Since its inception, the Minnesota Guardian ad Litem Program has committed itself to giving abused and neglected children a strong voice in our court system. The Program provides advocates who represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court and are independent from the court and the child welfare system. Guardians ad litem (GALs) are professionals who are paid staff or volunteers and are appointed by the Juvenile or Family Court to represent a maltreated child’s best interests in court proceedings. What it should say is the MN GAL Program has committed itself to giving abused and neglected children BACK TO THE ABUSER.
The results of our evaluation of the GAL Program will be released within the next few weeks.
Jodi Munson Rodríguez | Program Evaluation Manager | Office of the Legislative Auditor | Program Evaluation Division
140 Centennial Building, 658 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55155 | 651-296-1230 | Fax: 651-296-4712
Office of the Legislative Auditor
Comment on Carver County Corruption Blog 2013
The courts themselves were set up and designed by a nonprofit organization of judges, attorneys, and psychologists — promoting mediation in particular — which started as (I’m going to state as fact because evidence seems to support this) as a slush fund (means of money laundering) IN the Los Angeles County Courthouse. People who accept and understand this will recognize the same behavior in action generations (of related nonprofits contracting with or running the courts) since, and adjust their responses accordingly.
Generally speaking, AFCC is favorable to (abusive) fathers’ rights, and the industries of supervised visitation, parent education, and of course as much custody evaluation as possible. A related organization NACC (based in Colorado) tries to get a GAL appointed wherever. From what I can tell, the GALs are rarely neutral.
In all of these groups, some of the money is made and control established through the trainings,, (CLE, GAL training etc.) which can be written off.
The presence in any jurisdiction of a “Conciliation court” and with it “Conciliation Code” (usually at state level) generally means that any “rebuttable presumption against custody going to a batterer” is a moot point — because that courtroom (and presiding judge) BY LAW grabs jurisdiction and decides to order all kinds of services; a.k.a. “fees for friends.” The goal of the AFCC (ca. 1963 founded) is to transform the language of criminal law into a behavioral health paradigm, which is for control and profit.
Conciliation is about “reconcililation” (co-parenting, allegedly) and is not interested in criminal matters. We need to recognize this; it happened when no-fault divorce replaced actual criminal matters as a cause of divorce across the country, ca. 1970s.
What this means is that Lundy Bancroft’s “Batterer as Parent” material, while mostly true, is irrelevant in this context. Access/Visitation funding, that the child support system extorts some and rewards others at will for its own (and the states)’ profits IS. That an entire industry of responsible fatherhood money (Hundreds of millions) funded by the public (and private philanthropies adding to it) IS relevant. It’s a racket, which is good to at least be aware of. At least if this is identified and put on the table, those involved might at least RESPECT individual litigators, or fear being “outed” and perhaps in individual cases, someone higher up the ladder might toss out a lesser lackey to the crowds, as they did a GAL in Lackawanna County, PA (Danielle Ross) on tax evasion.
Not only state laws, rules of court, etc. are changed to accommodate some of these goals, but also federal welfare law (access/visitation, etc.) such that people the incentives of all involved to favor (a) churning the case; (b) stripping the family’s assets as treatments are ordered and (c) while preaching about best interests of the children and child support, actually compromising arrears by increasing “noncustodial parenting time) which helps “balance” the state/federal budget. EVERYONE seems to have a vested interest in doing the wrong thing.
I am sorry for your situation, BUT, you are hanging around in the wrong crowd. Lawless America is not going to tell the relevant story — it’s going to encourage you to tell your victimhoood story. Get your head out of that and start examining the people in your case, andd the groups operating in your area. All over the country people have had similar experiences (I have; I’m a DV survivor, there was an abusive “step” figure in mine. I hadn’t done anything wrong or illegal for a parent, and a whole lotta lying took place, easily disprovable, which no one (in the courts) cared about. A GAL diagnosed me (by mail) long-ddistance with zero meeting and when asked what her scope of service was (I had no idea at the time what GALs did) couldn’t or wouldn’t give me any answer. And it’s been more than two years of my not seeing the children).
On that FACTS sight, I took the ABA Commission on DV fact sheet into a courtroom; no one gave a hoot about it. The MOST relevant information you have up there is a broken link — to the California-NOW-Family-Court-Report-2002-2. It can be obtained on-line and includes the writing of Marv Bryer on the development of these courts.
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What is happening IS evil, in my terms — but even evil has to be organized to function. If people are simply not willing to figure out how it is organized, then they are part of the issue. It may take a while to comprehend, but only by comprehending can you lobby by some other means than telling the public that bad things are happening in the courts (they’re already stressed and don’t understand how; and paying for the courts), or telling the courts that your kids are getting hurt.
I have high respect for NOW (was never a member) and one of the former members was a partial witness when my kids were stolen overnight. NOW should’ve kept that report on-line; perhaps someone could remind them. Most of my information is on the blogs; I participate iin this blog from time to time, or comments elsewhere to keep communicating this basic information. Again, just because a group of people agrees there is a problem doesn’t mean they are telling you everything relevant they know. Many of the advocacy groups simply are not; I guess they just like the publicity.
I have been over ten years post-separation and watched these things developed as well as been a single mother, then a noncustodial mother (networking with others) then identified what some of the networks were encouraging mothers NOT to talk about, and since then am more particular about who I hang out with. This issue affects the entire country and should be, I believe, presented in that light. Most people are at least concerned about what’s happening to their tax money, and if they understood that a $4billion a year industry (OCSE/child support) is being used to expand (not reduce) welfare roles through the family courts, that the religious elements are having a heyday with contracting with the courts, and getting rich off it, and that millions of dollars are getting lost in the cracks (which the HHS/OIG/OAS also admits), THEN perhaps there might be more public support to restructure the courts.
Sorry to lecture, but I think it’s simply inexcusable that too many of us who know better, have not made sure that women coming into the system at least get to “family & conciliation court 101” level before joining groups, telling their stories, and blogging. There really are some BASICS. Not to know — as that missing CANOW 2002 report (about 171pp doublespaced) showed, and a CANOW 2005 letter to HHS said — that the federal funding is affecting the local custody outcomes, and that even well to do families are being affected by programs which were initially aimed at low-income families (single black mothers, to be specific) — is simply, well, it’s a shame.
Look up Anne Stevenson’s Huffington Post Blog on 5 HHS programs dangerous to women and children for a quick rundown. Even father’s rights groups don’t like them. We have to understand the courthouses better, who’s funding them and who’s running them. It’s a great study, something you can explain to your children when you see them again; they will grow up sooner or later..
We already know America is Lawless and don’t need this movement to say so. The question is, what to do about it, and how. That requires following the money and which organnizations and means are directing it where. Sorry if this is a rant, hope it was helpful.
The website on THIS comment isn’t mine; it’s a group you should know about — thoroughly— if you are a mother in a custody challenge. They conference to get the HHS grants and have the US divided up into regions.It’d be good to know who’s active in your region. FYI, many of the affiliates don’t pay their taxes or stay filed right; that may be some leverage we have to protest their getting that “marriage/fatherhood” funding. Judges, lawyers, “Bishops” (COGIC) and others are involved. Jeffrey Leving, Esq. of Chicago is a sponsor of the group which itself got started with Fathers’ Rights funding initially ca. 1994 in Arizona. Notice 1994 was right before 1996 welfare reform, and when the National Fatherhood Initiative (nonprofit ggetting HHS and private funding, Wade Horn, Daniel Blankenhorn, etc.) was formed and from which we now have a major federal program, taken for granted like a coat of new paint in the room. People pushing this KNOW that the public will just adjust and accept, rather than protest and shut down.etc. (My home blog available on other comments on this thread.)
Let’s Get Honest
March 16, 2013