- Federal and state legislators
- United States of America
The checks and balances that other government departments embrace have eroded within the Department of Children Services.
In the state of California and many other states professionals who report child abuse have “absolute immunity” to any prosecution. This means that a professional who is responsible for giving an accurate, unbiased report confirming child abuse to the court can fabricate the report in part or in whole and can give false testimony without fear of any accountability or prosecution.
Absolute immunity was meant to protect initial child abuse reporters to insure that child abuse would be reported. Unfortunately the law never made a distinction between initial reporters reporting suspected child abuse and those reporters responsible for confirming child abuse by giving an accurate, unbiased assessment to the Department of Children Services and the court.
Many children are needlessly separated from their families temporarily or permanently because of professionals reporting falsely. These families suffer severe emotional damage, as well as significant living and legal expenses, and county incurred fees that will never be reimbursed. If professionals responsible for confirming child abuse were held accountable they would inevitably report more accurately. Far fewer families would be devastated.
If an innocent family did suffer due to a fabricated report reparations through civil prosecution would at least help alleviate the financial ruin incurred and help support the emotional healing.
The undersigned request that state legislators amend the child abuse “absolute immunity” law to include a provision stating that reporters confirming child abuse by giving an assessment to the Department of Children Services and/or the court shall be held accountable and prosecutable for the accuracy of that report.
The Put “Checks and Balances” Back in Child Protective Services petition to Federal and state legislators was written by Leslie Udvardi and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.