San Bernardino County is accusing Fox News of having “no intention of airing a fair story”

San Bernardino County

San Bernardino County just hates it when its dirty little secrets get exposed.  And Fox News is doing just that.  The story about the San Bernardino County Department of Children and Family Services has prompted a list of talking points being prepared for county employees to use if contacted by the media.  The list is prefaced with this (in pertinent part):

Last night’s segment was sensational and graphic, with the gist being the County “ignored evidence of abuse and let children die.” The report also confirmed indications that the station had no intention of airing a fair story: The reporter said she investigated for three months, but she did not contact the County until three days before the story aired, when she did contact the County she would not ask specific questions or cite specific cases, and she never asked for any documents to verify the accuracy of what she received from her confidential sources.

CFS is verifying the authenticity of the cases, documents, and photos shown during last night’s broadcast. We now also have a better idea of which specific cases they will examine in future reports and we will do our best given confidentiality requirements to portray them in an accurate light.

The CEO has scheduled a meeting with County Counsel and CFS leadership on Monday morning to review the status of this situation. The CEO will brief Board members following the meeting.

The county, via PIO David Wert, went on to say that the county is not comfortable subjecting county personnel to on-camera interviews with Fox 11. I can’t imagine why.

What completely ticks me off about this is that children have died and all the county is interested in protecting its image, not taking care of those managers and administrators who allowed it to happen. Here is the email I sent to Chairman of the Board James Ramos this afternoon:

Dear Supervisor Ramos,

I viewed the Fox News LA report today regarding the Department of Children and Family Services. Although I was in no way a part of that nor did I know the whistleblowers went to Fox News LA, I am not surprised.

They came to me last year, along with other social workers who I know from my employment with the county, concerning the problems with management and supervisors at DFS, especially the Victorville office. Having myself tried to get someone in the county to listen about these issues since 2006, I understood their frustration. I personally spoke to Mark Uffer about the issues back in 2006 and later, only to have it all swept under the rug. This has been going on for a long time.

Just so you know, not only was I a mandated reporter when I was an Employment Specialist, but even after I left the county, I continued to do what was known as TDM’s (team decision making) for CFS in my role as a sexual assault counselor with San Bernardino County Sexual Assault Services. I finally had to give it up because it caused me nightmares knowing what was happening with these children.

So, this time around, I decided to submit it all to the Grand Jury. I hoped the investigation was going on, and I see it is, based on the information in the report.

I have now seen information that suggests to me the county is continuing to try to cover up its misdeeds with spin and deflection. That is so wrong.

I’ve been writing about the misdeeds of Linda Haugan and her subordinates for a very long time. I don’t make this stuff up. It is all either things I personally experienced or that I have documentation to show it is true.

As an elected official, you should NOT be trying to protect Haugan, Devereaux or any of the others who have kept this dirty little secret for so long. It is your duty to protect the residents of this county. I hope you will not allow Wert and others to continue to spin and deflect, but instead deal with this issue.

Children are dying because of the incompetence of those at the top of county administration. You, as chairman, should be not only concerned about, but also ashamed of, that fact.

I hope you will take appropriate action.

I know my email fell on deaf ears.  The county always has to learn the hard way.  It shall be interesting to see the findings of the Grand Jury report.  I wonder if there will be any recommendation for criminal action.  From what I know, there should be.

16 thoughts on “San Bernardino County is accusing Fox News of having “no intention of airing a fair story”

  1. Like the Fox 11 news channel’s alleged “3 month” investigation, your knowledge of, personal experiences, if they are true and opinion is narrow and ill informed. The challenges and sometimes tragic results of such challenges are a systemic issue and absolutely should not be blamed on the very agency and the men and women who have and will continue to work diligently every single day to ensure the safety and well being of the children of this county.

    • Fox News and the whistle blowers are telling the truth!,,,,, CFS mgr only care about a program called ” Safe Measures” numbers not care or best practice run thisdepartment the past two Directors. and the current director knows little or nothing about child welfareandfrankly they don’ care They are only into the money they can make and the power. It is so sad the people who are to protect children don’t believe me it is not the Social Workers,their hands are tied. Sadly many more children will loose their lives do to the horrible mgr and admin at CFS… Mr Ramos PLEASE. HELP the children

      • I met James Ramos; and it doesn’t seem that he has the dignity to do anything because if he did, none of this would have happened in the first place. I bet his response will be,”I didn’t know,” I hate when workers say they didn’t know. If you work there……you know.

    • Certainly there are excellent workers; both social-workers and out-of-home carers; nor are all natural family homes safe. However, the true can be said of the opposite. What becomes increasingly problematic is the fact that those who serve the Industry are typically automatically shielded. Direct example is a response issued by a lead Investigator with Human Services Alberta – which I have backed up as a recording and on police file – “Can we, the Department, take action against a foster family? I don’t think so… kinda our employee.” This is largely why wrongs continue to transpire. Without lack of accountability, there is no incentive to follow Policy. Persons harmed have little recourse in a judicial system that is designed to work against victims.

      To further example oppression: The Alberta Foster Parent Association lead, Katherine Jones, contends, “Questioning foster care ‘should not be allowed’”. This was in response to a damning media investigation which unleashed disclosure of child fatalities under direction of the Province. Initially, the public was informed that 56 children had perished in a span of 15 years; the truth was much more grim… In reality, 741 babies, children and youth had lost their lives, but the information was hidden from the public by our government. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/questioning-foster-care-should-not-be-allowed-says-association-head-1.2442387

      The Chief Medical Examiner alleges corruption and has specifically indicated that the death reports for children who have died under Provincial care have been falsified. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/anny-sauvageau-alleges-political-bureaucratic-interference-1.2769882

      “If” need not factor in equation… Neither should experiences and opinions be considered false. (Those who do so are further victim-shaming/blaming.) Silence is not an option; not if we are to promote education, truth and change to better protect vulnerable lives and avert further harm. Those promoting ignorance and indifference by shielding wrongdoers are no less culpable than others who directly harm victims.

      Sincerely,

      Velvet Martin
      Founder of Samantha’s Law
      Spokesperson for Protecting Canadian Children
      http://www.protectingcanadianchildren.net/

  2. The toll of human lives lost within Alberta, Canada alone is presently known to be 779. Yet, even this tally does not speak to those whose death have not been enumerated; including missing persons. Statistics are astonishing; particularly upon revelation that previous government had grotesquely misled the public. Prior to efforts of brave reporters (who initially faced severe criticism for educating the public with truth), onlookers trusted official declaration that 56 young lives had been lost in a span of 15 years. However, a 5-year-investigative research project which involved FOIP of documents – a difficult task when protective legislation offers a shield that averts attention, overriding the rights of victims deserving judicial accountability – revealed the existence of (then) 741 victims. The Public, rightfully, expressed horror at newfound awareness, but were readily placated with promises of change and as other struggles loomed for media attention, memory of the children soon faded for all but the victims left behind to mourn their losses in silence. Conveniently for those facing the ramifications of truth, legislation disallowed surviving kin to openly identify their loved one; even those children who were murdered at the hands of persons whose paid duty was to protect the interests these vulnerable individuals.

    Through the years I’ve encountered numerous heart-wrenching stories of wrongs – individuals whose rights as human beings have been impeded so vastly that lives are irrevocably altered: Victims/survivors of Residential Schools, sterilization and alienation. Eugenic outlook continues to pervade our Society even today; persons perceived as different or weak are compromised by the very authorities deigned protectors. Present day foster-care is merely an extension of past exercises to hide those considered “undesirable” or “weak” from public vision. Social welfare yields huge profit, employing a vast array of persons counterproductive of family-centred care principles. Sadly, I learned that maltreatment extends to anyone who truly strives for the interests of the vulnerable, beyond natural families, adoptive and foster families also struggle to be heard.

    Judicial accountability remains illusive for the majority of wronged families. I’ve spend considerable time pursuing the mechanisms which hinder progress and find repeated themes: Reporting entities deflect responsibility; although the public is assured that platforms are in place to resolve disputes, these are largely ineffectual due to lack of independence. In the words of an Alberta Justice lawyer representing the Department of Human Services when asked the reason a child’s voice was being ignored, the response was, “I do not represent the child. I represent Children’s Services.” Tragically, this is the truth; children are not the core consideration of leaders, Industry is. Likewise, an official with the Department revealed that when it comes to taking action against a foster placement, the Department will avoid holding an “employee” accountable. I’ve addressed issues amongst varied persons and organizations – legal advisers, police, Offices such as the Ombudsman, Child Advocate, Ethics, etcetera – beyond deflection of responsibility is reluctance to involve oneself in activity that may be construed as controversial. This explains why some advocacy organizations, religious affiliations and the like limit or avoid child welfare matters. Most Canadians cannot achieve the services of professional legal counsel; even those considered “middleclass”, may be living from pay-cheque to next, yet not be eligible for legal assistance based upon income restrictions. Those who do qualify report disappointment; expressing core issues were not raised, issues unresolved. Thus, some families, like myself, must resort to self-representation. A venture which is traumatizing for those with personal attachment to a victim; lacking formal training, a hit and miss whether Judge is sympathetic to or accommodating of a novice. Even if the services of a professional can be achieved, litigators with the best intentions do not have the resources to pit against government which has unlimited time and resources to prevent ownership of wrongdoing. It appears that apology, remuneration and accountability remains out of reach for the majority of victims…. As with wronged Indigenous Peoples, many never see justice in their lifetime; acknowledgment – if it comes at all – far too late to be truly meaningful.

    Statutory regulations further impede victims’ chance of attaining remuneration; take for example, Public Fatality Inquiries: The purpose of which is solely to determine the circumstances of death to make recommendations for preventative action. Families must wait years to learn facts surrounding a loved one’s death and even if wrongdoing could be identified, a 2-year-limitation exists in which to file Civil action for wrongful death. An Officer remarked a painful truth: “Canada is a Legal System. It is not a Justice System.”

    Breaking the cycle of stigma is a major step in eradicating ignorance. Through education, family values can be preserved and we can strive in unison to protect the interests of our children who are the future while recognizing the fallen whose difficult pasts teach profound wisdom. Preservation of families is key. Requests for increased funding of the System is actually counter-productive if monies serve to apprehend more children – a vicious cycle without end – instead of allocating funds for intended recipients to benefit, the children; best-served through programming educational forums to meet the needs of families in crisis to become whole and well; offering equal supports to families in-home instead of allocating resources to strangers Perhaps must critical to resolving inequity is redistribution of power: Excellent Policies exist, research attests to feasible responsible and respectable answers, however, it is enforcement that remains illusive. Law was intended to serve all members of the population. No lives are more or less important than any other. NO MORE SILENCE!

    Sincerely,

    Velvet Martin,

    Founder of Samantha’s Law
    Spokesperson for Protecting Canadian Children

    Velvet Martin, speaking at the Alberta Legislature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QxtRn-hl3c

  3. Yes, the Victorville office is horrible. I have a relative who had a case there. I saw at least six of the office’s court reports. People unfamiliar with the CPS system would be shocked by what the social workers can put in there as fact. Inconsistencies, quotes that were clearly not what the people had actually said, extremely sloppy writing that should not be allowable as an official court document, and incorrect facts. There was no hard evidence presented. There is evidence of laws broken by the department. It is state law for relatives to be considered for placement. If rejected, CPS must say why. One report mentions that an aunt was under consideration. Against state law, she is not mentioned in the reports again.

    • same thing is now happening to grandchildren and myself. i was Approved and a soc ail worker went in court with no evidence and said i was unsafe. called me up and LAUGHED and said i need to PRAY

  4. please San Bernardino DOES NOT DO THEIR JOBS Victorville is the worst, they go to court and lie do not do investigations until the day before the hearing and they make unsubstantiated and ill informed accusations against the extended family members to KEEP THE CHILDREN IN THE SYSTEM i am fighting now for grandparents rights. they lied in court and said i kidnapped my grand daughter when i have not seen her in MONTHS live in totally different city n Los Angeles county and don’t drive. They should be investigated. my grand children civil rights are being violated and when i said that they went into court and LIED, now i need a Lawyer to fight to keep them from permanently placing them. They NEVER contacted me or any of my references during their supposed investigations. anyone out ther who can help please contact me at dreazshop(at) yahoo dot com.

  5. Cps lie about everything.
    They don’t seek prosecution through criminal charges because they know it will be thrown out.
    Instead, they lie and make up stories to make money off of children they could care less about.
    I’ve never had to deal with mote corrupt people in my life.

  6. San Bernardino County Department of Children and Family Services is so understaffed and what staff they have appear to not want to do their job – of course, this is not everyone – many are as helpful as their position allows, but when you are trying to adopt and there are TONS of kids in the system, why a three year wait AFTER you have been approved by them?

  7. Children ARE dying because of the actions of CFS and unfortunately there is nothing we can say about it because of HIPPA laws! Because of the CFS placement of a child in Victorville she was exposed to and died at the hands of a MONSTER!

  8. Hell yes San bernadino county is crooked as hell. Cps is liars, they make false reports, their Juvenile court is corrupt, their liars, the more a child tells the more they take the child from the good parent, the more evidence against the bad parent the more they cover up. My granddaughter literally had tear’s on her private area’s after forensic and sart exams, chino pd and san bernadino shouldve arrested the father several times instead the child is with the father. The news should report the truth as it is. They are corrupt…….

  9. Yes San Bernardino is horrible and I’m starting a investigation about them for their neglect lies cover up laziness and so on

    • Yes they are currently being investigated by the Bcj, bureau of children’s justice. Yet when advocates call chino pd and SanBernadino juvenile court they literally say they don’t have a case in their systems. Please contact me as well finchgisele@yahoo.com

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