Child & Family Protection Committee
United States of America

a) The protection of California's most vulnerable citizens, its children, should be the most important objective of government.

b) Although providing an important public service, current programs designed to protect children often times do more harm than good. Far too many tragedies, including serious physical and emotional injury to children and the unnecessary destruction of families, have occurred in recent years. The system must be reformed to restore fundamental fairness and promote protection of children and preservation of families.

c)California law requires cases where a child has been removed from his or her family due to alleged abuse or neglect to be heard within 15 days in order to bring speedy resolution to the matter and to minimize trauma to the child. However, thousands of children are kept away from their families for months on end by unnecessary government delays, resulting in tremendous costs to parents and taxpayers. In many cases, other family members are willing and able to care for these children, yet the current system does not promote preservation of the family.

d) The right to a jury trial is fundamental in our system of government. However, under existing law, a child can be removed from the care of his or her parents based only on allegations of abuse or neglect without the government having to present evidence justifying removal to a judge and jury.

e)This system, designed by politicians to protect children, instead often results in delay, excessive costs, mistakes, and family break-ups. IT IS IMPORTANT TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM ABUSE AND NEGLECT, BUT IT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE THAT CHILDREN ARE NOT WRONGFULLY REMOVED FROM THEIR PARENTS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

f) Abuse of the process is cloaked in secrecy because such juvenile proceedings are not open to the public.

g) Recently, several studies, grand jury investigations, and oversight hearings have brought these problems into clear focus. However, our elected representatives have failed to take action.

h) In order to protect the health and well-being of children, the people of the state of California hereby enact the Child and Family Protection Act to establish the right to a jury in juvenile dependency hearings, the right to a public hearing, the right to a speedy resolution and the promotion of family over government-sponsored care whenever possible.

If you would like more information or would like to assist in our efforts, please send an email to neff@cavalier-assoc.com.

This petition calls for several provisions:

The right to a jury trial.
The right to a public hearing.
The right to a speedy resolution.
The preservation of the family.

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The California's Child & Family Protection Initiative petition to Child & Family Protection Committee was written by Florence Neff and is in the category Government at GoPetition.