Presentation on theme: "2011 New Jersey Children in Court Summit Achieving Brighter Futures for our Youth – Their Future is our Future Hyatt Regency Conference Center Princeton,"— Presentation transcript:
2011 New Jersey Children in Court Summit Achieving Brighter Futures for our Youth – Their Future is our Future Hyatt Regency Conference Center Princeton, New Jersey May 2nd & 3rd, 2011
Comprehensive Examination of Risk to Children in TPR Proceedings 5/02/11- Day 1 Workshop Session A, #10 Matthew B. Johnson, Ph.D. Department of Psychology John Jay College of Criminal Justice City University of New York
Risks to Children in PRT Proceedings Commonly identified: Risks associated with parental competence - psychiatric, psychological, substance abuse, social immaturity, social isolation, instability, anger management, parenting skill deficits,… Commonly not identified: Risks associated with child removal and state care - separation and loss of relations to parents, siblings, and extended family; risk of languishing as an unadoptable ward of the state; risk of maltreatment in a foster or adoptive home, or state facility; risk of being adopted by a family that harbors hostility toward the child's family of origin…
Why risks associated with PRT are not well articulated? Those adversely effected are poor and stigmatized Social class bias Institutional bias – i.e. adoption incentive payments Differential consequences of decisional errors
Perspectives on state intervention in child maltreatment (Melton et al, 2007) Child savers (advocates) State intervention as harmful Psychological parent theory perspective
The Star Ledger, Saturday 11/16/85, pg. 1
The Star Ledger, Tuesday 11/19/85, pg. 1
State intervention as harmful… As alleged in Charlie and Nadine H. v. McGreevey et al (8/04/99 Childrens Rights Suit) … See NJ Governors Blue Ribbon Panel on Child Protection 5/28/02 As suggested in January 2003 Faheem Williams child abuse fatality DYFS prematurely closed the case As reported in 2/12/04 Ryan et al (OCA) Report on the Jackson Family
Ryan et al (OCA) 2/12/04 Report on the Jackson Family Child yr age lb in 10/03 lb in 2/5/04 BJ 12/ (12) KJ (7) TJ 3/95 17m (8) MJ 8/95 17m (8) [Yr of placement; age; wt; ht; (yrs in home) wt; ht; 4 months post removal wt; ht]
Ryan et al (2004) findings and recommendations Foster home approval process Adoption approval process Adoption subsidy program Administrative disregard
Case Illustration Respondent Mo, GB The several minor children (aged 3-16) of GB were removed by the CPA due to alleged neglect. Reportedly GB left the children in a camp/shelter in her home country. GBs mother sent GBs 18 year-old daughter to retrieve the children and reported the case to the CPA. The children were separated in placements and the 3 oldest minor children were eventually placed with grandmother.
GB, continued 1 GB had immigrated to the US at age 15. She had been divorced twice. At the time the children were removed she was unemployed and homeless. She had a history of in-patient psychiatric treatment. There was a history of DV victimization and psychiatric records* indicated she had been assaultive & committed arson. There was also a report (though never substantiated) that a former husband had sexually molested one of her daughters. She was fluent in English and had a GED. 18 months after the removal GB gave birth to another child.
OB, the medically fragile child Among the children removed was a 7 year- old male OB with FtT and profound disabilities (scoliosis, developmental delays, cranio-facial and internal organ malformations) associated with Partial Trisomy 15, a congenital abnormality. This child had a 13 week hospitalization prior to placement at a state residential facility…
GB, continued 2 2 years after the removal a GC naming all the children was filed. However, the new born was not removed and a number of the younger children were eventually returned to GBs care. The 3 oldest minor children remained with the grandmother. Also GB restored her self-employment income, obtained an apartment, and married the father of her youngest child. Essentially the state conceded that she had remedied the circumstances that led to the removal of the children. However, the PRT litigation proceeded with regard to the now 9 year-old, medically fragile male child.
GB, continued 3 The psychologist retained by the law guardian reported that the child, OB was highly needed and fragile and required complex medical and education services. According to the psychologist, GB could not insure OBs safety due to a pattern of instability in multiple areas suggestive of borderline personality disorder* and (the childs) health and safety could only be insured by not returning to his mother …
Risks associated with state care Division of Youth and Family Service Division of Developmental Disabilities Law Guardians Office