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Families Separated by the State: Families can no longer feel safebecause a state child protective services agency may decide to swoop in andtake their children into captivity at any time, for any arbitrary reason.

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Old July 11th 07, 03:31 AM posted to alt.support.child-protective-services,alt.support.foster-parents,alt.dads-rights.unmoderated,alt.parenting.spanking
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Default Families Separated by the State: Families can no longer feel safebecause a state child protective services agency may decide to swoop in andtake their children into captivity at any time, for any arbitrary reason.

Families Separated by the State
By Gregory A. Hession, J.D.
Published: 2007-07-23 05:00


The nightmare started when nine-year-old Tevania Tranberg fainted
momentarily for no apparent reason when she and her family were at a
Trader Joe’s store near their Brookline, Massachusetts apartment. The
father, Steven Bennett, went with Tevania in an ambulance to nearby
Children’s Hospital to get her emergency care, and hopefully discover
the source of her brief collapse. They were joined shortly by the
mother, Heidi Tranberg, and Tevania’s four siblings, including
12-day-old Evanna.

At around 10:00 at night, after seven hours in the hospital and many
tests, they discovered that Tevania had a low calcium condition. A
resident also did some neurological tests and suggested that the
situation was not that serious.

Another resident, Catherine James, M.D., then told the family not to
listen to the first resident. Not knowing which doctor to believe, the
parents asked for a second opinion. Big mistake. Dr. James snapped that
she was going to get a restraining order and turned on her heels to go
see the legal department. She returned and explained that her request
was denied, and the family asked if they could go. At the family’s
request, Dr. James prepared a discharge summary, in which she told the
parents to get the child to her pediatrician within 48 hours and to
watch for any further signs of problems. They took the paper, waited for
a ride for half an hour, and left the hospital about 11:30 p.m. that night.

Unbeknownst to the parents, Dr. James called the Massachusetts
Department of Social Services (DSS) immediately after they left. DSS
told the police and the court that the parents had “fled the hospital,”
based on Dr. James’ report, even though she had told them that they were
free to leave. Dr. James later admitted to the court investigator that
she had never said the parents “fled” the hospital and that “DSS was wrong.”
The SWAT Team Swings Into Action

The next day, the father immediately obtained an appointment with their
pediatrician, and both parents were attentive to Tevania’s condition.
Thirty-six hours after they left the hospital, several carloads of armed
police removed the children to the police station, where half a dozen
DSS agents took them, without a warrant or an explanation. Later, the
police log showed that DSS had lied to the police by claiming that there
had been “injuries from child abuse,” as well as sexual abuse to the
children. There was no mention of low calcium, since that might not have
seemed quite as urgent.

Families can no longer feel safe, because a state child protective
services agency, often generically referred to as “CPS,” may decide to
swoop in and take their children into captivity at any time, for any
arbitrary reason. Once the children are in their system, it is difficult
or impossible to get them back. It usually does not matter if the
condition that led to removal is resolved, because there is money to be
made in warehousing children — lots of it.

Before I got involved as counsel, Steve Bennett and Heidi Tranberg’s
court-appointed counsels told them to waive a temporary custody hearing.

What the lawyers didn’t tell them was that such a waiver means they have
no legal means to get the children home for at least a year, if not two.
When I came on the case, the damage was done, and every request to
return the children is met with a smug, “They waived their hearing. We
have custody.”

The Bennett/Tranberg’s five children, including the 12-day-old baby,
have been gone since February 23, 2007, with no return in sight. Some
calcium supplements were all the children needed. However, the
Massachusetts DSS decided to lock four of the five children under
24-hour armed guard for five weeks in the hospital, all courtesy of the
taxpayers. For calcium pills.

These parents are not accused of substance abuse, physical abuse or
sexual abuse, or anything which would raise a caution. They live in an
expensive, spacious apartment in a swanky Boston suburb, and are
self-employed professionals. The children are receiving no benefit from
being in DSS custody that would be an improvement over their own home.
However, when the parents ask DSS why their children can’t come home,
they get no answers, other than the continual refrain, “Because we have

The parents wake up each morning, sick at heart, wondering how to cope
with another day of worry about the well-being of their children and how
their children will bear up under the stewardship of parents who are not
their own. The experience of these parents is not unusual. When children
are taken this way, they are often permanently traumatized.

My experience as a lawyer defending parents against false allegations of
abuse has thrust me into a world of arbitrary state power and lies, and
parents with crushed hopes. The child protection business generates so
much money, and employs so many social workers, therapists, lawyers, and
other professionals, that it has to continue to obtain fresh meat every
day for its gaping maw in order to feed all those who prey on the system.

In the tiny state of Massachusetts, more than 70,000 calls are made
every year to the state child-abuse hot line. Thousands of social
workers oversee more than 40,000 cases per year, and the state keeps
nearly 10,000 children in custody at any one time. Most of these
children are heavily drugged, placed in special education classes, and
given therapy. When you add up the cost of all of these services in
Massachusetts alone, it amounts to billions of dollars per year, which
the state can leverage to obtain prodigious quantities of federal
Anything to Take Children

No aspect of life is too remote, and no angle is too obscure for the
state to investigate in its fanatic desire to get children away from
parents. Neil Howard and his wife Heidi lost their three children to the
Massachusetts DSS in October of 1999, when DSS alleged that their home
was too messy. Neil had gutted the kitchen, and the new cabinets and
flooring were in boxes waiting to be installed in the next few days.

Their severely brain-damaged baby, Faith, was about to come home from
the hospital, and DSS took upon itself to send a visiting nurse to their
home prior to the child returning. The nurse took a look at the kitchen
project, and noted that the home was “the messiest she had ever seen,”
without mentioning the remodeling. Things went downhill from there, with
DSS interviewing the children, who made vague “disclosures” like the
father tapped the son on the head with a book once.

But that was enough to get DSS to swing into action. First, they
demanded that Heidi throw her husband out and get a domestic-abuse
restraining order against him, even though she told the judge that there
was no abuse and DSS was making her do it. After Heidi decided to defy
the agency and remove the order, two DSS agents walked into their home
without permission, got the police to arrest Neil for violation of the
non-existent restraining order, and took the distraught Heidi to a
locked hospital psych ward, after promising her she could come right
back. Then, of course, they took their two boys, eight-year-old
Christopher and four-year-old Ethan, into captivity. For two years.

As happened to the Bennett/Tranberg family, the Howards’ court-appointed
lawyers told them to waive their custody hearing, without explaining the
consequences. When I later began to represent them, much damage had been
done that could not be fixed.

They’re waiting to come home: Four daughters of Heidi Tranberg (back)
enjoy a family outing in Lexington, Massachusetts, prior to being taken
into captivity by children’s social services because a doctor had
reported the parents for not immediately following her advice after one
child was found to have low calcium levels.

Poor little Faith died in the hospital on her first birthday, alone
because the parents were prohibited from visiting her. The gracious DSS
personnel gave custody of Faith back to the parents after that. The two
boys, Chris and Ethan, were kept at foster homes, where Ethan was
consistently abused. While in custody, Ethan suffered a broken arm,
bruises in many places, wounds on his face, and other medical problems.
His day care reported that the bruises were covered up by makeup.
Despite all this being reported to DSS, it was all swept under the rug.

In order to provide a pretext for continuing to hold the boys, the DSS
bored in on Ethan, who had a pervasive developmental disorder, and
worked him over. Therapists hired by the agency elicited patently false
and absurd “disclosures” from Ethan, like his daddy cut off his “peewee”
with scissors. After continual badgering by another therapist, Chris
also made some equally fatuous disclosures.

Meanwhile, Heidi had another baby named Jessica, and DSS wanted her,
too. The Howards decided to not turn over the child, so DSS used
high-tech GPS and a helicopter to locate her and take her from the arms
of the Howards’ pastor, with whom she was staying. The judge also
threatened to put me in jail for refusing to disclose Jessica’s whereabouts.

Halfway through a trial, after much of the DSS wrongdoing had been
exposed on the witness stand, the three remaining children came home.
What started with a bang, ended with a whimper, as most of these cases
do. The family will never forget their experience, and they mourn Faith
each year on her birthday.
No Checks and Balances

How does this happen? Virtually no checks and balances are in place to
ensure that these rogue agencies are accountable. Courts are supposed to
perform that function, but rarely dare to defy the plans of child
protective services. Although laws in every state comply with the
federal requirement that CPS use “reasonable efforts” to keep children
with families before taking them, CPS rarely does so.

In my 12 years of doing CPS cases, I have seen enough mockery of the law
and harm to families to dissuade even the most hardened believer in the
effectiveness of government intervention and to convince any honest
person that such a system is incapable of reform.

Fraud is never far away in child protection practice. Kay and Slade
Henson were persecuted by CPS in Wisconsin when Kay spanked her
disobedient 10-year-old boy with her hand. As a result, Walworth County
Department of Health and Social Services took her four school-aged
children from their school, and their two toddlers at home. Reports
indicated that someone else re-spanked the 10-year-old, in order to
exaggerate the damage. After some complicated legal machinations, Kay
was jailed for four months.

Kay stood up and spoke out on the abuses perpetrated on their family by
Walworth County CPS. She brought a film producer, Suzanne Shell, to
Walworth County so she could investigate and document the case in March
of 2003. Shell uncovered tampered evidence in Kay’s criminal file, which
she filmed. Shortly thereafter, as she was quietly interviewing Kay in a
hallway of the courthouse, she was assaulted by deputies, falsely
arrested, and her tape confiscated — all of which was captured on
videotape. I represented Mrs. Shell in a lawsuit in federal court, where
she won a settlement against the county for its officers’ brutal
treatment of her based on the video evidence.

Although the six children were returned home in 60 days, they exhibited
signs of sexual abuse, which had never been an issue prior to their
abduction by CPS. Slade and Kay remain vigilant against further attacks
on their family.
The System Attacks Its Own

Many families who try to help children in the system get ground up by it
themselves. Kevin Cross, a Baptist minister living in semi-rural Wales,
Massachusetts, and his wife Linda have adopted seven children through
state social services in several states, including Massachusetts.
Records show that they are an exceptionally loving, nurturing family to
their multi-cultural adopted brood and their two biological children,
and that myriads of social workers had praised their parenting over the

Continuing their commitment to helping children, they took in a Russian
foster child, who had some behavioral difficulties stemming from early
mistreatment. While hospitalized for psychiatric treatment, the child
accused Kevin of hitting him. The hospital immediately called the
Massachusetts DSS, which concluded that the troubled young man was
telling the truth, even though all the other nine children in the home
were interviewed separately and denied that there had been any abuse, as
did the parents. To CPS agents, disclosures are almost always true, no
matter how implausible.

A social-worker intern at the hospital where the foster son was taken
told DSS that the parents were “overwhelmed with the care of their nine
children and day-to-day tasks.” However, this intern had never met the
family and never been to the home. She also noted that the family
home-schooled their children and that the father was (horrors!) a
Christian minister.

When a DSS investigator demanded to again interview all the children, I
got involved. We arranged all nine children and the parents in a circle
around the living room, and when the DSS social worker came in, she was
greeted by the silent stare of all 12 of us. After just a few minutes,
she could tell there was strength in numbers, and she departed, never to
be seen again. Although their children were not removed from the home,
it was a terribly unnerving experience. “We truly felt like we were in a
communist country,” sighed Linda.

All of these stories are true, and happened to families who never
expected the club of the state to come crashing down on their heads. The
feelings of heartache that these parents experienced can never be fully
expressed by mere description in an article. Nor can the sense of
disillusionment and betrayal by a system that they thought they could trust.

A lawyer who fights these agencies, rather than simply giving up his
clients’ rights (as their previous attorneys often did), is a lonely
figure. The one thing that continues to supply me with energy and hope
is the knowledge that I can save some families from losing their
children, and can help reunite other families that have already been
torn apart, for no reason other than the state decreed it be done.


every parent should read this Testimony from the House Committee on Ways
and Means


C.P.S is Targeting Specific Families with Limited Set Budgets,
Where Child Removal is Commonly Practiced for Personal Financial Gain.

Old July 11th 07, 04:29 AM posted to alt.support.child-protective-services,alt.support.foster-parents,alt.dads-rights.unmoderated,alt.parenting.spanking
external usenet poster
Posts: 625
Default Families Separated by the State: Families can no longer feel safe because a state child protective services agency may decide to swoop in and take their children into captivity at any time, for any arbitrary reason.

"0:-]" wrote in message
On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 19:31:48 -0700, fx wrote:


No such person. Thus the author's claims cannot be checked.


Nor the father if the author is changing the child's name for privacy.

Again, no way to research the authenticity.

Authenticity is not a point that fx likes to make. Sensationalist claims,
rhetoric, and fear mongering are. If authenticity were his point then he
would have little to post.


Old July 13th 07, 12:04 PM posted to alt.support.child-protective-services,alt.support.foster-parents,alt.dads-rights.unmoderated,alt.parenting.spanking
external usenet poster
Posts: 4,243
Default Families Separated by the State: Families can no longer feel safe because a state child protective services agency may decide to swoop in and take their children into captivity at any time, for any arbitrary reason.

God Bless America!


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