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NY City Council-Res #27

We The People Of The City of New York Present This List of Demands and Request, in the Spirit of Fairness to the Children and Families Affected by Decisions Made by the Administration for Children's Services in NYC and the State of NY. On this the first day of October, in the year of Our Lord 1999.

1. In cases where allegations of neglect are filed ACS must investigate and find if allegations are valid before removing the child.

2. ACS should fully explore all community resources to help prevent children from going into foster care.

3. Individual Caseworkers should not be allowed to determine what is imminent danger. It is too generic a term, especially in cases charging neglect.

4. In cases where questionable abuse is alleged and the parent considers it discipline, an impartial independent community based organization should be allowed to mediate. This would help determine whether the allegations are founded and merit the removal of the child, or children, or if there is some other form of monitoring that can be put in place to redirect the parents style of discipline.

5. Make sure caseworkers show up for 1028 and fact-finding hearings. If caseworkers do not show up the case should be dismissed and the child, or children, returned and, if necessary, a new charge filed.

6. In cases where charges are founded, caseworker must immediately refer the parent to whatever services that parent might need if any, to get their children returned.

7. Children who are removed from their homes and want to see or visit their siblings should be allowed to do so with regularity.

8. Kinship care must always be given preference over foster care.

9. In cases where adoption is the goal, ACS must provide proof that reunification and kinship was not available.

10. ACS and/or an independent organization must monitor Foster Care Agency more closely

11. ACS and or an independent agency should, as part of their evaluation of foster care agencies, interview parents of children, and the children themselves, to get a better and fairer evaluation of how the agencies and care takers are performing their duties. (How can you give a fair evaluation of an agency without talking to the ones most affected by that evaluation?)

12. An independent oversight committee should be immediately put in place until there is some significant improvement in the agency's performance.

13. ACS must, implement all mandated State and Federal laws now.

14. A judge must make the decisions whether a child is to be removed. This decision should be made prior to removal of that child as the Law provides., ACS caseworkers too often take advantage of provisions in the law and remove children based on their own judgement, and then ask the court to ratify it. This must stop. If a caseworker can make such decisions there is no need for courts.

15. To help avoid false allegations the courts must enforce the 6th Amendment, which gives all citizens the right to be confronted by their accusers.

16. Allow cameras in court. This is practical as a modern and more accurate tool this would serve to help verify any disagreements and misunderstandings between parents and ACS as to what was testified to in court.

17. If Judges are appointed cases that go to trial should appear before a jury.

Sign Petition

 

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