New York’s Administration for Children’s Services was created
to protect kids from the abuse or neglect of their families. However,
there has been a disturbing trend in Children’s Services that allows
them to take kids away from their parents on the grounds the child’s
safety is at risk without sufficient evidence to prove such an assertion.
This trend has been a particular problem in poorer neighborhoods.
The agency’s requests for removals filed in family court rose about
40% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the year before, according
to statistics obtained by The New York Times. When interviewed, dozens of lawyers working on these cases say the removals
typically target parents who have few resources. The parents who are usually
punished for “poor parenting” are poor black or Hispanic women.
The practice has led to some calling it “Jane Crow,” in a
historical reference to the racist Jim Crow laws enforcing racial segregation
in the South.
In one case of Jane Crow targeting, a woman, Maisha Joefield, who was taking
a bath after she had put her daughter to bed, came out of the bathroom
to an empty home. Ms. Joefield’s daughter had gone across the street
to her great-grandmother’s apartment. However, the police became
involved. Law enforcement, instead of listening to Ms. Joefield’s
story, automatically removed Deja from her apartment and Children’s
Services placed her into foster care. Ms. Joefield was then charged with
endangering the welfare of a child.
Lawyers who oversee these cases also understand that the same kind of mistake
made by a woman in a richer neighborhood wouldn’t result in the
same type of punishment. When interviewed about the situation, a lawyer
at Brooklyn Defender Services, Scott Hechinger, said the following about
the double standard: “Society both infantilizes them [poor mothers]
and holds them to superhuman standards.”
Family law attorneys who represent the victims of this type of double standard
find the removals tend to happen after high-profile failures in the Children’s
Services systems. For example, last December, two children who were both
being monitored by the agency were beaten to death in separate incidents.
Early this year, as seeming response, 300 emergency removals happened
in January and February.
Ms. Joefield was eventually released from jail, and her daughter was returned
to her 4 days after her court hearing; however, the case stayed open for
a year, and Ms. Joefield had to take parenting classes and endure caseworkers
stopping by her home to check her cupboards for sufficient food supplies
and her daughter for any bruises.
While some cases of removal are needed, even short-term removals for circumstances
that make no logical sense can have a lasting effect on the development
of vulnerable children. Even a brief stay in foster care can be terrifying
for a child and can upset family life. Mrs. Joefield, who was by all accounts
an excellent mother, was put on a state registry of child abusers for
years. This registry prevented her from working with kids, which, as a
former day care worker, was a terrible strike to her employment.
Likewise, the threat of Children’s Services has been used as a weapon
by landlords who want immediate payment from lower paying tenants. In
one case, a woman named Bernadette Charles complained to 311 about the
condition in which she and her family were living in. Water damage affected
the ceilings and ruined their furniture, large rats were taking over the
kitchen, and she had found black mold in the bathroom. The landlord found
out about her complaint and punished her by calling Children’s Services.
An agency worker arrived 4 days later, cited unsafe conditions, and took
Ms. Charles’s children away.
Read more about these cases on The New York Times website here. If you’re being targeted by Children’s Services, don’t
hesitate to protect yourself and your family from needless persecution.
Talk to one of our skilled New York family law attorneys at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC. We have more than 40 years of legal experience to offer your case. Let
us see how we can use our expertise to help you.
Contact us at (347) 848-1850 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation
with us today.
We at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC are thrilled to announce our very own Attorney
Scott I. Orgel has been named one of NAFLA’s Top 10 Family Law Attorneys Under 40 for the state of New York! This incredible accomplishment
is established by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, an organization devoted to finding the premier family law attorneys in
the United States. Less than 1% of practicing attorneys are selected to
this prestigious list, after undergoing a very strict vetting process.
Thanks to his inspiring knowledge, skill, experience, and success in the
field of family law, Attorney Orgel leads our firm with this amazing accomplishment.
We are proud to work alongside such a highly-esteemed family lawyer who
has one interest in mind: his clients’ satisfaction.
The following criteria are evaluated when selecting winners of this award:
Client and peer review
A minimum of 5 years’ experience in family law
Nomination by a licensed, practicing attorney
Legal awards and accomplishments
Publishing, such as books or scholarly articles
Contact Us for Family Law
No matter your family law concerns, our legal team at Eiges & Orgel,
PLLC has the means, resources, and energy necessary to advocate for you.
Our family law attorneys are dedicated to fighting on your behalf, in
the hopes of delivering you the results you deserve. We refuse to back
down from any challenges of complexities of your case, as it is our staunch
determination and desire to succeed which has helped us prosper and win
for our clients for over 40 years.
To speak to a representative of our firm today, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling (347) 848-1850.
Divorce is a difficult experience for spouses to endure and, if you think you
are having a hard time coping with it, imagine what your children might
be going through. Even the most amicable divorce will present some hardships
for children and, regardless if they are exhibiting signs of an emotional
struggle or not, your children are likely having some difficulties with
processing this new information and the uncertainty attached to it. Of
course, given the fact that no two children are alike, they will understandably
cope differently with a divorce. Some might show more aggression and anger
than usual, while others might cry or appear to be more sensitive. However,
your child is reacting, if you are unsure whether or not to seek therapy
for your children, it is best to err on the side of caution and take them
to a therapist.
To further assist you in making this decision, here are some general hints
that your children might need or benefit from therapy:
Trusted friends, family members, or other individuals who are regularly
part of your child’s life have expressed concern
You often feel angry, exhausted, or disappointed with your child
Your child’s behavior or symptoms are interfering with the normal
functions of your family
Your child’s behavior or symptoms interfere with his or her usual functions
Your child asks to see a therapist (rare, but not impossible)
Here are some more specific symptoms that might suggest your children need therapy:
Lack of appetite or difficulty sleeping, neither of which are medical related
Excessive difficulties coping with the separation
A persistent sad and melancholic mood
Physical complaints that are not linked to a distinguishable cause
Loss of interest in friends or trouble getting along with peers
Deterioration in school performance
Inability to concentrate
Unrealistic fears and phobias
Excessive weight loss or gain that is unrelated to a medical condition
Many of these signs are on the more extreme side of the spectrum, but if
you recognize any of these in your children, you will want to consider
taking him or her to a therapist. Your divorce is never going to be a
pleasant memory for your children and it is okay to acknowledge that it
is a sad event, but it is important to ensure it does not become a turning
point in their lives towards negative and self-destructive behavior.
New York City Divorce Attorney
Deciding to end a marriage is not an easy thing, but it is sometimes necessary. At Eiges & Orgel, PLLC, we can provide the skilled and experienced legal services you will need
during this emotionally challenging time for your family. Our firm has
effectively assisted clients with the legal termination of their marriages
for more than three decades and would be honored to do the same for you.
Speak with an attorney today and contact us at (347) 848-1850. We are open on Saturdays.
Matt Hale, a shared parenting activist for the National Parents Organization, was instrumental in helping push through new shared parenting legislation in Kentucky by advocating for more than four years for the law at local Town Hall meetings. Hale discusses what he learned from the process and explains how other parents can get involved in the shared parenting movement.
Contact Matt Hale: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kentucky Shared Parenting Law Shows Power Of Grassroots Activism: https://dadsdivorce.com/articles/kentucky-shared-parenting-law-shows-power-grassroots-activism/
Dr. Deborah Hecker, a divorce and relationship counselor, explains why it is difficult to find an identity separate from your spouse after divorce and gives tips to help guys rediscover themselves in the wake of a breakup.
Cultivating Lasting Happiness After Divorce: https://dadsdivorce.com/articles/cultivating-lasting-happiness-divorce/
Now that it’s summer and the kids are home, you might be thinking
of getting away for a family vacation. For many divorced couples, figuring
out a vacation custody agreement can be a difficult challenge. This is
especially true when both parents can’t agree on custody arrangements
for traveling out of country. Usually, a court order for vacations with
a minor child will often restrict the area of travel. Depending on your
individual child custody agreement, there are a few things to keep in
mind if your ex-spouse wants to take the kids on a vacation out of the country.
What You Can Do
Notify Each Other: The parent planning the trip must provide reasonable notification. This
is determined case by case but generally depends on the length and nature
of the vacation. It is also important to maintain communication with your
ex. Ensure there is a means of communication with the traveling parent
and child. Your ex should also give you an itinerary of the trip. This
is important information to have in case of an emergency.
Make a Document: Whatever you and your ex decide on regarding vacation custody arrangements,
get it in writing. Include as many details you want, but be sure the custodial
rights of each parent are clearly stated. Enforce your travel document.
If your ex breaches the terms of the document, you can sue. Enforcing
your travel arrangements also puts your ex on notice that their actions
might have legal repercussions.
Consider a Holiday/ Vacation Schedule: A schedule like this makes vacation planning easier for both parents.
With this arrangement, travel custody for winter and summer breaks will
be spelled out ahead of time. This can help you avoid an argument with
your ex when vacation time comes around.
Our New York Divorce Lawyers Can Help You
While these tips can help make custody arrangements easier for divorced
parents, tensions can still boil over. Some couples continue to face conflicts
well after their divorce proceedings have ended. A divorce lawyer can
help if you and your ex can’t come to terms on a vacation custody
agreement. Our New York divorce attorneys have handled thousands of divorce, child custody, and family law cases. We stand by our winning record and will stand by you too.
Luma Simms, Associate Fellow at The Philos Project, has researched the differences between two of the most prominent parenting styles: austere and harsh parenting. She discusses the differences between each style and gives tips for parenting seeking to discipline their children without being overly harsh.
4 Ways Divorced Fathers Can Up Their ‘Dad Game’: https://dadsdivorce.com/articles/4-ways-divorced-fathers-can-up-their-dad-game/