Saturday, March 17, 2018

Kinship Care

Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program Introduced 

PPC has been working closely with state Representatives Kathy Watson and Eddie Day Pashinski to create legislation establishing the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program and we’re proud to announce House Bill 2133 was introduced this week. 
The program will be a vital resource to kinship caregivers because for the first time ever, there will be a one-stop shop for them to find information about state and federal resources available to them, along with a 24-hour hotline they can call for assistance. The bill also provides for training for Kinship Caregiver Navigators. 
PPC joined Representative Pashinski, Representative Watson and other state officials and advocates at a press conference to unveil the bill on Monday, and the creation of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Caucus and emergency guardianship legislation also were announced. 

Tell Us Your Story   
Two grandmothers who are caring for their grandchildren told stories about the challenges they face as caregivers, one following the tragic loss of a child to opioid addiction and another struggling to find what resources are available to her and her granddaughter.
If you are a kinship caregiver or know a grandparent or other close family relative raising children outside of the foster care system who would benefit from this new program, we would like to hear your story. Email Ashleigh Brunsink at
We expect the bill to see movement when the House returns to session on April 9th, and we’ll keep you posted in future updates. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Farming Out Our Children to Strangers/Reading Eagle

Anyone know these boys? Another place to farm out children to strangers. Guess this explains why Judy Schwank ignores the corruption (Kids for Cash) in Children and Youth Services and our family courts. She may be part of the child trafficking network

 Image may contain: 14 people, including Judy Schwank, people smiling, people standing and indoor

Saturday, March 3, 2018

State Submits Goals to Improve Child Welfare. We are Failing!

State Submits Goals for Improving Child Welfare System

In 2017, Pennsylvania participated in the most recent round of the federal Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR), a collaborative effort with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) that helps states identify strengths and challenges within child welfare systems.
A random sample of 65 cases were selected and reviewed across seven counties (Butler, Centre, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mercer, Northampton and Philadelphia). In addition, interviews were conducted with 17 different stakeholder groups. 
Overall, Pennsylvania was found not to be in substantial conformity with the seven safety, permanency and well-being outcomes, which review things like a caseworker’s timeliness in goal planning, the appropriateness of a child’s permanency goal or an agency’s efforts to find family connections for foster care placements. Pennsylvania also only achieved substantial conformity on five of the seven systemic factors, which includes things like workforce turnover and caseworker training. 
Strengths for Pennsylvania included a commitment to continuous quality improvement, a willingness to share data with stakeholders, efforts to ensure siblings are placed together in foster care and increased use of relatives and kin as placement options.  
As required, Pennsylvania then developed a Program Improvement Plan (PIP) to address areas in need of improvement and identified four key areas: 
  • Workforce, or attaining and maintaining skilled and responsive child welfare professionals.
  • Engagement, or developing and maintaining trust-based working relationships with children and their families and increasing family participation in planning and support efforts.
  • Assessment, or gathering and sharing information so that the team working with the family has a common big picture understanding of the strengths, challenges, needs, and underlying issues of the child and family.
  • Planning/monitoring, or continuous analysis and evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of the plan and modifying accordingly.
Once the PIP is approved by ACF, the state then has two years to implement the goals stated within. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What to do if CPS Shows up at Your Door

What to do if CPS Shows up at Your Door

Sometimes children are harmed in their homes. This does not make every parent a suspect. In our current hyper vigilant age, there are more parents being reported to CPS than ever before.
  • Loving parents who refuse a recommended medical treatment for their child can be reported by a doctor who might fear losing his license to practice medicine.
  • Neighbors or estranged family members may report a family despite the lack of grounds to support any allegations of abuse.
  • Parents with a sick child seeking a second opinion have been reported to CPS by hospital or medical authorities.
Since more parents are experiencing a visit from CPS than ever before, and since sometimes those visits have resulted in the quick removal of children – despite no grounds to allegations of harm or abuse – it is critically important for every parent to have a good idea of how to respond to a CPS visit. Don’t think ‘it can’t happen to me.’ Take any visit by CPS seriously.
The most significant mistakes made by parents are usually in the very first encounter. If you can understand how to handle the very first encounter with CPS, you can increase your chances of maintaining your family’s rights and freedom. CPS will often seek to take a family by surprise. Be prepared.
1. THE KEY: Be polite & SAY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. You might be terrified inside. You might be absolutely angry if you feel there is injustice going on, but the number one thing you can do is stay calm and be polite. Anything you say can be twisted. Do NOT DEFEND YOURSELF. Do NOT volunteer information.
2. Do NOT let them in your house. Be nice but STAY FIRM. Have one statement ready and repeat it over and over “I know you are just doing your job, but my main obligation is to my children and to help them avoid unnecessary trauma.” If they do not have a warrant and there is no obvious emergency, they are not allowed access to your home. If a police officer is with them, they all know it is illegal to enter a home unless you CONSENT, or unless they have a warrant, or can hear an emergency situation going on. DO NOT CONSENT. 
3. Ask permission to ask THEM questions. “I realize you are just doing your job. Would it be ok if I asked you a couple of questions?” Then, ask if you can record the conversation. If you need to get your cell phone, close the door and say, “I need to get something.” These are the questions to ask them:
  • “Firstly, do you have some identification? After you get their ID, write down their name, then ask, “Can you give me the name and phone number of your supervisor?” Write it all down. Take your time.
  • Next “What are the exact allegations that have been made against me? Federal law requires that I should be informed of any allegations against me.”
  • Ask them if they have a warrant. Be direct. “Do you have a warrant to search my home or speak to my children?” If they produce a warrant make sure it is signed by a judge and dated.
Without a warrant they must gain your consent to enter your home or speak to your children. They are doing their job. Their supervisor has instructed them to make this visit and they will use whatever tactic they feel will be effective to GET MORE INFORMATION AGAINST YOU. They may alternate between: trying to be nice, being firm, threatening or trying to bargain with you. Stay immune to every tactic. Be Nice, but know your rights. Do not get caught up in their games. Don’t engage them in any discussion, except on the questions above.
4. Tell them you are going to contact your attorney and when you get them on the phone, you will allow them to speak to your attorney. Close the door. Phone your attorney so the attorney can speak to the CPS case worker and help them to leave. Your attorney will know the law and remind the case worker of your rights. It is always a good idea to have an advocate on your side.
What do I do if I don’t have an attorney?
If you are a Christian and Homeschooling, you might like to consider joining Heritage Defense.[1] If you are homeschooling you might like to join Home School Legal Defense Association who will defend you against allegations by social services as they pertain to homeschooling. Both organizations require a monthly or yearly fee but are available for telephone help immediately in any emergency situation you might face.
I pray you will never need to use this information. Unfortunately, in the present time of extensive government involvement in the lives of parents, many parents have found themselves in complex situations with CPS. It is better to be forewarned and forearmed. Your number one desire is to protect your children from harm. Too often CPS has brought more harm than help.
Please share your tips for keeping your family safe from unwarranted intrusion in the comments below.
Becky Hastings