Jump to content
Rutabaga

Reparation by Colin Kelly (CW)

Recommended Posts

I found a couple of interesting links concerning the California foster care system:

https://ylc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Foster-Care-Overview-FACT-SHEET-040116.pdf

http://www.fosteryouthhelp.ca.gov/pdfs/CountyContacts.pdf

Reading the first one makes me realize that we don't know how Tom ended up in a foster placement. 

R

 

Link to post
On 2/19/2019 at 5:15 PM, Rutabaga said:

I found a couple of interesting links concerning the California foster care system:

https://ylc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Foster-Care-Overview-FACT-SHEET-040116.pdf

http://www.fosteryouthhelp.ca.gov/pdfs/CountyContacts.pdf

Reading the first one makes me realize that we don't know how Tom ended up in a foster placement. 

R

R, thanks for the links. Excellent references.

Eventually Tanner asks Tom that question. (There are no spoilers in this message.)

There are a lot of problems with foster care systems, and not just in California. Ron, one of my best friends from middle school through high school, was in the foster care system and was placed with a fantastic foster family when he was in the sixth grade. They treated him like he was another son - they already had two boys of their own. I think knowing him is one of the reasons I've written several stories with foster care as a theme and have a happy ending.

Colin  :icon_geek:

Link to post

For some reason, probably because it's kind of a cliché in stories of this kind, I always seem to expect that kids in foster care have lost their parents in tragic car accident. But I should know better from my own mission work in Mexico, and the first link above makes it abundantly clear:  Most foster placements involve parents who are unable to care for children for one reason or another, but are still living. Maybe the parent is a drug addict or alcoholic, and can't care for the child; maybe the parent is arrested and jailed; in some cases maybe the parent is abusive. In some way, though, the parent is still around.   

In the course of looking at this stuff I ran across the case of Gabriel Fernandez, an eight year old boy who was tortured and killed by his mother and her boyfriend while Chiild Protective Services officials did nothing and ignored multiple warnings from teachers, etc.  The mother and boyfriend were convicted of first degree murder. Now, four ex-employees of the Department of Social Services are about to be tried on felony charges for their role in letting it happen by deliberately failing to follow any of their legal obligations to investigate and intervene.  Not fun to read about. 

R

UPDATE:  A chilling article about the Fernandez case:  https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/10/la-county-dcfs-failed-protect-gabriel-fernandez/571384/

 

 

Link to post

Hi, R...

That story about Gabriel shows that so much of CPS and the foster system in California are totally f...ed up. The problem is case worker overload and managerial and supervisory incompetence.

I'm going to send the link to this article to Governor Gavin Newsom. Maybe he'll do something about getting things funded and organized. Right now it's all talk and no action.

I get the e-edition of Atlantic, so I'd read it before. But it's good to have a reminder. I don't know if writing to the governor and our state senator and representative for our area, but if I don't do it then it's even less likely that we'll see some improvement.

BTW, my recent novella Helping a Friend shows a different approach to helping a teen who's mother is... well, read the story because it'll take me too long to summarize in this post. (It always pays to advertise!)

Colin  :icon_geek:

Link to post
On 2/20/2019 at 4:32 PM, colinian said:

That story about Gabriel shows that so much of CPS and the foster system in California are totally f...ed up. The problem is case worker overload and managerial and supervisory incompetence.

Colin  :icon_geek:

This is so true.  Los Angeles has had scandal after scandal because of case workers not preventing abuse to kids on their list.  What's the solution?  Well, the County Supervisors, who are in charge of the CPS agency, try to solve the problem of kids not being safe in their foster situations by giving the case workers, already overloaded past any possible way of reasonable performance, requirements to make an allotted number of visits to each kid they have, and then write a report on these visits.   Then they assign the case workers two to three times the number of kids they could possibly cover.

I've seen the reports they have to write.  They have an unbelievable list of requirements to both accomplish on the visits and then to report on in great depth.  It would probably take half a day to just fill out the report, but even longer to do the research required to answer all the questions with some semblance of professional honesty.  Every time there's another tragedy with a kid, the questionnaires get longer.  The situation is ridiculous because the caseworker cannot come close to making the calls required, finding all the information he or she is required to investigate, and then writing the report and filling out the questionnaire.

I really do hope Gov. Newsom can get into this situation.  It's remarkably bad at the moment.  I'd guess to work effectively, they'd need to double the caseworker staff and retrain the ones already on the job.  And it needs to be done yesterday.

C

 

 

Link to post

On the same subject, I know others who have bad feelings for the way CPS serves kids.  Here's a great story by a man who worked with kids and felt compassion for them, and who in his work had dealings with some less than kind social worker.  He has other wonderful stories at that same site.

http://www.gklopstein.tedlouis.com/lb/lb_list.html

 

C

 

Link to post

I’m still surprised at this point that the coach did not do more to find out if Tom was OK or find out if he had received proper medical care.  

Let’s hope the principal does not try to sabotage Tanner’s efforts due to fear of that school’s own legal exposure. 

R

Link to post

Some major good news in this chapter. 

I think folks are underestimating the full consequences on the other school, its athletic program, and its coaching staff by what the video shows. I see the school barred from league play for two or three years and the entire coaching staff terminated for cause.  Poulter needs to be tried as an adult for aggravated assault and battery. 

R

Link to post
On 4/17/2019 at 6:10 AM, Rutabaga said:

Some major good news in this chapter. 

I think folks are underestimating the full consequences on the other school, its athletic program, and its coaching staff by what the video shows. I see the school barred from league play for two or three years and the entire coaching staff terminated for cause.  Poulter needs to be tried as an adult for aggravated assault and battery. 

R

I'd agree.

Spoiler

But what's more interesting is the why. In this day and age of everyone with phone cameras, and the game obviously being videoed, why would Poulter (ditto his coach) have done it? Either they're blitheringly stupid... or maybe there's a backstory between Poulter and Tom?

 

Link to post

It's pretty ugly in BC Canada too. At some point everyone needs to recognize that taxes need to be paid to cover all that's necessary, and I'm talking about those rich bastards who could solve many of these problems but squirrel their money offshore. 

Link to post

Well, well — the plot thickens (or is it “sickens”) . . . there seems to be more than coincidence at work. 

While they’re at it, how about getting apologies from the crooked Social Services official and the evil group home couple?  Have the authorities thrown the book at them yet?  The California bribery statutes apply to both sides of the transaction, and the couple is guilty of numerous false claims with each reimbursement  they received.  Then let’s talk about child abuse, child neglect, and child endangerment. 

R

Link to post

Donna Strallen, the crooked Child Protective Services case worker, was fired. She would likely have criminal charges filed and she be fined and/or go to prison.

The illegal group home run by Mable and George Wilcox was shut down and their fostering license was permanently canceled. They are being sued by CPS to recover the stipend paid per child. Since they only fostered teen-age boys, the amount is $820 per month times the nine boys they were fostering. Assuming that they were there for twelve months, that would be 9 * 12 * $840 = $90,720 dollars they will have to repay, in full, to CPS. They could have criminal charges filed and be fined (beyond the amount they have to repay) and/or go to prison.

Apologies are worth less than the cost of the paper they are printed on.

Colin  :icon_geek:

Link to post
7 hours ago, colinian said:

Apologies are worth less than the cost of the paper they are printed on.

Seems like the same could be said about apologies from Nick and the other coach. 

Obviously the folks facing criminal charges could not actually publish apologies if they intend (against all reason) to plead not guilty. But apologies could be made part of a plea deal with the prosecuting authorities. Stratten would have to apologize to all the boys she corruptly uprooted from their foster placements, and the Wilcoxes would have to apologize to all the boys that were forced to live with them.  But more specifically, the Wilcoxes would have to apologize for their active neglect of Tom when he obviously needed urgent medical care. He could have died. Prosecutors could have a field day. 

R

Link to post

The proposed remedies in the principal’s letter are too lenient. The Ealington coach’s action in high-giving his son is such a flagrant breach of the CIF/NCS Code of Ethics that no school where he coaches should be allowed to participate in league play.  And Ealington should be required to carry out extensive training for staff and students on sportsmanship and fair play before being allowed to return to league play even under a different coach. 

A 3-game suspension of the coach provides little assurance that this same kind of misbehavior would not happen again    

R

P.S.:  Tom really has two sets of legal claims that might best be brought in two separate actions.  The first set is his tort claims against the Poulters and the Ealington school system for his intentional injuries at the football game.  He may or may not include a claim against CIF/NCS for negligence in credentialing the referee who ignored the targeting and assault on Tom. The second set is his civil rights claim under 42 USC § 1983 against Stratten and his related claims against the Wilcoxes for their neglect and abusive treatment.  He really should get specific legal advice before the process goes much further.

R

 

 

 

Link to post
On 5/8/2019 at 9:09 PM, Rutabaga said:

Isn't the coach's non-apology claim to have seen nothing directly refuted by the video?

R

While the video can't be refuted, it's Ealington High School that has to decide what to do about their coach. Whatever they do is controlled by the contract he has with the school. And:

1. David Wells, the Edison High School staff attorney, will respond to Coach Poulter's letter.
2. Football Coach Reynolds and Athletic Director Lowry of Edison High School have cancelled the football games between Edison and Ealington that had been scheduled for the next 3 years (not including the 2018 season). Now Ealington has to scramble for an opponent. Other schools, having heard about what Ealington's player and coach did to Tom Harris might be reluctant to schedule games with Ealington.
3. Edison High School has added football games with Tassajara High School in Dublin, California to their schedule for the next 3 years.

(Note: All schools are invented and probably don't exist)

Colin  

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...