that no one is sitting at the wheel. The implication is that if Dad isn't there, no one is there.
I guess Mom counts for zero from the perspective of the Fatherhood Initiative.
The second one is entitled "Whose Got the Wheel?" It shows a young girl sitting in the driver's seat of a car driving zig zag along the road. She is clearly too small to press the gas pedal or the brake, and she is too small to see out the window shield of the car. So essentially she is driving blind. As the clip begins, the announcer intones, "When you're not there, whose got the wheel?" and finishes with "A child alone on the road of life could impact us all." Alone? A child living with her mother is alone? In whose world is that true? Only in the kind of Man's World where a mother counts for nothing. The whole focus is on Fathers and Families, as if mother doesn't exist.
If you want to see these public service announcements for yourself, check out the following link:
Along with these public service announcements, there is a more lengthy video presentation entitled "Promoting Responsible Fatherhood" which is just as offensive. To view this presentation, click on the link below:
In this presentation, you have three fathers, all of whom have criminal backgrounds. You recognize this because the men talk about it and also some of the footage shows them visiting with their children in a prison setting.
I can't tell you the names of these men because they do not give them on camera. However, the first guy says of himself that before entering the wonderful Father Initiative program, "I couldn't even raise a plant. I was having a hard time raising myself."
Each one of them says in succession, "I sold drugs", "I was addicted to drugs." "I messed with drugs and alcohol."
Plant guy says he can control his anger better now.
Every once and a while the camera pans over to the mother who sits there looking like a deer caught in the headlights.
Another one of the men acknowledged, "My record with my wife was just abusive." Then he goes on to state, "To go from not seeing her [his little girl] to having her full time is amazing!" I'm sure it is! And I can't help wondering how that happened! Perhaps through another custody switching scam!
Then the director asks the guy to give his little girl a hug and kiss, and the man proceeds to give the little girl a kiss on the mouth. How creepy is that!
These video presentations show a heinous disregard for mothers as well as an attitude that no matter how criminal, how drug and alcohol addicted, or how abusive a man is, since he is the father he has the exclusive right to access bountiful financial and systemwide resources funded by both the federal and state governments so that he can shove the mother aside and take her place.
No matter how abusive and criminal, how potentially dangerous he may be to his children, fathers, according to the Fatherhood Initiative, have an absolute right to access their children, and mothers just better fall into line and walk ten steps behind such fathers or they will be punished and have been punished.
If women ever thought the 50s was bad, or life before women received the right to vote, try living in Connecticut right now under the shadow of the Fatherhood Initiative. It is much, much worse. Make no mistake, women are under attack here in Connecticut and throughout this nation.
Father's rights fanatics have infiltrated every level of government, have made friends with the rich and powerful, and have accessed almost unlimited financial and social resources to achieve their goals, unleashing a perfect storm in the lives of a multitude of innocent women and children throughout the State of Connecticut.
Under the umbrella of the John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiative
of Connecticut, in 2006 the Department was awarded a five year $5 million
($1million/year) grant from the Department of Health Human Services (DHHS),
Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to implement a Promoting
Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration Project. The grant incorporates strategies
encompassing all three (3) of the ACF established authorized activity areas:
Healthy Marriage, Responsible Parenting and Economic Stability. Each of the six
state-certified fatherhood programs who are partners in the grant (Families In
Crisis, Inc, Family Strides, New Haven Family Alliance, New Opportunities, Inc.,
Career Resources, Inc. and Madonna Place) target primarily low-income fathers,
new fathers, fathers-to-be, and young fathers who may be single, unmarried,
non-custodial or cohabitating. This target group also includes couples
interested in marriage and/or those who identify themselves as engaged. The
project is targeted to serve a minimum statewide total of 500 fathers and 40
The goal of the program is to provide our target populations
with a cohesive continuum of care that connects them to services. Our services
offer enhanced prevention and intervention strategies to promote healthy
marriage, responsible parenting and economic stability, other activities include
statewide marketing/outreach campaign and dissemination of information to
promote public awareness. Each of the six identified fatherhood programs are
delivering the Exploring Relationships and Marriage with Fragile Families,
Inside Out Dad (for incarcerated population) and the 24/7 Dad curricula to
program participants as part of the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Parenting
activities. Curriculum has been developed and delivered to DSS staff and our
community partners that will enhance knowledge and skills in assessing domestic
violence. DSS is currently working with the PWCL Workgroup to develop a
curriculum addressing parents with cognitive limitations and the ability to
connect these clients to appropriate services.
The original link for this information is as follows:
(This article is written by an author who chooses to write anonymously in order to protect him/herself from retaliation.)
All over the State of Connecticut mothers are talking about how Family Court disregards their concerns and actively engages in schemes which are intended to deny them the custody of their children. Why is this happening, they ask?
For some answers, all you need to do is look at a recent Superior Court Federal Access and Visitation grant application from July 7, 2010 which demonstrates how pro-father case rigging goes down in Connecticut. Programs like this, funded by the federal government are meant to arbitrarily increase the number of noncustodial parents [fathers] who have "access" to their children.
Thus, the grant application begins with the words, "I am pleased to submit Connecticut's renewal application for available federal funds to administer programs that support and facilitate non-custodial parents' [fathers]access and visitation with their children."
THE TENTACLES OF FATHERHOOD FUNDING ARE EVERYWHERE!
Fatherhood funds are not just distributed to fathers in grant programs intended for family court such as the one I am reviewing in this article, they are also distributed elsewhere. For example, the grant application makes reference to a major program "within the Department of Social Services called the John S. Martinez Fatherhood Initiatve of Connecticut." For more information on this program check the following link:
According to the grant, "The goal of the program is to promote positive involvement and interaction of fathers with their children. This program oversees six state-certified fatherhood programs across Connecticut and is funded by state funding and the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood federal grant." While I have not yet had an opportunity to review this grant, I am assuming the latter involves millions and millions of dollars solely provided to fathers.
But do not be deceived, this fatherhood funding doesn't simply involve the Department of Social Services. A Memorandum of Understanding which I just obtained indicates that fatherhood funding provides millions of additional dollars for fatherhood programs in Connecticut operated by not only the Department of Social Services, but also by the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Correction, the Department of Labor, the Department of Mental health and Addiction Services, the Department of Public health, the State Department of Education, the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division, and the Judicial Branch Support Enforcement Services.
We are talking about these millions of dollars being siphoned into every aspect of State government agencies and services, and all of these agencies and services combining together for the one central purpose of benefiting fathers.
WHY ARE FATHERS DESERVING OF ALL THIS MONEY? BECAUSE, THE IMPLICATION IS, WOMEN ARE DOING A BAD JOB OF PARENTING AND NEED FATHERS TO STRAIGHTEN THEM OUT!
The statement of purpose included in the Memorandum of Agreement I referred to above tries to make the case that mothers are just not doing a good job of parenting. So, apparently, they need fathers to straighten them out. Here is a sample of the commentary:
"Children growing up in families headed by a single mother are five times more likely than children in two-parent families to live in poverty."
"Children who suffer from father absence are at a high risk for dropping out of school, incarceration, drug use and teen parenthood."
"Children experience higher academic achievement when their fathers are involved in their lives, whether or not their fathers live with them, including obtaining better grades and less likely incidence of repeating a grade."
Of course, wouldn't another way of saying this be: if fathers are not abusive towards their ex spouses and children and pay their child support, the outcome will improve for the children. How hard is that?
In my view, the real question should be, are 100% of fathers so inept at parenting, so retarded, that they REQUIRE the State to set up federally funded programs to show them how to do their job as fathers? Where 90% of the people on welfare are single mothers who are the victims of domestic violence, isn't the fact that so many single mothers have stepped up to the plate and escaped their relationships with violent offenders a good thing?
Is the "give fathers custody at all costs, ask questions later" policy one we really want to follow given that the court programs are directly and deliberately drawing from pools of unfit fathers?
If the facts cited about single mothers are true, then shouldn't we be focused on providing resources directly to the children, rather than to the fathers who voluntarily abuse and neglect them? Who says these children are "suffering" or even entitled to the luxury of two parents? Why does the child require a violent, dangerous, unfit, father in his life who has drug and mental health problems?
Clearly, these questions have not played any significant role in the minds of the architects of these federally funded fatherhood programs.
So what does this mean for mothers who go to Family Court in Connecticut? The answer is that grant programs funded through this fatherhood money kicks in to give fathers the advantage in Superior Court. The way this happens is as follows.
FATHERS GET SPECIAL ATTENTION!
When cases come before the court, there are personnel within Family Services whose sole job it is to find ways to benefit fathers and increase their access to their children, regardless of whether these fathers are abusive or not. And remember, Family Services is not needs based, so anyone regardless of income is eligible.
Also, as a mother, keep in mind that when you go to Family Court no one tells you, by the way, while you are receiving services from Family Relations, your ex husband is receiving double the support and double the services behind your back.
These custody switching schemes begin with the following:
"Court Negotiations: This is a process in which a Family Relations Councilor meets with the non-custodial parent [father] at the time of the Court or Magistrate hearing in Hartford. The sole function of the Family Relations Counselor in this setting is to discuss access and visitation issues as well as other concerns regarding the development of a parenting plan." Yes, there is a statement that the non-custodial parent should be involved in this discussion, but--surprise, surprise--"In most instances the custodial parent is not available and follow-up meetings are necessary."
FATHERS GET FREE LEGAL ADVICE!
And what will happen if the mother refuses to cooperate and agree to access? Family Relations will assist the father in obtaining free legal representation, in other words "provide information and support in navigating the formal court process to bring the access issue before Family Matters Court." Again, we have this deceptive language which is used to make these gender biased programs palatable--"problem solving", "access issues", when what we are really talking about is a custody switching scheme.
Do custodial parents, i.e. mothers, know these secret meetings are taking place, that all these services are conducted with a behind the scenes understanding that they are intended to benefit fathers alone? Do mothers understand that they are participating in this grant program and that the grant puts the mediator and the Family Relations Counselor on commission to find in favor of fathers and noncustodial parents? Do they know that when they walk through the office door of a Family Relations Counselor they are headed for an ambush? No they don't.
Of course, my question is whether a program that is meant to arbitrarily increase the number of noncustodial parents who "access" their kids and in the process take custody rights away from mothers has a legitimate government purpose. I think not!
FATHERS GET FREE SUPERVISED VISITATION!
Underlying much of this discussion is the understanding that a considerable number of the fathers involved in these programs are violent offenders who have caused harm and damage to their ex-wives and children. For example, in regard to mediation there is a statement that mediation can be conducted with the parties in separate rooms. Of course, this is what would occur in situations where there has been abuse.
Further, there is a lengthy discussion of supervised visitation programs, but not to worry, because the people who run these programs don't think supervised visitation will be necessary for very long! "The vast majority of cases move quickly to unsupervised access once the bond is re-established." Oh, really! These are people who have "either never developed a relationship with their child, or who have had their relationship severed." And why is that? Because they have been in jail? Because they have been involved in drugs or illegal activities? Your guess is as good as mine!
What this all amounts to is that unarmed, untrained personnel end up supervising violent offenders' access to children. Here is their idea of security:
"One of the requirements articulated in the most recent Request for Proposal was for the organizations to follow the standards and guidelines for supervised visitation practices, as outlined by the Supervised Visitation Network (SVN). The protocol utilized by all current direct services providers is a staggered arrival and departure procedure to ensure the safety of the participants. if requested by the custodial parent, third parties can be utilized for the drop-off and pick-up of the child to the agency. In addition, the agencies have telephones in each room where the services occur, in case of an emergency, they are able to contact help. Further, one of the agencies utilizes panic buttons on their staff that would alert the local police department if an incident occurs."
A telephone call didn't do much to save the Powell children when their elderly, overweight visitation "supervisor" brought them to Josh Powell's house. He chopped them up with an ax and blew the house up while the "supervisor" stood there chatting with 911 operators."
These subsidized supervised visitation programs appear to be only available to fathers who are getting assistance with their court cases. In contrast, supervised visitation programs extort tens of thousands of dollars from protective mothers such as Susan Skipp and Sunny Kelly for access to their children, while fathers receive the same services for free. In particular, Sunny Kelly, who was charged with PAS and lost custody to a diagnosed psychopath and child rapist, was charged $10,000 per month in a non-therapeutic setting to see her son. She can't afford such extraordinary amounts of money, so she has not seen her son in a year.
FATHERS GET FREE COUNSELING!
Through the Families in Transition program, Fathers are also provided free counseling in order to remove the barriers which limit access to their children. Of course, I have problem with this kind of wording. These are not families any longer, if they ever were families. Some father's were never married to the mother of their children. Others are divorced, so there is no family in the traditional sense. What this terminology reflects is the insistence upon expanding father's ability to control and manipulate his ex partner and children despite the fact that both parents have gone their separate ways.
Or, as the grant application chooses to put it, the purpose of this counseling is to establish the father's relationship with children he hasn't seen in a long time and assist the child in "gain[ing] an important level of comfort with the reintroduced parent." It can also be used as a springboard to making referrals to other services such as "parent education, substance abuse evaluation, treatment, and testing." Right, these children of single mothers would really suffer without their drug addicted fathers in their lives.
Under the laws of the State of Connecticut, a parent cannot be ordered into counseling or treatment after the divorce is closed. Yet these programs routinely order mothers into treatment in order to promote access and visitation for fathers. According to federal law, the Access and Visitation grant programs do not provide for involuntary counseling, advocacy, or therapy. Yet this is exactly what the CSSD programs are doing with the money. For more information see the following link:
MAKE NO MISTAKE, THIS ABUSE OF WOMEN HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR A LONG TIME AND IT IS ENTRENCHED IN THE LEGAL AND SOCIAL CULTURE OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Returning to the grant application I started this article with what does that mean "renewal" application? How long has this been going on? According to the letter accompanying this grant application, "The Access and Visitation Grant will provide Connecticut with the opportunity to continue and expand the program that has been in place for over ten years." In fact, the Connecticut Judicial Branch has been receiving this fatherhood funding to strengthen and support Fathers in their custody battles since 1997. This is well over a decade during which considerable numbers of women have increasingly reported losing custody of their children to abusers in custody battles in family court that have been riddled with fraud, graft, and corruption.
The result is a battleground where the State of Connecticut, funded with millions of dollars of federal money, is attacking and destroying the lives of innocent women and children. This has got to stop, right now.
WHAT DO WOMEN NEED TO KNOW
What mothers need to understand is that the Federal Government is only going to pay the Court to maintain services if mothers lose their court cases. Mothers have absolutely no chance of winning because the checks are only cut to agencies that assist fathers--dysfunctional and dangerous ones.
But for the purposes of justifying the payments, the CSSD pilots are enrolling mothers involuntarily in Fatherhood programs without telling them, and then counting them off to the Federal Government as "parties served." And since the mothers do not know they are enrolled and are not receiving services, they are not provided with the surveys referenced in the grant reports that state everyone is so pleased with the programs and the outcome of their cases.
The programs scuttle all of the mother's due process rights and put CSSD administrators in charge of burying any evidence that might hinder a father's chances of increasing his parenting time and rights. Otherwise, if there were a decrease in father's custodial time, then the feds would not pay up and that court administrator will lose his or her job.
article is written by an author who chooses to write anonymously in order to
protect him/herself from retaliation.)
I ended Part II with the question of how the designers of this pilot program are measuring its success. One factor I suggested they consider would be how much child support the custodial parent and the children are receiving. Here is how the Pilot Program reports on success:
Current support collection rate:
- Goal: increase the number of cases with improved collection rate
Total dollars collected
- Goal: increase the number of cases with improved total dollars collected
Frequency of child support payments
- Goal: increase the number of cases with more frequent child support payments
Isn't this all already achievable by making the Agency do the job of follow up on support cases? Wouldn't you want to include mothers in the process if you were trying to find out where Dads are working and hiding money? Who are they collecting from? The mothers who lost custody when their ex's enrolled in the fatherhood program and used their unpaid support to sue them for custody of the child victims of violent crimes? Where does the money go? What about the number of kids receiving support?
You would think that the measure of a "Responsible Father" would be his ability to "solve problems" without unnecessary litigation and court intervention, and by minimizing the number of times he requires the child's home to bear the financial and emotional burden/stigma/risk of going before a judge. But not this program--Judge Munro wants Dad off the job, in court, suing for custody.
Here is another measure of success the Pilot Program proposes:
Court attendance rate
-Goal: improve court attendance for problem solving participants
Again, I am not really sure how many of these program objectives serve the needs or benefit children--even if they are met. How will increasing enrollment and eligibility (eg. the number of nonpaying parents) benefit children rather than attorneys? How about the following goal:
Program participation (participation in appropriate community-based social service oriented programming)
- Goal: increase program application rate
- Goal: increase program eligibility rate
- Goal: increase program attendance rate
- Goal: increase program completion rate
With so many court appearances, the noncustodial parent is sure to miss work. Regardless, I don't think the CSSD official (who makes $30K per year and needs only a high school diploma to get their job) who is conducting psychological assessments, really has time to function as an employment agency. I am sure the child would love it if during the time you were hauling Dad into court and destabilizing the family, CSSD spent money helping the parent they actually live with to maintain stable employment and have ample childcare.
- Goal: increase the percentage of obligated noncustodial parents who obtain full-time employment (non-temporary)
FACT: Finding a job for every voluntarily childless parent doesn't help the kids they neglect.
TRANSLATION: Switch custody.
There is no research that says increasing time with a noncustodial parents helps an unsupported child per se.
Access and visitation
- Goal: increase the parent's ability to resolve access and visitation issues
You know, I bet children would LOVE to be able to define whether this pilot just emboldened dangerous violent offenders to come into their lives and further victimize them. Whether the noncustodial parent's "ability to resolve access and visitation issues" meant silencing crime victims and targeting the custodial parties trying to protect them?
Unfortunately, Judge Munro is pretty clear the she DOESN'T want children testifying in custody hearings. I imagine that the Skipp children and the Boyne children would love to tell Munro to go f**k herself, but they don't get to define what the "success" of these programs means to them. Sometimes, they just end up dead and have their lives ruined, but to the psychopath, they're satisfied with their ability to "resolve" these access problems with a gun, an ax, and ignition of lighter fluid.
These seem like failure rates to me. what about you? Did going to jail and being held in contempt arbitrarily for 6 - 12 months of terrorizing court hearings in which your freedom and resources were looted help your family?
So let's get the lowdown on "Overall Program Success".
- Goal: 50% of parents have underlying contempt action concluded (no finding of contempt) within 6 months of entry into pilot
- Goal: 85% of parents have underlying contempt action concluded (no finding of contempt) within 12 months of entry into pilot.
What I find most interesting is that out of the 45 participating parents, only 3 of them were women, yet all of the "success" anecdotes in the program about the 3 NONCUSTODIAL MOTHERS. We don't hear anything from children or custodial parents, and we don't know under what circumstances these mothers lost custody.
This is actually a statitstic that demonstrates how badly run child support services is, not the ability or willingness of the parents to meet their financial obligations:
Past Due Support
- The average amount of past due support owed: $16,600
Judging from the demographics of the unfit participants, I think the money from the pilot program would have been better spent cutting the kids a check directly for some groceries, then barring violent offenders from contacting them.
The list below is a summary of issues facing the 45 obligated non-custodial parents, 3 of whom are mothers. Note that each parent has multiple issues:
* 77% are current receiving some form of government assistance (eg. medical, food stamps, SAGA, etc)
How do noncustodial parents and voluntarily childless fathers get on welfare? Only via fatherhood programs which have no income eligibility requirements. Unlike programs for mother and children, you do not need to be poor and homeless, you just need a cock.
* 73% have a criminal history (convictions)
Why would we want convicted offenders raising kids? What kind of crimes did they commit? Was there any attempt to screen these offenders?
60% do not have a valid driver's license
Why? Taken away or just don't have one? There's a difference. One nondriver is a criminal, the other is not, and why is CSSD help the DMV losers?
52% have substance abuse issues
Don't drug addicts and kids make a great combo
48% do not have a reliable form of transportation
45% have mental health issues
What kind? Treated or untreated? This tells me nothing about the participant except they are disabled. However, we are aware that approximately 25% of criminals have been diagnosed with psychopathy and once you add antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder to the mix, all mental health illnesses, you then have about two thirds of criminals. Does this sound like the kind of parent you want to reintroduce in the the life of a child? I don't think so.
Here is a news flash! If the program grant was for $300,000, and the result was the the parents collectively paid $35,820 in child support, you program actually LOST MONEY. If your Magistrates ordered most of the fathers to get on public assistance and to wage custody wars against mothers, IT IS A HORRIFICALLY DANGEROUS WAY TO DIVERT federal funds to cronies at the Male Involvement Networks.
The following is a summary of orders made by the Family Support Magistrate based on the preceding issues:
47% of obligors were referred to New Haven Family Alliance, Male Involvement Network for services such as job readiness, parenting skills, personal finance skills.
These Networks also provide attorneys to fathers. For more information on this click on the following link:
29% of obligors were ordered to apply for substance abuse treatment services
24% of obligors were ordered to apply for mental health services
16% of obligars were ordered to apply for social security benefits
9% of obligors were ordered to apply for SAGA benefits
But how did the children feel? What about the newly childless mothers whose due process and civil rights were violated? Dunno. They weren't asked.
And finally, the report concludes:
"All respondents believed that they were treated fairly by both the Magistrate and Child Support Officers (100%). in addiion, the majority of respondents reported their case was handled fairly by the court (96%) and the overall outcome and referrals matched their needs and current circumstances (93%)."
Moral of the story is that if you are a victim of a violent crime trying to rescue your child, don't expect job or housing assistance when these predators come after your family.
(This article is written by an author who chooses to write anonymously in order to protect him/herself from retaliation.)
The Pilot Program advises Magistrates and others to spend considerable time and money pampering their proteges in this fatherhood funded custody scheme. Note the following description from the report:
"For example, general supportive comments from the Magistrate and other team members are designed to motivate and demonstrate support for the changed behavior. In addition, tangible rewards, or "tokens", such as journals and writing emplements are used to assist participant performance."
Does anyone else think it might be a problem that the Magistrates are required to verbalize bias towards fathers and shower them with gifts in order to get funding under this program? In any other universse, this would be a flagrant violation of the Codes of Judicial Conduct which require judges and magistrates to remain neutral, refrain from making statements or actions that might lead the parties or public to believe that the judge is partial.
But what if you don't want to participate in the pilot or accept those gifts? Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Thus, there is the following caution:
"Failure to comply with the court orders will result in the imposition of sanctions. Ultimately, noncompliance with problem solving orders will result in the obligated noncustodial parent being removed from the Pilot and being referred for an immediate contempt hearing before a second Magistrate. At the contempt hearing, the obligated noncustodial parent faces potential incarceration until a purge, or a set monetary amount, is paid."
So, what does the CUSTODIAL PARENT have to say about this? Does she get invited to the party? I mean, don't you think if you are trying to increase the father's earning capacity and esteem within the family that you might not want to incarcerate him for not playing ball with a program based entirely upon ex parte communications with a judge. the Report continues on to say,
"The sanction for noncompliance is clearly and frequently articulated to the obligated noncustodial parent to increase the parent's understanding of the process and serve as an incentive for successful participation and compliance with the orders."
But here's the problem. If you enroll the NONCUSTODIAL PARENT, by default, you are also involuntarily enrolling the CUSTODIAL PARENT without their knowledge. And that custodial parent is the one raising the children, and nothing is being done to ensure that the court is "frequently articulating" to the CUSTODIAL PARENT why they are being sanctioned and their homes and being further destabilized because of someone else's noncompliance with a program they don't understand themselves to be enrolled in.
This program provides further opportunities to disrupt the lives of the Custodial Parent and the children. For example, the use of increased court hearings to shape the behavior of the Non Custodial parent which is described as follows:
"In addition to the increased frequently of hearings, the Pilot itself is unique in that each hearing is individually scheduled for a specific time and is allotted a half hour. This element of the Pilot uses scheduling as an additional reward or sanction for the participant's compliance with the court's orders...The frequency of the hearings or the period of time over which they are conducted is measured by behavior and progress towards the participant's goals."
This aspect of the pilot program fails to recognize that using court appearances as a reward or sanction means that regardless, you are sanctioning the child and custodial parent by taking time and resources away from the child's home. A child who may need food or childcare, and a parent with a stable job. A child and mother who may have preferred to use their time and resources strengthening their relationship with each other, maybe even directly with dad, rather than requiring both parents to take time off from work and obtain childcare to attend adversarial proceedings that further deteriorate their relationship.
All the while, Mom has no idea that the outcome of the proceedings will be determined not by her conduct or the weight of the evidence, but by whether or not her case profile meets the funding mandates outlined in the "Problem Solving Court" grant. This means that the Case Manager and Magistrate are required to arbitrarily reduce the amount of time the child spends with his or her mother, deplete the mother's legal rights, while at the same time providing the father (who is 90% likely to be a violent offender with drug/mental health problems) with legal and financial assistance that will increase his access to the child (who might be a crime victim.)
What this really represents is a money making scheme for attorney. Read the sentence below and substitution the words GAL or Attorney in place of the word children. Then it will make much more sense to you:
"This type of judicial monitoring will continue until the obligated noncustodial parent is in a position to manage the personal challenges that have historically interfered with their ability to provide regular and reliable financial support for their children."
Right! Like their willingness to ensure Dad sues and wins custody. How beneficial for the child. I have yet to see any direct services that are provided to the children.
Do these team members address the issue of what kind of impact this program will have on the Custodial Parent? No, they are not required to address such concerns as the Report states:
"The case manager is also available [BUT NOT OBLIGATED] to speak with the custodial parent to ensure that the goals of the process meet the needs of the entire family."
This excerpt presents the basic flaw of this program. Essentially, it assumes that the father is the only parent whose needs matter. At no time does this pilot program consider giving custodial mother and their children any sort of benefits, or even ask what their needs are. It's all about FATHERS.
So how are we measuring the "success" of this pilot?
MORE ABOUT THIS CUSTODY SWITCHING SCHEME IN THE UPCOMING PART III
For a link to this "problem solving" pilot program please click on the link below: