Pray for Katie

Katie is 13 years old and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease, a lymphatic cancer. This site is a request to pray for her. Call her prayer pager 1-361-333-KATY (5289), enter your ZipCode and # key, to let her know you have prayed for her. Updates of her progress will be posted on the site. The Power of Prayer is Awesome.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Doctors and CPS Use Each Other for Cover

Sick Children? Doctors and Child Protectors Use Each Other for Cover

June 14 2005

A recent Amber Alert placed Katie Wernecke, barely 13, in foster care and her three brothers in a children’s home until her parents “quickly complied” with doctor-directed power-backed social workers’ plans. The Werneckes agreed to radiation treatments they and Katie thought were risky and not needed.

News reports indicate that “new test results” were announced last week in juvenile court Medical results were available only then? They had to be delivered in a highly-charged setting, justice scales tilted against parents?

Previously told Katie’s Hodgkin’s disease was in remission, and after hearing her express desire to have children someday, her parents believed they acted in her interests by declining treatments that could stunt growth and alter development. They relocated Katie to a relative’s home instead of volunteering her for treatment she wanted to avoid.

That protective move was described as “abscond(ing)” with her by a Nueces County judge. Increasing chances Katie’s parents would cave to orders of the doctor who treated her since January, one who made a prior child protective services (CPS) report, Katie’s siblings were whisked to a children’s home, Katie to foster care and their mom to jail. She is under a $50,000 bond.

The same state in which doctors use child protection agencies for cover has its share of publicized as well as less known errors and egregious cover ups.

Anybody Taking Responsibility?

Are doctors accountable, do judges waive their own immunity, will the State repay families and restore lives if predicted results of demanded treatments, or withholding or interfering with other ones, fail?

If the parents and Katie were right about her life quality, and doctors and child protection agents are overreaching and wrong, will parents and taxpayers be compensated by the system? Will those making health care choices for children repay property owners when suits against the State and agents succeed?

The Wernecke family’s story adds a chapter at another custody hearing this week. For Katie and her brothers, children needlessly traumatized when doctors and child protective services wrongly wield the purse and sword of the State, the damage is done. If posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the only residual effect of their experience, it is a frequent gift of similar government behavior.

If usually mute media and the public’s elected representatives expose how child protectors and doctors need and use each others’ powers to “win” with impunity, they and all will be amazed at the counterproductive protection tax dollars buy.

Health Care: For or Against?

“Under Texas law, parents may withhold medical treatment from a terminally ill child, but not in lesser situations,” claimed a wire story with a Corpus Christi, Texas dateline and appearing in a Florida newspaper.

Tell that to the mother of a child whose amazing life was effectively extinguished by Texas doctors. The story of non-accidental injury against that mother and child is being written. It involves nationally known “experts” in a baseless motivation theory used to remove and reallocate children and newborns for praise and profit to agencies and adopting homes.

The prime offending doctor, one whose failed attempts to have CPS remove the hyper-vigilant mother from her medically fragile child’s side became a challenge, ignored the mother’s and his colleagues warnings about medications that would injure the child. His pediatric team at the same hospital had settled for multiple millions of dollars after an avoidable error recently had killed a teen. He couldn’t make another mistake. What he did was purposeful and he walks free. He, too, had CPS call law enforcement to haul away that pesky parent from the hospital.

How best to divert the attention of a family than to do a cost-free, tax-subsidized smear? Why not have the alert parent, who observes and documents everything, publicly labeled abusive or medically neglectful? How cool to have Fox 4 in Dallas run a “Mother or Monster?” program then misplace the last video of the spunky child’s final upright hours?

Even better, what if the station never reports the mother’s full exoneration or mentions the child’s miserable years of state-covered decline before death? Oh, and forget the mysterious blot on the mother’s credit report that no one will describe but prevents her getting credit or employment and inspires dirty looks and occasional out-of-the-blue cruel comments.

“Shawna’s Bill”—one that legislators throughout the nation should vie to patron and sponsor—is that child’s lasting legacy. It supports justice for defrauded taxpayers as well as for wrongly prosecuted families and terrorized children.

Ordering Professional Payback

Simple tenets of Shawna’s Bill require professionals (medical or mental health doctors, social workers, counselors, school employers, any volunteer or “mandated reporter”) who make serial “mistaken” or malicious reports be flagged in the system (as are alleged offenders, parents, caretakers or others).

Prosecutors are required to pursue repeat offenders to regain misspent tax money: for needless investigations, wrongful removals, unnecessary foster care, inappropriate court time and agency administration, as well as costly prosecutions and payouts due to wrongful reporting and personal injuries.

For 30 years, since the Mondale Act (Child Abuse Prevention the Treatment Act or CAPTA) required states to simplify reporting “suspected” child abuse or neglect, accept anonymous reports, and to give immunity to growing numbers of “mandated reporters” with varying motivations, some children—prayerfully Katie among them—survive odds against benefits of government “help.” That is what removal from siblings, grandparents and all loved ones, including many who begged to provide safety if needed and family security, is called even if unwarranted.

Others, such as Shawna, were snuffed out with an abundance of “documented” justification that backwashes against injured and innocent parents as official and eternal injury. Where were official ethics of “health care treatment” for her? The myriad reasons professionals need CPS, and the reasons the agency requires validation from professionals for actions such as removing children first and asking questions later, if ever, are supported financially by Congress, generally ignored by States, and overused with immunity by local front line CPS agents whose actions mostly are unmonitored or described imaginatively in “records.”

Shawna’s Bill holds accountable professionals who defraud taxpayers for personal protection or gain. Hopefully, even in my native Texas with its seemingly impenetrable sovereign immunity, prosecutors will want to stop financial fraud if not official child abuse and legalized family fracturing.

Barbara Bryan ( DirectorNational Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center Phone : 540-345-1952


  • At Mon Aug 15, 11:39:00 AM 2005, Blogger ShadowHawk said…

    Yes, they should be made to pay restitution to those they wronged. CPS and the doctors must be held accountable to the people that they are supposed to serve!

  • At Sun Aug 06, 04:13:00 PM 2006, Blogger Suncana A. said…

    Last year over two million American families were falsely accused of child abuse!!!

    It is not in any one individual state but is now a worldwide epidemic.

    The abuse of children is a horrendous and unacceptable crime in any society and it is correct that when such acts occur, immediate protection is available for the children and appropriate action is taken in regard to the offenders.

    However, what is also unacceptable is the high level of false accusation of child abuse which also has abusive effects on children and the families who are falsely accused. Child abuse has in recent years taken on a witch hunt atmosphere wherein all it takes is a simple anonymous telephone report to start the nightmare, both for innocent parents and their children.All it takes is an anonymous call to one of their many snitch lines to set the (CPS) hounds baying after both innocent and guilty people, and they don't bother to make a distinction, in most cases. "If you're reported, you must be guilty" in their lexicon. Prosecutors use child abuse cases as an easy route to higher office, since it's much easier to convict someone of child abuse than of murder.These children are being traumatized beyond repair all in an effort to help them. But tearing normal, healthy families apart based on minor, and incorrect suspicions should be considered criminal in and of itself.It is amazing how people without wealth are so easily locked up and saddled with defense expenses without any concrete evidence.There is a well-documented anti-family bias in the child protection industry and when CPS workers go after you, you are deemed guilty as soon as you're reported. Never mind the proof. The fact that 60%-80% of child abuse charges today are unsubstantiated seems to be lost on them. They think they're right, and they won't hear otherwise. This is abuse of power !

    How long will the investigation take? -"We will investigate this case as long as necessary - I don't want to lose or jeopardize my job!" - No investigation is necessary, "If you're reported, you must be guilty" ! - Rules: send parents to; school, therapists,doctors....and that has to be done in regular working time. Because of that rule parents are losing their job! But don't break rules you my lose your rights to your children! Who is the winner in this game? Why are so many kids losing their childhood? How long will the "investigation" take? 1- 6 years and more! Somebody is stealing their childhood !
    "....also this terrifys me because I was in cps costudy fro the age of 11. It was a horrible experience.. I remember the feelings . feeling in my stomach of unconformable. the only theig that would make these feeling go away was dreaming of being able to go home with my mother.And theres so much more to my storie that ends up in cps losing me at the age of 15.... and they never found me . hell they never reported me missing. My family after 5month had found out that ther was not a police report made . Reported me missing .. that was peep into my life in cps. I didnt relise until now !!! I mean until typing this how much it hurts to think about it all . i am cry the thoughout typing this . i never new how much this has effected my life then and now......" -Savannah Cooke- #3,297

    And it is more safety "investigat" innocent families then some gangs or where is really needed !

    Finally, a point which must also be considered, is that false accusations of child abuse carry a very considerable financial cost to the judicial system and particularly to Social Services Departments which are constantly claiming shortages of resources. There are costs to the police, prosecution services, pre-trial custody costs, foster care and residential care costs, social work costs, legal aid, lost wages, and expert medical examinations which take resources from overstretched health services.+ Would pay $950K to family of man accused of abuse: !!!! ---How many hungry kids we can feed with that $.!!!!!

    Imagine if you were suddenly accused of being a child molester.....
    Imagine if nobody believed you when you cried out that you were innocent....
    Imagine if you were separated from your children and sent to prison for life....

    Some people don't have to imagine. It really happened to them !









    I don't mean to disturb you but I really want people to be aware about that subject, because today, tomorrow, in the next half hour, it could happen to us too!
    Do you remember movie "Just Ask My Children", based on a True Story?
    "Scott and Brenda Kniffen were arrested without warning one morning in April, 1982, at their home in Bakersfield, Calif. Scott Kniffen had offered to act as a character witness for a friend who had been accused of molesting children by a mentally ill relative. For standing up for their friend, the Kniffens also fell under suspicion. While awaiting trial, Brenda was attacked in jail by the other prisoners, who beat her up and threw feces at her. Their two sons, 6-year-old Brian and 8-year-old Brandon, were questioned by a zealous prosecutor who promised them that they would see their parents if only they would answer the questions. So after hundreds of denials, the Kniffen boys finally agreed that they had been hung from hooks, made to pose for child pornography, and raped. (No photographs, let alone hooks, were ever found.) But the Kniffen boys were not reunited with their parents. Once the state had"saved" them, they were tossed into the foster-care system and forgotten. Brian lived in 16 different homes before he and his brother were old enough to seek legal help and recant their testimony. Their parents served 14 years of a 240-year sentence before an appeals court judge set them free in 1996. "
    Their lives were destroyed because false accusation . We don't need that kind of movies based on a True Story ! What do we need ,STOP before it’s too late.

    "It's time we started to recognize the self-serving nature of the various abuse crusades that get launched with ever-increasing regularity by that coalition of groups in our society: social workers, therapists,doctors, the media, the courts, the shelters, etc., which make their livings by exploiting, and oftentimes creating, family pathology." Something needs to change with the way they handle Families,they remove childen without full investigation.

    Immediate reforms to child welfare practices are needed.

    Child Protective Services :Power to Protect ; Power to Abuse
    Child Protective Services - Guilty Until Proven Innocent!

    Please don't just say no, give it a chance,please. True inof, some local media avenues are already shedding light on this, but we need a bigger voice or it won't change. Someone the PEOPLE will listen to, give innocent Children a voice.


    Suncana Sesic Alvarado


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