Protesters Target DCS, Foster Homes

A small group of area residents gathered Friday near Johnson City Juvenile Court hoping to bring attention to what they call state-sanctioned abuse committed against families and children in Tennessee and across the nation, reports the Johnson City Press.
Ruth Cummins, the local protest coordinator for Govabuse, said the goal is to reform laws governing how child-protection services — the Department of Children’s Services in Tennessee — investigates claims of child abuse and the process used to find a suitable home while an investigation takes place.
“There are no longer family rights in this country. These social workers can commit perjury and fraud upon the court … to take our children and grandchildren away from us,” Cummins said.
“There is nobody that oversees these people to make sure they’re following federal law, state law and even their own policies,” she said.
DCS caseworkers have sole power to remove children from a home when an allegation of child abuse is lodged against the parent or caregiver — allegations that are often false, Cummins said.
Too often, she said, a child is abused in a foster home as well.
“If it happens in a foster home, they won’t do anything to a foster parent so the abuse continues in the foster home and there’s no fear of repercussion.”
….Her first experience with the DCS system started a year ago when she tried to get custody of her 4-year-old granddaughter, the child of her dead son. Cummins said a DCS caseworker in Knoxville told her she would never get custody of the child and that she, the caseworker, would find a family to adopt the child out.

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